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ND filters are definately necessary!
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Frederick Hagan
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Hope this helps some folks....


2017-1-25
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RedHotPoker
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I can see you've been keeping busy and very productive building these helpful, informative videos.


Thanks again, Frederick.


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2017-1-25
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Labroides
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ND filters are definitely necessary!

Except this only relates to video as you say in the video.
Your headline would make beginners believe they need a completely unnecessary extra for stills too.
2017-1-25
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Frederick Hagan
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Labroides Posted at 2017-1-25 21:06
ND filters are definitely necessary!

Except this only relates to video as you say in the video.

I understand ... but that's not entirely true.

e.g. If you wanted to take a photography of something outside in bright daylight sun at say 4 feet away... And you wanted the subject to be in focus wile the background goes out of focus. You'd have to shoot at f2.8 for a very shallow depth of field. The only way to shoot at f2.8 in bright sunlight and get a shallow depth of field shot is by using ND filters.
2017-1-29
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Untheory
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Thank you for the video
2017-1-29
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puredata
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Is there any plugin to introduce the same motion blur between the frames?
2017-1-29
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Labroides
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Frederick Hagan Posted at 2017-1-29 06:53
I understand ... but that's not entirely true.

e.g. If you wanted to take a photography of something outside in bright daylight sun at say 4 feet away... And you wanted the subject to be in focus wile the background goes out of focus. You'd have to shoot at f2.8 for a very shallow depth of field. The only way to shoot at f2.8 in bright sunlight and get a shallow depth of field shot is by using ND filters.

So you might be able to use ND filters for a very specific and uncommon still photo application.
That's very different from:
ND filters are definitely necessary
or
You really need them.

While they have a use in video, they are of very limited use in still photography with a Phantom.
99.99% of still shooters would never need them and would be much better off not wasting their $$ on them.
2017-1-29
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Frederick Hagan Posted at 2017-1-29 06:53
I understand ... but that's not entirely true.

e.g. If you wanted to take a photography of something outside in bright daylight sun at say 4 feet away... And you wanted the subject to be in focus wile the background goes out of focus. You'd have to shoot at f2.8 for a very shallow depth of field. The only way to shoot at f2.8 in bright sunlight and get a shallow depth of field shot is by using ND filters.

Exactly! Perfect answer.
2017-1-30
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Labroides Posted at 2017-1-29 07:20
So you might be able to use ND filters for a very specific and uncommon still photo application.
That's very different from:
ND filters are definitely necessary

Dang it! Also true!
2017-1-30
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puredata Posted at 2017-1-29 07:12
Is there any plugin to introduce the same motion blur between the frames?

Same motion blur when compared to what?
2017-1-30
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Frederick Hagan
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Labroides Posted at 2017-1-29 07:20
So you might be able to use ND filters for a very specific and uncommon still photo application.
That's very different from:
ND filters are definitely necessary

Yes of course. But the vast majority of Phantom flyers use its photography capabilities as a kind of bonus feature. If the quad only shot photos....no video....there goes 90% of DJI's consumer market share. So ND's are a necessity for the vast amount of Phantom pilots.

Is this horse dead yet or are ya gonna keep kicking it!? LOL
2017-1-31
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Frederick Hagan Posted at 2017-1-31 18:03
Yes of course. But the vast majority of Phantom flyers use its photography capabilities as a kind of bonus feature. If the quad only shot photos....no video....there goes 90% of DJI's consumer market share. So ND's are a necessity for the vast amount of Phantom pilots.

Is this horse dead yet or are ya gonna keep kicking it!? LOL

I'm sure I saw its tail twitch :-)

A good demonstration of the use of ND filters in video. Now I have a set of these for my P4 (fixed aperture). What I don't fully understand is that you do mention the variable aperture on the P4P, but you make no mention of using it (in your demonstration). I would have thought that there was sufficient aperture control to satisfy the shutter to frame rate ratio without the need for additional filters. Could you please clarify as to why you needed the filter over and above the existing aperture control, was there too much light ?
2017-1-31
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Frederick Hagan Posted at 2017-1-31 18:03
Yes of course. But the vast majority of Phantom flyers use its photography capabilities as a kind of bonus feature. If the quad only shot photos....no video....there goes 90% of DJI's consumer market share. So ND's are a necessity for the vast amount of Phantom pilots.

