What Is ISO In Photography?

ISO In Simple Words

ISO refers to how sensitive your camera is to light. It plays a crucial role in capturing images with the desired exposure and minimizing noise.

A lower ISO setting means the camera is less sensitive to light, while a higher ISO setting indicates increased sensitivity.

ISO and Exposure

ISO allows you to control the exposure of your photographs. By lowering the ISO, you can make your photo darker, while boosting the ISO will make it brighter.

When faced with a scenario where your photo appears dark, but you can't widen the Aperture or slow down your Shutter Speed, ISO steps in to help. ISO allows you to adjust your photo's exposure without introducing motion blur or altering your depth of field.

However, it's important to note that increasing the ISO comes with the risk of introducing noise into your photos, which brings us to the second point.

ISO and Noise

When using high ISO settings, such as 6000, it's likely that some degree of noise will be present in your photos. Noise appears as grainy or pixelated artifacts, reducing the overall quality of the image. 

On the other hand, setting your ISO to a lower value, like 100, helps eliminate noise and produces a cleaner, higher quality photo.

Below is a split photo. On the left side, you have low ISO, and on the right side, you have high ISO.


What is ISO and Noise

ISO, Noise and Emerging Technologies

Numerous photographers avoid using high ISO settings due to the fear of adding noise to their pictures. Yet, technology is advancing, and post-editing is continually improving.

While it might not be possible to eliminate all noise today, there's a possibility that in the next few years, your photos could become completely noise-free through advancements in technology.


It's better to have a well-exposed photo with some noise, which can be easily corrected during post-editing, than to end up with an unfocused image featuring unintended motion blur.

In Conclusion

Adjusting the ISO setting allows you to have control over both the exposure and noise levels in your photos.

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