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Questionable Quality Control for DJI Filters?

js47

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Out of the 12 filters I’ve had over 3 sets (1x dark set and 2x light sets — all purchased brand new, 2 of which were sealed in retail packaging), 3 filters (25%!) have this weird "starriness" to them — they look almost like mist filters. The defect pattern is uniform and across 100% of the filter area.

Each of the 3 sets came with 1 filter which I’d consider to be defective: one ND8, one ND16, and one ND64. All filters are clean and it appears that the imperfection is in the anti-reflective coating on the front side of the filter. It is not dust. A photo of the ND16 is attached below.

Has anyone else noticed issues with OEM DJI filters (for any drone model)? Frankly I expected much better QC from something branded "Hasselblad"....

DSCF4736crop.jpg
 
Anyone find good third party filters?

I am only using polarizers, never used ND filters with my M2P.

Do the M3 drones have adjustable apertures? Which apertures have the optimal image quality? I know for the M2P anything beyond f3.5 to f4 loses sharpness.
 
Anyone find good third party filters?

I am only using polarizers, never used ND filters with my M2P.

Do the M3 drones have adjustable apertures? Which apertures have the optimal image quality? I know for the M2P anything beyond f3.5 to f4 loses sharpness.

I bought the DJI filters figuring they'd be very good quality, but I might be interested in trying the NISI filters later on — I have been happy with their filters for my Fujifilm X100F. Unfortunately their PL filters inexplicably do not rotate so I'd only be trying their regular NDs. Kase, Nisi, PolarPro, K&F, and Tiffen and are only companies I know of that make filters for both drones and "real" cameras, so they are the only brands I'd personally even consider (in roughly that order). I have a K&F Concept (aka Kentfaith) CPL being delivered later today so we'll see how that is.

The M3 main camera's aperture (only the main camera) can be adjusted from f2.8-f11. f2.8-f5.6 yields peak sharpness in the center. You need to stop down to f4-f5.6 for peak sharpness in the corners. f8 is a bit softer across the entire frame but still completely usable, imo. f11 is noticeably softer and I'd only use it in an emergency. Maybe I'll post another thread sometime with my lens sharpness tests.
 
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Take a look at www.AliExpress.com and www.wish.com. Both sites have filters and most of the accessories we buy here in the States at Chinese lower pricing. Flying drones ain’t cheap and these sites make it more palatable. I always shop here first.
 
Out of the 12 filters I’ve had over 3 sets (1x dark set and 2x light sets — all purchased brand new, 2 of which were sealed in retail packaging), 3 filters (25%!) have this weird "starriness" to them — they look almost like mist filters. The defect pattern is uniform and across 100% of the filter area.

Each of the 3 sets came with 1 filter which I’d consider to be defective: one ND8, one ND16, and one ND64. All filters are clean and it appears that the imperfection is in the anti-reflective coating on the front side of the filter. It is not dust. A photo of the ND16 is attached below.

Has anyone else noticed issues with OEM DJI filters (for any drone model)? Frankly I expected much better QC from something branded "Hasselblad"....

View attachment 166456
Have you tried cleaning them with lens cleaning liquid? My filters looked similar when new. Good squirt of that liquid followed by microfiber cloth wipe and they came out perfect
 
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Have you tried cleaning them with lens cleaning liquid? My filters looked similar when new. Good squirt of that liquid followed by microfiber cloth wipe and they came out perfect

I actually hadn't thought to try that and it was a great idea. Unfortunately, no effect when trying just now.

IMG_7938.jpeg
 
If you tried cleaning from both sides and they still look like this they are likely defective. I'd return them.

Unfortunately I bought them final sale so that’s not an option. And when I reached out to DJI they said to go through the retailer, so I guess I am just out of luck with these. Spares I guess.

