What’s in the box?
The new ND filters for the DJI Spark from Freewell come in a nice plastic box. Very handy to take with you when you go out to fly.
The box contains four filters (standard day pack):
Freewell also offers a bright day pack which includes Polarizer, ND16, ND32 and ND64 filter.
What are ND filters?
ND filters (Neutral Density filters) reduce the amount of light passing through the lens. On a bright day, the Sparks camera will increase the shutter speed to avoid the footage being too bright and overexposed. The downside to that is that the footage will look unnatural because of the absence of motion blur which make movements look smooth. The higher the shutter speed, the sharper each frame is being captured, thus removing the natural motion blur we are used to.
The rule of thumb when shooting video is that you set the shutter speed as close to twice the framerate. The Spark does 30fps so we want the shutter speed as close to 1/60th as possible. You can see the results of what the filters do to the shutter speed on a sunny day.
- No filter: 1/1000
- PL filter: 1/400
- ND4: 1/240
- ND8: 1/100
- ND16: 1/60
How do they perform?
The filters work great and the difference in footage is quite noticable. Colors pop-up and contrast gets improved by the use of a longer shutter speed. As far as my experience goes, I didn’t notice any obvious colour shifting when using the filters.
The most important part of using the filters is applying the bracket correctly. My first try to install them looked succesfully but after testing, they seemed to be seated too far from the camera. This resulted in vignetting (dark corners) when taking pictures. I took off the first bracket and tried to re-install the second one that came in the box. This time, I could mount the filters closer to the camera and the vignetting disappeared.
Although it’s something extra to carry with you when you want to go out and fly, it really pays off in most cases to use the ND filters.
Check out the test footage in the video below: