View Full Version : Dragon-X Native ISO

Matt Simpkins
03-06-2020, 07:37 PM
Just got my dragon-x upgrade.

Q - what is the Dragon-x native iso??
I know the scarlet-w was 800, and since itís technically the same sensor, is it the same?? Or did it gain some due to the larger sensor usage??

Phil Holland
03-06-2020, 07:50 PM
You don't want the "Native ISO". The Native ISO, which usually pertains to linear light, of all sensors is humorously low.

You want the Base ISO. Which is a general recommended starting point from manufacturers, typically where you can create a relatively clean image and have "about" equal stops above and below 18% gray, give or take.

That is about ISO 800 on Dragon as was as all RED sensors really (except for the dual ISO Gemini, which has it's LL Mode).

RED's recommended ISO Range is ISO 250-3200.

Many enjoy Dragon at ISO 400-1600 in my personal history with it. I shot a lot and I mean a lot at ISO 1280 on Dragon.

If you are shooting with the Standard and Low Light OLPF in particular the higher ISOs are very nice. The Skin Tone - Highlight OLPF is a much more aggressive filter and chews up more light. You may find lower ISOs more useful.

Higher resolution versus your finishing resolution will help as well due to the benefits of downsampling as well.

Hopefully that helps.

Mike P.
03-08-2020, 12:46 PM
Generally speaking, STH = ISO400, STN = ISO800, LLO = ISO1600 are safe bets.

Taking it a step further, you can usually give or take ~1/3 a stop (ISO500, ISO1000, ISO2000) in ISO depending on the scene and on what you consider an acceptable level of noise (which is subjective). Also if you have good quality light (with a strong blue channel), a decent amount of fill, are doing a 6k>4k downscale/supersample and recompression, and/or plan on using noise reduction, you could push all OLPFs by a stop+.

Anecdotally, if you're really pushing the limit, definitely try rendering out a 4k deliverable with look applied to test; you'd be surprised how much cleaner a 4k 35mbit hevc/h265 file looks compared to the 6k raw file being played back at 1/4 debayer/res in the timeline. I have night footage at 1600 on STH that was shot with enough fill so that it still looks acceptable without NR (after applying an s-curve to crush the lower-end noise out).

Patrick Tresch
03-08-2020, 01:14 PM
LLO here at 1600 and it's clean when shooting 6k


Phil Holland
03-08-2020, 02:33 PM
Just to add more actual info.

The Standard versus Low Light Optimized OLPF represents <= 3% light loss transmission.

Each sensor has it's own unique "native color" in terms of white balance and all that, so there's a subtle impact there too.

Generally speaking you don't want to starve any sensor out there from anybody of light. All of these sensors do welll from tungsten to daylight really. Don't be shooting under a 1800K key light though and expect a clean "white". No sensor around likes that. Hell film doesn't like that either.

Hrvoje Simic
03-09-2020, 01:34 AM
Just to add more actual info.

The Standard versus Low Light Optimized OLPF represents <= 3% light loss transmission.

And 3 is not 50.

Therefore > 1600 is a just a digital image push.