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What Is ISO?

ISO refers to International Standards Organization. In photography, ISO defines sensitivity of a film or digital imaging device to light. It can be set by a photographer or automatically selected by a camera depending on aperture, shutter speed and lighting conditions. This sensitivity is measured in Decimal steps and commonly found in digital cameras as ISO 100-800 or ISO 400-1600.

How Does ISO Affect an Image?

ISO affects the quality of an image due to its ability to ensure that a digital image meets international standards. This means that every picture has to meet strict requirements in terms of resolution, color space, and color gamut.

ISO Value

ISO values are an important part of the camera and a manual setting that dictates the sensitivity of an image sensor in low-light or high-speed photography.

  • ISO 100 (low ISO)
  • ISO 200
  • ISO 400
  • ISO 800
  • ISO 1600
  • ISO 3200
  • ISO 6400 (high ISO)

Low vs High ISO

The higher the ISO is, the more sensitive it will be to light and more noise will be generated. This is why having a low ISO can be beneficial in some cases but not all as it is not always needed depending on the situation at hand.

If you are looking to buy a camera or lens, one of the first things you should do is research what ISO do you need to get the best results while shooting outdoors. If you are looking at buying lighting equipment, ISO will be important in matching your needs with the right type of light source.


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