Get best possible footage from DJI Phantom with Polar Pro filters
Improve your DJI Phantom 4 footage by using a series of Polar Pro filters
In the video below I share how you can get the best possible footage from your DJI Phantom 4 by using an array of ND (neutral density) and ND/PL (neutral density with polarizer) Polar Pro filters.
I have conducted a series of tests using six different Polar Pro filters in different lighting conditions, I think you’ll be quite surprised by what I discovered. But first, let’s talk about the settings on the DJI Phantom camera and why filters are so important. For video capture, you’ll ideally shoot in manual mode, using a shutter speed double that of your frame rate.
So, for example, all the footage you’ll see in the video was shot in 4K at 30fps at a shutter speed of 1/60 (or 60 as it shows in your settings). If you were filming in 1080p at 120fps, you’d want your shutter speed to be 240. At 24fps, the closest you can get is 1/50 or (50). The aperture on the Phantom 4 is fixed, so your only other variable is the ISO, which I’ll talk about in a moment.
If we’re filming with these settings in mind and you were not using a filter to knock out some of the light, your shots would be blown out. In the footage at the beginning of the video I was using a Polar Pro filter ND64, which has 6 stops of light reduction. My ISO on the footage was set at 200. The lower the ISO, the better the quality. Using an ND64 filter is only good to use on extremely bright days, in the peak afternoon hours. I’ve found that if I have to bump up the ISO to 400 (which unfortunately on the DJI Phantom is the next option) the noise level can get really bad, especially in the sky. To resolve this issue, I have six different Polar Pro filters that I store in two Polar Pro protective cases.
In the video you’ll see that I start off using the Polar Pro ND4/PL (with polarizer), however the footage overexposed, especially on the right hand side. When using a polarizing filter, you’re best to film at 90 degrees from the sun (north/south).
These Polar Pro filters with polarizer are circular, so what that means is that you can adjust them to find the contrast that best suits your needs. Simply turn the ring on the filter, and while looking at your screen, stop once the scene looks best to you.
I mentioned noise and show a couple of examples in the video. I have found an issue when using the ND32 and ND64 filters at higher ISO, this is not because of the quality of the Polar Pro filters, but rater due to the quality limitations of the DJI Camera sensor. I personally have found that the filter I use most often is the ND16. If you have dark or cloudy days, the lower number filters can really help. In Arizona where I live, we don’t get many of those days.
If you want to get the best footage out of your DJI Phantom 4, you really should consider buying some filters. I have found that Polar Pro filters has a wide selection to choose from and are very high quality. Polar Pro is not just for filters, they keep coming out with innovative products to help capture the best footage in a variety of ways.
If you have any questions at all about using filters on your DJI Phantom, please leave a comment below. If you have used some Polar Pro filters, I’d love to hear your take.