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What is ISO? Photography tutorial for DSLR beginners | D4mations.com
  • Saturday , 24 October 2020

What is ISO? Photography tutorial for DSLR beginners

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What is ISO? An explanation of what it is and how it relates to light, exposure, stops, shutter speed and aperture for DSLR photography beginners.

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Greenwood Media – photography & video

In this video, we’re going to ask the question: What is ISO?

If you are old enough to remember the days before digital, you will recall going into a chemists or a photo lab and seeing stacks of film with numbers like 100, 200 and 400 on the boxes. These numbers still apply in the digital world, although as you will notice twiddling the dial on your camera, there are many more numbers now available to you.

Let’s take a look…
There’s 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400 and on and on.

For our purposes, the ones to remember are:

100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200

These numbers refer to the sensitivity of the sensor (or film) to the light. 3,200 is very sensitive, which means that you can take photos in very low light often without the need for flash. The downside is that the picture will be very ‘noisy’ (or grainy on film).

In bright sunlight, 3,200, a ‘high’ ISO, would be far too sensitive. The image would be completely burnt or whited out. 100, a ‘low’ ISO, has a low sensitivity to light and is therefore perfect for very bright conditions – like a sunny day.

So as a general guide we might use ISO 200 on a cloudy day, 400 outdoors but in the shade, 1600 indoors in a well-lit room. I very rarely use 3,200 or higher ISOs because they are too ‘noisy’. That means the picture isn’t sharp and has an ugly pixelly look.

I try to use the lowest ISO I can given the lighting conditions in order to reduce noise as much as possible.

Let’s look again at those numbers. There’s an obvious pattern. 200 is double 100, 400 is twice 200 and so on. 400 is half 800, which in turn is half 1600.

100 to 200, or 400 to 800, is known as a ‘stop’. Stops work in doubles and halves.

To make sense of this, let’s look at an example. You are taking photos on a sunny day, so you have the ISO set to 100. Suddenly the sun goes behind a cloud. Now there is roughly half the amount of light hitting your subject and being reflected into your camera to form an image. If there’s half the light we need to DOUBLE the ISO to achieve the same exposure (in other words for the image not to be too dark). The sun comes back out and the amount of light doubles, therefore we need to halve the ISO – back down to 100.

Each time we double or half the ISO we are adjusting it by a ‘stop’. Stops are measures of light and they represent the most fundamental principle of photography.

Stops – in doubles and halves – also apply to shutter speed and aperture.

Assuming the light remains the same, any change in ISO must be compensated by a change to either shutter speed or aperture in order to achieve the same exposure (brightness or darkness).

Setting the ISO is generally the first thing I do when starting a shoot before I even think about shutter speed and aperture.

Compared with shutter speed and aperture, ISO isn’t very creative but it is at least easy to get to grips with.

I hope you found that useful. Thanks for watching and see you next time!

Original source

3d Ocean

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33 Comments

  1. Tomboy Dru
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Great video! It was easy to understand and to the point.

  2. Dandy Ikharia
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    I found it quite insightful.

  3. Achieving Fitness LTD - Personal Trainer Cardiff
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Well explained thanks

  4. Enos Mota
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Finally I've learned what ISO means. Thanks

  5. Ahmed Merrouche
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Wow ! What a nice way to explain i got so much informations from this simple well-explained video now i understand what is ISO and i"m ready to go in depth

  6. Manisha Ravikumar
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Tq for clear explaining

  7. Kevin Knight Photography
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    I prefer the term Vampire level over ISO. ISO is the people who set the standard not the variable itself.

  8. Pakistan Kabhi na bholo
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    really good video subscribe my channel

  9. Rzzun Show
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Thank you very much 😊

  10. Dickson Mwanga
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Very niceeeee

  11. wiltord_matusk nark
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    I always Use Iso 80 outdoors and indoors

  12. thirstytom
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    thank you

  13. Conqueso Guillen
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Thank you so much! I learned alot and I'll be checking out the rest of your videos. ❤📸

  14. Hakima France
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Very well explained, and I love the tone of your voice, reminds me of some of my teacher ! 😉

  15. Velasco 141414
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Really helpful! I studied what is ISO by myself then I compared this video to what I've learned. Very close but this video helped me to understand it more

  16. Angelo Estrada
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Thank you!

  17. Vris Agu
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Love this video. Great job
    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

  18. smuel98
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    nice chart of iso and lighting condition, took a screenshot of that to help me out a bit

  19. Fredrik Party
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Thank u so much

  20. AJAY50750
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    What is the deference between brightness and iso in camera

  21. Ahmad Mayahi
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    So helpful, thanks a lot.

  22. Sriza Aryal
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Great explanation. very simple. Easy to understand for amateur ….Thanks!

  23. Rahat official
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Useful

  24. Feroz Merchant
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Thank you – great video & explanation

  25. Eiyafcie Prashant
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    can anyone tell me what is ISO?

  26. Yung Bratt
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    BEST explanation of ISO I’ve seen thus far !! Great video 👍🏽

  27. praveen kumar Manukonda
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Very cool way of explaining such a important aspect of photography, very helpful, thanks

  28. Hosakoti, Pradeep
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Wonderful….i just follow you from now…

  29. Tsholofelo Ramosepele
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    This is how one educates.

  30. 813Productions
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Excellent explanation!

  31. thegraveltrap
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    seriously well put across, im really happy i have found your channel – subscribed and looking forward to working my way through your videos. Thanks!

  32. Hey Jude bebrnr
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    This is so helpful! Straight forward, and explained easy. I can't wait to get my Nikon d7100 so I can test my skills. Thank you for this.

  33. who else himself
    October 25, 2018 at 06:56

    Excellent information!! Thank you!

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