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DJI Mavic Air

Mavic Air ND Filters by Freewell Gear | What Are Drone ND Filters

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In this video, we are taking a look at Freewell Gear’s ND filters for the DJI Mavic Air. If you’re new to drone cinematography you might be wondering what an ND filter is and why you would use them. ND stands for neutral density and in simplest terms, it is just like a pair of sunglasses for your drone’s camera. There is a lot of confusion on what exactly an ND filter does, so let me clear it up a bit. An ND filter allows you to set the correct shutter speed on your drone’s camera to get the perfect amount of motion blur. There is a rule when trying to capture cinematic footage with your drone (180 Degree Rule). Basically, the rule is that you want your shutter speed double what your frame rate is. For example, if you are filming at 30 fps you would want your shutter speed at 60 (1/60th second). If you’re filming at 60 fps then you would want your shutter speed at 120 (1/120th second). This will give the perfect amount of motion blur that the eye and brain are comfortable with.

The problem with setting these low shutter speeds is that it lets in a lot of light and makes the video overexposed and blown out. This is where an ND Filter comes in (sunglasses). They allow you to set a low shutter speed and still have correct exposure.

Freewell gear sells ND filters for all the most popular drones including the DJI Spark, Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Phantom Series and even your GoPro and Karma Drone. I have used the Freewell gear ND filters for several years for my GoPro and many drones and have always been pleased with the products. When it comes to ND filters they come in several levels ND4, ND8, ND16, ND32, ND64. They even have an ND 1000 for those times when you want to take long exposure photos with your DJI Mavic Air.

They also sell versions of their ND filters that are polarized. Setting polarization within the filter really helps cut out glare from water and can really make for a cleaner image, it also helps make the sky a little deeper blue. With Polarized ND filters, they can only be used 90 degrees from the sun. The sun cannot be in front of or behind your drone. This does make lining up shots a little more difficult. If you just want quick and easy filters I would stick with ones that are not polarized.

Watch our video where I show ND filter installation instructions and a demonstration of how ND filers work with the DJI Mavic Air.

ND Filters Standard Day Set: https://amzn.to/2yENG2D
ND Filters Bright Day Set: https://amzn.to/2tr9fPd
ND Filters All Day Set: https://amzn.to/2yFPkRJ

Mavic Air (DJI Website) https://goo.gl/t74LaQ
Mavic Air (Amazon) http://amzn.to/2EccQaM

 

 

Here are some screen caps from the test video. You can see the side with no ND filter has no motion blur. This is okay for photos but undesirable for video. The side with the ND 4 filter installed has nice motion blur.


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DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom

PolarPro Extension Remote Sticks Review

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In this video review, we are taking a closer look at the remote extension sticks by PolarPro for the DJI Mavic Air and DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom. When DJI introduced the original Mavic Pro they also introduced its new compact remote. In order to keep the remote small and portable, the control sticks were designed a little shorter than traditional remote sticks. This also rang true when DJI launched the DJI Spark, it also had a small remote and remote sticks. This became the new standard for DJI’s portable drones. When DJI Released the Mavic Air and the Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom they stuck to the smaller remote sticks even though they could now be removed for even easier packing, this is most likely due to the fact that users are now accustomed to the shorter style remote sticks.

The problem with a shorter stick is that it does not give you the fine control as a longer stick, think back to science class and what you learned about levers. PolarPro has released an ingenious new stick for the Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom and Mavic air. This new stick comes in the same size as the stock sticks from DJI but have the added feature of extending from .75 inch to 1.25 inches. This allows you to set the length to what you feel is best for you. When the sticks are collapsed they are the exact size of the original remote sicks and thus will stow away in the Mavic Air or Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom remote.

This is a great product for those who need nice precision controls when filming very specific shots with their DJI Drones. Watch our video review to see the PolarPro DJI Mavic Air/Mavic 2 remote extension sticks in action.

Remote Extension Sticks: https://amzn.to/2Sqb8qw

 

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks packaging

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks extended and closed comparison. The sticks expand from .75 inch to 1.25 inches.

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks attached to Mavic 2 controller.

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks attached to Mavic 2 controller.

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks attached to Mavic 2 controller.

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks when extended compared to stock DJI sticks.

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks when closed compared to stock DJI sticks.

 

PolarPro remote extension sticks fit nicely in the remote the same as the stock ones.

 


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DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom

Easiest Way To Discharge DJI Drone Batteries Before A Flight Or Storage

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One nice feature of DJI intelligent drone batteries is the fact that they will self-discharge after a predetermined amount of time that can be set via the DJI Go 4 app. Storing a lipo battery at full charge can damage it over time and that is why DJI included this feature in it intelligent drone batteries. The discharge, however, can take several days and what if you have a last minute flight and you need to discharge your batteries quickly. Some airline around the world requires lipo batteries be drained before you enter the aircraft. Personally, I have never been asked to show my batteries are discharged before a flight but I do know of people who have been asked to show every battery. It’s better to be safe than sorry when traveling on a plane to avoid any unwanted hassle.

My method of discharging DJI Drone batteries such as the Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom and the Phantom 4 Series is to use the Battery to power bank adapter. This adapter is included in the fly more kits for each drone and can also be purchased separately. The adapter essentially turns your drone battery into a power bank that can be used to charge devices such as smartphone and tablets. To discharge your DJI Drone battery quickly simple fit the adapter on your battery and charge up any devices that needs charging. Your drone batteries will be quickly and safely discharged using this technique. Now one problem using this method that can come up is if you own many drone batteries you may run out of devices to charge before you drone batteries are all empty. In this situation what you can do is plug your drone battery into a traditional power bank. Essentially you are just moving the power from your drone battery to your power bank. This works great considering power banks tend to have high capacities and can take quite a bit of juice.

Using this method is better than other methods such as letting the motors run on the aircraft until the batteries are drained. In my opinion, this puts unnecessary wear on your aircrafts motors.

You can order battery power bank adaptors here if you do not own one already.
Mavic Air Adapter (DJI Store) http://bit.ly/2yv7Utc
Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom Adapter (DJI Store) http://bit.ly/2Al6frG
Mavic Pro/Platinum Adapter (DJI Store) http://bit.ly/2ySZxqX
Phantom 4 Series Adapter (DJI Store) http://bit.ly/2yS7mNx

You can watch our YouTube video demonstrating this technique of discharging DJI drone batteries for travel and flights. A good resource for those who are wondering how to travel with a drone.

 


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