A lot of people have been wondering how you mount Neutral Density or ND filters on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro with its 1-inch sensor as the lens shape is almost square-like. This video on YouTube shows you how it’s done. You carefully hold onto the camera and turn the protective cover that is in front of the lens counter-clockwise and it will come off. Then you take the ND filter of your choice and gently put it on the camera and turn it clockwise and voila. You are all set to go out and get that smooth cinematic footage with shallow depth-of-field.
Why would you use ND filters on your Mavic 2 Pro?
Good question. Here’s why.
To create the smooth cinematic footage you will want to keep your shutter speed low, for instance, 24, or 30 frames per second as it smooths out the movement of your subject in the footage while going from frame to frame. High frame rates result in those jittery videos, you may remember from older smartphones or digital cameras.
Often times filmmakers want to combine that smooth footage with a shallow depth-of-field to create a separation between the subject and the background. You can achieve this blurred-out background by either using longer lenses and/or using wider apertures. As most drones feature wider fixed lenses, the only variable left to achieve the desired result is opening up the aperture.
The Mavic 2 Pro has a variable aperture that ranges from f/2.8 to f/11. However, if you’re shooting in the middle of the day in bright sunlight, your drone will force you to either to lower the ISO, increase the shutter speed or to close down your aperture to not over-expose your video footage. Often times, you will have to adjust all three setting appropriately (low ISO, high shutter speed, and or small aperture) to properly expose your shot, causing you to lose the smooth footage and/or the shallow depth-of-field.
Neutral density filters
This is where ND filters come in. Think of them as sunglasses for your drone (or camera). With the right ND filter, you will be able to keep the slow shutter speed of 24 or 30 fps and combine that with a wide open aperture of let’s say f/2.8 to get that beautiful cinematic footage. ND filters come in various strengths. In this video, FlytPath shows ND filters ranging from ND4, ND8, ND16 to ND32.
This is what the camera on the Mavic 2 Pro looks like wi the protective lens cover removed.
We should be receiving our set of ND filters for our Mavic 2 Pro soon and will put them to the test and show you how to use them.
Note: in the video the maker mistakenly says that a larger or wider aperture increases the depth-of-field whereas it is exactly the opposite. It decreases the depth-of-field and blurs out the background (bokeh).
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