The Best Ways to Utilize ISO

Have you ever thought “How to play with ISO?” If No, then you are at the correct Blog post. In this post, we will try to cover every point regarding the ‘ISO’.

First of all, what is ISO?
ISO stands for “International Standards Organisation” which means "How much Light is entering or how much light you/we are allowing the sensor". Most commonly it ranges from 100 to 3200  in normal phones but in some flagship phones, it may range from 50 to 6400. In Auto mode, it is normally at its least value(100 or 50) because it gives out the best image quality. This least value gives amazing quality images in daylight conditions or In good lighting conditions. But if we move towards low light, the scenario changes and the image quality becomes bad.

Photography Basics:-ISO range

So, Now we are clear about ISO, But When and What values of ISO we should use. For that, We have categorised based upon lighting conditions available.

#1:-Daylight or when Maximum light available 

For Daylight situations, The ISO should be as minimum as possible, in order to get maximum quality of the image. Since we have enough light in our surrounding so the sensor work will become less and the sensor will provide the best quality image.

"We can understand its concept from our life. Let's assume that my boss has given me 1 day to complete 10 tasks and my capacity is per day one task only. So, to complete my task I will struggle so much and I will complete my task somehow. But, The result would be “bad”. And if my boss provides me 10 tasks in 10 days then the result would be better."
Here,(Time=Light available) And (My capacity=Sensor). If we have enough light then the image quality would be better. This thing you will notice in darker conditions. But we will discuss in another section. What would happen if we increase ISO in daylight condition? The answer is simple, Quality will reduce and the image will contain lots of noise(Grains).

    ISO-100 Daylight condition
ISO-100 Daylight condition

 In both these images as you can see that It contains a lot of details with a good amount of brightness.

#2:-Moderate or Low Lighting available

A)Moderate Lighting available:-In this situation, we can adjust the ISO based on requirement. This situation can be related to the indoor lighting condition, In which we do have Lights but not Enough. If we take photos without adjusting the ISO then the image will turn out to be Darker. In order to balance the light, we will have to increase ISO. For these situations, the ISO could range in between 400 to 800. The image will be bright and some details will be available but not enough. The image will contain noise.

 At ISO-100

ISO-100 Indoor lightingISO-100 Indoor lighting

As you can see in these images that the teddy bear is visible and it contains a good amount of details too but the images are not bright.

At ISO-400

    ISO-400 Indoor lighting
ISO-400 Indoor lighting

 Now in these images, you can see some amount of noise is visible but some details are also there but the images are bit brighter compared to ISO-100.

At ISO-800

ISO-800 Indoor lighting
ISO-800 Indoor lighting

Now in these images, you can clearly see that the images are brighter but it contains lots of noise and the details are gone.

B)Low Lightning available:-In this situation, we have very low light available or maybe not available. This situation can be related to Night time when a moon is present to provide some light. If we take a photo without adjusting the ISO then We won’t be able to see a single object. But, if we increase ISO up to requirement then we will be able to see some object. For these situations, the ISO must be in between 1600 to 3200 and if more available then use maximum. The image will contain lots and lots of grains, but some objects will be visible but without any details.

ISO-3200 No LightingISO-3200 No Lighting

 This photo was taken in extreme dark situation where I have used flash of my phone because nothing was visible without flash. As you can see in both the images, there are no details and contains lots of noise.

 This means “We can’t use least ISO in Low lighting situations?” The answer is “NO”. We can use least ISO to get quality photos but for that, we have to adjust Shutter Speed, White Balance, Focus etc. with a proper tripod. This we will discuss in another post. But for now, I hope you are clear about ISO.

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