Is this horse dead yet or are ya gonna keep kicking it!? LOL

No, there is still life left in the old nag yet. For fixed aperture cameras liike the P3 or P4, there is no advantage to using an ND filter when shooting stills because you cannot alter the aperture. Without aperture control, you cannot alter the depth of field.

Having said that, I do appreciate your making the video.

Oh, and BTW, Labroides rarely shoots video with his P4P, mostly stills, and excellent ones at that.
2017-1-31
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Labroides Posted at 2017-1-29 07:20
So you might be able to use ND filters for a very specific and uncommon still photo application.
That's very different from:
ND filters are definitely necessary

I don't know about your estimate of 99.99% but I have and use ND filters with my Canon 5D3.

I guess you were referring ONLY to Phantom still photos?
2017-1-31
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KM5RG-Robert
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Thanks. That Demo helps.  Is the double the framerate a ball park number or does it need to be exact for some technical  reason? In other words, if you needed to go a stop more or less to adjust the exposure, does that cause some issues?
2017-1-31
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theGrindLab.com Posted at 2017-1-30 10:54
Same motion blur when compared to what?

Same motion blur that happens when we have a slower shutter speed compared to higher shutter speeds. Therefore closing the gap and lowering the stutter?
2017-2-1
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Thank you for the demo, very helpful!
2017-2-1
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puredata Posted at 2017-2-1 07:34
Same motion blur that happens when we have a slower shutter speed compared to higher shutter speeds. Therefore closing the gap and lowering the stutter?

You can get a similar motion blur from footage shot at multiple frame rates by applying the same ratio of fps to shutter speed, but you may need to change the frame rate on your timeline in post. Like, if you use the 180 degree rule to shoot at 24fps, you would shoot at a shutter speed of 1/48 (or more likely 1/50, as 1/48 may not be an option). If you want to shoot at 60fps, to apply the same 180 degree rule for shutter speed, you would set shutter speed to 1/120 (and in many cases 1/100, as 1/120 may not be an option). Your motion blur may not look the same on a 60fps timeline but if you apply the footage to a 24fps timeline, the motion blur should look the same/close. Of course, you have to have an editor that does so properly. In this situation, if you prefer to work on a 60fps timeline, I am not sure you will accomplish what you want though. I didn't type this out too eloquently, so I hope it makes sense.
2017-2-1
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Thanks for that excellent video!
Excuse the noobish questions but I'm new to quads & photography/aerial video. So besides the motion blur benefits (which seem more pronounced closer to the ground), do ND filters help with the overall contrast of the picture for post editing? And if not contrast then??? I was under the impression you can get better colors/contrast/saturation with ND filters? If a beginner could only buy 2 filters, which would you recommend? ND4 & ND8?
2017-2-1
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E.T._Drone_Home Posted at 2017-2-1 21:22
Thanks for that excellent video!
Excuse the noobish questions but I'm new to quads & photography/aerial video. So besides the motion blur benefits (which seem more pronounced closer to the ground), do ND filters help with the overall contrast of the picture for post editing? And if not contrast then??? I was under the impression you can get better colors/contrast/saturation with ND filters? If a beginner could only buy 2 filters, which would you recommend? ND4 & ND8?

In most (possibly all?) situations ND filters should not affect contrast much, as they should block/filter the same amount of light across the whole visual spectrum. I cannot speak for others' preferences for a 2-filter setup but, when I do not have access to a variable ND filter (which means the amount of filtering can be adjusted without changing filters), I get ND4 and ND8 filters. ND2 doesn't typically cut enough for me and anything higher than ND8 often cuts too much for my tastes. I shoot mainly video though, so the range of filters I might use could be significantly different from someone shooting photos.
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E.T._Drone_Home Posted at 2017-2-1 21:22
Thanks for that excellent video!
Excuse the noobish questions but I'm new to quads & photography/aerial video. So besides the motion blur benefits (which seem more pronounced closer to the ground), do ND filters help with the overall contrast of the picture for post editing? And if not contrast then??? I was under the impression you can get better colors/contrast/saturation with ND filters? If a beginner could only buy 2 filters, which would you recommend? ND4 & ND8?

