3.0. ISO – best ISO settings for your digital camera

(music) OK People, you now know everything about shutter speed and aperture. But what about the third of the three components you can set in your camera, that define the brightness of your image ISO is the rescuer! That helps you get the desired shutter speed or aperture, for the perfect image in case the available light is rather low. having said that, you would only call the ambulance in case of an emergency, right? And that´s exactly how you should use ISO! But what does ISO do? Different to the general opinion, ISO does not make your sensor more sensitive to light. that was only true back in the old days, When we had to put a film into our cameras In digital age, raising the ISO just amplifies the incoming light and artificially brightens the image. Similar to what you would do in your editing software. Now you wonder: why don´t we do that in software then? This is a rather complex, but very interesting question, that we will address in a more scientific approach much later in the course. all you need to know for now is, that a high ISO introduces image noise and therefore reduces image quality. So increasing your ISO should be your last reserve Especially on entry-level DSLR cameras. However, don´t be afraid to raise ISOif you need to. It may be your only option to capture some unforgettable moments. Most people don´t even care much about image noise, It´s the photographers that do. To give you an idea of how much noise you can expect from higher ISO settings, I have prepared a few comparison shots. You won´t see the difference too well on a smartphone,
but I promise you will on a bigger monitor. I have photographed an orchid on a gradient,
that fades from black all the way to white. In this shot at ISO 100, you don´t see any noise. Now what if we increase ISO to 6400? That introduces quite a bit of noise. Not so much in brighter, less uniform areas,
like the petals of the flowers But more so in the dark areas of our gradient. Let´s zoom in on the image to even better see the noise. These images are straight out of camera shot in RAW. Let´s see what happens when I apply
a noise reduction filter in my editing software. The image now has less noise, But it is still way more than the same shot at ISO 100 A quick tip:
don´t overdo the noise reduction filter. Because images start looking mushy pretty quick. Especially human skin, as you can see in this example. So use noise reduction with caution. It is very important to know how much noise
your camera creates at certain ISO levels. And how much noise you are willing to tolerate. Why?
Because depending on your camera, The noise level of the same ISO setting,
can be very different. Compare these two images as an example. Both were shot at ISO 6400 One of these cameras is rather entry level, The other one is high end. So know your camera,
and the noise level you find acceptable, To make sure you get the images you want. That´s a good opportunity to take a closer look. Because we see two different types of noise. There is luminance noise, where the BRIGHTNESS between neighbouring pixels is different, and then there is color noise, where there is also a color difference between those pixels. What is also different in cameras is the maximum ISO that is available. Some max out at ISO 6400, While other cameras that are specialized in low light,
can go up to 409000 While this image is not really great, For some applications that might make sense, or be your only option. So far so good, we have learned from this image,
that noise is most visible in dark uniform areas. So if you are out to shoot the fastest sports
in an evenly lit environment, For example on an overcast day, Don´t be afraid to increase ISO to get the desired shutter speed for freezing motion. But try to not necessarily raise ISO too much, If you are indoors, taking pics of your family
in front of the Christmas tree. In general you want to use the base ISO of your camera, which usually is 100. Of course you know that there are situations,
when this setting delivers less than perfect images. For example, you are shooting the wedding
of your best friend in a church. It is rather dark, and even though you used
the smalles possible f-stop, your shutter speed is really slow,
resulting in blurred images due to camera shake. So all you can do is to raise ISO to get a proper image. Another example is your kids playing outdoors on a dark winters day. or in the evening. you want the action to be tack sharp,
but a shutter speed of 1/500sec and leaving ISO at 100,
just doesn´t get you the desired image. Ramping up ISO is your only choice. If you are not sure what ISO to use,
or you need to be really fast, You could set your camera to Auto ISO. Many cameras do a pretty good job at this setting,
and some cameras even have awesome options for that I´ll get to that in a tips and tricks video
later in the course. But don´t use Auto-ISO all the time. Having control is usually better. If you now ask how we set our ISO, First we think about the shutter speed we need, Then we think about the aperture we want,
and set both values Usually in manual mode – but not always. You´ll learn about that very, very soon. Then we take a sample shot and check our display,
to see if ISO 100 is OK, Or if we rather need a higher ISO. And that´s it – nothing fancy going on in our daily routine. Back in the days we had to use a light meter. But luckily we hardly ever use it today,
thanks to the quick feedback we get from our display. To sum things up, shoot at ISO 100 whenever possible. But know your camera, and your tolerance to ISO noise, To choose the best setting when needed. Next we´ll talk about focussing – stay tuned. (music)

5 Replies to “3.0. ISO – best ISO settings for your digital camera”

  1. i really like your explaining, but your videos needs to be more often, not 1 video in a year. thank you for your effort in making these videos, they are really good.

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