Freewell has announced a new line of quick-release filters for DSLR and Mirrorless systems. The Magnetic Quick-Swap Filter System offers a variety of filters including Circular Polarizer and Neutral Density that snap on and off in seconds.
Freewell is not new to the filter industry, better known for filter systems for pro-consumer drones and action cameras. This is their first venture into more conventional filter sizes suitable for Mirrorless and DSLR cameras.
How It Works
The Magnetic Quick-Swap Filter System promises lightning-fast filter changes, and the clue to its method is in its own name.
Rather than the time-consuming approach of threading filters onto the front of your lens, Freewell Quick-Swaps operate utilizing a magnetic system; filters snap on and off in seconds. It does this by provisionally mounting a UV filter to the front of your lens; the filter has the magnetic front component attached to all other quick-swap filters.
Freewell has noted in their YouTube video comments from viewers regarding concerns of always going through a UV filter, however, the company states that the system does not impair image quality.
What Filters Are Available
Current filters available in the Quick-Swap system:
ND64 (6 stops)
ND1000 (10 stops)
Circular Polarizer (CP)
Light Pollution Reduction (NV)
*The end cap serves as a normal lens cap with the addition of utilizing the same magnetic mounting system as the filters.
The current filter line up is set up more intimately for photographers – a full range of neutral density filters, as well as a variable ND, would be useful for videographers.
The Magnetic Quick-Snap Filter system is available in 67mm, 72mm 77mm, and 82mm.
You can also step up through conventional step up rings, and double stack if you wish to use existing filters, as all Freewell Quick-Swap filters have a threaded front.
This is not the first time we have seen magnetic filter systems, and they’re no doubt a concept of high interest for self-shooters that demand fast operation from their kit. (Xume magnetic filter concept by Manfrotto offers a similar solution).
As mentioned, Freewell needs to expand its lineup to make this a solid option for video work; a filter-less magnetic mount would be useful also for pure-use with other filter systems.
The starting price of $99 a filter is attractive, but to truly benefit from the quick-swap system, multiple purchases to cover your wider lens package is advised.