In this post I'll compare a few different filters I bought for the DJI Pocket 3 camera. The ones I'll be looking at are the Black Mist filters from K&F and JSR, the NDPL filters from K&F and JSR, the NDs and CPL from StartRC, and the vari-NDs from K&F.

DJI Osmo Pocket 3 filters comparison - June Star JSR, K&F Concept, StartRC

K&F Concept Nano-X filters

I think Nano-X is the only 'level' of filters they make for the DJI Pocket 3. They come with a screen protector for the Pocket 3, which is a nice bonus as I hadn't bought one of these separately.

The NDPL and variable NDs feature an adjustment ring to adjust the polarisation / ND strength. The adjustment ring has a white mark at the edge so you can see what the adjustment level is, however due to the filter being so small this can be difficult to see. The adjustment ring is painted orange, I would have preferred a matte black - this would make the mark more visible and also reduce the possibility of reflections from the ring.

K&F Vari ND2-32 filter for DJI Pocket 3
K&F Vari ND2-32

K&F NDPL (Neutral Density Polarising) filter for DJI Pocket 3
K&F NDPL

Adjusting the ND strength or polarisation while the Pocket 3 is on is pretty tricky, especially if you are trying to look at the screen to judge the result. The ring is probably just right in terms of stiffness - it doesn't feel like it will rotate without you intentionally turning it, and neither is it really stiff. Despite this, it is still difficult to rotate when in use simply due to the small size of the filter. The ring is knurled so I find it best to try and rotate it at the bottom using my fingernail.

Because of how tricky it is to rotate the ring and the fact you'll get your fingers / hand in the shot while doing this, I don't think you could really adjust the exposure on the fly with a vari-ND like you would on a full size camera.

There are no hard stops, you can fully rotate the filter.

The filters are thin enough that you can leave it on the Pocket 3 when turning the device off. The Pocket 3 will park its head without the filter getting the way.

Pocket 3 with K&F Black Diffusion filter camera in parked position
Pocket 3 with K&F Black Diffusion filter camera in parked position

Note that it seems K&F did produce an earlier series of Pocket 3 filters that were thicker and did prevent the head parking / unparking correctly. So when purchasing you'd need to ensure the seller states they are thin and cause no problem with the gimbal parking the head. Or if you buy from K&F directly you should get the latest version. I bought mine a few months ago now, so I think the fat ones must have only been around for a short while before they updated the design.

You can remove the filter while the Pocket 3 is on, but it has a fairly strong magnetic stick so it is not that easy. The filters do have a groove / indent at the sides that allows you to get a better grip (I try and get my fingernails in there) when trying to remove the filter from the camera.

The cases contain a block of foam with cut-outs for the filters, with cut-outs above and below the filter to allow you to grab the filter with your fingers. These seem to work quite well in terms of holding the filters securely while not being too difficult to get out. One thing I would have preferred was if the cases had more cut-outs for holding filters (like the cheaper JuneStar filters). This would allow you to have a single case with, say 6 filters in it. Possibly it would reduce production costs if they were using the exact same foam cut-outs for each filter set as well? As it is, the Vari ND set has cut-outs for 2 filters, the NDPL set for 4, and the Black Mist for just the 1 filter.

K&F NDPL Pocket 3 filters case
The case for the set of 4 K&F NDPL filters just has room for the 4 NDPL filters and no more. (The image just shows one filter in here because I am using this case for the Black mist and have moved the NDPL filters to a custom case).

JSR NDPL Pocket 3 filters case
The case for the set of 4 JSR NDPL filters has spare slots for another 4 filters.

The filters are stackable. They will not stack on top of the wide-angle attachment, but you can kind-of stack the wide-angle lens on top of the filters. I think DJI must've done something weird with the magnet orientation in the wide-angle lens as it won't mount straight on top of the other filters, but instead rotates itself to be at an angle. This does result in some quite heavy vignetting though, and you have to be quite careful when trying to position the wide-angle adapter to minimise the vignetting.

K&F Black Diffusion and Vari ND2-32 filters stacked on the Pocket 3
K&F Black Diffusion and Vari ND2-32 filters stacked

DJI wide angle lens stacked on top of K&F NDPL filter on the Pocket 3
DJI wide angle lens stacked on top of K&F NDPL filter

K&F Vari-ND filters

Vari ND 2-32 filter has markings on for 1-5 stops of ND. 1 stop marking does seem like it is the minimum point but seems slightly more than 1 stop reduction in light. 5 stops marking is bad with strong darkening at top left and bottom right.

