Why you need ND filters for the DJI Mini 4 Pro!

Unlocking Cinematic Quality: ND Filters on the DJI Mini 4 Pro



11/28/20232 min read

Welcome back to my latest exploration in drone videography. Today, I'm delving into a topic that's essential for any drone enthusiast aiming for that perfect cinematic look – ND filters. Specifically, I'm focusing on the DJI Mini 4 Pro and my experience with third-party ND filters from SkyRead.

After a long wait, I finally got my hands on these filters. The pack includes six filters: a circular polarized filter, a UV filter, and ND8, ND16, ND32, and ND64. These should be more than sufficient for daylight use, though I'm curious to see how they fare in snowy conditions – something I plan to test out soon in the beautiful landscapes of Switzerland.

These filters are quite compact, especially if you're accustomed to camera ND filters. In the video, I demonstrate why and when you need to mount ND filters on your drone. The key lies in adhering to the 180-degree shutter rule to achieve that smooth, cinematic motion in your footage.

I walk you through the process using the DJI Mini 4 Pro. Initially, the drone's auto mode doesn't reveal the shutter speed. By switching to the pro features, I set the frame rate to 4K 25 and adjust the shutter speed to 1/50, following the rule of thumb that the shutter speed should be double the inverse of the frame rate.

After setting the ISO to 100 and locking it, I face the challenge of overexposure in bright areas – a common issue that ND filters are designed to mitigate. I demonstrate how to attach an ND16 filter to the drone and the noticeable difference it makes in the video quality.

To give you a clear comparison, I also show footage shot without the ND filter, first with the same manual settings and then with automatic settings. The difference is stark. Without the filter, the footage is either completely washed out or, when on automatic settings, lacks the cinematic quality due to a much higher shutter speed.

The video concludes with a side-by-side comparison of footage with and without the ND filter. It's fascinating to see how such a small accessory can significantly impact the quality of your drone footage.

I invite you to watch the video and see the difference for yourself. Do you notice the stuttering in the footage without the ND filter? Can you see the smoother, more cinematic quality with the filter in place? Drop your thoughts in the comments below, and don't forget to like and subscribe for more insights into drone videography.

Until next time, keep exploring and capturing the world from above!