Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuesday Tip....What is ISO?

If you are just switching over to shooting in manual from automatic, you may be wondering....what does ISO mean??  Well hopefully today's tutorial helps you and you are able to become more familiar with it!
The ISO on a digital camera is the same thing as 'film speed' on a film camera.  If you wanted to shoot with different film speeds on a film camera, you had to change your film to do so.  With digital camera's, you are able to change the ISO (film speed), and do it while never changing out your memory card.
The ISO determines how sensitive the image sensor is to light.  The lower your ISO, the better quality picture you are going to get.  The higher ISO you go, the more grainy or noisy your picture becomes.  On a bright sunshine-y day outdoors, you probably won't need to set your ISO higher than 200.  But when you start getting darker or are indoors without a flash with low light, you will need to set your ISO higher. 
This series of pictures of Lindsey shows you the difference in ISO settings.  They are all taken at a shutter speed of 1/100, and an f-stop of 2.8.  The sun had just set so it wasn't very bright out.
Starting with my ISO at 100:

and my ISO at 320
and my ISO at 500


and my ISO at 640

and my ISO at 1250

and at 1600

and another picture of Lindsey with the ISO at 1600 indoors with low light and no flash...  Notice this picture is a little more 'noisy'.  (It might be a little hard to tell here)


When your digital camera is in automatic mode, the ISO speed is chosen
for you to suit the level of light available at that particular time.
If you set your camera mode to "P" (program AE),  you can choose your own ISO and your camera will then set the shutter speed and aperture automatically.
In manual mode, to change the ISO setting on your SLR camera, press the ISO button then
use the up/down or left/right buttons to change the speed.
Hopefully this tip was helpful for some of you! 
have a great Tuesday!  And feel free to let me know if any of you have any photography/camera questions you would like to see answered on here!  (Or you may also email me privately)

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