Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Understanding ISO in Digital Camera

Understanding ISO in Digital Camera

From the eyes of an amateur photographer and self-taught like me, ISO is a measure of light sensitivity of the camera sensor. The higher the value of an ISO then the sensor will be more sensitive to light so that the time required or known by the shutter speed will be increasingly shorter or faster but that does not mean there's no consequences. 

By taking various pictures, it taught me that the lower the ISO, one which less sensitive to light, producing a smoother picture but will result in a slower shutter speed. On the contrary, higher ISO, that has a better sensitivity to light, will gives a better speed but but the resulting image will be more noisy But in the latest types of digital cameras, the ability to process due to the use of high ISO noise is a lot better than the old one so that the resulting image is becoming more subtle.

Here I took some pictures with some ISO variations with my Panasonic GF-1. From the picture above perhaps they doesn't really show the different because of the small resolution . But they really show some speed differences from low to high ISO. Then when I cropped it, the noise in the pictures will come up clearly like these pictures below.

Understanding ISO 100 to 400

At ISO 100-400 the pictures are still acceptable, although the noise starts to appear in 400.

Understanding ISO 800 to 1600

Let's see now. At ISO 800 the picture is getting noisier. But with a little touch of photoshop magic, I think we'll get a nicer picture. At 1600, the noise like got doubled. A compensation for getting a more faster speed. I think a noise reduction will help just like it did with 800.

Understanding ISO 100 to 3200

And here is my highest ISO, the 3200. Look how noisy it becomes! I purposely compare it with the lowest ISO 100 in the left so we can see how big the different between ISO 100 and 3200. I don't think noise reduction will help with this situation. It's like a picture with sands on it. Just try to avoid this highest ISO if you can. Try to stick between 100 to 800.

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