ND Filters for Drone
A Neutral-Density Filter, or ND filter, decreases the amount of light that reaches the lens of a camera. ND filter will give you much greater control over the shutter speed and to avoid overexposing your shot.
What is Shutter Speed
Shutter speed is how long an image is exposed to light.
- The longer shutter speed, the more light enters and the brighter the image.
- The shorter shutter speed, the less light enters and the darker the image.
The Shutter Speed Formula
To set up your shutter speed correctly (for videography), and to mimic motion the same way the human eye experiences it in real life, the shutter speed should be set to double your frame rate, also known as the 180-degree rule. (i.e. if you’re shooting at 30 fps, your shutter speed should be 1/60 of a second.)
Choosing ND Filters
Here are the common ND filters: ND4, ND8, ND16 and ND32. The number associated with an ND filter indicates that how much light enters the lens in terms of a fraction.
- ND4 reduces light by 1/4. An ND4 filter can reduce 2 stops of light, allowing you to slow the shutter speed from 1/100s to 1/25s.
- ND8 reduces light by 1/8. An ND8 filter can reduce 3 stops of light, allowing you to slow the shutter speed from 1/200s to 1/25s.
- ND16 reduces light by 1/16. An ND16 filter can reduce 4 stops of light, allowing you to slow the shutter speed from 1/400s to 1/25s.
- ND32 reduces light by 1/32. An ND32 filter can reduce 5 stops of light, allowing you to slow the shutter speed from 1/600s to 1/25s
In simple words:
- ND4 filter is for overcast or fairly cloudy, with lower daylight weather.
- ND8 filter is for cloudy daylight conditions.
- ND16 filter is for normal daylight conditions.
- ND32 filter is for brightest sunlight conditions.
Please note that drone camera ND filters should work well with the gimbal camera’s center of gravity.