If you have used a digital camera, you have probably heard of the term “ISO”. But what is ISO in photography? To break it down in the simplest terms, ISO is the camera’s level of sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the greater the sensitivity of the camera, and the lower the ISO, the less sensitive the camera is to light. The component inside your camera that can change sensitivity is called “sensor” or “image sensor”. This is the most expensive part of a camera and is vital for gathering light and transforming it into images.
Each camera has a “Base ISO,” which is the lowest ISO setting on the camera. The lowest setting is the best one to use if you want to get high-resolution images. However, that might not be possible if you are working in areas with low light. ISO numbers start at 100-200 which is the “Base ISO” and increase in geometric progression. When you increase the ISO sensitivity, it doubles the sensitivity of the image sensor which means that ISO 200 is twofold more sensitive that ISO 100.
When to Use Low ISO?
When there is sufficient light, you should stick to the lowest ISO setting on your camera, it will retain maximum detail, and you will have high-quality pictures. However, if you are shooting pictures in a dark environment, or if you are using a tripod, you might need to change the ISO of your camera. If you are shooting pictures indoor, and there isn’t sufficient light, you should increase the ISO to be able to quickly capture images. If you have no flash, and you are shooting indoors, increase your ISO to a higher number to freeze motion.
Sylwia Majtczak is an avid photographer and has taken several beautiful pictures.