Just trying to decide if I should roll the dice again with a 4th set hoping that I get an ND64 that is in good shape to complete my lineup. Based on my current experience, there’s a 25% chance that the any one filter from a new set will be messed up. But maybe I just had bad luck…
 
Unfortunately I bought them final sale so that’s not an option. And when I reached out to DJI they said to go through the retailer, so I guess I am just out of luck with these. Spares I guess.

Just trying to decide if I should roll the dice again with a 4th set hoping that I get an ND64 that is in good shape to complete my lineup. Based on my current experience, there’s a 25% chance that the any one filter from a new set will be messed up. But maybe I just had bad luck…
Didn't you say previously that you do not use ND filters? Because if you do there is a Freewell set of split density ND filters available for M3 which I use and am very happy with them. Just saying🙂
 
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I purchased some freewell ones. Quality is perfect for me.

PS. I have a brand new set of dji for M3, never used I could sell you, if you were interested.
Obviously I can check them for you first. Link in Sig.
 
Didn't you say previously that you do not use ND filters? Because if you do there is a Freewell set of split density ND filters available for M3 which I use and am very happy with them. Just saying🙂

ND filters (and CPLs and GNDs) are the bread and butter for my conventional photography, but I only recently started using them for aerial photography. So far I’ve only used them to get the shutter speed up enough to blur moving water (I'll put a recent pic down below — not the best pic, but the water looks nice!). Technically the Mavic 3 can handle exposures of up to 8 seconds, but I find it is a major roll of the dice in terms of sharpness for anything slower than about 2s. I don’t do much video but the brighter NDs are definitely critical for that.

Honestly, I don’t understand the point of split NDs. Maybe for a lesser drone like the Air 3 where the aperture is fixed. Or if for some reason you only ever shoot wide open on the main camera (otherwise you'd want the tele part of the ND to be darker than it is, and if you shot with an aperture smaller than f4.4 then you'd actually want the wide angle part of the ND to be lighter than the tele part of the ND...). If you need to sync up the shutter speed, just change the main camera’s aperture to f4.5 to approximately match the tele camera. I’d usually be shooting between f4 and f5.6 on the main camera to maximize corner sharpness anyway. If I am misunderstanding the utility of Split NDs, please let me know!


I purchased some freewell ones. Quality is perfect for me.

PS. I have a brand new set of dji for M3, never used I could sell you, if you were interested.
Obviously I can check them for you first. Link in Sig.

Nice close up shots of those filters. I am going to do some sharpness tests with the DJI filters I have since I am not convinced they are made from glass. If they fail my tests I will be looking at the NDs from Nisi, which I think are real glass and also they are a single piece of glass which will be a lot easier to clean and keep clean. But the tests will probably have to wait until I return from Iceland in two weeks.

I'd be interested if you noticed any image quality differences between the Freewell and DJI filters? Are your Freewell filters the Split ND style?


Screen Shot 2023-07-30 at 17.05.08.png
 
ND filters (and CPLs and GNDs) are the bread and butter for my conventional photography, but I only recently started using them for aerial photography. So far I’ve only used them to get the shutter speed up enough to blur moving water (I'll put a recent pic down below — not the best pic, but the water looks nice!). Technically the Mavic 3 can handle exposures of up to 8 seconds, but I find it is a major roll of the dice in terms of sharpness for anything slower than about 2s. I don’t do much video but the brighter NDs are definitely critical for that.

Honestly, I don’t understand the point of split NDs. Maybe for a lesser drone like the Air 3 where the aperture is fixed. Or if for some reason you only ever shoot wide open on the main camera (otherwise you'd want the tele part of the ND to be darker than it is, and if you shot with an aperture smaller than f4.4 then you'd actually want the wide angle part of the ND to be lighter than the tele part of the ND...). If you need to sync up the shutter speed, just change the main camera’s aperture to f4.5 to approximately match the tele camera. I’d usually be shooting between f4 and f5.6 on the main camera to maximize corner sharpness anyway. If I am misunderstanding the utility of Split NDs, please let me know!




