Elluminatography - The ISO

Ok, Well the 3 most confusing thing about capturing light is ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. We are going to look at all 3 in separate topic starting with the ISO. Every Digital camera to date has got ISO and usually allows you to control them manually. So what the heck is ISO right?

This is for those who never hold a film before. See the number 100, 200 etc..? Those are the ISO number It is not an acronym. It is a standard measuring system. Like SIRIM or something like that. To fully understand the ISO you got to study more on film technology. But I'll just briefly glance through it.

This image is greatly exaggerated. But yes ISO is a standard for film speed. Those dots you see on the picture is actually particles that are sensitive to light thus, the higher the ISO the sensitivity to light it is well, the downside is that it creates a lot of "noise" in image.

What the numbering stands for? Nothing. It is just a measurement but every measurement double each time. For example
100 ~ 200 ~ 400 ~ 800 ~ 1600 ~ 3200

Every recent camera (compact, dslr etc...) has got ISO at least of 3200 as their maximum. So what kind of shots it can take? It can take pretty well decent night shot without any blurness!

Shot in ISO 3200. Haha this one still slightly blur which totally can fix in photoshop. But there you have it...

It also can take better indoor picture.

But the downside of using High ISO in digital cameras is that your camera better be good to handle it. And given situation I don't really like using ISO because its simply rubbish. Here's a shot taken with ISO3200 inside a restaurant.

Ok for some technical data... By using high ISO your camera sends more power to the sensor and thus enableit to be super sensitive to light but they create more heat and heat = noise in this case. And Here's some comparison shots of 100% crop of difference between ISO

Notice the amount of grains there is on ISO3200 comparing to 100? Oh just in case you are wondering. I took the same shot from the restaurant picture and zoom in 100% on the cups and takeaway box on the display rack like on the top left side of the picture.

Here's 100% crop on the earlier image. The lights are slightly overexposed but that's another story :p

So unless you want your picture to look like noisy, Please do not use an High ISO setting unnecessarily (Like outdooors etc) The last pic is where I turn of my camera function of Noise Reduction.

It also also good to note that not every camera handles noise well.

This was shot at ISO3200 as well but it turned out to be some kind of watercolor image. LOL

So there you have it! A simple illustration of how ISO works and you can try to crank up yours and see what result it gives. Usually it will give you some very satisfying result in dark and low light places.

Go figure!


Joleen said...

nice post , easy to understand =)

Skolblog said...

Really nice explanation bout the ISO. People tends to get confused a lot. Nice article dude :D Keep it up coming (^__^)v