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The Olympus STYLUS 1 features a built in 3 stop ND filter. But what is an ND filter and what does it do? Here, we'll explain a bit more, as well as giving you some scenarios where the ND filter is useful.
What is an ND filter?
Basically, an ND filter is a plain, neutral grey filter that reduces the amount of light that can get to the sensor of the camera. This can allow you to use a slower shutter speed, or open the aperture of the camera up, without over-brightening the shot.
When is an ND filter useful?
Silky water - If you photograph a lot of waterfalls or seascapes that you'd like to have silky smooth water, an ND filter can help you to achieve this. By using the ND filter, you'll reduce the amount of light being let in by the camera, so you can use longer shutter speeds without risking over-exposing the image.
Wider apertures for blurred backgrounds - If you like to use a really wide aperture to get a nicely blurred background, for example when shooting macro objects such as flowers, the image can sometimes turn out over blown. The built in ND filter in the STYLUS 1 will help to combat this, allowing you to shoot in bright conditions with even the widest apertures.
Eliminate people from the shot - When you are trying to shoot in locations that are busy with tourists, but you want the shot to be people-free, one technique you can use is to set up on a tripod and shoot a really long exposure so the people walking by don't register on the shot. You need to use an exposure of at least a couple of seconds to achieve this, and an ND filter will stop the image becoming too over exposed.
Use flash - You can often reduce the exposure of the flash using auto settings, but for close ups that may not be possible and this is where an ND filter will help.
If you have another Olympus camera that doesn't feature a built in ND filter, you can always purchase one that screws on to the front of the lens.