Updated: Aug 27
The DJI Mini 2 drone is a powerful tool for capturing stunning aerial footage, but to get the best results, you'll need to equip it with ND filters. ND filters are essential for controlling the amount of light that enters the camera lens, which allows you to capture more detailed and evenly exposed footage.
In this blog post, we'll explore when, where, and how to use ND filters with your DJI Mini 2 drone.
Understanding ND Filters
Before we dive into using ND filters with the DJI Mini 2, let's quickly review what they are and how they work. ND filters are simply pieces of glass that reduce the amount of light entering the camera. They come in different strengths, measured in "stops" - the greater the number of stops, the more the filter decreases the amount of light entering the lens.
ND filters are an essential tool for photographers and filmmakers because they allow you to achieve the correct exposure settings in bright environments, such as when shooting in strong sunlight. By reducing the amount of light that enters the camera, ND filters allow you to use slower shutter speeds or wider apertures, which in turn creates more cinematic footage with a better control over depth of field.
When to Use ND Filters with the DJI Mini 2 Drone
There are several instances where you should consider using ND filters with your DJI Mini 2 drone:
1. Shooting in Bright Sunlight: ND filters can help reduce the amount of light entering the camera, which is especially important during bright, sunny days when the camera sensor can be overwhelmed with too much light.
2. Capturing Motion Blur: ND filters enable you to achieve slower shutter speeds, which can create a beautiful motion blur effect in your footage.
3. Improving Dynamic Range: ND filters can help balance out the dynamic range of your footage, making it easier to capture detail in both the highlights and shadows.
ND filters are particularly useful when capturing footage of waterfalls, rivers, lakes, or any body of water with moving elements. The slow shutter speeds created with ND filters can create a beautiful, calm, and silky effect in the footage.
Which ND Filters to Choose for the DJI Mini 2 Drone
When selecting ND filters for your DJI Mini 2, it's essential to choose ND filters that are compatible with the Mini 2 camera. ND filters for the DJI Mini 2 drone typically come in a pack of 3 or 4, with ND4, ND8, ND16, and ND32 being the most common options. These numbers represent the number of stops of light reduced by the specific filter.
The ND4 filter is the lightest option, with four stops of light reduction, and is perfect for slightly reducing brightness to create a shallow depth of field.
The ND8 filter reduces the light by three stops, which can be useful for video or photography during slightly brighter daylight conditions.
The ND16 filter reduces light by four stops, enabling the camera to capture more colors and details without overexposing your footage.
The ND32 filter reduces light by five stops, making it suitable for situations with very bright sunlight or intense lighting conditions.
In general, it's best to have a set of ND filters of varying strengths to ensure that you have the right one for each lighting condition and shooting scenario.
How to Use ND Filters with the DJI Mini 2 Drone
Using ND filters with your DJI Mini 2 drone is quite straightforward. Once you've selected the ND filter that best matches the lighting conditions and shooting scenario, take the following steps:
Power on the DJI Mini 2 Drone and camera, and attach the filter to the lens.
Turn on the camera and go to its settings. Select the "Manual Mode" option to put the camera in manual exposure mode.
Adjust the shutter speed or aperture according to your preferences and the desired effect.
Take sample shots and review the footage to confirm the settings are providing desirable effects.
Continue to shoot and monitor the footage after every shot to ensure that the exposure settings are consistent throughout the shoot.