Digital camera on city street at night.

Dual Native ISO is a technology used in some digital cameras and camcorders to enhance their low-light performance and dynamic range. Here’s an explanation of what it is and how it works:

What is ISO?

ISO in digital photography refers to the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. A higher ISO value increases the sensor’s sensitivity, allowing you to take photos in low-light conditions, but it also increases noise (graininess) in the image. A lower ISO value is used in well-lit conditions, providing cleaner images with less noise.

What is Dual Native ISO?

Dual Native ISO is a technology that provides two distinct ISO settings, each optimized for different lighting conditions. This allows the camera to produce cleaner images at higher ISOs by using two separate analog circuits.

Dual Native ISO is a technology used in some digital cameras and camcorders to enhance their low-light performance and dynamic range. Here’s an explanation of what it is and how it works:

What is ISO?

ISO in digital photography refers to the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. A higher ISO value increases the sensor’s sensitivity, allowing you to take photos in low-light conditions, but it also increases noise (graininess) in the image. A lower ISO value is used in well-lit conditions, providing cleaner images with less noise.

What is Dual Native ISO?

Dual Native ISO is a technology that provides two distinct ISO settings, each optimized for different lighting conditions. This allows the camera to produce cleaner images at higher ISOs by using two separate analog circuits.

How Does It Work?

1. Two Analog Circuits: Cameras with Dual Native ISO have two analog circuits at the sensor level, each optimized for different ISO ranges. One circuit is designed for lower ISO values (e.g., ISO 100), and the other is optimized for higher ISO values (e.g., ISO 800).

2. Automatic Switching: The camera automatically switches between these two circuits depending on the lighting conditions. This means that when you increase the ISO, the camera can switch to the second circuit, which is optimized to handle higher sensitivity without significantly increasing noise.

3. Improved Dynamic Range: By having two native ISOs, the camera can maintain a better dynamic range and color accuracy across a wider range of ISO settings. This is particularly beneficial in challenging lighting conditions where maintaining detail in both shadows and highlights is crucial.

Benefits of Dual Native ISO

Better Low-Light Performance: Allows for cleaner images with less noise at higher ISO settings, making it ideal for low-light shooting.

Greater Flexibility: Provides more flexibility in different lighting conditions without compromising image quality.

Enhanced Dynamic Range: Helps maintain a wide dynamic range across various ISO settings, preserving detail in both dark and bright areas of the image.

Practical Applications

Video Production: Particularly useful in video cameras where lighting conditions can vary widely, and it’s essential to capture high-quality footage in all scenarios.

Photography: Beneficial for photographers who often shoot in varying lighting conditions, such as event photography, where lighting can quickly change.

Example Cameras with Dual Native ISO

  • Panasonic Lumix GH5S: Known for its excellent video capabilities, including Dual Native ISO for superior low-light performance.
  • Sony FX6: A professional cinema camera that employs Dual Native ISO technology to offer exceptional image quality in various lighting conditions.
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K: Utilizes Dual Native ISO to provide flexibility and high performance for cinematic productions.
  • Xiaomi 14 ultra : The first mobile ever to integrate this technology