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ISO is the measurement of the camera's sensor/film sensitivity to light. It is one of the 3 ways to create a well exposed image (The other two being Aperture and Shutter Speed). Typically, a higher ISO for a correctly exposed image will result in the image being more noisy/grainy.

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5
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3answers
2k views

Does a high ISO generally result in bad dynamic range and less accurate color?

I have a Pentax K-x. I've had it set on "auto ISO up to 6400" for a while now, and I'm starting to wonder if this is making my images worse. Honestly I don't trust myself to tell. Does a high ISO ...
6
votes
2answers
911 views

How did film photographers overcome constant ISO/ASA values in low light situations?

Today in Digital SLR era, when I find myself in low light situation in a place that I can't use my tripod or I don't have it, and still don't want to get blurry images, I use the widest aperture which ...
2
votes
2answers
886 views

If I need the higher ISO anyway, is there any downside in using Fujifilm's extended DR mode?

Fujifilm has an extended dynamic range mode, which is in some way linked to ISO. The X-Pro 1 has a sensor with a base ISO of 200; if I enable "DR 200%", the minimum possible ISO increases to 400, and ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is my ISO so high when shooting indoor photos with flash

I have a Nikon D5100. When shooting indoor photos using the built in flash, the auto ISO changes to 1600 or so. Doesn't the flash produce enough light so that the ISO would stay at 100 or so? ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the relationship of aperture, focal length, and ISO in a SLR?

I was using Nikon digital camera, and recently bought a Canon 550D. I am totally new to SLR. I am not familiar with SLR terms: Aperture, focal length and ISO, and their relation to one another. What ...
36
votes
8answers
13k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using auto ISO on a DSLR?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using auto ISO on a DSLR? Using manual ISO obviously gives you more control, but auto ISO may mean that you get "the shot" under quickly changing ...
5
votes
3answers
741 views

Why am I getting such high noise when using ISO 320/640?

I'm taking photos at night with a GH1 at ISO 640 and getting a ton of noise in the dark areas. I've seen a bunch of other peoples night time photos and they never have this much noise. I tried using ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

What settings should I use to photograph aurora borealis with a wide angle f/4 lens?

I've tried my first night photography of the stars last week. Most articles I've seen were recommending a fast lens, fully opened, @ ISO 800 and about 20 - 30s exposure, etc. Unfortunately, my only ...
4
votes
4answers
930 views

Is higher ISO noise evenly distributed, or does it affect colors differently?

It's obvious that higher ISO affects the photograph by adding noise or grains. But will that grain or noise be distributed equally over all parts of the photograph, or will it specifically affect ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does the camera default to ISO 400 in auto ISO mode with flash?

I've observed this behaviour on my Canon 550D, and I was wondering why it didn't use a lower or even variable ISO. I'm not sure if this is a camera/brand specific setting. Is there any particular ...
5
votes
1answer
628 views

Bracketing with ISO or exposure time?

With old cameras, you had film with fixed ISO and you could bracket your shots by either adjusting the f-stop or exposure time. Normally, if I have enough light, I prefer to keep the f-stop constant ...
12
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9answers
8k views

Why aren't my night shots sharp even when I shot at ISO 100 on a tripod?

I recently purchased a tripod because I really want to do some night photography. I have tried practicing with street lamps, moon shots etc with my Canon 550D and 70-200 f/4L and most of them are shot ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I prefer raising ISO or lowering the shutter speed in a low light condition?

Example: 1. A "still" object/scene. 2. Night time. 3. The only light source you have is: a tubelight on a wall. Provided, you want sharpness all around so you won't maximize the aperture. Flash ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the quantative relation between flash guide number and ISO?

I found that formula on the Internet: Guide Number = (Shooting Distance * Aperture) รท ISO Sensitivity Is it correct? If it is could someone please explain why ISO is related to guide number in this ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What film should I use for black and white outdoor 'formal' shots?

I'm wondering what type of black and white film is best to shoot good-quality outdoor photos that capture the quality of the trees, etc., and still show detail in people's faces. Is there a ...
4
votes
4answers
405 views

Are there any situations in which it makes sense to raise the ISO in bright daylight?

