Photography Tutorials For Beginners – ISO

The Photography Tutorials For Beginners series continues with a tutorial on ISO. In this video, you will learn what ISO is, what it means to have a slow or fast, large or small ISO, the trade-offs and how to get started practicing manual ISO control.

Transcription was done by’s automated transcription service which means it’s an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar, and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Hey, this is Scott, one kid with a storyteller with a camera talking about all the things photographers like you and I are thinking about in this video we’re going to be talking about ISO as some people call ISO, whatever you call it. It’s still ISO, so that’s what I’m calling it now. ISO used to be a film speed and it’s still is. If you have a film camera and you utilize film for your film camera, then yes you need to buy film with different ISS, but when it comes to digital, it has opened the doors for ISS that have never existed before in film, which means that now cameras can do even more than they have ever been able to do previously. Now this is the Nikon D eight 50 and it goes down to ISO 64 and goes all the way up to 25,600 that is an insanely high ISO that I would never use unless I was absolutely forced to.

It is what it is. I will say that I am using ISO 64 pretty much all the time when in the studio and in the on my Nikon Z six which also goes down to that, that low of an ISO. Right now I’m at ISO 400 for the video. I tried to stay as low as possible for video as well because well you’re learning what happens when you raise the ISO. ISO really is film speed and it could now could be considered sensor speed because it doesn’t seem thing except in just a digital versus non digital way. With film it actually meant how sensitive the silver Haylight was on the film, how sensitive it was to light. So the higher the ISO number, so 64 is quite low. Well there is 100 200 400 800 and so on. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive to light it was, which means with a higher ISO you’re, you might be able to go with faster shutter speeds and smaller or larger apertures, whatever it is that you required at the time.

Now with digital, you don’t have to change film. You can literally just hit a button chain, can move a dial or whatever it is on your camera and you can raise or lower the ISO on the fly, which means you have more control over your shutter speed and your aperture by giving up some ISO and with everything there’s trade offs. So let’s dive into that. So if you are outside your product and have a lower ISO 100 200 400 is quite typical, quite common outdoors, 400 used to be the sort of versatile indoor outdoor film speed. If you were going photographing indoors and you knew you’re going to be indoors with no flash, you’d most likely get an 800 speed ISO film. So taking that into consideration on your digital camera, you most likely will start around 200 or 400 when you’re doing outside photography, if you’re know you’re going to be inside and outside, you’re probably be at 400 most of the time.

And if you’re going to be inside, you’re probably between be between 800 and a thousand maybe even a little bit higher if absolutely necessary. Now if you’re using flash, of course you can lower that down, but I’m going to get into flash in a later video. So here’s what happens when you go from 64 to 25,600 or whatever it was that I just said a little while ago. When you raise the ISO and you’re letting the sensor or your film become more sensitive to light, you get more grain in your photograph. That means you’ll have smoother images with no sort of greeny distortion at all with lower ISO, which is why it’s good to always try to stay at a lower ISO. But if you have no choice but to raise your ISO, like if you’re photographing your child’s dance recital on stage, you know low lit auditorium and you can’t use flash, then you have no choice but to raise your ISO and now you’re going to have some great in your photos.

But that’s what you have to do in order to get the photo because otherwise if you have a lower ISO in low light, then you’re going to have to have a slower shutter speed in order to get that photo, which means you have to worry about shaking blur at that point. The tradeoff is give up shutter speed or gain some green. To me, I’d rather gain some green and cameras are getting much better at reducing noise. That comes from raising the ISO. There is one other trade off that comes with raising the ISO or lowering the ISO and that is battery life cameras because it is a digital adjustment. The higher the ISO, the more that the center has to work in order to get the photo because now it has to be more sensitive to light. However it’s going to drain the battery more because it has to do that.

So here is what I suggest. You’ve already done aperture priority, you’ve already done shutter priority, you’re getting a hang of how those work and letting your camera do auto ISO. Now is the time to set your camera to P mood program. Auto. What that’s going to let you do is it’s going to let your camera control the aperture and the camera control the shutter speed, but you can turn off auto ISO. Just get a hang for how that ISO button works on your camera and adjust it from lowest to highest. Get a feel for it, see how much noise green your camera creates that those different ISS get a feel for it, but let the camera do the work for the rest. At that point, you’ll have an understanding for shutter speed, for an aperture and for ISO, which means that you can then move into manual mode and that’s where it all comes together and you get to play with different exposures, figuring out what works best, different situations so that you get a better understanding for your camera, how the camera works, and how you can make better photographs with more control. If you like this video, click that subscribe button right now. I publish new videos every Monday and Thursday. You don’t want to miss it.

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