ND (Neutral Density) filters can significantly improve the quality of your DJI Spark drone video and photos but choosing a set of ND filters is not an easy task due to the wide range of options available. Based on our extensive research of all the options and our experience with the drone filters we highly recommend the PolarPro range of ND filters which we use on all our DJI drones.
What are ND (Neutral Density) filters?
So what are ND filters and why do you need them for your DJi Spark? ND, or Neutral Density, filters are like sunglasses for the lens of your drone camera – they reduce the amount of light entering the lens.
So why would you want to limit the light getting into your lens?
If you want to shoot more cinematic footage and better quality footage you’ll need to record in manual setting mode with a fixed shutter speed. This makes post-production editing much easier as the fixed settings mean making adjustments (exposure, saturation etc) are much easier compared to when using auto-settings – in this case the settings change constantly depending on how much light enters the camera lens.
The rule of thumb for video is that the shutter speed should always remain at 2 times the frame rate so if you’re shooting at 30fps at FHD on the DJI Spark your shutter speed should remain as close to 60 as possible. Outside of darker/cloudy weather (i.e. during the daytime) this can only be accomplished by using ND filters which limit the sunlight entering the lens. This allows you to shoot cinematic footage on your DJI Spark. The brighter the conditions the darker the ND filter needs to be. This is why you’ll need multiple filters for your DJI Spark.
DJI Spark Video tip: Without ND filters you will need to increase the shutter speed to maintain exposure in your shots which will affect the quality of your video. Neutral density filters are the most important purchase you can make for your DJI Spark drone after extra batteries.
Why are the PolarPro ND filters the best for the DJI Spark?
We tried a range of filters on our drones and even made the mistake of opting for cheaper sets and having to upgrade to PolarPro filters. There are a number of reasons why the PolarPro filters are the best filters for the DJI Spark:
- Pass gimbal calibration – the PolarPro filters are fitted before the DJI Spark is turned on and will pass the gimbal calibration, every time….guaranteed. They are super light and will not cause any gimbal overload issues with the filters if installedcorrectly. This is a known issue with lots of other ND filter sets which can damage your DJI Spark camera gimbal.
- Very high quality optical glass – no image quality loss with these PolarPro filters
- Durable – the cinema series filters are made of Aircraft aluminum frame and the standard filters are made of quality plastic. This makes them more durable compared with the competition. All PolarPro filters come with the PolarPro life-time warranty.
- Easy to install – the PolarPro filters clip snugly onto the front of the camera lens and can be changed very quickly. We have never had one become loose after 6 months of flights.
- Carry Case: the filters include a good quality case which makes carrying the filters super easy while not in use
Which filter should you buy:
There are a number of different PolarPro filters sets available and the decision to buy one depends on your video and photo needs. We love the Cinema Series 6 pack but there are a number of options available.
Benefits of the PolarPro Cinema Series filters
The Cinema Series are our choice as the very best ND filters for the DJI Spark drone for the following reasons:
- Aircraft aluminum fittings: The Cinema Series filters have aluminium fixtures instead of plastic which makes them much more durable compared with the plastic versions.
- Filter glass: The basic filters have standard glass while the Cinema Series have production grade glass with AR coatings to improve the quality of images. For this reason alone its worth spending the extra money as you’ll see the rewards in your footage.
1 | PolarPro Shutter Collection (Cinema Series)
This is a very most popular ND filter set for the DJI Spark as it covers most lighting situations. The shutter collection of an ND 8 (for cloudy weather / early morning or late evening), ND16 (bright weather) and ND32 (very bright sunny day). The filters can be changed quickly and easily to either of the other two filters. The set will allow you to capture quality footage in most flight conditions during the day.
2 | PolarPro Vivid Collection (Cinema Series)
The other premium line of bronze ND filters is the PolarPro Vivid collection. This pack consists consists of ND4 PL (early morning/ late evening), ND8 PL(cloudy weather) and ND16 PL (bright weather). Each filter also has polarisation (PL) included which performs two roles: it reduces glare and enhances the vibrance of shots. The polariser reduces reflections and also further reduces the light passing through the filter so each filter is slightly darker than the numbers suggest. This set is great if you plan on shooting a lot around water, e.g. lakes and the sea.
3 | PolarPro Cinema Series 6-pack Bronze
The 6-pack Cinema Series is our choice as the best set of ND filters to buy for the DJI Spark. This pack includes all Cinema Series filters (ND4/PL, ND8/PL, ND16/PL, ND8, ND16, and ND32) and is more cost effective that buying the Vivid and Shutter series filters separately. The set ensures you are prepared for every lighting situation with your DJI Spark and that you never miss that shot!
4 | PolarPro DJI Spark Filter 3-Pack
This basic pack is another great option and consists of a linear polariser (reduces glare and reflections to make footage more vibrant) and ND 8 (for cloudy weather / early morning or late evening), ND16 (bright weather). The filter attachments are made of premium plastic (not as durable as the cinema series below) and the filters are used separately so you cannot stack the polariser with the other filters to combine effects. The polariser is great for footage over water as it reduces the glare and really makes the water pop. This set covers some of the most common lighting situations but doesn’t cover bright situations (i.e. middle of a sunny day), so anyone looking to shoot during this time should consider the other sets below.
5 | PolarPro DJI Spark Filter 6-Pack
For those drone owners who want to cover all possible situations this optical filter pack has you covered. It includes
- Linear polarizer (PL, ND8/PL, ND16/PL) which like above reduces glare and increases color saturation
- ND Filters (ND8, ND16, ND32) help reduce shutter speed to capture smooth cinematic footage
So there you have it – we hope this article helped you choose the right ND filters for your DJI Spark drone. We hope you enjoy your new filters and the beautiful footage that you’ll capture with them.