They lied to you: You shouldn’t always keep ISO as low as possible

Aug 3, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

They lied to you: You shouldn’t always keep ISO as low as possible

Aug 3, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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As a photographer, especially new, there’s one piece of advice you’ve probably heard a gazillion times: “Always take photos at the lowest ISO possible, typically ISO 100.” However, while seemingly harmless, this advice can limit you in so many situations and harm your photography instead of helping it. In this video, Simon d’Entremont debunks this common misconception and teaches you why keeping your ISO at 100 isn’t always a good idea.

[Related reading: What is ISO in photography? A complete guide to understanding ISO]

According to Simon, this misconception about ISO is the biggest reason for poor photos. He argues that, in fact, increasing your ISO could be the best decision you make for your photography. In all fairness, I also quite recently stopped keeping my ISO at the lowest possible setting whenever I can, and it expanded my possibilities and made me more efficient. But let’s dive in into what Simon says about it, he explains it way better than I would.

Understanding ISO and noise

As you probably already know, ISO impacts the brightness of your photo. The higher the ISO, the higher the sensor’s sensitivity to light. Simon says that the high ISO is not creating noise in your photo, it’s revealing it. Thus, a noisy image is not the result of a high ISO but rather a lack of light.

In the video, Simon uses two photos to demonstrate this: one taken at ISO 12800, properly exposed, and the other underexposed at ISO 1600. When raising the underexposed photo to the same level of exposure, he showed that it was noisier than the properly exposed one, even though it was taken at a much lower ISO.

Practical applications of high ISO

While a low ISO is beneficial in specific circumstances, such as long exposure shots, flash photography, and product or architecture photography, there are many scenarios where a high ISO can save the day. This is especially true when your subjects are moving or when the camera could move. Personally, I couldn’t imagine doing concert photography without high ISO.

In landscape photography, a low ISO may provide a great slow-motion effect for waterfalls. However, what about the leaves of the nearby trees often rustling in the wind? To freeze this action, Simon recommends using a higher ISO to balance the exposure. Other situations where high ISO shines include photographing moving waves, shooting handheld in less generous light, and capturing wildlife in motion.

Tips for using high ISO

Embracing a high ISO doesn’t mean ignoring image quality. Simon recommends that you refrain from excessive cropping, tone it down on the noise reduction software, and avoid underexposing photos to keep the ISO low because “you’ll fix it in post.” A notable tip he shares is to free yourself from the shackles of over-managing ISO – and embrace Auto ISO instead. Sounds terrifying, I know! But maybe give it a shot and see how it works for you.

Changing the narrative around high ISO

Simon’s perspective on ISO is a refreshing view on the conventional wisdom. By understanding the true nature of ISO, you can improve your photos, but also make your photographic experience more enjoyable and carefree. Think of high ISO not as a cardinal sin to be avoided at all costs, but as a useful tool that can greatly improve your shots in the right circumstances.

[The TRUTH about shooting at ISO 100 that the PROS know. via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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192 responses to “They lied to you: You shouldn’t always keep ISO as low as possible”

  1. barry Avatar
    barry

    gotta love it on Sony 500 iso is great 640ISO sucks might as well do ISO800 but 100 is the cleanest on the Sony!
    Proper exposure beats ISO Proper shutter speed beats blur Proper Stop beats DOF HIGH ISO is always the last adjustment in the chain for me!

  2. Daniel Kaniele Avatar
    Daniel Kaniele

    In my experience, Its always the newbies that are afraid to push the limits of their cameras and properly test it out BEFORE a job or event. I always find myself explaining to these photogs at events to max out their native (not boosted) but no, they underexpose thinking they’ll “fix it in post” and I’m shooting at the highest ISO my camera gives me for proper exposure and always walk away with better photos. A properly exposed high ISO photo will not be grainy, it may be “noisy” but THAT can be fixed in post, but not the grain that shows up from an underexposed image.

    1. Jason Tay Avatar
      Jason Tay

      Daniel Kaniele Depends. Many sensors especially ones made by Sony are iso invarient. Shooting at 100 boosting to 800 in post has little to no difference vs shooting at 800.

    2. Daniel Kaniele Avatar
      Daniel Kaniele

      Jason Tay But yet it only applies to a select group of cameras. Sounds cool, I can see where this would come in handy with my photography, but it didn’t yet exist when I was giving my advice. Two of the cameras I want is on the list that has the invariance, so looking forward to playing with that and pushing it to its limits. This webpage has a list – https://capturetheatlas.com/iso-invariance/

  3. James Thomas Avatar
    James Thomas

    The MOST important thing to me is dynamic range. So yes I always try to keep ISO as low as possible as the dynamic range goes progressively down as ISO goes up, period. Do I sometimes use high ISO, yes; but it’s ALWAYS a regrettable compromise for me.

    1. Clay William Avatar
      Clay William

      James Thomas what if the camera has a dual native iso?

    2. Clay William Avatar
      Clay William

      James Thomas I do performing arts photography and high iso is a necessity in most theatres.

    3. Gregg Pedder Avatar
      Gregg Pedder

      James Thomas do you always shoot high dynamic range scenes? Maybe you should try and improve your lighting situation instead?

    4. Jason Tay Avatar
      Jason Tay

      Clay William There’s no true dual native sensor yet. They may have a second circuit, but dual native suggests iso 100 and 3200 for example will have identical noise and dynamic range. At best most modern sensors only have 1/3 to 1/2 stop bump in dr at the second circuit.

    5. Homer Horowitz Avatar
      Homer Horowitz

      James Thomas fact: you’ll generally get more dynamic range out of an image shot at ISO 400. Then you will at ISO 100.

    6. Jonathan Carlaw Avatar
      Jonathan Carlaw

      Homer Horowitz Nope, best dynamic range for all 3 of the cameras I own is at base ISO (100 for 2 of them, 200 for the other).