Are there any situations in which it makes sense to raise the ISO in bright day light? For example, this pic has been taken in bright day light with ISO 3200, f18, 1/1250: ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

What makes a good sample image for ISO comparison?

To be more specific this image is always used by Digital Photography School for ISO comparison. What are those features that make this image suitable for ISO comparison.
3
votes
2answers
606 views

Assuming a perfect sensor, what is the physical limit of ISO/pixel area?

Assuming that camera manufacturers can eventually make the perfect sensor that introduces no electrical noise to the signal, at what point (measured in ISO/area of a pixel) will shot noise be so ...
3
votes
0answers
286 views

Why does Nikon (e.g. D5100) use Hi1 and Hi2 instead of numeric ISO settings? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “expanded ISO” mean? Are these settings real sensitivity options when reading the CMOS sensor or just after-processing what can be done outside the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Does shooting at lower RAW resolution using crop sensor camera mimics qualities of full frame cameras?

I'm not talking about changes to the focal length. I've read many post that say in full frame camera the pixel density is lower compared to crop sensor camera's and so it captures more light and has ...
2
votes
3answers
146 views

Is an artificial external source of light required even with a low-noise high ISO range?

Is an artificial external source of light required even if you have a camera with a high range of effectively noiseless ISO? Are there some special cases which "need" external lights, at all costs?
2
votes
1answer
8k views

How do I enable auto-ISO in non-scene modes in a Nikon D5100?

I'm trying to enable auto-ISO on my dad's Nikon D5100. There is an "Auto" option for "ISO sensitivity" in the menu, logically-enough under "ISO sensitivity settings"). This works fine in the Scene ...
6
votes
3answers
750 views

Does Av mode on my Canon DSLR take IS into account when deciding shutter speed and ISO?

Most of the time when I'm out I'm shooting, my camera is in Av mode. I've selected the aperture size I want and I'm letting the camera decide on the correct shutter speed and ISO that are required to ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why can't I set a partial ISO stop?

On my Canon 500D, I can set aperture and shutter speed in 1/3 stops, however with ISO I appear to be limited to whole stops (100, 200, 400, 800 etc...) Why is this? It would appear the camera is ...
2
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2answers
22k views

In Canon EOS 1100D how do you manually set shutter speed and ISO in M mode?

Can someone explain how to set the shutter speed and ISO in M(manual) mode in a canon EOS 1100D.?
1
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1answer
417 views

Why doesn't the Nikon D90 record ISO in EXIF?

Why is there no ISO data in EXIF of images taken with Nikon D90? I'm using exiftool.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I configure a Nikon D90 with minimum shutter speed and aperture?

How can I configure my Nikon D-90 with minimum shutter speed of 1/60th of a second and aperture of f1.4 and have it adjust the ISO and speed as needed? I currently have it working with 1/60th fixed ...
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votes
5answers
2k views

How do I go about choosing film for an old LOMO camera?

I have a old LOMO analog film camera with four closures. How should I choose film for my camera? What ISO should I select? Is there anything else I have to be aware of when choosing film for this ...
10
votes
4answers
560 views

How does flexible ISO make shooting digital different from film?

I was thinking at the differences between SLR and DLSR (in Manual mode). In both cases you can change aperture and shutter speed as it suits you. But with SLR you are stuck with the ISO of the film ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Is high ISO useful for photography?

I started photography sometime back, and always wondered when is high ISO handy in photography? Also can it be used to get any special effect in pictures? My camera has Max ISO of 800 but I see some ...
8
votes
3answers
874 views

Why do two different cameras using the same settings produce photos with different exposure levels?

Please refer to this photo: The image on the left was taken with a Panasonic GH2, a micro-4/3rds camera with a crop factor of 2, and the right one was taken with a Nikon D700, a full-frame camera. ...
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votes
5answers
2k views

Does noise in images depend upon “Megapixels” or “ISO”?

I have a question about image quality. Does noise in an image is depends upon "Megapixels" or on "ISO"?
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I manually set the aperture and shutter speed, while auto selecting ISO with the Nikon D90?

