ISO | light sensitivity

March 10, 2018

Everyone working with a DSLR camera has come across the ISO value. The ISO value defines the light sensitivity of the sensor within your camera. The higher the value is, the more sensitive the sensor reacts to light. This means that the camera doesn’t need that much light to take the picture. But hold on, you cannot just take the highest ISO value and think that is the deal. ISO is tricky. The higher the value is, the more your photo suffers. The higher the value is, the more “noise” you will see on your photos. And this can really hurt you in post production.

Here’s an example of how the ISO value changes a picture and makes it “noisy”:

If you are shooting outside at daylight, i would recommend you to take the lowest ISO value as there is enough light of the sun to brighten up your photos. As it gets darker or you are maybe shooting in a room which isn’t that bright, you will have to adapt the ISO value or you will get a photo which is too dark or even black. There is no “ideal” ISO value as it really depends on the circumstances. So you maybe have to take 2-3 shots to be able to set the perfect ISO value for your current situation. If you are a beginner, set your ISO value to “Auto”, take some photos and check them. The information panel will show you which ISO value the camera chose to take that particular shot. Now you can choose for yourself. If the photo is too bright for your needs, just take an ISO value lower than the “Auto” of the camera.

It also doesn’t matter which camera you have. ISO means always the same. PRO cameras can handle high ISO values better than normal cameras. Which means your photos won’t be as “noisy” with a Pro camera as they would be with the same ISO value with a normal camera. As already said before, there is no ideal ISO value. But there’s one thing you always have to remember: The lower the ISO value the better the photo.