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Question for the Photography Experts, RE: ND Filters

BeeRAD56

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My understanding of the use of ND filters when shooting in auto mode, is to reduce shutter speed to create cinematic motion blur by ideally doubling the frame rate, i.e. 30 fps = 1/60 shutter speed. My question is: When shooting in total manual mode, is there any reason to use an ND filter?

I've graduated from the EVO 1 to the EVO 2 Pro and trying to learn photography fundamentals to make best use of the E2P camera and the learning curve is steep at the moment.

Thanks in advance
 

parkgt

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The chart above while of some benefit as a guideline for shooting photos, does not address NDs use in video. In actuality there are only limited circumstances that serious photographers routinely use NDs.

As to the original question, those that are serious about video (or photos) rarely shoot with any setting set to auto.

NDs are used primarily to get the shutter speed to be twice the frame rate. Which to use depends on the most predominate lighting expected during that sequence. Another use is also getting the f-stop in the sweet spot for the camera/lens system being used.

One should understand the "Exposure Triangle" as a base of knowledge for photo or video work.

There are plenty of online articles or YT videos on Exposure Triangle and manually setting drone cameras correctly for better videos.
 
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skrano

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My understanding of the use of ND filters when shooting in auto mode, is to reduce shutter speed to create cinematic motion blur by ideally doubling the frame rate, i.e. 30 fps = 1/60 shutter speed. My question is: When shooting in total manual mode, is there any reason to use an ND filter?

I've graduated from the EVO 1 to the EVO 2 Pro and trying to learn photography fundamentals to make best use of the E2P camera and the learning curve is steep at the moment.

Thanks in advance
Hi there!
almost 20y experience photographere here.

I assume you're talking about photo (still) and not video. (just in case, notice it me)
The use of ND filters is basically just one: reduce the amount of light that enters into the sensor. If you shoot in manual mode, the ND filter is technically less usefull because of you're controlling aperture, shutter speed(SS) and iso and you're able to set the light.
ND filter can be usefull if you want to create a motion on a photo (for example, imagine a waterfall with "creamy" soft water), in order to make that shot you have to use the ND filter due to long shutter speed is needed; but if you set a long SS (1/2" - 1" or more) and a lower aperture (f11-f13 i.e.) (assuming 100ISO) the entire photo looks overexposed (white and bright).
Using a ND filter allows you to shoot 1-2" with f11 (this parameters are random, inserted just for example) with a perfect exposure (shadows and lights).
 
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Eagle's Eye Photo

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I do not yet have the EVO II Pro, but I will say this... the characteristics of the gimbals on most UAS across all brands, is to keep the camera steady... but not absolutely still. At a 1 to 2 sec exposure you would lose most of your high resolution to motion blur. I would venture, that any exposure time longer than ¼ second would perceptibly degrade the image. (Unless an overall soft focus effect is what is desired.)
 
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robertmarcos

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My understanding of the use of ND filters when shooting in auto mode, is to reduce shutter speed to create cinematic motion blur by ideally doubling the frame rate, i.e. 30 fps = 1/60 shutter speed. My question is: When shooting in total manual mode, is there any reason to use an ND filter?

I've graduated from the EVO 1 to the EVO 2 Pro and trying to learn photography fundamentals to make best use of the E2P camera and the learning curve is steep at the moment.

Thanks in advance
Dear BRad56 -
I am a professional videographer who uses ND filters religiously on my camcorders during the brightest part of the day. They're vital or two of my cameras because without them they'd overexpose the video. However when I used them on my Evo I saw no benefit whatsoever. My 4k 60 fps footage looks superior to my partner's Mavic Pro footage - filmed at 30 fps. In his case he HAS TO use ND filters to reduce his jittery-looking footage.
 

Brock Inspector

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40+ year photographer here, 30+ as professional. ND's just filter the quantity of light coming through the lens. Reason to use them on Autel Evo II cameras is primarily for video. The 8K sensor camera and lens system hasn't got an adjustable aperture. So you move the shutter speed where you want it to be using ISO speed changes and ND or ND/Polas. I have the AEP 6K camera which has an adjustable aperture. However, the 1" sensor is sharpest used within a stop of f/4 either way, and an ND helps to keep it in that range. I use the a Freewell ND polarizer most often, either an ND8 or an ND16 depending on whether I'm shooting 4K 60p or 4K 30p. I also like using a polarizer when shooting aerial stills (saturates blue skies and enhances contrast with clouds, also scenes containing reflective leafy vegetation. Even if I could do so "in post-production" it's always preferable to do it "in camera" ). So having a set of Freewells that has the Pola NDs I can leave on for both is a two-fer (conveniently these are whole stops, not a stop and 2/3 as a standard circular polarizer). I might have easily gotten by with purchasing just these two ($20/ea), but they were only available in a set at the time of purchase. Higher strength ND's are also used with tripod-based cameras for long time exposures of subject matter such as waterfalls when the ambient light is too bright to otherwise allow. I suppose one could also use a drone for longer exposures of subjects in tripod mode, too, but it will need to be dead-calm air and that's rather uncommon above the surface.
 
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