PetaPixel

A Simple Explanation of How ISO Works in Digital Photography

If you’re a fan of learning things through Khan Academy, then you might enjoy learning about how ISO works in this similar-styled tutorial by Dylan Bennett. Bennett might not have Salman Khan’s soothing voice, but he does his best to break down the magic of digital camera sensors into easy to understand ideas. For a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of how things work, check out Cambridge in Colour’s excellent tutorials.


 
  • Anonymous

    I lasted 2 minutes before loosing the will to live.

  • http://twitter.com/davidcifuentes David Cifuentes

    Hard to follow up because it is just so boring.

  • PeterFringe

    He described it very well so everyone is able to understand it and I don’t think it was boring at all. I didn’t know how it worked before and now I do. Great job!
    If you really wanted to know how it works then you’d find this interesting. If you found it boring then pick up your point and shoot and click a few times.

  • http://twitter.com/waleedalzuhair Waleed Alzuhair

    Very informative, thanks :)

  • Anonymous

    Finally someone gave me a simple enough explanation of how this really works!

    I’ve always wondered why modern digital cameras went the same way as the old-school analogue cameras and got more and more noise as the ISO went up. It didn’t make sense that a high-tech camera would face the same problems as the traditional film. But apparently this isn’t a “perfect world” (as the narrator explained) and so the noise can’t seem to ever be fully avoided.
    Thanks!

  • Kitkat

    Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,…Now,… Now,… Now,… Now,…

  • Jishnu Vediyoor

    boring? i dont think this boring. boring comes because of ignorance! it comes to those who think knowledge comes in capsule! 

  • Info

    this explains nothing, “we just tell the camera to treat this as 100 per cent”. it treats us like idiots and doesnt actually explain the physics behind it.

  • Info

    “its a little bit technical”. duh its physics. this is a camera, the photo goes in the front and out the back. lots of stuff goin on. 

  • Anonymous

    Sorry lads, this is not the way it works. The pixels aren’t RGB pixels, the pixels register only one color each. And together with the pixels next to it it makes a RGB info. So the 10 000 000 pixelt in a sensor is just 5 000 000 green 2 500 000 red and 2 500 000 blue. pixels that simulate 10 000 000 RGB in a matrix. One pixels information in used to make the info in all the ones next to it.

  • Anonymous

    dbl post

  • Art

    FYI, “ISO” is a name, not an acronym and is pronounced “eye-soh”, not “eye-ess-oh”
    http://www.iso.org/iso/about/discover-iso_isos-name.htm

  • Heathermariel

    Correct, it’s called a Bayer array.

  • Rick

    And the ability to spell.

  • Suvadip

    Nice… good explanation

  • http://twitter.com/ChoppazoneGoon 4 the love of music

    Great video made it understandable to someone as mediocre as myself. Thanks!!