Mavic Air 2 ND, CPL and UV filters by Skyreat: Evaluate
Featuring 4K@60fps recording and lots of creative QuickShot modes, DJI’s latest foldable drone, the Mavic Air 2, is a very capable aerial platform. Made for aerial landscape photography, the SKYREAT filters kit includes ND, CPL and UV filters. Designed to be installed without the need for a counterweight, they will not interfere with DJI’s startup gimbal calibration process.
Let’s start my review with a short introduction about each type of filters. For sure, the most commonly used filters in photography are the UV ones, they block ultraviolet light which could cause unwanted effects on images. Personally, I’m using such filters on all my lenses in order to protect them from dust and screeches. Actually, as you could already have read in my Mavic Air 2 review, I thought that this one comes with such a filter out of the box, but it proved to be only an empty filter frame without optical glass.
Circular polarizer/linear filters (CPL) have the ability to reduce all those unwanted light streaks that blur the subject of your shot. It can also do the same for light reflected on water surfaces. Practicality, if they are used in the right way, they can turn otherwise unusable shots into professional-grade footage.
Neutral density (ND) filters allow reducing camera shutter speed in broad daylight, making cinematic long exposures with beautifully saturated and blended color. According to how much light can block, ND filters are categorized by factor numbers (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 ,..). For example, a filter that has ND16 written on it is actually a 4-stop optical filter.
Skyreat Mavic Air 2 filters review
Disclosure: I received this filter kit as part of a product review collaboration with Skyreat. Although the filters were offered for free, all the opinions in this review remain my own!
Skyreat has two Mavic Air 2 filter kits. While the four filters pack includes 4 pieces of neutral density/polarization filters (ND8/PL, ND16/PL, ND32/PL, and ND64/PL), the six-pack includes 4 neutral density filters (ND8, ND16, ND36, and ND64), a circular polarizer/linear filter (CPL) and a UV filter. I opted for the second one.
The filters come in a transparent storage box with CNC cut foam padding. There is wiping cloth included, which is nice because during installation is inevitable to accidentally touch the glass.
While ND and UV filters have rectangular optical glass, the CPL filter has a circular one. Front of the circular polarizing filter can be rotated in order to obtain the maximum effect. All filters come with similar mounting systems like the stock Mavic Air 2 filter. Filters are made from lightweight aluminum and are treated with scratch-resistant coating. All 6 filters weight 5 grams, so each is less than 1 g.
Prior to installing any of these Skyreat Mavic Air 2 filters, you need to remove the stock one by gently rotate it to left (about 15 degrees). The new filter needs to be placed in its position and rotated to the right till aligns perfectly with the lens. Note: you should only install a filter on your drone when it’s powered off to avoid damaging the sensitive gimbal. Also, you should also support the gimbal to avoid putting excessive stress on it.
When to use each filter?
- ND64 (6 f-stops) – For extremely sunny days;
- ND32 (5 f-stops) – Best for very bright days;
- ND16 (4 f-stops) – For partly cloudy days or early to mid-morning;
- ND8 (3 f-stops) – For mostly cloudy days or approaching sunset;
- CPL – Flying in strong daylight over water surface;
- UV – Daily usage to protect the lens.
Price and availability
Skyreat drone accessories, including this six-filters pack, can be found on Amazon, Ebay, and other online retailers. While European customers can order it from Amazon.de for 69,99€, those with US residence can get it for $59.99.
- Price/value ratio
- Design and build quality
- Filter vaierty
Skyreat’s six-filter kit is good for all kind of jobs. The UV filter can replace your stock Mavic Air 2 filter in case it becomes too scratched. Using the CPL filter will eliminate unwanted reflections, allowing us to take more clear videos over the water surface. It’s a must-have accessory when you are filming along the sea coast.
Finlay, if you’ve got a drone, a set of ND filters is essential to capture professional-grade footage in strong daylight.
What I liked
- Standard Mavic Air 2 filter mount;
- Pass start-up gimbal calibration;
- Wide range of filter types includes (ND, CPL and UV);
- ND filters provides better control in bright daylight;
- CPL filters reduces glare off of reflective surfaces such as water and tall buildings.
What I didn’t liked
- It would be nice to have a higher ND value filter instead of UV one;
- Quite expensive if you plan to use them only occasionally.