When your digital camera’s image sensor is set to 100 ISO it needs a lot of light.
100 ISO works in bright sunlight but can cause blurry photos on cloudy days, in the shade or indoors if you are hand holding your camera.
The more light your image sensor needs the longer the exposure. Camera motion is caused by a shutter speed that is too slow to hand hold.
- Direct sunlight is harsh lighting. Shooting in the shade or on a cloudy day will have softer light.
- Zooming your lens out to telephoto your largest lens opening will be 5.6 on most zoom lenses.
- Indoor photographs taken at 100 ISO will be very blurry.
100 vs. 800 ISO
Here is a chart of the difference in shutter speed between 100 and 800 ISO in the shade.
100 ISO at 5.6 = Shutter Speed 1/15th of a second
200 ISO at 5.6 = Shutter Speed 1/30th of a second
400 ISO at 5.6 = Shutter Speed 1/60th of a second
800 ISO at 5.6 = Shutter Speed 1/125th of a second
Try taking a photo in the shade hand holding your camera at 100 and 800 ISO and zoom in on them on your computer to see which is the sharpest.
THE GOOD RANGE ON A CHEAP SET OF SPEAKERS
If you ever owned a cheap set of speakers you know they have a good range before the sound starts to break up when you turn the volume higher.
Both 100 and 800 ISO are in the good range. You may see more difference between 100 and 800 on a point and shoot camera which has a smaller image sensor than with a digital SLR with a larger image sensor.
- Make an 8×12 print of each and see if you can tell the difference in image noise.
- I took a photo of a tea cup and a rose using a tripod in the shade at 100 and 800 ISO to test the image noise difference.
- When I hand the images around in my workshops people can’t tell the difference.
- With a digital SLR camera which has a larger image sensor even 6400 looks great.
If your subject is moving using a lower ISO which needs a slower shutter speed may result in a blurred subject.
- There are many people online that say to only use low ISO settings. To them image noise is everything.
- They don’t understand the connection between ISO and shutter speed.
- I would rather have a higher ISO with more image noise than a blurred photo caused by a low ISO that needed a slow shutter speed.
I had a mother in one of my workshops that asked me if I had any advice for stopping action when photographing her kids. She was getting a lot of blur in the photographs of her 3 and 5 year old girl and boy, which is an active age.
I suggest she try using 800 ISO. She kind of freaked out. She said, No, I won’t do that, No, No.
I wondered why the reaction and asked her. She said she had read online an article by a guy who seemed very nice and said you should never set your camera above 200 ISO.
200 ISO might be great for a mountain photographed using a tripod but it is a bad ISO for active children.
TAKE THE ISO TEST
If you want to prove this for yourself take our ISO test to see how your digital cameras images look taken at different ISO settings. You will be surprised. Please let me know your experience and share this post with friends. Thank You.