Back to the Basics: ISO and Noise Explained

As photography technology continues to improve year in and year out, the ISO ranges we’re capable of pulling quality images from are getting truly ridiculous. But as amazing as the improvements in ISO are, it’s important to have an understanding of what ISO actually is and how you can make the most of these growing numbers.

It’s those questions that Mike Wallace tackles in the detailed video above, as he breaks down that part of the exposure triangle that is all too often misunderstood or ignored altogether.

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He starts out by introducing what the ISO standard is, followed by a handy little collection of infographics that show how the changing of ISO determines how much light you’ll need.

From there, he walks you through a little test that you can put your cameras through to figure out what your specific camera’s optimum ISO is, and how far you can push it before the results get too noisy to use. Seven minutes in all, the video makes for a fantastic, detailed introduction for beginners, and a great refresh for veterans.

Check it out at the to, and if you’d like to catch more of Mark and his educational series, head on over to Adorama’s YouTube Channel.