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 1 stop (ND2)
K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 1 stop (ND2) 1/60s ISO160

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 2 stops (ND4)
K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 2 stops (ND4) 1/15s ISO140

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 3 stops (ND8)
K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 3 stops (ND8) 1/15s ISO130

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 4 stops (ND16)
K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 4 stops (ND16) 1/15s ISO210

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 5 stops (ND32)
K&F Vari-ND 2-32 at 5 stops (ND32) 1/15s ISO470

Vari ND 32-512 filter has markings on for 5-9 stops of ND. The minimum is actually around 4.5 stops, at the start of side metal bit below 5. I would say that it is only really useable to 7 stops, at 8+ stops the top left corner and bottom right corners of the image are quite a lot darker.

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 5 stops (ND32)
K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 5 stops (ND32) 1/15s ISO430

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 6 stops (ND64)
K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 6 stops (ND64) 1/13s ISO810

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 7 stops (ND128)
K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 7 stops (ND128) 1/8s ISO910

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 8 stops (ND256)
K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 8 stops (ND256) 1/4s ISO1090

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 9 stops (ND512)
K&F Vari-ND 32-512 at 9 stops (ND512) 0.3s ISO1290

With both vari-NDs how strong you can push it without the darkening becoming a problem will depend on what you're shooting.

White balanced comparison

With my test photos I do see some colour changes, but I had the Pocket 3 in Auto mode, so this may be down to the Pocket 3 getting the white balance wrong as much as it is down to the filters. When looking at manually white balanced images and comparing values on the green and violet patches it looks like the vari-NDs don't have much colour-cast.

Below images were White balanced using selection on large grey swatch (224-221-224 marked RGB values). Then the RGB colour values were measured at 3 points to see how they compare:
W = 2nd white square in from side on line above photo frame
G = Green patch on colour card (80-160-85 marked RGB values)
M = Green patch on colour card (98-62-112 marked RGB values)

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3, no filters, white balanced
No filter
W: 144-144-146
G: 80-142-71
M: 77-41-93

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari ND2-32 @ 5 stops (ND32), white balanced
K&F Vari ND2-32 @ 5 stops (ND32)
W: 118-117-115
G: 78-140-72
M: 73-42-86

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Vari ND32-512 @ 5 stops (ND32), white balanced
K&F Vari ND32-512 @ 5 stops (ND32)
W: 151-151-149
G: 79-143-74
M: 77-42-89

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and StartRC ND32 filter, white balanced
StartRC ND32
W: 137-137-137
G: 81-142-69
M: 75-40-88

K&F NDPL filters

NDPL filters have a white triangle marking on the front. I presume this means the polariser is at a neutral position when the white marking on the adjustment ring is aligned with the triangle. Rotating the ring about 90° will give you the maximum polarisation effect for removing reflections.

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3, no filters
No filters 1/160s ISO170

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F ND8PL
K&F ND8PL 1/15s ISO120

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F ND16PL
K&F ND16PL 1/15s ISO190

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F ND32PL
K&F ND32PL 1/15s ISO340

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F ND64PL
K&F ND64PL 1/15s ISO630

K&F Black Diffusion (Black Mist) filter

Black mist filter seems to work as expected. You get a slight softening of the image overall and some bloom around light sources.

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and K&F Black Diffusion 1/4 filter
K&F Black Diffusion 1/4 1/125s ISO170

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3, no filter
No filter 1/160s ISO170

June Star JSR filters

The filters are too fat for the Pocket 3 to park its head properly when you turn it off, but thin enough to cause issues. Generally the Pocket 3 will try and park its head and the filter will bash against the gimbal arm, getting pushed off from the head slightly. This will then allow the head to park and the filter will either stay slightly pushed off, or snap back into place. The problem now is that the same thing won't happen when you turn the Pocket 3 back on, instead it won't be able to rotate the head due to the filter clashing with the gimbal arm, and give up after straining its motors. So with these filters it is important to make sure you remove them before turning the gimbal off.

Attempting to open the gimbal head with a JSR filter attached will knock the filter against the edge of the gimbal arm
Attempting to open the gimbal head with a JSR filter attached will knock the filter against the edge of the gimbal arm (Showing this manually with gimbal off as I don't want to damage the gimbal motors).

Note that with even fatter attachments on the Pocket 3, like 2 stacked thin filters or the wide-angle attachment, you don't get the same issue as with the JSR filters. With fatter attachments the Pocket 3 will just fail to park the head, then rotate the head back towards you and turn off with the head in that position.

