Free Domestic Shipping via United States Postal Service

Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 Instructions

Introduction

Congratulations on your purchase of the P3 Series filter!  You have purchased a quality filter for your DJI Phantom 3 camera.  Each P3 Series filter weighs only 7.5 grams making it ideal for quadcopter use.  You must check with the gimbal manufacturer to ensure the additional weight is allowable and the P3 Series filter will not cause damage to the gimbal or cause it to over current and go limp.  Like many of our filter adapters, the P3 Series filters are CNC machined out of Delrin® which is more expensive than billet aluminum by volume - this is not just another cheap injection molded product.  Delrin was selected so that the filter will precisely slip over the lens flange on your camera.  Each filter has an o-ring installed on the inside diameter of the filter to allow for a secure fit, as the lens flange can vary slightly from camera to camera.  Be sure to tighten the P3 Series filter frame before your first installation (see Pre-installation Instructions for details).  

Filter Selection

There are several different types of P3 Series filters to meet your needs.  These include a neutral density 8 (ND8) and combination ND8 with CP (ND8/CP) filters, with more filters anticipated in the future.  Filters are used with digital cameras to combat glare and/or rolling shutter effects.  Glare is commonly found on the surface of water and windshields/windows.  A CP filter can be adjusted to cut down on glare and is commonly used in fishing videos or on the dash of a race car.  The effect can be dramatic.  For instance, in fishing videos a CP filter can make the difference between seeing your catch just below the surface or seeing only sunlight reflected off the water's surface.  In addition, CP filters will make the sky appear bluer and cause clouds to have more contrast.  When used in snowy conditions, a CP filter will add contrast, allowing the viewer to distinguish features that would normally be over-exposed.

Neutral Density filters reduce or eliminate the effects of rolling shutter, such as the jello effect and prop blur.  In high vibration environments like a quadcopter platform, the video commonly appears to be shot through a bowl of clear jello.  An ND filter slows down the automatic shutter speed by reducing the amount of light that the camera detects.  This will significantly reduce the jello effect. ND filters come in different levels of light reduction.  Darker ND filters should be used on brighter days (e.g. ND16) and less dark ND filters are used on moderately bright days (e.g. ND8).  Experimenting with different filters in different light conditions is the best way to determine which filter is right.  Prop blur refers to the artifacts that commonly occur when filming a propeller or rotor using a stock camera.  The propeller often is fragmented and is not what's seen by the operator in real life.  An ND filter used in these situations slows down the shutter speed and reduces or eliminates these artifacts.  Again, this reduction depends on the ND filter rating and the lighting conditions.  Experimentation is recommended to select the optimal ND filter.    

Pre-Installation Instructions

Before installing a P3 Series filter, it is important to make sure that the two pieces of the filter frame are screwed together tightly.  The filter frame is a two piece design that allows you to take the frame apart in order to clean the filter glass completely.  If the two pieces are not screwed together tightly then the pieces can unscrew themselves in a high vibration environment.  To ensure the two pieces do not come apart in mid-filming, it is important that you screw the pieces together BEFORE installing the P3 Series filter on your camera.  This is done by pressing the bottom of the filter piece against the bottom of a rubber soled shoe using the palm of your hand and then turning the unit clockwise.  After touching the surface of the filter glass with your hand you should clean the outside surface using the provided microfiber cloth and a lens cleaning solution.  Never use the camera as a "wrench" to hold the P3 Series filter while you turn the outside piece of the frame -- this can damage your camera.

The following image shows using the backside of a mouse pad to tighten the two pieces of the P3 Series filter. 

Installing the P3 Series Filter

To install the P3 Series filter, push it onto the DJI Phantom 3 camera until the frame bottoms out on the camera lens body. Never rotate the filter while it is on the camera. 

Disassembly of the P3 Series Filter

The P3 Series filter can be disassembled so that the filter glass can be removed and cleaned.  To disassemble, press the bottom of the fitler against the bottom of a rubber soled shoe using the palm of your hand and then turn the unit counter-clockwise.  It may take a lot of pressure to get enough friction to spin the pieces apart, so don't be shy.  Once the two pieces are apart the filter glass will fall out of the female piece, so make sure you disassemble the P3 Series filter over a surface that is conducive to the filter glass dropping out.    

Assembly of the P3 Series Filter

The P3 Series filter is assembled in just the reverse as the disassembly instructions.  First, clean the filter thoroughly (see Cleaning the Filter).  Next, if the filter is a CP filter, make sure it is oriented properly (see Determining Circular Polarizer Orientation).  Using care not to touch the surface of the filter, drop the filter into the female piece of the P3 Series filter.  Finally, screw the two pieces of the filter frame together.  Tighten the two pieces thoroughly.  This is done by pressing the bottom piece against the bottom of a rubber soled shoe using the palm of your hand and then turning the unit clockwise.  After touching the surface of the filter glass with your hand, you should clean the outside surface using the provided microfiber cloth and a lens cleaning solution.    

Cleaning the Filter

Disassemble the P3 Series filter (see Disassembly of the P3 Series Filter).  Use the microfiber patch included in the tin filter holder and SRP’s lens cleaner (sold separately) to clean the filter glass thoroughly.  Reassemble the P3 Series filter (see Assembly of P3 Series Filter).  

Determining Circular Polarizer Orientation

A polarized filter is intended to be looked through in one direction. In other words, if you flip the filter around and look through it in the opposite direction (regardless of rotation) the polarization properties are not effective. If you take your P3 Series filter apart to clean the filter you can check the polarizer orientation as follows:

  1. Hold the filter up between you and an LCD screen (e.g. LCD computer, tv, or phone screen).
  2. Rotate the filter and note how dark the screen becomes. 
  3. Flip the filter over and repeat. 
  4. The filter orientation that creates the darkest screen indicates the proper orientation.
The following photos show looking through a polarized filter in the incorrect (left) and correct (right) directions.  The filter was rotated to its darkest level when looking through in each direction and these are the results.
 
If you don't have an LCD screen handy because you are out filming and don't have your phone on you, then you can repeat the steps while holding the filter between you and the sky or water.  Look through the filter one direction and turn the filter 360 degrees.  Then flip the filter over and look through it in the other direction and turn it 360 degrees.  Whichever direction has the most dramatic changes as you rotate it is the right direction to look through the filter.  Install the glass so that the camera is looking through the filter in the same direction.  

How to Set Polarization When Filming

Remove the P3 Series filter from the camera.  Hold the filter so that you can see through it clearly.  Rotate the filter until you see the desired level of polarization.  Note the orientation of the filter using the markings on the side of the frame.  The markings on the outside of the filter include the SRP logo and the type of filter (e.g. ND8/CP).  Install the P3 Series filter on the Phantom 3 camera in this same orientation.  

As an example, if flying a quadcopter over a lake on a sunny day the videographer should first determine the direction that the quadcopter will be predominately filming from.  He should then orient himself so that he is looking at the surface of the water in as much the same orientation as possible.  Holding the filter out in front of him, he should rotate the filter to the point where glare on the surface of the water is reduced the most.  Then without rotating the filter with respect to the ground he would note where the SRP logo is, using straight down as the reference.  Next he would press the filter onto the camera so that the SRP logo is at the same orientation with respect to straight down.