    7. James Thomas Avatar
      James Thomas

      Homer Horowitz you couldn’t be more wrong. Take a look at the dynamic range of the camera I use vs ISO and educate yourself https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Nikon/D850—Measurements

    8. Alexander Birgel Avatar
      Alexander Birgel

      James Thomas one cannot be more wrong than wrong. Wrong is wrong. 🤓🤓🤓

    9. Homer Horowitz Avatar
      Homer Horowitz

      Both canon and Fujifilm have settingse that are intended to increase dynamic range. Canons is called highlight priority and will only work in ISOs over 200. I don’t remember what who fujifilm calls it but it also caps ISO above 400. Canons native iso for shooting log footage is 800.

      Funny to see the reactions on this thread. It’s like it offends you or something. Have any of you actually tested this in the field?

    10. Rachael Saltzman Avatar
      Rachael Saltzman

      Homer Horowitz Yep. Native iso and understanding gain are essential, and most photographers have never heard of either. It can be frustrating.

  4. Clay William Avatar
    Clay William

    My problem with auto iso is that no camera I’ve used is able to accurately expose high contrast scenes where the highlights don’t clip

    1. Mircea Maieru Avatar
      Mircea Maieru

      Clay William use exposure compensation to correct what camera choose….Auto ISO is fine.

    2. Clay William Avatar
      Clay William

      Mircea Maieru but they’re never consistent. I get much better results going full manual. Especially with the lights constantly changing and the performers constantly moving.

  5. Ben Sunne Avatar
    Ben Sunne

    Isn’t this the same guy in the topaz commercial? Makes sense he would say to not worry about keeping your iso low

  6. Sayard McQuade Avatar
    Sayard McQuade

    That’s kinda obvious

  7. Christian Earnshaw Avatar
    Christian Earnshaw

    No they didn’t lie.

  8. Guimarães Avatar
    Guimarães

    I already commented on this video on youtube, but I can add: we should keep the iso as low as possible, the iso should only be increased when the light conditions leave us no alternative; when we can’t use a tripod; when we are photographing a moving subject.

  9. Jay DeFehr Avatar
    Jay DeFehr

    Looks like a deliberate misinterpretation of “as low as possible” to mean “low no matter what”.

    1. Peter Avatar
      Peter

      Jay DeFehr click bait

  10. Rene van Dam Avatar
    Rene van Dam

    What nonsense. Always using the lowest possible ISO is not the same as underexposing a photo. Then you have used an ISO that is too low and not the lowest possible! I shoot a lot of indoor sports and set my shutter speed and aperture first. Then my ISO until I have a well-exposed photo. So I try to keep it as low as possible.

    1. Martin Fobian Avatar
      Martin Fobian

      Rene van Dam I agree👍

    2. Mario C. Castillion Avatar
      Mario C. Castillion

      Rene van Dam totally agree..and that is the way it’s done properly.

    3. Miguel Carones Avatar
      Miguel Carones

      Rene van Dam not the point of the video at all. He basically says dont be afraid to push your ISO up of the situation calls for it. Cameras nowadays do quite a good job at high ISOs with very reduced noise. He even states that if possible do indeed keep your ISO low, if not dont be afraid to boost it up

    4. Rene van Dam Avatar
      Rene van Dam

      Miguel Carones I know what the point of the video is, but it’s about the way it’s presented. if you can shoot at 1/1000, f2.8, ISO 1600, don’t shoot at 1/2000, f2.8, ISO 3200. I’m not lying to my students when I tell them to go for the lowest possible ISO value.

    5. Allan Caporuscio Avatar
      Allan Caporuscio

      Rene van Dam when I was shooting night racing on the short tracks under the crappy lighting I would use auto ISO with a little bit of + exposure compensation, leave my aperture at 2.8 and only adjust shutter speed whether I wanted motion blur or to freeze a car.

    6. Andrew Gynoceras Avatar
      Andrew Gynoceras

      Mario C. Castillion You are lying to everyone when you claim the proper way is the way you do it. Sorry, but that’s just bad old fashioned dogma.

    7. Melanie D'Artigo Avatar
      Melanie D’Artigo

      Rene van Dam that’s exactly what the video was saying, and he explains exactly why.

    8. Peter Leong Avatar
      Peter Leong

      Rene van Dam exactly.

    9. Mario C. Castillion Avatar
      Mario C. Castillion

      Andrew Gynoceras photography basics don’t change! They NEVER do!
      This has nothing to do with being “old-fashioned”!

      The proper way is to set the shutterspeed and aperture FIRST and your ISO at last.
      Or don’t you understand what the word “properly” means?
      Why am I being attacked for agreeing with someone else?!?!

      And you don’t have to lecture me about anything, because I too push the ISO to its limits, but there is a time and a place to do that.

    10. Mario C. Castillion Avatar
      Mario C. Castillion

      Rene van Dam exactly!!!!

    11. Andrew Gynoceras Avatar
      Andrew Gynoceras

      Mario C. Castillion Yes I understand what “properly” means. Like there’s a “proper” way to dress, to pray, to take a photo.
      It means conformity, which is the antithesis of creativity and individuality.

    12. Natalie Tee Avatar
      Natalie Tee

      Allan Caporuscio not quite total beginner but far from pro level here…

      If shutter, aperture, and ISO values are set, what does the excomp +/- change?

    13. Allan Caporuscio Avatar
      Allan Caporuscio

      Natalie Tee I shot in NEF and a little overexposed because of the lighting. It’s experience with crappy lighting

    14. Natalie Tee Avatar
      Natalie Tee

      Allan Caporuscio so what does changing exposure value +/- do?

    15. Allan Caporuscio Avatar
      Allan Caporuscio

      Natalie Tee you can over or under expose. It’s useful at times, your internal light meter in your camera wants to make everything grey, it’s up to you to read the scene and lighting.