Nice close up shots of those filters. I am going to do some sharpness tests with the DJI filters I have since I am not convinced they are made from glass. If they fail my tests I will be looking at the NDs from Nisi, which I think are real glass and also they are a single piece of glass which will be a lot easier to clean and keep clean. But the tests will probably have to wait until I return from Iceland in two weeks.

I'd be interested if you noticed any image quality differences between the Freewell and DJI filters? Are your Freewell filters the Split ND style?


View attachment 166565
To get maximum DR from video Dlog is the way to go. But Dlog only shoots at min of ISO 400 whereas the tele camera only shoots in Normal mode and best quality is naturally at ISO100. Consequence of all these factors the difference between exposure values on the two cameras is approximately 3 stops. As you said, and I agree the sweet spot for the wide angle camera lens is between f4 and f5.6. To be able to shoot video with both cameras at similar aperture and different ISO you need different ND for each. That is where the Freewell split filters come handy. The value for wide angle is on all four filters in the set 3 stops darker than for the tele. This enables shooting with both cameras at similar aperture and switch between them without a need to adjust any settings. For shooting stills all of the above is naturally inconsequential.
 
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Nice close up shots of those filters. I am going to do some sharpness tests with the DJI filters I have since I am not convinced they are made from glass. If they fail my tests I will be looking at the NDs from Nisi, which I think are real glass and also they are a single piece of glass which will be a lot easier to clean and keep clean. But the tests will probably have to wait until I return from Iceland in two weeks.

I'd be interested if you noticed any image quality differences between the Freewell and DJI filters? Are your Freewell filters the Split ND style?

I've not used these DJI ones or any DJI filters at all. The reason i went with the Freewell ones was because the DJI filters are the same aperture on both lenses, which means the strength of the ND across both the tele and the wide are the same, which makes no sense- as you know; the aperture is different 4.4 vs 2.8


WhatsApp Image 2023-07-31 at 11.58.03 AM.jpeg
 
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To get maximum DR from video Dlog is the way to go. But Dlog only shoots at min of ISO 400 whereas the tele camera only shoots in Normal mode and best quality is naturally at ISO100. Consequence of all these factors the difference between exposure values on the two cameras is approximately 3 stops. As you said, and I agree the sweet spot for the wide angle camera lens is between f4 and f5.6. To be able to shoot video with both cameras at similar aperture and different ISO you need different ND for each. That is where the Freewell split filters come handy. The value for wide angle is on all four filters in the set 3 stops darker than for the tele. This enables shooting with both cameras at similar aperture and switch between them without a need to adjust any settings. For shooting stills all of the above is naturally inconsequential.

I did not realize that D-Log locks you into ISO400! That makes the split ND make much more sense, then.

I’ve only shot HLG so far, is that a bad choice? I am totally new to video (haven’t even tried editing anything yet since I have been paralyzed deciding between Davinci Resolve and Premiere Pro). My basic research led me to believe that HLG was a good option (and I figured that the “high dynamic range” option would yield…the highest dynamic range).
 
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I did not realize that D-Log locks you into ISO400! That makes the split ND make much more sense, then.

I’ve only shot HLG so far, is that a bad choice? I am totally new to video (haven’t even tried editing anything yet since I have been paralyzed deciding between Davinci Resolve and Premier Pro). My basic research led me to believe that HLG was a good option (and I figured that the “high dynamic range” option would yield…the highest dynamic range).
There is nothing "wrong" with HLG. If you are new to editing and color grading HLG is a very good option. As a seasoned photographer you would not have any dramas learning to "grade". It is not that different to adjusting colors and tonality in Photoshop using curves, levels, highlights and shadows sliders etc. Some of the tools have different names in video editing programs and there are some very specialized color grading tools in Davinci but the basics are very similar. When shooting Dlog there is a thing called LUT which you can download (or purchase from various vendors), apply to your footage and that does all the basic adjustments automatically for you. You can tweak after to your heart's content. DJI has free basic LUTs available for download on their website for Davinci. Dlog footage looks very flat and colorless straight out of camera but in that flatness are preserved highlights, shadows and colors better than in any other profile. FWIW, I use Davinci Studio.
 