I have a Nikon D90 and would like to set the aperture to f/1.4 and the shutter speed to around 1/60, all while having the camera compute what ISO is required for the current light conditions. I am ...
24
votes
5answers
8k views

Are there general rules for selecting the correct shutter speed and ISO in manual mode?

I have purchased my first DSLR (a Canon 500D) and have been playing around quite a lot within the aperture priority mode, with auto shutter speed and ISO. Anyways as I would like to become a better ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I use low-end expanded ISO?

My Pentax K-5 comes with a "regular" low ISO setting of 100, but if you enable "expanded ISO" you can set it as low as 80 (plus go up to an absurd 51200!). I know that in general to reduce noise, ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is in-camera high-ISO noise reduction worthwhile?

I shoot in RAW and post-process in Aperture where needed. Does the in-camera noise-reduction do anything that I can't do in Aperture or other post-processing software? It seems to add a bit of time ...
4
votes
3answers
626 views

What is preventing sensor ISOs from going lower than 100? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why can't the ISO level on most digital cameras be set below 80 So, take your typical DSLR sensor. It probably tops out at anywhere between 1600 - 6400 ISO. The ...
13
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6answers
7k views

Is ISO 200 still considered to be a bad choice, on digital cameras?

In times of film photography there was a rule to either use ISO 100 film (or even great Velvia 50) which usually had considerably less grain noise than ISO 400 film. So 100 for outside or well lit ...
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vote
2answers
797 views

What is the quantitative relation between f/# of the lens (aperture), exposure, and ISO?

Let's say we shoot with a DSLR camera and we have two interchangeable lenses. Lens #1 has aperture f/X, X between 1 and 2 (see below). Lens #2 is f/4.5. Same focal length and other characteristics as ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

Why can't the ISO level on most digital cameras be set below 80?

Why is it that the ISO level on most digital cameras doesn't seem to go lower than ISO 80? I understand (vaguely) that the sensors adjust the gain in order to achieve the equivalent of a high ISO ...
13
votes
3answers
824 views

Where do ISO numbers come from?

I understand how an ISO number affects the film sensitivity or a digital image, but I'm curious where did the numbers come from? How come we talk about ISO 100, 200, 400, and so on instead of ISO 1, ...
9
votes
0answers
378 views

What does expanded ISO mean?

Especially with regards to image quality. I am particularly interested in when you expand to a lower ISO, say 50 rather than 100. Generally the standard high ISO is too noisy, with the expanded ISO ...
3
votes
3answers
583 views

ISO when shooting at night

Why does the signal to noise ratio decrease when using high ISO speeds (e.g 3200) when shooting at night with a digital camera?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Capturing vapour or faint steam

I was trying to capture a scene that was in a dark area with a bright background. There was faint steam that I wanted to be the focus of the picture. I tried first by having a very large aperture and ...
94
votes
5answers
7k views

What is “ISO” on a digital camera?

What is "ISO" in general, and how is the scale defined? How does the ISO scale for film speed differ from ISO sensitivity as used in digital cameras? Is lower ISO always better?
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3answers
2k views

Is 125 or 400 ISO film better for black and white studio shots?

ISO 125 or ISO 400 film: which should I use for studio shots? By the way, I am planning to shoot in black and white.
22
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5answers
3k views

What is exposure compensation?

What does exposure compensation do? If I take a photo with a given shutter speed, aperature, and ISO, and then take the same shot with +1EV or -1EV, what is actually happening? Is this just a gain ...
17
votes
10answers
3k views

Do DSLRs play games with ISO when used with fast lenses?

This article at Luminous Landscape claims that Nikon, Canon, and Sony silently boost ISO when their cameras are used with very fast lenses (f/1.2 and f/1.4 principally), the implications being that ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How important is ISO speed?

My wifes Canon EOS 450D has various speed settings and an auto mode. The quickest one is 1600. She photographs mainly birds, both stationary and in flight and mainly still insects. What are the ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the pros/cons of the high-ISO noise reduction feature on D90?

So my D90 offers "High-ISO Noise Reduction". Sounds like a good thing, but obviously there must be a cost of some kind. The settings are "Off", "Low", "Normal", and "High", and the default is ...