    16. Natalie Tee Avatar
      Natalie Tee

      Allan Caporuscio thanks

  11. Paul Longoria Avatar
    Paul Longoria

    I’ve never heard that one should always use the lowest ISO Possible, where did you hear that???!

    1. Brian Perkins Avatar
      Brian Perkins

      Paul Longoria goes back to the “olden days” of film. Any film over 400 ISO was shocking.

  12. jsm Avatar
    jsm

    “keeping my ISO at the lowest possible setting whenever I can”
    You just don’t understand the “whenever I can” part.

  13. Jason MacDonald Avatar
    Jason MacDonald

    Set your ISO to what’s needed to get the photo

    I mostly shoot music gigs in dark venues…. I didn’t know there was an iso 100! 😂

    1. Ale Leiva Avatar
      Ale Leiva

      Jason MacDonald but the noise? 😭😭😭

    2. Peter Abou Gharib Avatar
      Peter Abou Gharib

      Ale Leiva gives the image character

    3. Ale Leiva Avatar
      Ale Leiva

      Peter Abou Gharib many Sony users criticize that. Noise is irrelevant when doing that kind of jobs, concert or press photography.

    4. Peter Abou Gharib Avatar
      Peter Abou Gharib

      Ale Leiva I’m a Sony user and I had that thinking but I’ve learned

    5. Jason MacDonald Avatar
      Jason MacDonald

      Ale Leiva noise is the easy part. It’s different coloured lights that are the worst!

    6. Peter Abou Gharib Avatar
      Peter Abou Gharib

      Jason MacDonald absolutely

  14. Sean Andersen Avatar
    Sean Andersen

    Of all the things people never Saud they never said this the most

  15. Will Chao Avatar
    Will Chao

    Dumbest article and that’s saying a lot

  16. Mark Adams Avatar
    Mark Adams

    Know your camera, and do what’s good for you. The biggest fault is these YouTubers who have been pushing nonsense on everyone for years to get views.

    1. Robert Elia Avatar
      Robert Elia

      Mark Adams these YouTubers are just a talking head when it comes to actual images. Nothing. Zero. And I dare anyone to prove me wrong. I have yet to see one and go oh wow. What an image I can be inspired. Not there. Why I switched brand. That’s my favorite

    2. Peter Terry Avatar
      Peter Terry

      Mark Adams people pushing nonsense about photography has been around way before YouTube

    3. George Hull Avatar
      George Hull

      Peter Terry And in far more places than youtube

    4. Andy Troughton Avatar
      Andy Troughton

      George Hullvery true, the teccy’s are my pet hate for talking garbage.

  17. Nicolas Honoré Avatar
    Nicolas Honoré

    nonsense and clickbait u kunt

  18. Fo SImons Avatar
    Fo SImons

    Low iso at 100 is very overrated.
    Most sensors give best results about iso 300.
    Fact.

  19. Alessandro Mancini Avatar
    Alessandro Mancini

    posate il fiasco…

  20. Tom Manning Avatar
    Tom Manning

    Huh… my Sony Nex 7 is my go to with manual Minolta lenses… I’m a bit afraid of auto ISO cause it goes way too high… I find my shots start to degrade above 800iso with natural light… is this just me being too liberal with my low light high movement shots like in Capoeira, or am I doing something horribly wrong… not a fan of my speedlight cause it’s a pig to get off the camera and HSS only works when it’s full facing…

  21. Steve Mellor Avatar
    Steve Mellor

    They didn’t lie to you; you should always keep ISO as low as possible. The problem is that “as low as possible” doesn’t mean “on the lowest setting.” It means on the lowest setting possible for the shot.

    1. Megan Raymond Avatar
      Megan Raymond

      Steve Mellor agreed!

    2. Carlos Correa Avatar
      Carlos Correa

      Steve MellorThat’s preference too. I keep my ISO constantly at 1100 and then adjust aperture and shutter speed, depending on light

    3. Tim White Avatar
      Tim White

      Steve Mellor not true, a lot of modern sensors have dual gain, so ISO 640 could be a lot, LOT cleaner than 400 with the other settings all exactly the same.

    4. Steve Mellor Avatar
      Steve Mellor

      Tim White Dual ISO makes a lot of sense on video when encoding from 14 bits to 8-10 bits as it tends to use a non-linear LUT that remaps the reference grey level. For photography it really doesn’t seem to have that much impact. I’m sure there are edge cases (like Astro perhaps?) but if we take a look at the A7IV as an example (a camera known for its low light capability), the dual ISO kicks in at 400 and it is really only at 320 you notice a difference. Anything lower and you’re still better off using the lowest ISO setting. Dual ISO isn’t really a cure-all for noise and the real benefit is that much higher ISOs are going to perform better than they otherwise would. Couple that with a complete lack of any universal standard and what your left with is a pretty incoherent rule of thumb; “Use the lowest setting, unless you have dual ISO that actually works in stills mode (because some don’t) and be aware that it’s probably only going to have an impact on one or two ISO settings and you’ll have to check the exact point of change for each camera because they’re all different, even if you buy the same brand all the time.”

      It is still more true to say that you should always use the lowest possible setting for the image you’re taking because 99.9 times out of 100, that is what you’ll be doing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that anyone teaching this as a rule of thumb would be irresponsible not to. The propensity for beginners to get the cheapest kit they can means that dual native ISO is still out of their reach for the most part, and they will get little benefit from learning about it before they are ready. Those of us who know about dual ISO… Well, I’m willing to bet they don’t need the rule of thumb in the first place.

