Adding a neutral density filter

Inspgadget113

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I love taking pictures of waterfalls and being able to use a slow shutter speed to blur the water. I've never seen this in a smartphone camera before but Canon had a point and shoot camera that had a built in digital ND filter which would half the amount of light reaching the sensor. Wonder if a smartphone could have this feature as well?

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Aflaaaak

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I love taking pictures of waterfalls and being able to use a slow shutter speed to blur the water. I've never seen this in a smartphone camera before but Canon had a point and shoot camera that had a built in digital ND filter which would half the amount of light reaching the sensor. Wonder if a smartphone could have this feature as well?

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I have an old Canon G3 and G6, both of which had that feature. Pretty handy, though I would occasionally forget to turn it off and end up with a bunch of underexposed shots.

There may be an app out there that has a ND Filter feature, but don't think any have this as part of the phone's stock software.
 

RedOctobyr

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That would be awesome, but I doubt it. Something has to physically move in front of the sensor, inline with the lens. I can't see there being enough room for that. Going through the trouble seems extra unlikely given the # of people who would actually appreciate the feature.

My Nikon P7700 P&S has a built in 3 stop (I think) ND filter, I have used it for exactly the same purpose. Great minds.... :) I have also used a screw-on ND filter combined with the internal one for when it's REALLY bright. I think the flexibility they provide is really cool.

I've held sunglasses in front of a camera lens to make my own crude "ND" filter on the fly. If you want less light, lower the ISO fully, of course, and you could also get a small piece of tinted plastic/glass and hold it over the lens. Heck, a cheap screw-on ND filter could work nicely.

Edit- I'm not sure how an app could provide this functionality. You need to actually reduce the incoming light, once you've already dropped the ISO to the sensor's minimum. It seems to me that this needs to be done with hardware, not software.
 

Inspgadget113

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I'm not so sure. I thought Canon did this with software. I'd love to see this feature though. I looked through the play store but didn't see any apps along these lines.

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RedOctobyr

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On my Nikon, you hear and see a filter move in front of the sensor, if you look in the lens.

I still think hardware is needed to do it properly. Like a true optical zoom, vs a digital zoom. One changes the light actually hitting the sensor, the other does not.
 

Inspgadget113

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Could very well be. Couldn't they just make the sensor less sensitive? Some cameras have very low iso settings that might work too.

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RedOctobyr

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I guess, if the ISO can go low enough. The G4 goes to 50, from what I can see. And you don't have adjustable aperture to help further reduce the incoming light, it's open wide at f1.8.

Most camera specs show a range for ISO, but there is still a low end to the range. I assume there is a technical reason the sensor doesn't go down to 5 or whatever. I admittedly don't have any proof for that. But generally, your image quality improves as the ISO decreases. So for bright conditions, ISO 10 might offer some value. Therefore I assume there is a reason it's not available.
 

Inspgadget113

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I guess, if the ISO can go low enough. The G4 goes to 50, from what I can see. And you don't have adjustable aperture to help further reduce the incoming light, it's open wide at f1.8.

Most camera specs show a range for ISO, but there is still a low end to the range. I assume there is a technical reason the sensor doesn't go down to 5 or whatever. I admittedly don't have any proof for that. But generally, your image quality improves as the ISO decreases. So for bright conditions, ISO 10 might offer some value. Therefore I assume there is a reason it's not available.

Agreed. Wonder if anyone from LG follows this forum? Maybe they could look into this.

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