This question is related to this camera (Point and shoot):

Canon SX 430 IS

It looks good for me but many of my friends are saying it's good for only day light photographs. I want to shoot in day light as well as in my room (to picture my pencil drawings on white paper with room light on). Do I need more than 800 for clear photographs in room?

Further, when I checked for Nikon brand under same price range, I found (maybe I'm wrong) that Canon uses less ISO in their cameras. Is ISO 800 better than Nikon's ISO 800 in similar point and shoot camera (Like Nikon B500)?

I'm really confused as my primary thing to picture is my drawings, and if it doesn't work inside room, every time I'll need to go outside.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand that you want to photograph your drawings - but to what end? Are you intending just to share them online? Create Reproductions? Edit and manipulate digitally? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 18:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ what you mind find helpful is asking "i have camera X and want to photograph my pencil drawing for purpose Z. My pictures come out too Y and not enough W, here is an example of what i mean. What should i do?" Fill in X,Z,Y,W as needed \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:19
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Why is this even a question? Just try it. Test whatever you are trying to do at different ISO settings and see what works. ISO 800 sounds rather low for a handheld indoor shot in normal indoor lighting, but we have no idea of your particulars. Also, if you can use a tripod, then you can compensate for low light with long exposure instead of high ISO. This is all very basic photography. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Corey yes, just to share online and put on my blog. I'm not satisfied with phone cameras with 16 MP. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vikas
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


Vikas, we cannot tell you if 800 is the proper ISO setting for the amount light in your room because we do not know how much light is in your room.

You would need to set you camera's ISO to 800 and use the meter in the camera to tell you what settings are required to get a proper exposure. The issue will be if the amount of light is so low that the shutter speed needed to get the proper exposure is so slow that you will get a blurry photo from camera movement while taking the photo. IF the shutter speed is slow or long you will not get a sharp clear photo unless you use a tripod or increase the ISO until the the shutter speed required is fast enough.

The ISO setting on a camera is simply a way to increase or decrease how sensitive the cameras sensor is to light. Increasing or decreasing the shutter speed or aperture (fstop) is the way you adjust the AMOUNT of light you are allowing to enter the camera and fall on the sensor.

Using a tripod would be your best bet because you can then use a LOW ISO. A low iso will give you a better photo ( IE: less digital noise ) than a higher iso. ( newer cameras perform better with less digital noise at higher ISO's ) The amount of acceptable digital noise for you is dependent on what you intend to do with the photos and your own personal preference. If you cannot buy or borrow a tripod than try adding as much light as you can into your room. Using the same kind of light will be much better than using two different kinds, Meaning that different kinds of light bulbs emit light rays of different colors (kelvin temperature ).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does more ISO mean the amount of light entering through the lens is more OR the camera deliberately "does" something to illuminate the pixels more, and hence cause noise? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vikas
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 4:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VikasKumar Changing the ISO does NOT change the amount of light entering the camera, Yes the camera deliberately does something, setting a higher ISO changes the how sensitive the the camera/sensor is to the light you are letting in with your aperture and shutter speed settings. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 20:02

I would highly recommend doing at least some introductory reading on photography topics to help you ask better questions - your comment that "Canon uses less ISO in their cameras" is... well... surreal, I guess is what I'm feeling.

That said, if you're primarily shooting static (i.e. non-moving) subjects like your drawings, you can absolutely do that with pretty much any camera out there. The things you need to be aware of are that if you want to shoot hand-held, you'll need higher light (move a lamp closer to the drawing at the very least, but perhaps buy a goose-neck type desk lamp that you can point where you want it to illuminate stuff), and/or a higher ISO setting to get a decent shot. But a better solution would be to put the camera on a stable surface or use a tripod - then if you tell your camera you want a shot at f/8 and ISO100, it's free to chose the shutter speed it wants, even if that's 6-10 seconds, without introducing camera movement effects. You can take indoor shots of static subjects at ISO 50 (assuming your camera supports it) at f/22 with a 16-stop ND filter under a single 25W bulb - just realize you'll need a pretty long shutter time for it to turn out decent.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I shot mid-day sun using ISO200 and 14 stops of ND and needed 11 minutes of exposure. At those parameters, you might also need ALL night and day >_<. bringin' back daguerreotype long exposures FTW. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @twalberg after reading your answer I experimented this to understand ISO. I used my smartphone with 16 MP camera and captured 2 pictures in room with light (light which is little difficult to read) with ISO800 and ISO3200. Ofcourse, 2nd picture was bright and but 1st picture was much better in terms of quality and there was very little noise. So I'm assuming a fact: High ISO DOESN"T mean that more light will enter through the lens, it will just make the pixels MORE BRIGHT deliberately or something like that, UNLIKE when there is actually sufficient light in the room. Am I right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vikas
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 4:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VikasKumar Yes, that is exactly right. A higher ISO just "amplifies the signal", so to speak. As the others have mentioned, if you are shooting still objects, you should use a tripod so that you can use a much longer shutter speed, which will let you use a lower ISO. \$\endgroup\$
    – chulster
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 4:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ So a canon camera with max ISO800 would be fine for me to picture my drawings without tripod? Given that I'll use better light than I did use as mentioned in my last comment? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vikas
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 5:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you have enough light then yes. But if you can get a scanner that will be better since you will get much more consistent light on your drawings. If you can, go to an art gallery and look at how they assign lights to each picture. Angle, distance and type of light all matter. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16259
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 7:51

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