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I am definitely going down the rabbit hole on this, but realistically I probably won't be able to make a final decision until I can test it for myself — taking the same shot in both D-Log and HLG (and probably D-Log M too, just for kicks), processing them, and then picking my favorite.

I found this video on YT (screenshots below — ProRes included to aid extrapolation) where a guy takes approximately the same shot using all of the video modes available on his Mavic 3 Cine, including the HEVC D-Log and HLG modes available on the regular Mavic 3. It is hard to take too much from the video since there was a 6 minute time delay between his HLG and D-Log shots, but it is interesting nonetheless. After seeing his footage I will probably be sticking with HLG for now due to the noise in the shadows in the D-Log footage, which must be at least partially due to shooting at ISO400.

My decision between Premiere Pro and Resolve actually has nothing to do with the video editing itself (I know they are both very good), but actually with my photo editing. I currently use Capture One, but have been less-than thrilled with it recently so I'm considering transitioning to Lightroom. If I stick with C1, I'll probably go with Resolve for video. But if I move to LR then it is only a little extra for the subscription that also includes PP.


HEVC HLG (recorded 7 Jun 2022, 21:15:28)
HEVC-HLG.png

ProRes HQ HLG (recorded 7 Jun 2022, 21:14:53)
ProResHLG.png

ProRes HQ D-Log (recorded 7 Jun 2022, 21:21:06)
ProResDLog.png

HEVC D-Log (recording time unknown but presumably 7 Jun 2022, between 21:21 and 21:22)
HEVCDLog.png

ProRes HQ HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:14:53
HEVC HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:15:28

ProRes HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:15:49
ProRes LT HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:16:08
ProRes HQ D-Log: 7 Jun 2022, 21:21:06
HEVC D-Log: ?

ProRes D-Log: ?
ProRes LT D-Log: ?
 
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I am definitely going down the rabbit hole on this, but realistically I probably won't be able to make a final decision until I can test it for myself — taking the same shot in both D-Log and HLG (and probably D-Log M too, just for kicks), processing them, and then picking my favorite.

I found this video on YT (screenshots below — ProRes included to aid extrapolation) where a guy takes approximately the same shot using all of the video modes available on his Mavic 3 Cine, including the HEVC D-Log and HLG modes available on the regular Mavic 3. It is hard to take too much from the video since there was a 6 minute time delay between his HLG and D-Log shots, but it is interesting nonetheless. After seeing his footage I will probably be sticking with HLG for now due to the noise in the shadows in the D-Log footage, which must be at least partially due to shooting at ISO400.

My decision between Premiere Pro and Resolve actually has nothing to do with the video editing itself (I know they are both very good), but actually with my photo editing. I currently use Capture One, but have been less-than thrilled with it recently so I'm considering transitioning to Lightroom. If I stick with C1, I'll probably go with Resolve for video. But if I move to LR then it is only a little extra for the subscription that also includes PP.


HEVC HLG (recorded 7 Jun 2022, 21:15:28)
View attachment 166597

ProRes HQ HLG (recorded 7 Jun 2022, 21:14:53)
View attachment 166598

ProRes HQ D-Log (recorded 7 Jun 2022, 21:21:06)
View attachment 166600

HEVC D-Log (recording time unknown but presumably 7 Jun 2022, between 21:21 and 21:22)
View attachment 166599

ProRes HQ HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:14:53
HEVC HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:15:28

ProRes HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:15:49
ProRes LT HLG: 7 Jun 2022, 21:16:08
ProRes HQ D-Log: 7 Jun 2022, 21:21:06
HEVC D-Log: ?