    5. Tim White Avatar
      Tim White

      Steve Mellor yeah depends on the use case, but the difference is a bit bigger than that on A7iv, pretty big performance offset between 320 and 400, crossover more like 200. Certainly useful for astro like you suggest, you’d always want to be in the upper ISO band, and also common in wildlife photography for people to set the lowest possible ISO as the 2nd base (often auto ISO for wildlife).
      Complicated on Canon too as they can produce nasty banding on long exposures at low ISOs, but the bands are gone at higher ISO (read noise causing nasty lines that can’t be calibrated out as they’re not consistent). Important to know the specific gear inside out really as no rule (including being best to shoot at lowest ISO possible) works across the board.

    6. Tim White Avatar
      Tim White

      Steve Mellor I definitely agree with your last line. Concerningly hardly any people that work in camera shops where I am have even heard of dual ISO let alone understand it, so for beginners… 🤣

    7. Steve Mellor Avatar
      Steve Mellor

      Tim White I did a video where I was talking about this subject a little while ago, and it occurred to me that the reason I’d not fallen into the same trap of sticking to the base ISO is from shooting wildlife. As soon as your aperture and shutter speed become more important settings, you stop worrying about the ISO as much.

      But most people don’t do Astro or Wildlife, and even with those disciplines, you are still using the lowest ISO for the shot… the big caveat there is “for the shot” and that’s also going to be dependent on the discipline you’re using.

    8. Tim White Avatar
      Tim White

      Steve Mellor one downside. I have to remember so many different numbers when shooting astro. One body has 2nd base at 320, another 400, another 500 and another at 640 😂 All part of the fun I suppose

    9. Tim White Avatar
      Tim White

      Steve Mellor kinda, I do deliberately increase shutter speed to beyond what’s needed sometimes just to get ISO into 2nd base, but agree most people won’t understand/need these things to such an obsessive extent, only the real nit-pickers (which astro guys like myself commonly are it must be said)

    10. Terry Branham Avatar
      Terry Branham

      Steve Mellor exactly. I. Keep it at 100 when possible.
      When not I set to lowest possible after aperture and speed are at my desired settings.

    11. Sya Dan Awak Avatar
      Sya Dan Awak

      Steve Melloryou save me a click

    12. John Tucker Avatar
      John Tucker

      Steve Mellor 💯 THIS.

    13. Bruno Weichert Avatar
      Bruno Weichert

      Carlos Correa ISO near 1200 a little too high?!

    14. Carlos Correa Avatar
      Carlos Correa

      Bruno WeichertI have an AR7iv, so the shots are still clean. On my ar7ii, I’d keep my ISO at 800 on all shots.

    15. Carlos Correa Avatar
      Carlos Correa

      Bruno Weichertgives just the right amount of noise for my liking

    16. Tom Bernard Avatar
      Tom Bernard

      Sya Dan Awak not really, they completely missed the point of the video.

  22. Allan Caporuscio Avatar
    Allan Caporuscio

    You use the ISO that allows you the aperture and shutter speed necessary for the subject

    1. Natalie Tee Avatar
      Natalie Tee

      Allan Caporuscio that’s what I understood the video to mean when I watched it last week.

      I don’t understand why people are getting angry by this video?

  23. Steven Guest Avatar
    Steven Guest

    Similar argument with grain in film it adds character if it has to be 1600 or more so be it. I use a nikon f4 yashica 124g or my nikon d750.

  24. Athenkosi Qampa Avatar
    Athenkosi Qampa

    What’s IOS?

    1. Dave McDill Avatar
      Dave McDill

      Athenkosi Qampa IOS is the apple operating system.
      ISO is basically the light sensitivity of the camera sensor (in digital photography) it used to be the light sensitivity of the film used.
      Higher speed film or sensors need less light to expose a frame meaning you can freeze action in lower light using faster shutter speeds ISO100 is low sensitivity and is generally used in bright sunlight or studio lighting and the higher the number the faster the “film” each step up is 1 stop so you can balance aperture, shutter speed, and film speed to best suit your needs on the day.

    2. Athenkosi Qampa Avatar
      Athenkosi Qampa

      Dave McDill wow,thank you😭❣️

  25. Михаил Геллер Avatar
    Михаил Геллер

    Набор совершенно элементарных соображений, очевидных для любого начинающего.

  26. Steve Johnson Avatar
    Steve Johnson

    Plug your camera into this chart, and you may be surprised at what your “optimal” ISO is

    https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/RN_ADU.htm

    1. Jonathan Carlaw Avatar
      Jonathan Carlaw

      Steve Johnson Checked for all 3 cameras I own – in every case, the optimal ISO is the base (100 for 2, 200 for the third). Not surprised at all.

    2. Steve Johnson Avatar
      Steve Johnson

      Jonathan Carlaw Yeah, it generally is, but I think a lot of people will be surprised that many cameras rise up, and then dip back down and rise up again. So, for example, like in the case of the D850, ISO 400-600 is actually “better” than ISO 250-300. Pretty interesting.

      I think the overarching point is that you don’t have to be “afraid” of higher ISO’s with modern cameras and software.

    3. Jonathan Carlaw Avatar
      Jonathan Carlaw

      Steve Johnson Agreed – on my A7iv there is a dip at 400, making it the second best ISO for noise, but although this is partly repeated on DR, ISO 100-200 is still better than ISO 400 for DR.
      I tend to leave ISO on auto 100-12800 unless I’m in a studio environment, which is a long way from the numbers I’d have set on my camera when I started with an A200 many years ago!

    4. Steve Johnson Avatar
      Steve Johnson

      Jonathan Carlaw it’s definitely a whole new world!

    5. Jonathan Carlaw Avatar
      Jonathan Carlaw

      The biggest change for me when I switched to the A7iv from my old A900 was the combination of High ISO and improved dynamic range when shooting in a ‘normally lit’ room indoors – where previously I would have needed to use flash to get sufficient light (with all the associated problems of trying to keep the images looking ‘natural’), now I can just let the ISO climb and use the room lights – much quicker and easier, and the images look better than they did with flash.

