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  • Writer's pictureRoberta Govoni

How to understand ISO in cameras

ISO controls how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. By increasing the sensor sensitivity you are able to shoot in darker conditions without a flash. Look for cameras that offer ISO 1600 or higher. Some cameras can shoot as high as ISO 25,000 – 102,000. Now, there is a trade-off to using a high ISO setting. Higher ISOs usually mean more noise (colored speckles) and grainier images.

  • Low ISO: ISO 25,50, 100.

    • Good for full sun, brighter situation.

  • Medium ISO: ISO 200, 400, 800.

    • Good for during the day: dull overcast sky or full open shade. Indoors: a well-lit situation or flash use.

  • High ISO: ISO 1000, 1600, 3200, 6400

    • Good for a darker situation, lowlight indoors or outdoors, no flash use.

      • Tech notes: Help maximize the available light.

  • Very High ISO: ISO 12500, 54000

    • Good for hand holding the camera in very low light.

      • Tech notes: use fast shutter speed to avoid blur.

It's important to use a tripod, to minimise the ISO of high ISO, to have crisper and clearer images.

Here a gallery of product photography, keeping a ISO of 100, to keep all the details clear and crisp.

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