The filters use 4 small magnets, one in each corner, rather than a long magnet along each side like the K&F and StartRC filters do.

Magnets on rear of JuneStar branded filter for the Pocket 3
JuneStar filter magnets

Magnets on rear of K&F Concept branded filter for the Pocket3
K&F Concept filter magnets

Magnets on rear of StartRC filter for the Pocket 3
StartRC filter magnets

JSR NDPL filters

These are fine as ND filters, but the PL part is useless. They are polarised, but there is no way of adjusting the polarisation. They are manufactured so that the polarisation is strongest when rotated 90°. This means there is no way to use them in landscape orientation with the polarisation effective. You can use them in portrait orientation with polarisation by shooting in landscape and then holding the Pocket 3 at a 90° angle. I guess technically you could shoot in landscape by holding the Pocket 3 at 90° and shooting in portrait mode, but you'd get reduced resolution and it's silly to have to shoot like that.

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar NDPL8 filter
JSR NDPL8 1/15s ISO120

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar NDPL16 filter
JSR NDPL16 1/15s ISO200

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar NDPL32 filter
JSR NDPL32 1/15s ISO340

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar NDPL64 filter
JSR NDPL64 1/15s ISO580

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar NDPL8 filter rotated 90°
JSR NDPL8 @ 90°

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar NDPL8 filter rotated 180°
JSR NDPL8 @ 180°

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar NDPL8 filter rotated 270°
JSR NDPL8 @ 270°

What's odd is that in a video I watched about a Pocket 3 polarising filter (I can't remember which brand of filters they were discussing though), they stated that the polarisation was most effective when the marking on the adjustment ring was matching the marker on the front. But on my K&F NDPL filters and my StartRC Polariser, they all need rotating 90° from this position for maximum polarisation. So I'm not sure if it's that actually all Pocket 3 PL filters are designed to be used at a 90° angle, or just the marking is actually for no polarisation and the JSR NDPLs are incorrectly designed.

JSR Black mist filter

The Black mist filter does have an effect, but it is very weak. I guess that should be expected as it is only rated as a 1/8 strength. As far as I know though, this is the only strength JSR black mist filter you can get for the Pocket 3.

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and JuneStar Black Mist 1/8 filter
JSR Black Mist 1/8 1/125s ISO160

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3, no filters
No filter 1/160s ISO170

StartRC filters

The filters are thin enough not to cause any issues with the Pocket 3 parking its head when you turn it off. Like all the other filters, they are also stackable. The CPL has the same inherent issues with having such a small filter ring to turn as the K&F filters. But really, the filters seem fine.

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and StartRC ND8 filter
StartRC ND8 1/15s ISO130

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and StartRC ND16 filter
StartRC ND16 1/15s ISO200

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and StartRC ND32 filter
StartRC ND32 1/15s ISO400

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and StartRC ND64 filter
StartRC ND64 1/15s ISO610

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and StartRC ND256 filter
StartRC ND256 1/6s ISO1020

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3 and StartRC CPL Polarising filter
StartRC CPL 1/60s ISO170

Photo taken with DJI Pocket 3, no filters
No filters 1/160 ISO 170

General thoughts on using filters with the Pocket 3

I wish the Pocket 3 had a 'gimbal off' mode you could use when adjusting filters as both adjusting rotating filters and removing filters puts extra strain on the motors. Several times I have had the Osmo Pocket go into 'gimbal protection' mode because the motors were getting stressed while I was trying to adjust a filter.

Sharpness seems pretty similar between all filters.

Although I purchased a range of filters, I don't expect to use most of them much other than the CPL. Generally I am just using the Pocket 3 to film walks. This means lighting can vary greatly during the shot, and I have no way of knowing in advance what the lighting levels will be. I will use auto-exposure as I don't want some parts of the shot too dark and other parts too bright. Unless the light is really bright, I would rather have a non-optimal shutter angle during bright parts and keep the ISO low for dark parts than use an ND to get an optimal shutter angle for bright parts and have a high ISO on darker parts.

The black mist effect can be nice, but I wouldn't want it on all my shots. Generally I would prefer to take a clean shot and then apply the effect in post. Though good software for applying a mist / diffusion effect is quite expensive, it is a lot more flexible and can be used on any camera / lens.

Even the polarising filter I don't expect to use all the time. It is good for use in forests to reduce reflections on leaves. But for shooting open scenes with a blue sky, the middle of the sky can be darkened a bit too much for my taste.

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