ISO questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Kwak12r, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Kwak12r

    Kwak12r TPF Noob!

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    I have what is probably a very basic question but has caused me confusion.
    With all the talk about newer cameras having very high ISO settings, most of the discussions seem to be about how well they perform in low light situations.

    I think that the higher the ISO setting, the faster the image is to develop, kind of like film. When you shoot sports or racing, you always wanted to get higher ISO film. If the same is true in the digital world, wouldn't you want lower ISO settings for low light situations?
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    No, you would use a higher ISO because it makes the image sensor more sensitive to light and you can still catch the action with reasonably fast shutter speeds, but the image is more prone to noise.

    Lower ISO settings means the image sensor is less sensitive to light but you get much less noise.
     
  3. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    No, ISO is the measurement of the amplification of the signal off the chip. It means that the sensor is more lightsensitive. You answered your own question

    "When you shoot sports or racing, you always wanted to get higher ISO film. If the same is true in the digital world, wouldn't you want lower ISO settings for low light situations?"

    Faster ISO is for situations where you need a faster shutter speed. You need a faster shutter speed for low light, and sports.
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. [JR]

    [JR] TPF Noob!

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    Digital cameras use "ISO equivalent", basically, it boosts the sensor's sensitivity so that you need less light to excite the individual pixels.

    That's why you shoot with a higher ISO indoors. P&S cameras typically have low ISOs, and those with high ISOs typically produce very noisy images.

    However, with my D80 I find that even at ISO 1250, images are very usable :)
     
  6. ully

    ully TPF Noob!

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    JR is right. Digital cameras are iso equivalents. ISO stands for International Standards Organization and the term replaced ASA which was a standard for film speed developed a long time ago.
     
  7. Guitarfool5931@yahoo

    Guitarfool5931@yahoo TPF Noob!

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    So are all these new "extremely high ISO" settings really that great if it just adds more noise to each picture? I think the highest my camera goes to now is 3200. I've heard of 6400 on some of the higher end/newer cameras.
     
  8. Graphoto

    Graphoto TPF Noob!

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    Just remember that the higher the ISO you go, the more noise you will see in your images. Fast lens will help a lot.
     
  9. xposurepro

    xposurepro TPF Noob!

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    This means that when your camera says it has a range of ISO 100-3200 .. what it really means is that the camera is ISO 100 and all other settings are amplifications of this ISO ... currently camera sensors only have one true ISO speed. I personally never raise my ISO beyond the true ISO unless it is an absolute last resort but that just my personal perfectionism attitude. Many camera models can shoot up to ISO 800 before an amateur can start seeing the noise. Of course there are other factors that can add to the noise but ISO is normally the main reason.
    For the most part, manufactures who are boasting about ISO speeds of 6400 are simply looking at it as a marketing strategy to sell cameras to the general consumer .. ISO 6400 is not going to help any professional photographer. What the manufactures need to be doing is developing a multiple ISO sensor .. rather than using amplification like they do now .. theoretically this could eliminate noise and benefit the photography industry on a large scale.
     
  10. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually they are better than their old film equivalents. When you shot say ISO 1600 film it was very grainy but, now with digital the noise or grain isnt nearly as bad. There were and are ways to get around using higher ISO films but, they were a pain in the rear to do. I used to cook 400ISO film so it behaved like a much higher one. It is common to do that for astrophotgraphy. The rpoblem is the film losses alot of its shelf life.
     
  11. feRRari4756

    feRRari4756 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I can vouch for what Joves said.

    Just tonight, I took a lot of ice skating pics at 3200 ISO on my Canon 30D. Even though its not a full frame, it performed AMAZING with very little noise. After a run through noiseware, theyre perfect. No noise at all and still very sharp.
     

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