    6. Craig Menzies Avatar
      Craig Menzies

      Steve Johnson seen this before on the Fuji that it is better to go to 500 rather than 250. Dual gain or some such thing.

  27. Stephen Hemenway Avatar
    Stephen Hemenway

    Keep it towards the “base ISO” for the individual camera for the least noise… and that’s almost always very close to the lowest ISO.

  28. Dave Lawson Avatar
    Dave Lawson

    Per the example in the article: Shoot multiple shots on a tripod at different shutter speeds then blend the running water from the slow layer over the forest from the fast one. I shoot at 200 ISO normally and up to 3200 at night, but rarely have issues with noise.

  29. Peter John Avatar
    Peter John

    Glad I didn’t fall for that bait!

  30. Orlando Andersson Avatar
    Orlando Andersson

    Yeye…. how about let ME decide what settings I WANT, been photographing for almost 2 decades! everyone has different taste and style. For most it takes a very long time to develop their own unique style.

    1. Mike Dorney Avatar
      Mike Dorney

      Orlando Andersson 🤣 take it easy, no one is forcing you to do anything

    2. Orlando Andersson Avatar
      Orlando Andersson

      Mike Dorney well this shit popped up on my feed, and I dont even know who that is and what that site is

  31. Eric Weber Avatar
    Eric Weber

    Best to just stay with the Kodachrome’s rated ASA 25 ISO 🙂

  32. Sam Beavin Avatar
    Sam Beavin

    THE worst info I’ve ever seen in one place at one time – ever.

  33. David M Neumann Avatar
    David M Neumann

    Wrongful

  34. Andrew Stiff Avatar
    Andrew Stiff

    “In landscape photography, a low ISO may provide a great slow-motion effect for waterfalls. However, what about the leaves of the nearby trees often rustling in the wind? To freeze this action, Simon recommends using a higher ISO to balance the exposure.”

    So your advice is when you’re trying to use a long exposure to produce the smooth looking water in a waterfall, instead just freeze the action because I said so, who cares about your vision for the shot.

    Yes we landscape photographers have to deal with wind all the time. A little blur in some leaves in the background is fine when they aren’t as critical vs. your subject.

    It’s all trade offs. I shoot the lowest ISO that I can. Sometimes that’s 100. Sometimes that’s 800. Sometimes that’s 3200. Sometimes I’ll give up a little extra depth of field for a lower ISO because it’s getting to where the additional noise is more detrimental to the shot than a little less DOF.

    1. Mike Willett Avatar
      Mike Willett

      Andrew Stiff – Its not the low ISO that creates the slow motion blur for water falls. Its the slow shuttter speed. Thats why we use ND filters mid day to get the results at 100 ISO

    2. Andrew Stiff Avatar
      Andrew Stiff

      Mike Willett I’m not sure what part of my post led you to believe I am unaware of that. I’m quoting the article where he suggests using high ISO to freeze the action. You can’t do that AND get the smooth water. Freezing the action goes completely against the goal when you’re wanting to smooth the water.

    3. Albert Lim Avatar
      Albert Lim

      Andrew Stiff only way is to merge photos with different exposures

  35. Peter Leong Avatar
    Peter Leong

    Dump article. Shooting low ISO do not create noise. It is when you underexpose at any ISO. Writer do not know what contributes to noise.

    1. Clay William Avatar
      Clay William

      Peter Leong did you actually read the article. Writer actually states just that.

    2. Clay William Avatar
      Clay William

      Peter Leong from the article ”
      As you probably already know, ISO impacts the brightness of your photo. The higher the ISO, the higher the sensor’s sensitivity to light. Simon says that the high ISO is not creating noise in your photo, it’s revealing it. Thus, a noisy image is not the result of a high ISO but rather a lack of light.

      In the video, Simon uses two photos to demonstrate this: one taken at ISO 12800, properly exposed, and the other underexposed at ISO 1600. When raising the underexposed photo to the same level of exposure, he showed that it was noisier than the properly exposed one, even though it was taken at a much lower ISO.”

  36. Tiziano Biella Avatar
    Tiziano Biella

    but if you can it helps a lot

  37. Alberto Pallotta Avatar
    Alberto Pallotta

    This article has not been written by an engineer 🤣🤣🤣

  38. Michael J Orf Avatar
    Michael J Orf

    Shannon Orf check out this article

  39. André M. Gautier Avatar
    André M. Gautier

    I took a pictures of clouds over the Alps last night, my zoom on 300 mm (SLR w APS-C), no tripod, so I did set the speed at 1/250, full opening, with image stabilization on.
    I had to set the ISO at 25’600, it was the lowest possible ISO !!! 😉😆
    The pic turned great !!!

  40. Roberto Rivera Avatar
    Roberto Rivera

    Alex Mckay Joshua Mcfarquhar this for yall

    1. Alex Mckay Avatar
      Alex Mckay

      Roberto Rivera only thing I didn’t know in this is “the noise was already there before raising the iso from bad exposure, so thank you. That was interesting to learn! Since I’m almost always on flash, I do like to keep my iso low but that’s in a very idea environment. I raise and lower my iso to achieve the desired brightness of my background when using flash..

    2. Roberto Rivera Avatar
      Roberto Rivera

      Alex Mckay yeah makes sense for flash photo. This is probably more key for general photo where people automatically think lowest iso=better

  41. Rostyslav Malenko Avatar
    Rostyslav Malenko

    I don’t get why “digital” people are chasing low noise. While the same time, “35 mm film” people take pictures on 3200 ISO film. :)
    Little-grained pictures look better than plastic digital photos. We still have analog brains, not digital :)

  42. David Tanaka Avatar
    David Tanaka

    Who is “They?” Seems to get blamed for a lot these days.