My 2 go-to filters are the ND8/PL and the ND16/PL, Where ND filters are great for reducing shutter speed, ND/PL filters will reduce shutter speed, and also glare, increasing color saturation.

Some guys prefer to use straight ND filters, and some love the ND/PL filters. I personally use the ND/PL filters most of the time for what its worth.

-Jeff
2017-2-2
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puredata Posted at 2017-1-29 07:12
Is there any plugin to introduce the same motion blur between the frames?

I prefer to shoot my videos with as little motion blur as possible to capture as much info as possible. You can get pretty good frame grabs from non-blurred video. I use Adobe After Effects to add motion blur in post if I want that cinematic look. That way preserve the sharp footage and I have complete control of the degree of motion blur to add to the final product now and forever into the future. You can add motion blur in post but you cannot remove it.
2017-2-2
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Nice video and some good tips.  However I do not intend to fly my drone so close to the ground and skim over the ground at speed.

I am grateful for all the advice and tips for helping people get better video and photography.

Most of my video's are going to be taken at some height 200m plus.



2017-2-2
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theGrindLab.com Posted at 2017-2-1 10:22
You can get a similar motion blur from footage shot at multiple frame rates by applying the same ratio of fps to shutter speed, but you may need to change the frame rate on your timeline in post. Like, if you use the 180 degree rule to shoot at 24fps, you would shoot at a shutter speed of 1/48 (or more likely 1/50, as 1/48 may not be an option). If you want to shoot at 60fps, to apply the same 180 degree rule for shutter speed, you would set shutter speed to 1/120 (and in many cases 1/100, as 1/120 may not be an option). Your motion blur may not look the same on a 60fps timeline but if you apply the footage to a 24fps timeline, the motion blur should look the same/close. Of course, you have to have an editor that does so properly. In this situation, if you prefer to work on a 60fps timeline, I am not sure you will accomplish what you want though. I didn't type this out to eloquently, so I hope it makes sense.

Makes sense, I'll try this on FCPX!

Thanks!
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RSW Posted at 2017-2-2 16:54
I prefer to shoot my videos with as little motion blur as possible to capture as much info as possible. You can get pretty good frame grabs from non-blurred video. I use Adobe After Effects to add motion blur in post if I want that cinematic look. That way preserve the sharp footage and I have complete control of the degree of motion blur to add to the final product now and forever into the future. You can add motion blur in post but you cannot remove it.

That's what I'm referring actually. So just one or two frames of motion blur works?

Good news!
2017-2-3
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Have they ever shipped ND filters for the Phantom 4 Pro yet?  The store is still showing 20-25 days off and that date doesn't seem to change?  Did they ship a run of them then run out, or have they not yet shipped any DJI Brand ND filters for the 4 Pro series?
2017-2-3
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I ordered some from China. I'll let everyone know how they turn out once the arrive.
2017-2-3
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Aardvark Posted at 2017-1-31 19:47
I'm sure I saw its tail twitch :-)

A good demonstration of the use of ND filters in video. Now I have a set of these for my P4 (fixed aperture). What I don't fully understand is that you do mention the variable aperture on the P4P, but you make no mention of using it (in your demonstration). I would have thought that there was sufficient aperture control to satisfy the shutter to frame rate ratio without the need for additional filters. Could you please clarify as to why you needed the filter over and above the existing aperture control, was there too much light ?

That was what I was so surprised about. Even at f11 that's no where near getting the shutter down to 50 for 24fps for a lot of super bright conditions. Best case...if you need to use an ND16 for a fixed aperture 2.8...You'll only need to use say an ND8 with the ability to adjust or close down the aperture to f11. BUT...you'll still need to use ND's unfortunately.
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Frederick Hagan
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KM5RG-Robert Posted at 2017-1-31 21:04
Thanks. That Demo helps.  Is the double the framerate a ball park number or does it need to be exact for some technical  reason? In other words, if you needed to go a stop more or less to adjust the exposure, does that cause some issues?

