When ND filters were first released for the DJI Mavic Mini, they didn’t have much use as the DJI Fly app didn’t let you change the shutter speed when capturing video, meaning the drone would automatically change the settings. After an update that fixed this, we got our hands on the Tiffen ND & polarizer filter kit for the Mavic Mini.
The ND & polarizer filter kit from Tiffen comes with six filters, three ND filters, and three polarizer ND filters. Both variants of the filters come in an ND4, ND8, and ND16 version.
A neutral-density (ND) filter is used to limit the amount of light let into the camera using various amounts of stops to do so. One stop halves the amount of light by 50%. Let’s use the ND filters that come in this pack as an example. The ND4 filter is the equivalent to two stops light so it essentially has a quarter of the amount of light being let into the sensor.
The filters come in a solid plastic housing sitting in a soft foam angled upwards to ensure the lenses do not touch anything while in the case and they won’t move around while in transport. The case itself uses magnets to ensure it stays closed and has a satisfying sound when closing shut. The case is small enough that it can fit in a pocket or a full drone bag.
The filters are made from a lightweight metal that is flexible and strong at the same time. The filters weigh almost nothing. The most flexible part is the fastening piece which is attached to the filter with two tiny screws, so if you do happen to snap it, you can get a replacement or steal one from a less used filter. The polarizer ND filters have a nice smooth rotatable lens that feels sturdy.
The filters attach to the gimbal by hooking into the heatsink grooves on the rear of the camera housing. You first align the hooks with the gimbal’s grooves and then slide the filter down and over the lens. Doing this is simple to do but can take a little extra force to make sure the filter is lined up with the front of the camera. It is also worth noting that the hooks used to connect the filter should be close to flush with the top of the gimbal.
While testing out the filters on the Mavic Mini, I found the majority of the time the gimbal was fine with the added weight and produced the smooth footage you’d expect. Occasionally, flying the gimbal would start shaking uncontrollably forcing a landing and restarting of the drone. I wasn’t able to figure out the exact reason for the issue, but I assume that user error could have been involved when attaching the filter. Another reason could be due to aggressive flying causing the filter to slightly move and put the gimbal off balance. An example of the issue can be found at the link below.
Results & final thoughts
The filters do exactly what they are meant to do, limit the amount of light hitting the camera sensor. The glass used on the lenses seems to be high quality and can easily be cleaned with a microfiber cloth. The metal housing is also strong without adding unnecessary weight to the gimbal. While the mechanism to attach the filters to the gimbal works, it would have been great to see a screw style but that would have required a change to the Mavic Mini.
If you are looking for a good set of filters for your drone, I’d recommend these to anyone as long as you don’t require a filter stronger than ND16. You can purchase the filters for $47.99 on sale on Tiffen’s website.
The full quality photos and videos can be found via this link. All clips were shot at 1080p 60fps with a shutter speed of 1/120s.
Have you purchased filters for your Mavic Mini? Do you have a product you want us to review next? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Josh Spires