Connect with us

DJI Osmo Series

PolarPro Iris Review | Best ND Filters For Your iPhone

Published

on

In this review, we are taking a closer look at the PolarPro Iris ND filter for iPhone. You may be wondering what an ND filter is and why you would want to use them with your iPhone. Well, first let’s talk about what they are and then why you would use them. I want to first say that iPhone’s do a great job capturing video and for the most part you really don’t need ND filters for everyday videos you may capture like the kids playing or maybe you cat acting crazy.

What is an ND Filter? And why do I need one?

In its simplest terms, an ND filter is like a pair of sunglasses for your camera lens and it allows you to set the appropriate shutter speed on your camera without it being too overexposed. Early on in filmmaking, it was discovered that there should be a slight amount of motion blur in your videos when filming things with movement. This replicates natural vision and makes it more comfortable and pleasing to the eye. To achieve the perfect amount of motion blur in videos there is something called the 180-degree rule which basically states that your shutters speed should be double your frame rate to achieve this. For example, if you are filming at 30 FPS your shutter speed should be 1/60th of a second. If you are filming at 60 FPS your shutter speed should be 1/120th of a second. Now, this can be hard to achieve on point and shoot devices like our iPhone’s, GoPro’s and consumer drones. This is due to the fixed aperture, we can’t adjust the amount of light coming in (how big the hole is that lets light in). What ends up happening is if we lower the shutter speed to 1/60th of a second, everything is blown out and way overexposed. This is where the ND filter (sunglasses) comes in. We place it over the lens and then when we lower the shutter speed it is exposed correctly. ND filters can come in many strengths the most common are ND8, ND16, ND32, and ND64. The one you use would depend on how bright the sun is. On an overcast day, you may only need an ND8, on an extremely bright day you may need an ND64. This is usually trial and error. You may have to try a few filters to get the right one.

We see more and more that amateur photographers and even professionals end up grabbing B-Roll footage with their smartphones, after all, we always have them with us. Even vloggers tend to use their iPhone’s to capture their latest vlog. So this is where having ND filters for your iPhone can be important. It helps the footage captured blend in better with footage that you captured following the 180-degree rule with your other devices such as mirror-less and DLSR cameras or perhaps your drone.

PolarPro has developed a nice ND filter system for your iPhone and works with the iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X. It even works with the Google Pixel 2/2XL phones. When you purchase the starter set it comes packaged with a nice case, a mount and 3 ND filters (ND8, ND16, ND32). Installation is quick an easy and you can swap out ND filters on the fly without having to remove the mount. PolarPro has been manufacturing ND filters for many devices for a long time and they are top quality, I would have to say in my opinion one of the best. The PolarPro Iris ND filters allow you to lower your shutter speed on bright sunny days to achieve that nice motion blur that is associated with cinematic footage.

Now if you are shooting on really bright days you may want to pick up the expansion pack. The expansion pack contains an ND64, ND128, and an ND256. The higher ones work best for motion photography but the ND64 is very crucial on blinding sunny days. Last week I was at the beach and I had to use the ND64 to get the correct shutter speed on my iPhone 8 Plus. The case that comes with the starter set has a removable foam tray that reveals 3 empty slots to store the expansion pack as well.

You can use the PolarPro Iris ND filters while just holding your phone in your hand. However, if you wish to mount your phone in something like the Osmo Mobile or Osmo Mobile 2 to capture nice smooth footage you will need to pick up a counterweight as the Iris ND filters will throw off the balance. PolarPro has release two counterweights for the Osmo Mobile and Osmo Mobile 2. You will also need some type of camera app that allows you to manually adjust your shutter speed such Filmic Pro. The stock camera on the iPhone does not have this option.

The only negative thing I have to say and it is very minor is that when the ND filters are being stored in the case, the number is facing down and you can not tell which filter is which. The cut-outs should have been the other way around so you can see the numbers easily at a glance.

All in all the PolarPro Iris ND filter set for Smart Phones are a great investment for both amateurs and professionals looking for a viable way to capture stunning cinematic footage with the proper amount of motion blur.

Iris Starter Set: https://amzn.to/2vQ0TSp
Iris Expansion Pack: https://amzn.to/2KYiT1N
Osmo Mobil Counterweight: https://amzn.to/2vOYU0Z
Osmo Mobile 2 Counterweight: https://amzn.to/2MTSvYC
Osmo Mobile 2: https://amzn.to/2MAWSv3

 

 

PolarPro Iris ND filters system.

 

Osmo Mobile 2 counterweight for PolarPro Iris installed on the Osmo Mobile 2.

 

PolarPro Iris Osmo Mobile 2 counterweight.

 

PolarPro Iris case.

 

PolarPro Iris case.

 

You can store the PolarPro Iris expansion ND filters in the case. There are 3 empty spots under the foam insert.