  43. Mike Lee Avatar
    Mike Lee

    Canon t5 always keep it at 100

    1. Martin Savoie Avatar
      Martin Savoie

      Mike Lee what is the T5 native iso?

    2. Mike Lee Avatar
      Mike Lee

      Martin Savoie 100

    3. Martin Savoie Avatar
      Martin Savoie

      Mike Lee and for astrophotographie 800

  44. Shad Young Avatar
    Shad Young

    This is chock full of logical fallacies and incredibly poor methodology. Noise is not as simple as it is made to seem. Most of it is actually caused by amplification circuitry. The quality of this circuitry is what will determine the “quality” of noise. Not all cameras work well at higher ISOs regardless of exposure.

    There is also this little thing called “Native”, which on many cameras is not 100, and can be as high as 800. One of my older Sony APS-C cameras has a native ISO of 200. It shoots best there… Some cameras have two native ISOs, like my newer Sonys.

    The right advice is to “keep the ISO as low as possible to achieve a proper exposure with the desired aperture and shutter speed effects”. Underexposed is underexposed, regardless of it being film or digital. It gets ugly fast.

  45. Dylan K. Williams Avatar
    Dylan K. Williams

    Yes. Oh yes. Louder! ISO 6400 we need some noise😂🤣

    When it comes to photography there’s other ways to turn up the light easily so ISO 100 or 200 it is. We don’t like noise over here🌈

  46. Mike Willett Avatar
    Mike Willett

    OMG what a MORON….so what causes noisy images…lack of light and not higher ISO…..Really….why would anyone raise ISO except for a lack of light…just love all the people trying to be the experts…..ISO is a tool…you raise it to obtain a shutter speed so that you can either hand hold the camera to not get a blurry photo… or to stop motion blur in a photo for a moving subject. Thats it. Now that we have super clean sensors that allow us to obtain usable images at 12800 and above ISO settings people tend to forget what its there for….Understand the triangle and you understand photography

    1. Andrew Gynoceras Avatar
      Andrew Gynoceras

      Mike Willett Try not to make yourself look foolish with a little research. Noise is mostly a result of underexposure

    2. Paolo Bubu Avatar
      Paolo Bubu

      Mike Willett well there’s plenty of people out there who will, given a maximum exposure time, underexpose shots fearing that higher ISO = more noise, so understanding what ISO really is definitely is not a bad thing

    3. Mike Willett Avatar
      Mike Willett

      Andrew Gynoceras – I have been a pro photographer for 20+ years and a photographer since 1974…on film….I understand light and the triangle when it comes to photography..NOISE is not necessarily due to underexposure…in fact often far from..You can have really decent ambient light but it its from a terrible light source. Example is mixed reception lighting with Tungsten and fluorescent light sources combined which creates horrendous noise in images. Use of a flash in these situations eliminates a lot of that noise and you can be at 6400-8000 ISO on a great sensor camera and see little to no noise until you crop past 100%. Underexposure will almost always create excessive noise in darks and shadows but I have shot plenty of images at 12800-16000 ISO at +1/3-2/3 over and no noise is present and I have shot numerous at 1/3-2/3 Under and raise the exposure inn post to see no excessive noise….Light source is the biggie….crapola light sources creates excessive noise in images

    4. Andrew Gynoceras Avatar
      Andrew Gynoceras

      Mike Willett Well that’s very different to what you said before. I guess you’ve taken my advice and done a little research since, kudos to you for that. 🙏

  47. Steve Maxfield Avatar
    Steve Maxfield

    Native ISO

    1. Christian Fiore Avatar
      Christian Fiore

      Steve Maxfield Sometimes, it’s hard to find that information. Other times, cameras have 2 native ISOs.

  48. Steve Connor Avatar
    Steve Connor

    200 when it’s sunny. 5000 indoors. Works for me.

  49. Rob Hafner Avatar
    Rob Hafner

    Sometimes punchy, contrasty ISO 100 doesn’t suit a given shot. Sometimes 800 or 1600 is the better choice, as long as your equipment can handle it, or your editing software can. 😉

    1. Christian Fiore Avatar
      Christian Fiore

      Rob Hafner Contrast is generally the same until you get to crazy high ISOs, like 12,800 and above. And you really don’t want to go there unless you have no other choice.

    2. Rob Hafner Avatar
      Rob Hafner

      Christian Fiore hmm. No. The nature of higher ISO is more light, less contrast. And no, I’d rather not use 12,800 although some cameras can pull it off nicely.

    3. Christian Fiore Avatar
      Christian Fiore

      Rob Hafner Other way around. You normally use high ISOs when you’re in situations that need more light, which tend to have less contrast. Here are a couple of comparisons in both lighting types in RAW (no processing), with different ISOs:

      Daylight:
      https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison?attr18=daylight&attr13_0=nikon_z8&attr13_1=nikon_z8&attr13_2=nikon_z8&attr13_3=nikon_z8&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=64&attr16_1=800&attr16_2=3200&attr16_3=12800&attr171_1=1&normalization=print&widget=1&x=-0.8840105670774915&y=0.16000398418760894

      Indoor light:
      https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison?attr18=lowlight&attr13_0=nikon_z8&attr13_1=nikon_z8&attr13_2=nikon_z8&attr13_3=nikon_z8&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=64&attr16_1=800&attr16_2=3200&attr16_3=12800&attr171_1=1&normalization=print&widget=1&x=-0.8840105670774915&y=0.16000398418760894

      You can see the contrast is the same between all images. I chose Nikon because they have the lowest native ISO of all FF manufacturers, 64. Contrast and color look the same at 64 as they do at 12,800, minus the noise.

