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Thread started 28 Jul 2009 (Tuesday) 22:51
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someone point me the way to selecting ISO

 
eatonjb
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Jul 28, 2009 22:51 |  #1

so I have a 50D, and I understand a little about ISO, but not as much as I wish

in the outdoors when it's bright I have been using 100, but I think there might be times when I need to bump up to 200 or more, but I am not sure.. I have not been successful on finding videos or documents on really what to look at when i select an ISO setting.. cranking up the 50d to 1600 or even 3200 works great to get fast shutter, but the noise is crazy.

TIA
e..b


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S.n.a.f.u.
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Jul 28, 2009 22:56 |  #2

understanding exposure by bryan peterson would be a worthy investment it is an awesome book that lays out iso aperture and shutter speed in easy to understand terms and makes it easy to understand how they all relate to one another


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S.n.a.f.u.
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Jul 28, 2009 23:00 |  #3

http://www.amazon.com …oks&qid=1248839​938&sr=8-3 (external link)

and

http://www.amazon.com …oks&qid=1248839​977&sr=8-5 (external link)

both worthy to add to any library IMO


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Photon ­ Phil
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Jul 28, 2009 23:01 |  #4

Super short: Keep your ISO comfortably low so as to keep you shutter speed and aperture where you want them to be for the purpose of capturing motion and/or depth of field. To me ISO is the most flexible of the triangle of exposure.

And read Understanding Exposure but do not try to duplicate his sample shot settings on a crop cam like the 50D as they are from film shots.


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Jul 28, 2009 23:06 |  #5

eatonjb wrote in post #8360462 (external link)
so I have a 50D, and I understand a little about ISO, but not as much as I wish

in the outdoors when it's bright I have been using 100, but I think there might be times when I need to bump up to 200 or more, but I am not sure.. I have not been successful on finding videos or documents on really what to look at when i select an ISO setting.. cranking up the 50d to 1600 or even 3200 works great to get fast shutter, but the noise is crazy.

TIA
e..b

I usually shoot @ 400 just to help with clarity even when its bright out. Im not as solid as some when holding the camera and I really cant tell any difference in 400 and 100 with my eyes anyway. 1600 is the cutoff for me and when I use it I know there will be a little softness after I pp the noise out, but its not bad at all. Use DPP only when converting your RAW's and it will help greatly with the noise as compared to other programs.... then you can adjust the Jpeg in whatever software you want.


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cbacarella
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Jul 28, 2009 23:18 |  #6

Well Eaton, as you can see there are many great answers on this board already.

I can however give you some basic ISO knowledge that i have which helps me when i shoot.

So you have figured out that low ISO has the least amount of noise but is not good in low light conditions. You have also figured out that high ISO creates lots more noise but helps with a faster shutter speed in low light.

The key is to find the balancing point between shutter speed, aperture, and your iso so that your pictures still look sharp and arnt very very noisy!

Since you already know the basics of how pics look with HIGH ISO and how they look with LOW ISO you can judge that any ISO level in between will be more or less noise with your picture. Its just up to you to find the balance between ISO, Shutter, and Aperture to get the picture you want! Experiment a little with it, you will find your comfort zone and know how much noise is involved in pics with different ISO levels.


.Chris.

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hollis_f
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Jul 29, 2009 05:47 |  #7

The rule is - use whatever ISO is needed to prevent a shot being unintentionally blurred by movement - of either the camera or the subject. You can do something about noise in an image. If it's blurred there's nothing you can do to rescue it.

Personally, I only ever use ISO 100 when I want intentional blurring (e.g. long exposure of a waterfall). Otherwise I use 200 or 400 most of the time. But I don't worry about going up to 800 and I'll use 1600 if needed.


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Daniel ­ Browning
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Jul 29, 2009 06:26 |  #8

The short answer is "ETTR then ITTR". In other words, use the highest ISO you can without blowing important highlights. High ISO reduces noise.

Here's the long answer. One often reads that high ISO causes noise. The correct meaning of that phrase is this: "At low ISO, I use normal exposures. At high ISO, I use severe underexposure. The underexposure causes a tremendous increase in noise. Increasing the ISO helps to reduce that noise a little, but it's not nearly enough to make up for all the noise caused by underexposure." There is one exception to this: going from ISO 100 to ISO 200 decreases noise so much that it *almost* makes up for the underexposure (it only has about 1/3 stop more noise). That is why ISO 100 and ISO 200 have very similar noise levels.