ProRes D-Log: ?
ProRes LT D-Log: ?
I have been devoted CaptureOne user for almost 20 years. I still use it as my go to software for processing raw files from my Canon 5D4. Curiously I have never been that impressed with how it handles DNG files. LR (IMHO at least) is capable of pulling more fine detail from DNG files than C1. No matter what parameters I tried for sharpening in C1 the finest details come out somewhat blotchy. I tried to convince myself to stick with C1 for processing Mavic3 DNG files but recently I did comparison just for myself and realized that LR is still the winner here. So for me LR has become again my go to software for processing DNG files from my M3 and C1 has remained my favourite software for processing RAW files from my 5D4.
P.S.
Davinci Resolve does not require subscription. I purchased the Studio version licence USB key and got the Speed Editor editing console for free so for me it was an easy decision back then.
 
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I have been devoted CaptureOne user for almost 20 years. I still use it as my go to software for processing raw files from my Canon 5D4. Curiously I have never been that impressed with how it handles DNG files. LR (IMHO at least) is capable of pulling more fine detail from DNG files than C1. No matter what parameters I tried for sharpening in C1 the finest details come out somewhat blotchy. I tried to convince myself to stick with C1 for processing Mavic3 DNG files but recently I did comparison just for myself and realized that LR is still the winner here. So for me LR has become again my go to software for processing DNG files from my M3 and C1 has remained my favourite software for processing RAW files from my 5D4.
P.S.
Davinci Resolve does not require subscription. I purchased the Studio version licence USB key and got the Speed Editor editing console for free so for me it was an easy decision back then.

Is it that C1 is bad with the DNGs, or simply that LR is better? I haven’t noticed sharpening artifacts but will keep an eye out now for sure.

My biggest issue with C1 is the lack of focus stacking functionality, so if I stick with C1 I’ll need to pay for a second program for that. Adobe has that feature already included with Photoshop.

I also don’t love that the built-in pano stitching feature of C1 is limited to generating 16-bit files (versus the 32-bit files in PS).

I’m also annoyed that Phase One suddenly seems to think that it is okay to charge for bug fixes. Is owning buggy software outright a better option than a subscription? I guess they are hoping people decide the answer to that is “no”.

Resolve was definitely a great deal when it came with the Speed Editor for free! But still a decent deal to get the Speed Editor for US$395 since it comes with the US$295 Studio license. Surely it must go on sale a few times a year too.
 
Is it that C1 is bad with the DNGs, or simply that LR is better? I haven’t noticed sharpening artifacts but will keep an eye out now for sure.

My biggest issue with C1 is the lack of focus stacking functionality, so if I stick with C1 I’ll need to pay for a second program for that. Adobe has that feature already included with Photoshop.

I also don’t love that the built-in pano stitching feature of C1 is limited to generating 16-bit files (versus the 32-bit files in PS).

I’m also annoyed that Phase One suddenly seems to think that it is okay to charge for bug fixes. Is owning buggy software outright a better option than a subscription? I guess they are hoping people decide the answer to that is “no”.

Resolve was definitely a great deal when it came with the Speed Editor for free! But still a decent deal to get the Speed Editor for US$395 since it comes with the US$295 Studio license. Surely it must go on sale a few times a year too.
To your first question, to my eyes LR is resolving finer details. It is most discernable on distant foliage in landscape shots and also fine repetitive paterns such grass and gravel etc. It is not huge diference but C1 tends to create unnatural blotchy patern from those details rather than trying to resolve them. It is only with DNG files though.
As for the C1 upcoming subscription, I am happy with what my current version does for me and have no intention to sign up for the subscription based system. I have subscription for PS and LR and that covers all my needs at present for my photography. Davinci Studio does it for my videos🙂. By the way the biggest advantage of Studio version is its ability to fully utilize graphic card's processing power during rendering and output. Can be a dealbreaker, it was for me. And of course it has many nice goodies included i.e. fusion titles, more output options etc etc. And Blackmagic offers many following updated versions for free!!
 
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