  50. Sean Blair Avatar
    Sean Blair

    Oh yes you should

  51. Christine Veerkamp Avatar
    Christine Veerkamp

    Every Cam is different, Higher priced Models plus lenses Work better at Higher ISO. Budget dslr good in 100-800 range. Depends a Lot on the Sensor and Glass you use.even mobiles perform awesome on high ISO . Depends a Lot on what effect you want to have and what light Situation you have

  52. Iain Dickinson Avatar
    Iain Dickinson

    Keep the ISO as low as possible, but ensure that your shutter and aperture meets your needs for the shot in question. We are blessed with some seriously good cameras these days, and have been for several years. This means that some really high ISO images are not a problem. Know your camera, expose well and keep shooting.

  53. Rostyslav Malenko Avatar
    Rostyslav Malenko

    I don’t get why “digital” people are chasing low noise. While the same time, “35 mm film” people take pictures on 3200 ISO film. 🙂
    Little-grained pictures look better than plastic digital photos. We still have analog brains, not digital 🙂

    1. Peter Reber Avatar
      Peter Reber

      Rostyslav Malenko so much what the technical perfection evangelists say ignores the fact that our brains will naturally compensate or make allowances. Unless one switches that mechanism off deliberately.

  54. Evan Griffiths Avatar
    Evan Griffiths

    Nah I’m good, thanks though

  55. Scott Dodds Avatar
    Scott Dodds

    If I’m shooting in broad daylight with a big sensor camera for a photo to be distributed on the web there is no advantage to 100 ISO over 400 in terms of output, or sometimes even 800. Shoot the higher ISO and give yourself some flexibility in terms of shutter speed and aperture. Even if you push it too far, people won’t notice a little noise but they sure will notice a shot out of focus. This is called “the real world.” 😏

  56. Michael O'Driscoll Avatar
    Michael O’Driscoll

    It’s the Liberal elite trying to stop us enjoying our hard earned ISOs

  57. Pgr Young Avatar
    Pgr Young

    Sensor technology has evolved but these Youtubers had not followed the technological changes sadly.

    A yesteryear digital camera produces poor grainy images beyond 100-400. Today’s tech allows photographer to use ISO beyond 400 with a clean output.

    Also ISO plays major role in low light (not relevant in bright light unless trying to achieve long exposure with stacked ND filters), there are different application of ISO.

    Low light long exposure, low ISO is desireable. Astrography requires brightest settings, higher ISO may be required.

    1. Dino Steiner Avatar
      Dino Steiner

      Pgr Young well I don’t know about that yesteryear cameras produces poor grainy images beyond ISO 400. I have Pentax K10D and *Ist DL. Both camera produce perfectly fine images on ISO beyond 400. K10D have no problems being used at it’s maximal ISO of 1600

    2. Pgr Young Avatar
      Pgr Young

      Dino Steiner just an example my friend

  58. Julio Saenz Avatar
    Julio Saenz

    I use ISO according to the light I’m working with…..

  59. Just/INCREDIBLE Photography & Digital Artistic Illustrator Avatar
    Just/INCREDIBLE Photography & Digital Artistic Illustrator

    There’s no lies. Lower ISO reduces the noise and grain but Lower ISO is very useful for certain situations, subjects and other scenarios.

  60. Donald Giannatti Avatar
    Donald Giannatti

    “ISO impacts the brightness of the photo…”

    Lost me right there.

    This article borders on silly.

    1. Christian Fiore Avatar
      Christian Fiore

      Donald Giannatti It’s part of the exposure triangle. Of course it impacts brightness. 🤦

  61. Luca Bertolaso Avatar
    Luca Bertolaso

    Now camera’s are iso invariant… 8 years ago if you shoot underexposed 100 iso on a 5d mark 2 and push it in post-production you will destroy the filw. Compare to iso 320… Now thanks to sony sensors you can push 200 iso with 4 stop and get the same result as shoot at 3200 iso

  62. Brian Kurtz Avatar
    Brian Kurtz

    I don’t. All the Sony’s since the A7s2 essentially have the same ISO performance from 100 to 400 in all but the lowest light situations. So one of my outside presets is permanently set to ISO 400.

    For hand-held real estate interior shots I use Auto ISO from 100 to 6400 in A-Priority. I have to work fast and I when the camera has to come off the tripod for a fast handheld shot…I know that even at 6400 it will be well “above the bar” of acceptability in the eyes of the client.

    1. Christian Fiore Avatar
      Christian Fiore

      Brian Kurtz Yup, since most cameras use Sony sensors, they also work the same. Though the changeover point varies from 400 to 800, depending on the sensor.

  63. Peter Reber Avatar
    Peter Reber

    I regularly take pictures on my M50m2 at 3200 ISO and they look perfectly fine to me.

  64. Rebecca Daniels Avatar
    Rebecca Daniels

    Duh.

  65. Joseph Forbush Avatar
    Joseph Forbush

    I literally have been a photographer for less than a year and I know this guy is a complete buffoon. 😂🤦‍♂️

  66. Chris Ho Avatar
    Chris Ho

    Shawn Parmer I break the rules lol

  67. Edwin R Schottstaedt Avatar
    Edwin R Schottstaedt

    Use iso 64 Nikon hahaha

  68. John Fischer Avatar
    John Fischer

    Use the ISO that’s best suited for the situation. Use your brain

  69. Frank J. Papp Avatar
    Frank J. Papp

    The Velvia in my camera is stuck at ISO 50! 😉

  70. Ilja Hampel Avatar
    Ilja Hampel

    Clickbait

  71. Tony Graffio Avatar
    Tony Graffio

    Quindi per questo signore il rumore sarebbe presente sulla scena anzi che amplificato dai circuiti elettrici del sensore? 😆

  72. Sebastian Reiprich Avatar
    Sebastian Reiprich

    Since we are already discussing this right here I have another question. In case I have a sensor that is ISO invariant couldn’t it be a good idea in some cases to underexpose images a little bit to have a lower ISO an save some highlight details this way?

