If you have been shopping for a new camera, then you may have come across something called: ISO. If you’re not sure what this is, let me explain. ISO refers to a camera’s sensitivity to light. It dictates how sensitive your camera is to light. (Just so you know, ISO stands for ‘International standards organization’).
In theory, the higher the ISO on a camera, the more sensitive it is to light. The sensitivity can have a huge impact on the pictures’ exposure, and therefore effect its outcome.
So the higher the ISO the better, right?
Well in theory, yes, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes ISO’s can be much too high for the picture in question, and they can come out too ‘Noisy’. This means that if you want to take a picture of a landscape, the shot will look quite grainy, and that’s never a good thing. If you take a picture with a camera that has a low ISO, or is on a low setting, then you should see more color. It all depends on what it is you’re taking a picture of, and what effect you are looking for.
Aren’t camera’s advanced enough to take a good photograph?
Modern day cameras are very advanced, so much so that they can do things that photographers just 20 years ago could only dream of. The fact of the matter is however, that you cannot rely on even the most expensive and advanced camera, to give you the perfect shot every time. This means that you will need to adjust the ISO settings when you take a variety of pictures.
But does it really matter which ISO setting I use?
If you’re not bothered about the quality of the photographs that you take, then no, it doesn’t matter at all. On the other hand, if you do care about the quality, then the ISO will be very important to you. If for example, you want to take a picture of a subject that isn’t still, then you will need a high ISO if you’re trying to make the motion freeze.
If you’re taking a photograph that doesn’t need a large depth, then you can use a lower ISO as it will compensate for the slow speed of the shutter.
Should I buy a camera with a high or low ISO?
If you would like to buy a camera that has either a high or low ISO, you need to think about the photographs you’re going to be taking. Artificial light, camera stabilization, and no depth are ideal for a low ISO. Motion freezing, and a retro look are ideal situations in which to use a high ISO. If you want to limit the kind of shot that you take, then buy a camera that either comes with a high or low ISO. On the other hand, if you wish to take a variety of styles, and you want the freedom to explore photography, then it may be worth your while opting for a camera that will allow you to change the ISO settings
There are many different ISO options available to you, if you’re not sure what you’ll need, then think about buying a camera with the capacity to change the ISO from low to high, and vice versa. Knowing what settings to use and when, could make the difference between a good photograph, and a great one.