Shot by Shot Adjustable ISO
Is a wonderful thing in a digital camera
Consider film – a roll was what it was – forever
But you must use it properly (many don’t)
Or suffer a loss in image quality
Washington National Cathedral
Big Mistake – ISO 1600 on a camera where 1600 was max ISO
With camera on tripod, a faster shutter speed wasn’t needed
So why 1600? I plain forgot to reset the ISO. Dumb!
I meant to be shooting at ISO200
At least I got the composition I wanted 😉
On this Nikon D70, ISO1600 was its limit – up in the stratosphere noise-wise. Got set there during an experiment and then never reset – for the rest of the day! Taught me a real lesson. 😦
Before & after
Noise reduction can reduce (not eliminate) noise
BUT – at a loss of detail & image quality
No excuse. A dumb mistake. While the final image doesn’t look terrible, it could have been a lot better.
and at 100% – (click & see the difference)
Be a quiet photographer –
don’t make noisy images.
Never use an ISO above your camera’s native ISO** unless you –
Need a faster shutter speed than is otherwise possible or
You want to intentionally introduce noise
Never use an ISO below your camera’s native ISO** unless you –
Need a slower shutter speed (typically twice as long) or
Want to “smooth” your image (may not be perceptible)
** Native ISO – without getting too technical, this is the default ISO of your camera
It’s the ISO that gives the best image quality (IQ) for your camera
It’s part of the camera’s design
It’s not the same for all cameras
Most users know that they can raise the ISO but not all realize that lower values are also possible on most cameras
Native on my D300 is 200 but it can be lowered to 100
Higher ISO’s introduce noise
Lower ISO’s result in some loss of detail (usually slight)
think of its effect as similar to that of a typical blurring noise reduction program
Image Quality is precious. It cost you big $$. Why would you throw it away?
Today’s tip is based on examining the EXIF data of lots of photos over the years.
EXIF that routinely shows ISO values above the default –
often even for a well-lit & basically still subject
Resulting in shutter speeds of 1/1000 when 1/100 was plenty
Why? Don’t do that!
Sure, today’s camera’s ISO can go where no others have gone before.
But still – degraded IQ is degraded IQ.
Don’t develop bad habits.
Leave the ISO at the default value until
you know a change is needed
and then immediately reset it to default (or I guarantee you’ll forget – do as I say & not as I did)
Might be of interest.
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