The Flywoo ND Filter Set, designed for the DJI O3 Camera/Air Unit, offers an excellent solution for those seeking to enhance their video quality. It’s also compatible with the DJI Avata drone. In this article, we will review the Flywoo ND Filter Set and delve into its benefits to help you make an informed decision on whether it’s the right product for you. I will also share my O3 camera settings for using ND filters.
Where to Purchase the Flywoo ND Filter Set
Find the Flywoo ND Filter set here:
- Flywoo: https://oscarliang.com/product-kea5
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DlWJqEp
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/3FAnAy4
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-vxrg
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-etxa
When you receive your Flywoo ND Filter Set, you can expect to find the following accessories included in the package:
- ND4 Filter: Ideal for dark, cloudy days
- ND8 Filter: Perfect for cloudy days or early morning/late afternoon sunlight
- ND16 Filter: Suitable for use on bright, sunny days
- ND32 Filter: Designed for exceptionally bright conditions, such as snow or water reflections
- ND64 Filter: Excellent for capturing long exposure shots in bright environments
- CPL Filter: Enhances color saturation and contrast by reducing glare from reflective surfaces
- Clear UV Filter: Protects your camera lens from dust, dirt, and scratches
- Lens Wipes: For maintaining the cleanliness of your filters and ensuring optimal image quality
The Importance of ND Filters
To fully leverage the exceptional image quality offered by the DJI O3 Air Unit, consider using an ND filter if you plan to use it as your primary HD footage recording device, rather than relying on a GoPro.
There are numerous reasons to use an ND filter, but the primary objective is to enhance the overall quality and appearance of your videos.
ND filters reduce the amount of light entering the camera sensor, allowing you to adjust the shutter speed to a desirable level, which is essential for achieving natural-looking motion blur in your footage. This is the secret to creating cinematic FPV footage. Additionally, ND filters can help reduce jello effect.
For a comprehensive explanation of how ND filters work, check out this tutorial: https://oscarliang.com/nd-filter-fpv/
Introducing the Flywoo ND Filter Set
The Flywoo ND filter set comprises filters with varying strengths, all securely housed in a well-crafted and protective case. These filters are designed to fit snugly onto the O3 Air Unit camera, ensuring they stay in place during turbulent flights and even crashes. In addition to the DJI O3 Air Unit, these filters are compatible with the DJI Avata drone since they use the same camera.
Weighing a mere 0.6g, the Flywoo ND filters are incredibly lightweight, adding no extra burden to your micro drone.
These filters not only enhance your footage but also protect the camera lens from scratches and crashes. Even if the lighting conditions don’t require an ND filter, you can still use the included clear UV filter as a lens protector. The CPL filter is particularly useful for minimizing reflections when flying over water or other reflective surfaces.
Optimize Footage with Manual Settings
To achieve the best results from your DJI O3 camera, it’s crucial to use manual settings in conjunction with ND filters.
To access the camera settings, swipe up from the bottom of your touchpad on the DJI Goggles 2. Here, you can adjust options such as Mode, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, image stabilization, and color mode.
Just note that most of camera settings affects what you see in the goggles, so it’s sometimes a compromise between flying experience and recording image quality.
Here are my recommended settings:
- Resolution: 2.7K. I opt for this over 4K because 2.7K allows a 4:3 aspect ratio, which results in less cropping in Gyroflow. Since most people watch FPV footage from their phone nowadays, 2.7K works just fine. If you don’t mind the extra cropping, feel free to use 4K. Bitrate is the same for both 2.7K and 4K at 100fps.
- Frame rate: 100fps or 60fps. While 100fps has lower latency than 60fps, some video editing software only support up to 60fps (such as Davinci Resolve). You can still render 100fps footage, but it may skip frames. It’s a choice between flying experience and correct frame rate support.
- FOV: Wide. Ultra-wide doesn’t record gyro data and therefore doesn’t support Gyroflow.
- EIS: Off. I prefer to use Gyroflow so I can control the level of stabilization to apply.
- Color: Normal or D-cinelike. If I am feeling lazy, I just use Normal. But D-cinelike is much better for color grading.
- Shutter Speed: 1/200 for 100fps, 1/120 for 60fps
- ISO: 100-400 (the lower, the better)
It’s essential to use “Manual” mode and set fixed values for ISO and Shutter when using ND filters. Typically, I set the Shutter to one over twice the frame rate. For example, for 100fps, I set the shutter speed to 1/200; for 60fps, 1/120. Then, set the ISO to 100. If the image is underexposed, increase ISO one step at a time. If the image is still not correctly exposed when the ISO is at 400, swap the ND filter for the next lower value and start with ISO 100 again. Generally, ND16 works well on sunny days, while ND8 is suitable for cloudy days.
Putting ND Filters to the Test
In this demonstration, I’ll show you why using manual settings is essential and why you should avoid automatic settings when using an ND filter.
Unfortunately, the weather conditions aren’t ideal for this test – it’s a typical winter day where I live, and rain is expected for the next week or two. Nonetheless, I can’t postpone the review any longer, so let’s proceed with the test.
I’ve conducted five flights in this video:
- Footage without ND filters and auto settings: The raw footage exhibits some shimmering, particularly when flying under the shadow of trees. While the image quality is generally good, there are noticeable issues that detract from the overall experience.
- Footage with ND8 filter and auto settings: After applying the ND8 filter, the image looks similar to the first one, perhaps slightly darker. However, you still encounter shimmering when flying under trees, and the image is noisier and blurrier due to the camera increasing the ISO to maintain optimal exposure.
- Footage with ND8 and manual settings: The image quality improves significantly. Shimmering is no longer an issue, exposure remains consistent, and the image is sharp with an appropriate amount of motion blur when flying close to objects, enhancing the sense of speed.
- No ND and Auto settings: just to show again the shimmering effect when the drone is flying in and out of the trees.
- ND8 and manual settings: just to show again how consistent the exposure level is even when the lighting condition changes, looks a lot more professional.
The Flywoo ND Filter Set is a valuable investment for those looking to elevate their DJI O3 camera’s image quality. By grasping the advantages of ND filters and experimenting with manual settings, you can capture stunning, professional-grade videos with your DJI O3 camera that rival those shot on GoPros.