The world’s first ND filters for a consumer 360 camera are here for the Insta360 One R (reviewed here)!
ND filters enable long exposures in bright conditions, creating effects such as a smooth ocean, smooth flowing water, or even making people disappear from a photo. For videos, ND filters help create a more “cinematic,” and less digital look. They can also reduce rolling shutter.
Until now, there have been no ND filters for consumer 360 cameras. This is because 360 cameras use fisheye lenses, which bulge out, making it much more difficult and expensive to produce filters for them compared to normal lenses that use flat filters. Some DSLR and mirrorless fisheye lenses can use rear element filters, but this is not an option for consumer 360 cameras.
Now, for the first time, there will be ND filters for a consumer 360 camera. The filters are made by Freewell, which makes filters for drones and action cams, and they’re making the filters for Insta360 One R. They have not announced plans to create ND filters for any other 360 camera.
The ND filters are similar to the One R’s optional protective lens guards that connect to the One R’s bracket and are available from ND4 (2 stops) to ND64 (6 stops).
The product page does not state the material of the filters, and they appear to be plastic. Freewell states that the filter has a “Waterproof, Dustproof, Scrathproof, Oilproof, Color Neutral coating.”
I am cautiously optimistic about these filters. I have Freewell filters for Osmo Pocket and GoPro Hero8 and they are reasonably well made. However, they are flat and much simpler to manufacture compared to these new convex ND filters. I am hoping that the One R filters will perform as promised, without distortion and without adding a color cast. It should be interesting to see tiny planet and other 360 photos with these filters.
Each filter is $39 (I believe this includes both lenses), and will be available from Freewell “mid-July.” Thanks to Pepe (360 Tips & Tricks) for bringing this to my attention.