No the "double shutter speed per frame rate" or "180 rule" is universal no matter what camera you're using. DSLR's, RED Epic, Canon C300, Phantom 4 Pro etc. I've found that if you really need to you can go as high as 100 on S.S. (Shooting at 24fps) and still maintain a natural organic feel to your motion.
2017-2-3
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theGrindLab.com Posted at 2017-2-2 05:59
In most (possibly all?) situations ND filters should not affect contrast much, as they should block/filter the same amount of light across the whole visual spectrum. I cannot speak for others' preferences for a 2-filter setup but, when I do not have access to a variable ND filter (which means the amount of filtering can be adjusted without changing filters), I get ND4 and ND8 filters. ND2 doesn't typically cut enough for me and anything higher than ND8 often cuts too much for my tastes. I shoot mainly video though, so the range of filters I might use could be significantly different from someone shooting photos.

Ditto this. And I'll add that this is when glass production and quality comes into play. I cheap ND filter will not be "neutral" in color. When your footage has a blue, greenish or magenta color cast this is the sign of cheap glass or plastic production. A good ND should darken...evenly across the color spectrum... with no color shift to correct in post. That said I'm impressed with DJI's ND8. White balance stays balanced when shooting...as any good ND should be.
2017-2-3
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I want to just subscribe to Frederick Hagan's posts right about now.
2017-2-3
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Frederick Hagan Posted at 2017-2-3 21:02
Ditto this. And I'll add that this is when glass production and quality comes into play. I cheap ND filter will not be "neutral" in color. When your footage has a blue, greenish or magenta color cast this is the sign of cheap glass or plastic production. A good ND should darken...evenly across the color spectrum... with no color shift to correct in post. That said I'm impressed with DJI's ND8. White balance stays balanced when shooting...as any good ND should be.

Federick how long did it take for you to receive your DJI ND's. I ordered a set and was wondering, thanks!
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BIGDZ Posted at 2017-2-4 06:11
Federick how long did it take for you to receive your DJI ND's. I ordered a set and was wondering, thanks!

As soo as I saw them available on B&H Photo I ordered. Took about 4 days.
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Frederick Hagan Posted at 2017-2-4 15:29
As soo as I saw them available on B&H Photo I ordered. Took about 4 days.

Are the DJI ND filters color neutral? I ordered a set from Polarpro and I really hope not to see any color cast, because otherwise will need to send them back.
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piowoc73 Posted at 2017-2-4 15:45
Are the DJI ND filters color neutral? I ordered a set from Polarpro and I really hope not to see any color cast, because otherwise will need to send them back.

My DJI ND8 looks good. No strange color shift like you see with cheaper NDs.
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Frederick Hagan Posted at 2017-2-4 15:29
As soo as I saw them available on B&H Photo I ordered. Took about 4 days.

I ordered them as well from B and H but they are on back order. Thanks again!
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BIGDZ Posted at 2017-2-4 17:03
I ordered them as well from B and H but they are on back order. Thanks again!

Yep but click the "notify me when in stock" button. As soon as I got an email saying the ND8's were available I jumped on and secured an order. The very next day they were out of stock again!
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BIGDZ Posted at 2017-2-4 17:03
I ordered them as well from B and H but they are on back order. Thanks again!

Yep but click the "notify me when in stock" button. As soon as I got an email saying the ND8's were available I jumped on and secured an order. The very next day they were out of stock again!
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puredata Posted at 2017-2-3 09:46
That's what I'm referring actually. So just one or two frames of motion blur works?

Good news!

There are different method for synthesizing motion blur in post.

1. Frame interpolation - multiple intermediate steps are calculated between frames.
2. Pixel blur - motion vectors are analyzed and calculated by like patterns between frames and pixels are blurred along the motion vector closest to  the proximity of the pixel.
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RSW Posted at 2017-2-6 12:58
There are different method for synthesizing motion blur in post.

1. Frame interpolation - multiple intermediate steps are calculated between frames.

Any workflow to do those in Final Cut Pro X?
2017-2-7
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