ETTR (Expose To The Right) means to increase exposure (f-number, shutter speed, etc.) as much as possible without blowing the highlights you care about. ETTR is the best technique for reducing noise. A single stop of exposure (e.g. f/2.8 instead of f/4) can reduce noise a lot more than even 2 stops of ISO (e.g. 400 -> 1600). That doesn't mean ISO is unimportant, just that exposure is more important.

Every camera has different performance at each ISO. The way your 50D works using "1 stop" ISO settings (not 1/3-stop) is that higher ISO always have less noise than lower ISO until you get to 3200. In other words: ISO 200 has less noise than 100. 400 has less noise than 200. And so on and so forth until you get to 3200. At 3200 and above, the rules change. 3200 has the same noise as 1600. 6400 has the same noise as 1600. 12800 has the same noise as 1600. Therefore, ISO 1600 is the highest ISO that you should use.

The only reason to ever go above 1600 is for convenience: it's necessary for JPEG (if you don't shoot raw), it gives you a brighter review image on the LCD, makes it easier to use autoexposure, flash metering, you don't have to make adjustments in post processing, etc.

But there is a cost associated with high ISO. That cost is clipped highlights. For every doubling of ISO, one stop of highlights are lost. That is why I advise folks to use ITTR: ISO To The Right. That is, increase ISO as much as you can on every shot, without blowing important highlights. But don't go over 1600, as I said above, unless you need the convenience features.

I hope that wasn't too much technobabble.

Kind regards,


Daniel

  
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MarKap77
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Jul 29, 2009 08:59 as a reply to  @ Daniel Browning's post |  #9

Daniel,

Your advice is completely contrary to everything I have ever learned about ISO and exposures. Care to give a reference to some book or manual or something to back up your statements?

I also found several factual errors in your post. For instance, the Canon 50D has 1/3 stop increments of ISO. For instance, 100, 125, 160 and 200. Now, I am aware that electronically, the interim steps are some sort of fudging of the actual ISO, but the fact remains that the settings are available and mimic a film with an ASA rating equal to those numbers.

Lastly, my practical experience tells me that your assertion that 1600 ISO has the lowest noise is incorrect. Any image I have ever taken with any digital camera, as you increase the ISO, you increase the noise. Maybe not by noticeable amounts, but certainly any image shot at 100 ISO will have less noise than an image shot at 1600 ISO.

Please, offer a reference to backup your statements so that we can all learn from this.


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MikeFairbanks
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Jul 29, 2009 09:17 |  #10

To put it into one sentence: ISO is adjustable so that you can keep your shutter speeds fast in low light.


Thank you. bw!

  
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egordon99
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Jul 29, 2009 09:29 |  #11

hollis_f wrote in post #8361625 (external link)
The rule is - use whatever ISO is needed to prevent a shot being unintentionally blurred by movement - of either the camera or the subject. You can do something about noise in an image. If it's blurred there's nothing you can do to rescue it.

^ +1 bw!




  
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Jul 29, 2009 09:38 |  #12

I'm with MarKap77 re: Daniel Browning's post. I think many photographers would agree that, for any given ISO, exposing to the right will result in lower noise for that ISO setting compared to using an "average" exposure or underexposing. I don't think many would agree that increasing the ISO (say using ISO 400) combined with exposing to the right will result in lower noise compared to using a lower ISO setting (say ISO 200) combined with exposing to the right.


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ScullenCrossBones
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Jul 29, 2009 09:40 |  #13

Daniel Browning wrote in post #8361715 (external link)
The short answer is "ETTR then ITTR". In other words, use the highest ISO you can without blowing important highlights. High ISO reduces noise.

Here's the long answer. One often reads that high ISO causes noise. The correct meaning of that phrase is this: "At low ISO, I use normal exposures. At high ISO, I use severe underexposure. The underexposure causes a tremendous increase in noise. Increasing the ISO helps to reduce that noise a little, but it's not nearly enough to make up for all the noise caused by underexposure." There is one exception to this: going from ISO 100 to ISO 200 decreases noise so much that it *almost* makes up for the underexposure (it only has about 1/3 stop more noise). That is why ISO 100 and ISO 200 have very similar noise levels.

