What is ISO? If you don't know, you're not alone. Photography terms can be a little confusing, and they can seem even more confusing when you're trying to learn them from a boring textbook or online course. But don't worry! You won't need either of those things to understand this simple guide to what ISO is and how it works. By the end, you'll have all the information you need—and none of the confusion—to take better photos with your digital camera in any light situation. So let's get started!


ISO only refers to digital cameras.


ISO is only relevant to digital cameras. The ISO setting on your digital camera refers to the sensitivity of its image sensor, which determines how much light it needs in order for you to get a correctly exposed image. That relationship doesn't exist with film, so you can't use it as a direct comparison when testing out different ISOs on your digital camera.


ISO is the measure of how sensitive a camera's sensor is to light.


ISO is the measure of how sensitive a camera's sensor is to light. The higher the number, the more sensitive it will be.

For example, if you are shooting at 100 ISO (base), your picture will be brighter than if you're shooting at 2500 ISO (base).


The higher the ISO, the more sensitive it is to light, so less light is needed for a good exposure.


The higher the ISO, the more sensitive it is to light. So, less light is needed for a good exposure.

ISO is a digital camera setting that can be adjusted and changed by the user based on the type of photo they want to take.


A low ISO is better for shooting with natural lighting and a high ISO is better for shooting indoors or at night.


So you want to know more about ISO? Great! Here are some basic facts:

  • Low ISO is better for shooting with natural lighting and high ISO is better for shooting indoors or at night.
  • High ISOs are best for shooting outdoor sports in bright sunlight, while low ISOs are best if you're taking photos of a friend's wedding reception.

Low ISO settings include 100 - 400, medium settings include 800 - 1600, and high settings include 3200 - 6400 and higher.


The ISO setting determines how sensitive the camera's sensor is to light. The lower the ISO, the less sensitive it is and vice versa. Each whole number below 100 puts you closer to being more sensitive (and therefore, darker) while each whole number above 100 puts you farther from being sensitive (and therefore, lighter).

For example: if your exposure time is 1 second at f/2 with an ISO of 200 then your exposure time will be double when you change it to 400 because the camera was twice as bright. You can also think of this as changing shutter speeds in relation to aperture settings since they both affect exposure times equally.


High ISO settings should be used in conjunction with other settings, such as aperture and shutter speed, to produce a balanced exposure in low light situations.


ISO is one of the settings that affects exposure. It's also a setting for digital cameras only, not film. But you can't set your camera to an ISO of 100 and expect it to expose an image like an old-school roll of film at 100 speed would have done. Think of ISO as the sensitivity level of your camera's sensor—the higher the number, the more sensitive it is and therefore able to capture images in low light situations with less noise (noise being grainy, unwanted visual artifacts). However, increasing your ISO also increases image noise; so while using high ISOs gives you greater flexibility when shooting in low light conditions (such as indoors), they may leave some undesirable artifacts behind on your final image if you don't have good post-processing software available or don't know how use it effectively.

If you're new to photography or just want a refresher on how all these technical terms work together with each other: keep reading! We'll break down what these different settings mean for both film photographers and digital photographers alike so no one gets left behind!


By increasing the ISO you can keep the shutter open longer without producing motion blur or allowing your image to become underexposed.


In photography, the ISO setting is how sensitive the camera's sensor is to light. The lower the number, the less sensitive it is.

If you're trying to capture moving objects (like people walking through a scene), increasing your ISO can help keep them sharp in an otherwise blurry photo. By keeping the shutter open longer, you can also let more light into your image, thus making it brighter—but this can make noise appear on your image too!

When photographing at night or in low-light conditions such as indoors without flash, using a high ISO like 1600+ will allow you more time to expose your shot so that others don't appear overly dark or have motion blur when they move around while being photographed.


Learning basic photography terms will help you take better photos.


Learning basic photography terms will help you understand how your camera works and how to use it for the best results.

ISO is an abbreviation for International Organization for Standardization. It’s a standard measurement used to determine the sensitivity of film or digital cameras to light, which directly affects the shutter speed, aperture, and other aspects of exposure.



ISO is an important part of photography, so it's essential to understand the concept if you want to take great pictures. Knowing how ISO works will allow you to control your camera better, and it will give you more flexibility with your settings in any situation. If you keep these tips in mind, taking photos at night or indoors should be a breeze!

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