 

PolarPro Iris mount.

 

PolarPro Iris mounted on an iPhone.

 

The counterweight for the Osmo Mobile or Osmo Mobile 2 can fit in the back pocket of the PolarPro Iris case.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

DJI Osmo Series

DJI Osmo Pocket Charging Case Review

Published

on

In this video review, we are taking a closer look at the new charging case for the DJI Osmo Pocket. When the Osmo Pocket was launched late last year, DJI showcased a variety of useful accessories including the charging case. The accessories have been slowly released over that past several months on the DJI website and last week they made this new charging case for the Osmo Pocket available.

Essentially the charging case is a small hard protective case that has a built-in 1500 mAh battery that can recharge or top off your Osmo Pocket when it is mounted and stored inside. The Osmo Pocket itself has an 875 mAh battery so from empty you can recharge your Osmo Pocket approximately 1.5 times. The charging case also features some inside storage space for 4 ND filters, 2 memory cards, and both smartphone adapters. DJI sells its own brand of ND filters that fit inside, however, I also tested the storage space with 3rd party ND filters including PolarPro, PGYTech, and Freewell Gear and they all fit inside the storage spots perfectly. Please be aware if you own ND filters with built-in polarizer they are a little larger and I found they did not fit properly like intended.

Once the Osmo Pocket is secured inside the charging case will start to charge it automatically. When it comes time to recharge the charging case you can do so via a USB-C port at the bottom of the unit. This will charge the case by itself and if you have the Osmo Pocket installed inside it will charge that as well. One thing I was surprised to find out is that you can not use the charging case as an independent power bank to recharge devices directly when plugged into the bottom USB-C port, maybe this will change with a future firmware update. As for firmware updates, the user manual is very vague on how this is achieved, I am not sure how the update is done. Perhaps updates are transferred from the Osmo Pocket itself when mounted inside or via the USB-C port at the bottom while plugged into a computer. Once I find more out about updating the firmware of the Osmo Pocket charging case I will update this post.

The case has a nice small profile and keeps the Osmo Pocket just that a camera you can easily fit in your pocket. The price is very steep however, it comes in a $129 USD and I am sure the price will deter many from purchasing. I think that the charging case will come in handy for those users who want to shoot all day with their Osmo Pocket but don’t want to carry around a lot of gear. You can watch our video review below.

Osmo Pocket Charging Case: http://bit.ly/2KK35Vo

 

 

 


Continue Reading

DJI Osmo Series

Generic Microphone Adapter For DJI Osmo Pocket | Do Not Waste Your Money On These

Published

on

Part of what I like to do on my YouTube channel is to test products to help inform customers when it comes to purchasing products. This sometimes includes testing generic and 3rd party accessories as they can tend to be a little cheaper than official accessories, I am all about saving a few dollars when I can. The downside is generic products sometimes do not perform as well as its official counterpart and can actually cost you more money in the long run.

A few weeks back DJI released its microphone adapter for the Osmo Pocket which is needed if you wish to connect an external microphone. Within days, generic versions of the adapter started popping up on websites including Amazon at a fraction of the cost. These versions are labeled to work with the Osmo Pocket and also include images of Osmo Pocket, so the must be legit, right? Well, I was curious how a generic $2.99 adapter would stack up to the official DJI $39.99 adapter. After my order was placed the generic adapter took about 2 weeks to arrive. A quick visual inspection showed they are of similar shape with a few differences including being a little smaller.

Now to back peddle a bit, in between ordering this generic adapter and before it arrived DJI released a new firmware update that added some new features and fixed a few issues. One of the new features the update added was a new visual notification that a microphone adapter and microphone has been connected, this was great as until the update there was no way to know if the Osmo Pocket was indeed connected and using the external microphone.

The generic microphone adapter arrived and I was eager to test it out, but my testing was cut short due to the fact that the Osmo Pocket did not detect when the generic microphone adapter was plugged in, this was really no surprise to me really. I had a feeling this $2.99 adapter was going to be a bust. I did continue however to see if the microphone did work, just making sure that perhaps only the icon would not show up because it was a non-official DJI part, but again no luck. Now I wonder if this adapter did work at some point and the latest firmware update locked it down, GoPro has done something similar in the past with 3rd party batteries. I am not sure if this is the case or not but it is quite plausible.

So do not waste your money on generic microphone adapters for your Osmo Pocket. Even if you do happen to find one that does work it could be disabled via a firmware update if DJI chooses to do so and could leave you stuck if you rely on your Osmo Pocket for vlogging, work or play.

Official Microphone Adaptor: http://bit.ly/2JfNX1o
Osmo Pocket (DJI Store) http://bit.ly/2RU7iVT
Osmo Pocket (Amazon) https://amzn.to/2UMDUp8

 


Continue Reading

Trending