ETTR (Expose To The Right) means to increase exposure (f-number, shutter speed, etc.) as much as possible without blowing the highlights you care about. ETTR is the best technique for reducing noise. A single stop of exposure (e.g. f/2.8 instead of f/4) can reduce noise a lot more than even 2 stops of ISO (e.g. 400 -> 1600). That doesn't mean ISO is unimportant, just that exposure is more important.

Every camera has different performance at each ISO. The way your 50D works using "1 stop" ISO settings (not 1/3-stop) is that higher ISO always have less noise than lower ISO until you get to 3200. In other words: ISO 200 has less noise than 100. 400 has less noise than 200. And so on and so forth until you get to 3200. At 3200 and above, the rules change. 3200 has the same noise as 1600. 6400 has the same noise as 1600. 12800 has the same noise as 1600. Therefore, ISO 1600 is the highest ISO that you should use.

The only reason to ever go above 1600 is for convenience: it's necessary for JPEG (if you don't shoot raw), it gives you a brighter review image on the LCD, makes it easier to use autoexposure, flash metering, you don't have to make adjustments in post processing, etc.

But there is a cost associated with high ISO. That cost is clipped highlights. For every doubling of ISO, one stop of highlights are lost. That is why I advise folks to use ITTR: ISO To The Right. That is, increase ISO as much as you can on every shot, without blowing important highlights. But don't go over 1600, as I said above, unless you need the convenience features.

I hope that wasn't too much technobabble.

Kind regards,

Yeah. In crazy world.


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alt4852
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Jul 29, 2009 09:56 |  #14

Daniel Browning wrote in post #8361715 (external link)
The short answer is "ETTR then ITTR". In other words, use the highest ISO you can without blowing important highlights. High ISO reduces noise.

Here's the long answer. One often reads that high ISO causes noise. The correct meaning of that phrase is this: "At low ISO, I use normal exposures. At high ISO, I use severe underexposure. The underexposure causes a tremendous increase in noise. Increasing the ISO helps to reduce that noise a little, but it's not nearly enough to make up for all the noise caused by underexposure." There is one exception to this: going from ISO 100 to ISO 200 decreases noise so much that it *almost* makes up for the underexposure (it only has about 1/3 stop more noise). That is why ISO 100 and ISO 200 have very similar noise levels.

ETTR (Expose To The Right) means to increase exposure (f-number, shutter speed, etc.) as much as possible without blowing the highlights you care about. ETTR is the best technique for reducing noise. A single stop of exposure (e.g. f/2.8 instead of f/4) can reduce noise a lot more than even 2 stops of ISO (e.g. 400 -> 1600). That doesn't mean ISO is unimportant, just that exposure is more important.

Every camera has different performance at each ISO. The way your 50D works using "1 stop" ISO settings (not 1/3-stop) is that higher ISO always have less noise than lower ISO until you get to 3200. In other words: ISO 200 has less noise than 100. 400 has less noise than 200. And so on and so forth until you get to 3200. At 3200 and above, the rules change. 3200 has the same noise as 1600. 6400 has the same noise as 1600. 12800 has the same noise as 1600. Therefore, ISO 1600 is the highest ISO that you should use.

The only reason to ever go above 1600 is for convenience: it's necessary for JPEG (if you don't shoot raw), it gives you a brighter review image on the LCD, makes it easier to use autoexposure, flash metering, you don't have to make adjustments in post processing, etc.

But there is a cost associated with high ISO. That cost is clipped highlights. For every doubling of ISO, one stop of highlights are lost. That is why I advise folks to use ITTR: ISO To The Right. That is, increase ISO as much as you can on every shot, without blowing important highlights. But don't go over 1600, as I said above, unless you need the convenience features.

I hope that wasn't too much technobabble.

Kind regards,

what?


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ToddR
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Jul 29, 2009 09:59 |  #15

Daniel Browning wrote in post #8361715 (external link)
The short answer is "ETTR then ITTR". In other words, use the highest ISO you can without blowing important highlights. High ISO reduces noise.

DC Comics called. They want their license fee for that Bizarro World reference you dropped on us back there. :p

Notwithstanding the occasional artistic desire for noise, I would posit that most would use the lowest ISO that works for the given light with the equipment at hand that allows for shutter and aperture to get the desired composition (adequate motion stoppage, deeper DOF, etc.).


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someone point me the way to selecting ISO
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