Digital Camera ISO setting


TPF Noob!
Mar 14, 2006
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Do u ppl set the ISO setting manually or leave it in auto?
Because i noticed in dark place or during night time the camera will jack the ISO up to 200-400 which make the photo grainy.But then setting the ISO manually consume time esp when u want to take a rare shot of something and time is precious....

Whats the recommended ISO setting for night time photos?
I personally always set the ISO settings manually as I can then determine from that point what my 'average' shooting speed/aperture will be generally.
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but it entirely depends on what you are shooting in the dark. If for instance you are taken a night landscape with a tripod, it would probably be best to leave it at its lowest ISO, which will inturn allow one to increase the time the shutter is 'open' as well as increase the DOF. Yet, even with the lowest ISO, one will probably have grain problems. There is a feature on several cameras Custom Functions which will reduce this 'noise'.
Now for instance if you are trying to take a shot at night quickly, for instance 1/80s, bumping the ISO (way) up will help one to achieve that shutter speed (at a larger aperture), but the grain will probably be quite 'bad'. (Depending on ones outlook)

After spilling all that out, I would say if it was a 'quick snap' instance, I would set the ISO to 800 and hope for a quick enough shutter speed.

Hopefully that helps some :)
Welcome to TPF
Oh im referring to any kind of night shot...lets say a photo of the city in night my camera is not the professional one i cant set the DOF and shutter speed but i think i can indirectly do so by using the best shot.

When i used my previous camera i would set the ISO to 60 if lets say dinner at a resturant and 100 or 200 at, say a family shot at a christmas tree.If its still too dark it will be too bad as i want my photos to be clear and not grainy.

Do you recommend leaving it in Auto mode, because my camera have a function called Anti shake DSP that will only be activated in auto ISO mode...

one last thing is that when i view my 6 megapixel photos in the actual size and not the best viewed size in the Window Picture and Fax Viewer the photo look, well sort of painted...but when i resized them to say 640x640 it wont be visible....


I always use the lowest. (100-200, and maybe maybe 400).
If long times are the problem, you can consider buying a good tripod, or put your camera on a table or something like this...

If you set a slower ISO your photos should be less noisy, but depending on your lens, it may cause shutter speed to drop in low light situations, and then your photos may be blurred from camera shake.

The best way to find out what is going to work best for you and your camera is to take plenty of test shots when you have the time. Then you'll know what to do in tricky situations. You may find that the auto-ISO works pretty good in many common lighting situations.

I think the painted look you are talking about is just because you are viewing slightly soft, high res images at actual size or larger on the computer screen. It also may have something to do with in-camera image correction software, such as noise reduction. When you reduce the size of any image, it gets sharper. An out of focus photo may look sharp as a 4"x6" print, but if you blow it to 11"x14" it would be noticably soft.

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