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Tiffen ND Filter Starter Kit Review for DJI Phantom 4 Pro

By Shivani Reddy on November 25th 2017

Long gone are the days when owning a drone was a rarity. With the influx of drones in the sky it’s more relevant now than ever to start setting yourself apart from the pack.

Professionals using drones for commercial work or portraiture need to extend themselves beyond just aerial photography & videography. The quality of footage needs to be of a different caliber considering everyone and their mother (literally) is buying drones due to the affordable options like the DJI Spark entering the market.

So, getting an aerial angle isn’t a novelty anymore, so what are you doing to get striking drone footage?

Not too long ago Tiffen announced the ND Filter Starter Kit for the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, a drone model that is built to withstand stronger wind and comes equipped with longer flight time than the Mavic Pro as well as a 1″ CMOS sensor producing 20MP images/footage, an we decided to put these NDs to the test to see if it really would make a difference in our footage; the kind of difference to set you apart.

Why do you need an ND filter for your drone?

Most drones have a fixed aperture, aside from DJI’s newest Zenmuse X5,  which means you need to adjust your Shutter Speed and ISO. When filming in bright conditions you have no other option than to increase the shutter speed to properly expose a scene, which results in shaky footage.

Additionally, Polarizers are essential for adding contrast to blue skies and reducing glare and reflections off metallic surfaces and water.

Why should i worry about shutter speed?

In simple terms, you should set your shutter speed to twice your frame rate (1/2x fps to be exact). So, according to this, if you’re shooting 24fps you should use a shutter speed of 1/48s, for 60 fps use 1/120s, for slow motion 200fps 1/400s etc. By reducing shutter speed relative to your frame rate you can control the appearance of motion blur.

Neutral Density filters aid in reducing the camera’s shutter speed, which creates a more cinematic and natural look, while also reducing excess vibration.

Take a look at the difference it makes in retaining dynamic range and reducing vibration:

Tiffen nd 16 filter

  • Reduces shutter speed down by 4 stops
  • Provides better control in bright and partly cloudy conditions
  • Enhances overall image quality by reducing excess vibration

Tiffen nd 8 filter

  • Reduces shutter speed down by 3 stops
  • Provides better control in cloudy conditions
  • Enhances overall image quality by reducing excess vibration

Tiffen Polarizer filter

  • Adds contrast to blue skies
  • Makes clouds pop off in the background
  • Reduces glare off of reflective surfaces such as water and tall buildings

Build & quality

You can expect nothing short of excellence when it comes to glass quality and durability from Tiffen. We’ve seen this from everything from their Water White line to their circular filters and even though these filters are smaller in size, they are just as durable. The filters come in a compact case easy for travel and packing with the Phantom and are easy to screw on and off.

So start setting yourself apart by capturing unparalleled footage with the help of an incredible tool made for cinematic character. Purchase a Tiffen ND Starter Kit here for your Phantom Pro.

Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

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