  73. Ramzi Khalileyh Avatar
    Ramzi Khalileyh

    Why not just use Auto ISO? I thought the new cameras are good at detecting the picture setting and adjust ISO accordingly? I have a Sony 6100 and keep Auto ISO turned on.

  74. Juanca YS Avatar
    Juanca YS

    This article is absurd

  75. John Schnupp Avatar
    John Schnupp

    There is one pink elephant in the room that many in the digital phtotography world don’t understand, and it is yet again perpetuated in this article… “The higher the ISO, the higher the sensor’s sensitivity to light.” This is 100% FALSE. ISO is a gain adjustment that is applied after the data read out of the sensor. I work in semiconductor manufacturing. Silicon’s sensitivity to light/photons is based on the physical properties of the silicon which is set from the moment the device is manufactured. On film the chemical properties do indeed make the film more sensitive to light but that is not the case in the digital world.

  76. Jonathan Bailey Avatar
    Jonathan Bailey

    The lowest iso can end with having an image looking plastic.

  77. Lee Freeman Avatar
    Lee Freeman

    The only time I don’t use ISO 100 as preferred is when doing real estate etc, as flash would need too much power. Usually use around ISO 400. Otherwise, as low as possible.

  78. Gary Yeowell Avatar
    Gary Yeowell

    More YouTube ‘experts’😂

  79. Rachael Saltzman Avatar
    Rachael Saltzman

    Headdesk. Now learn what native iso and gain are.

  80. Amerik Rekord Avatar
    Amerik Rekord

    all you have to do is shoot and create. 👍

  81. Olivier Staiger Avatar
    Olivier Staiger

    Nobody lies. People just share opinions and beliefs. Some people are just too gullible and follow whatever they’re told without testing, verifying other possibilities. Like , when I use crop sensor lens on full frame body. Or speedbooster on fullframe camera. Or EF-S lens on speedbooster or fullframe DSLR. Or use a speedbooster with an f/1.2 lens to go below f/1.0 … or shoot handheld video with 1120mm focal length … ” YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” 🤣😅😁

    1. Doug Griffin Avatar
      Doug Griffin

      Olivier Staiger Whatever works. I used to shoot at 1/15 f/1.2 on kodak 400 or tri-x film years ago at parties where light was low and the flash would have been intrusive. Everyone would say that is too slow, but I have the pics to prove otherwise.

  82. Philliam J Goldbergstein Avatar
    Philliam J Goldbergstein

    that’s….. not how it works

  83. Doug Griffin Avatar
    Doug Griffin

    I love Auto ISO. I almost always use manual shutter and aperature with intent. Having the camera manage the ISO if definitely freeing. Obviously still have to be aware of it, but in most situations the grain doensn’t become an issue anyway.

  84. Peter Voitikhov Avatar
    Peter Voitikhov

    Not a single thing said here was new or contradictory to common photography knowledge. Just BS clickbait.

  85. Brandt Jarno Avatar
    Brandt Jarno

    And for astro photos us a higer is but not to high iso :p

  86. Chris Bates Avatar
    Chris Bates

    A lot of assumptions in that title.

  87. Joe Isanan Avatar
    Joe Isanan

    I’m mainly a film shooter but shoot digital sometimes. I just bring over the exposure triangle I learned from film to digital. It seems to work fine for me. Couldn’t we just use the settings that suits the scene?

  88. Dave Stephenson Avatar
    Dave Stephenson

    ISO was typically related to the film being used. Now it really relates to the type of noise that would be preveailent in HIGH ISO settings. Most DSLRs can go to 6400 or slightly higher without adding significant noise to the photo. Back when we used film the higher the grain size was making it obvious when enlarging and printing your photo. Now most people can get away with murder on digital photos as they typically only take them to post them on a service so it really doesn’t matter what ISO you use as most computer screens are low resolution unless your using a MAC.

  89. Gary Longorio Avatar
    Gary Longorio

    I’m an old film photographer and with film lower ISO = lower grain. Digital is a who different game, film rules no longer apply.

  90. Shaun Ly Avatar
    Shaun Ly

    Set your shutter and aperture then auto ISO at 100 base. You’re welcome. Dumb article.

  91. Jay Ybarra Avatar
    Jay Ybarra

    Why is this controversial?

  92. Philip George Avatar
    Philip George

    Lots of people shouting about this? Make some noise, people? Lol.
    Seriously, in film days you would get grain in anything over 400. Nowadays, it is not so critical. Whatever works for you for the subject.

  93. Björn Wunderlich Avatar
    Björn Wunderlich

    i give a shit to iso. i shoot.

  94. Jimmy Morse Avatar
    Jimmy Morse

    I ramp mine up in bright sunlight to get a high shutter speed for action shots

  95. Ekon Kanté Avatar
    Ekon Kanté

    I decided a while back I don’t like Auto ISO. I’d say I keep my ISO at 640 and then adjust SS and AP. If it’s not working how I want I raise or lower the ISO and then repeat the process.

  96. Chris Wickersham Avatar
    Chris Wickersham

    There was a time when a low ISO on a digital camera was critical because of how noisy sensors were. We no longer live in that time, use it like a 3rd parameter now with a modern camera and don’t be afraid to explore the limits of what is possible.

    1. Tom Bernard Avatar
      Tom Bernard

      Chris Wickersham that is indeed the point of the video. People are still FAR too worried about noisy/grainy photos due to old habits, not realizing that higher ISOs can give them much more freedom these days without adding excessive noise.

  97. Tom Bernard Avatar
    Tom Bernard

    ITT: a bunch of people who apparently NEED to watch the video.

  98. Tomáš Peško Avatar
    Tomáš Peško

    Always stick as close as possible or if not on Native ISO, you’ll get the best dynamic range, on my fuji xt3 thats ISO 600 or 2000