What is ISO?

New age cameras can be pretty difficult to handle especially to those new to photography but still wants to take summer vacation pictures of their families, graduation pictures or pictures on camping trips maybe.

Until you decide to take the steps involved in learning more about photography, you are bound to keep making the same mistakes over and over.

For those who are still left in the dark, the earlier you know and understand that the secret to taking the perfect pictures on a camera lies in understanding some basic factors, the better your camera skill is about to get.  Being good at taking a photograph involves understanding the three elements of exposure; these are the shutter speed, Aperture and the ISO. Here in this article, you would learn all about the ISO, click here to learn about the Aperture and the Shutter speed.

What is ISO?

First and foremost, for who does not know, that the letters in “ISO” are pronounced individually and stands for the “International Organization of Standardization”. This is the organization that governs the standardization of camera sensors sensitivity rating, this standard enables you to take pictures on different cameras with confidence that the ISO values will be equal for all pictures as you have set.

ISO controls and determines how bright the photos you take will be. Increasing the ISO value increases the brightness of your photo and reducing the ISO value reduces the brightness of your photo. The ISO is responsible for determining the increase or decrease in the light sensitivity of the sensor.

How to use ISO?

Most cameras have the automatic mode as the default mode setting; this mode allows the camera to independently determine what settings to use as regards the environment where the picture is about the taken. Trust me, the cameras at times make the wrong decisions which lead you to think you take the worst photos in the world. Changing your camera automatic mode to a manual mode allows you to have control over the photo. Cameras have different ranges of ISO values or speeds; they could range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800 which is the highest. There is the base ISO which refers to the lowest value of ISO on your camera, it is usually the basic or starting value of the cameras ISO. Moving up from one ISO value to the other doubles your camera brightness. For example, a photo taken at an ISO value of 800 will be twice as bright as one taken at an ISO value of 400. The base ISO will give you the greatest image quality although it will not if taking pictures in a very dark environment.

Important Note

Most people make use of ISO to capture photos in a dark environment and make them appear brighter. As you know increasing your ISO increases the picture brightness, it could also have a side effect of making your photos lose detail by showing a lot of grain, so you should only use the ISO settings when the aperture and shutter speed settings are unable to give your pictures the desired brightness.

How to change ISO

Changing your ISO would definitely depend on the model of camera you are making use of as different models come with different methods. Some cameras have specialized buttons or knobs which can be pressed or tilted to choose the preferred ISO setting while some you have to press the menu button to locate the ISO settings and choose the most appropriate one for your picture. Changing the ISO setting or values is usually written in the camera manual, so make sure to read through if you have no idea how to do it.

How to choose an ISO

Choosing an ISO is totally dependent on the environment you are going to take your picture and what kind of picture you actually want to take. A higher ISO would not be bad for shooting for social media like Instagram as just a small size of the picture is going to be on display. Taking pictures under artificial light like in a night concert or club will be better off with a lower ISO as it gives more quality and does not require extra brightness. Using a higher ISO will be perfect for taking a picture of a moving object or person as it will allow for a little bit of motion freeze to get the best picture detail as possible.

Changing the values of your ISO should be last resort after you must have adjusted the aperture and the Shutter speed. The aperture controls how much light is allowed into the camera while the shutter speed determines how long the shutter stays open before closing. The ISO increases or decreases the brightness of your picture but unlike third-party editing apps, brightening via using the camera ISO gives more photo quality than the photo editing applications. Understanding these three elements of exposure enables you to have better control over the outcome of the pictures you take, in turn making you a pro cameraman.

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