ISO What is ISO
The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to the light, while a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of your camera. The component within your camera that can change sensitivity is called “image sensor” or simply “sensor”
Uncovering the International Standards Organization (ISO)
You and the ISO button on your camera may be unacquainted for now but that will soon change! The ISO can clue you in when it comes to your camera’s sensitivity to light. With a higher ISO, you won’t need a flash to capture images in places with low light. However, increasing the ISO will also increase the amount of noise within the photograph. Thus, a photograph that has been taken with an ISO value of 100 will be much sharper than say one where the ISO was 4000. How can you make the ISO work for you, if it also makes pictures grainier? The first thing you need to keep in mind is that the noise will start to appear at ISO values higher than 400, depending on the camera type. The next thing for you to remember is that at times, you will have to settle for a grainy photograph, if you want to avoid using the flash. For best results, use the guide given below to take good pictures:
- If you are outside in the sun, then keep the ISO value on 100
- If you are indoors in a dark room, then the ISO value could be as high as 1600 or even higher
- For overcast environments and open shade, a value of 400 ISO will do just fine
- You might have to increase the value to more than 600, if you are taking a picture late in the evening
- The ISO value would have to be as high as 800 and higher, if you are taking pictures inside with average lighting
Together, the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO form the exposure triangle. If you are still unclear as to how they work in combination, try wrapping your head around this metaphor. If you think of your camera as having a window that might be used to look outside, then the shutter will be the parts that open and close it. In turn, how long the shutter stays open will determine the shutter speed. That means, if you want to let in more light through the window, the shutters will have to stay open for longer. Now, let us try to fit the aperture in this metaphor. While the shutter is letting light in, the aperture is the size of the window itself. Consequently, the bigger the window, the brighter the room it looks into will be. Lastly, the ISO can be included in this analogy by imagining that you stand inside the room, wearing shades. Even if more light is let into the room, your eyes will be unable to feel its intensity. Think of that as your camera being at a low ISO setting.
Now, with the example above, it is easy to see that there is no single way to increase how much light will enter your camera. You can increase the amount of light by leaving the shutters open for a longer time at low shutter speed. The same effect might be achieved with an increase in the size of the aperture. Similarly, larger ISO values will do the same thing i.e. let more light into the camera so that the pictures will be brighter, if a little grainier.