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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Facts of ISO

ISO- A camera's sensitivity to light. ISO controls the possible interactions and combination's between shutter speed and aperture. ISO settings hence indicate to the camera sensor how the shutter speed and aperture must interact to compensate for its given lighting situation. A higher ISO makes for greater sensitivity to the light, which is ideal for low light situations. A lower ISO setting, on the other hand, is better suited for recording brighter scenes.

A higher ISO can lead to image "noise." Noise is the  graininess of an image that results from the image sensor from becoming "contaminated."* The larger an image sensor (a buying point to consider) you have, the more then this can be minimized. DSLR's, generally speaking, have an advantage at this because of their larger sensors. Also certain post-processing tools on software's like Photoshop can also drastically reduce the problem.

Things to Consider about ISO-
1. The smaller the ISO you shoot at the less noise will be present in your images and the higher quality the end photograph will be.
2. For outdoor shooting and in bright scenes, lower your ISO to its minimum settings for the highest quality. High ISO will generally be unneeded, because other settings can make up for any lighting problems.
3. For low light situations I use ISO as a last resort. When ISO needs to be utilized, I experiment with the lowest possible setting. For amateur shooters I suggest making your camera decide upon ISO automatically, by putting it on auto.
4. The larger the camera sensor the less likely noise will appear in your images.

So next time you go out to photograph consider ISO.

*People's approach to image noise differs because its based on personal preference. Back in the days when film was prevalent, people selected film rolls based on the the extent of grainyness in the shots they developed. This is because people use grain as an artistic tool while others find it undesirable.

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Chase Guttman is a talented and passionate, award-winning photographer having shot everything from landscapes to wildlife to portraits and events all around the world. Chase Guttman is also an affordable NYC assignment photographer, ready to fulfill your photographic wishes with his distinct style and attention to detail. He also runs this popular photography tips and guide blog, with weekly insights into photography that helps everyone from amateurs to pros better their photographic skill. Visit us at our website:

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