Why You Should Use ND Filters for Filming

There’s a lot of things to consider while filming to get smooth footage for your project. There are several tools to help out as well, but are ND filters in your arsenal? They usually don’t come to mind when you are thinking about how to get smooth footage but they can help when the scene is too bright.

I am not talking about stabilization but more in the frame rate itself, which when shot incorrectly your footage can seem choppy and not smooth. Usually, you want to double your frame rate from what you plan to use it at when possible, so if you are shooting for 24 FPS, you want to capture in 50 FPS. Changing from scene to scene, or even shooting where there’s a lot of light you cannot control, using an ND filter can help cut down the light from your camera and keep your settings where you want them to be.

This is exactly what Peter McKinnon shares with us in his latest video. In his video, Petter is using a variable ND filter which isn't just a one-stop filter. The advantage of the variable filter is you can rotate the filter to control how much light is able to come into the lens. This can be extremely helpful when changing scenes and not having to worry about unscrewing the filter and mounting a new one on the lens. There are several different brands available with different stop values on the market. My only recommendation is to get a good quality filter as you do not want to get a cheap one that will ruin or diminish the quality of the footage. ND filters are very useful and could help save you in bright situations, make sure to add them to your camera bag.

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3 Comments

Deleted Account's picture

"Usually, you want to double your frame rate from what you plan to use it at when possible, so if you are shooting for 24 FPS, you want to capture in 50 FPS." This doesn't make sense. Frame rate and shutter speed are two different variables. For good motion blur in video, the rule of thumb is that your shutter speed should be twice your frame-rate. So, 1/48 second shutter speed best for 24fps video. Since most DSLRs used for video do not have 1/48 second shutter speed, one goes to 1/50.

Kang Lee's picture

Yes seriously, why would one film at 50fps when they want 24fps?

Matt T's picture

Late reply but I think they meant 50 shutter speed