Understanding ISO sensitivity will improve the quality of your photographs. Camera ISO is one of the three main factors to consider with any photo, besides aperture and shutter speed, and all three need to be understood to take the best pictures with your DSLR camera.
At CoinaPhoto we have put together a short explainer on choosing the right ISO factor to let you take the most well exposed photos to share amongst your friends and networks. So, take note of the tips below and bear them in mind when you’re submitting your CoinaPhoto competition snaps.
- ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light. The lower the ISO number the less sensitive it is to light, the higher the ISO number the more sensitive your camera is to receiving light.
- The ISO works around an image sensor, the most important and expensive part of your camera. The sensor is responsible for taking in the light and transforming it into a photographic image. Increased sensitivity of the sensor means that it can capture images in lower light conditions without flash. But this increased sensitivity has a downside as it adds grain or ‘noise’ to your pictures which makes them look blurry.
- If you compare photos taken at two ISO levels, an image taken at ISO 3200 has a lot more ‘grain’ in it, if you look closely at the image you can see it, whereas an image at ISO200 will be clearer. Every camera has a ‘base’ ISO, typically ISO100 or ISO200, which produces the best results, but requires a lot of light.
- Each step between ISO numbers effectively doubles the sensitivity of the sensor, so ISO200 is twice as sensitive as ISO100, and ISO1600 is sixteen times more sensitive to light than ISO100. What does that mean? It means that it needs sixteen times less time to capture an image. e.g. At ISO100 your camera can capture an image in one second, but at ISO3200 it can capture the same image in 1/32 of a second.
- This means that when taking pictures of objects or people moving at high speed, for example in nature or sports photography, it can be useful to use a higher ISO to capture the scene, but try to stick to the lowest ISO whenever possible to maintain the detail in your pictures.
- In low light conditions you may still want to use a low ISO if you have your camera mounted on a tripod or sitting on a flat surface to avoid grain. Kept steady the camera could eventually take in enough light, but it will need more time to capture the scene i.e. by using a much slower shutter speed.
- On many newer DSLR cameras there is an ‘Auto ISO’ setting which works well in low-light environments and allows you to set a maximum ISO to limit the grain in your pictures.
So, there you have it, some of our top tips and tricks on how to manage ISO sensitivity when taking photographs. Keep an eye out for more useful posts from us here at CoinaPhoto, but in the meantime log on and start uploading your photos!
For those of you have mastered the art form of ISO sensitivity, the first 20 photographs that get uploaded on to CoinaPhoto’s Public Library with the tag ‘ISO sensitivity’ will receive a prize of five gold CoinaPhoto tokens each, ready for you to gift, donate or cash out as you see fit*.
Check out more on how CoinaPhoto works by watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cFIIYO12AY
**Image courtesy of http://www.exposureguide.com/