What is Camera ISO?

ISO stands for “international standards,” and it refers to a setting on a camera that determines how light or dark an image will be. When you boost the ISO setting on your camera, the photographs you take will become much brighter. Because of this, increasing the ISO allows you to take pictures in darker circumstances while also giving you more leeway to play about with your aperture and shutter speed settings.

Increasing your ISO does, however, have repercussions. A photograph that has been taken with an ISO that is too high will have a great deal of grain, also known as noise, and may not be helpful. Therefore, increasing the ISO of a shot always results in a trade-off of some kind.

You should only increase your ISO if you are unable to brighten the shot by increasing either your shutter speed or aperture instead (for instance, increasing your shutter speed would result in your subject becoming blurry if you used a longer shutter speed).


What is the Meaning of ISO?

“International Organization for Standardization” is what “ISO” stands for in its full name. However, the International body for Standardization (ISO) is not the same thing as the body that produces numerous product and technological standards.

Since the two film standards known as ASA and DIN were merged into a single set of ISO standards in 1974 (later amended for both film and digital photography), they have been referred to as the single term “ISO” ever since. Although ISO was initially solely used to determine the sensitivity of film, it was later adopted by makers of digital cameras in order to preserve brightness levels that were comparable to those of film.

Common ISO Values

You are able to select from a diverse assortment of ISO values (often referred to as ISO speeds) with each and every camera. The following is an example of a standard set:

  • ISO 100 (Low ISO)
  • ISO 200
  • ISO 400
  • ISO 800
  • ISO 1600
  • ISO 3200
  • ISO 6400 (High ISO)

Simply said, if you increase the ISO speed on your camera, you will see twice the amount of light that is captured in the shot. Therefore, a photograph taken at ISO 400 will have double the brightness of one taken at ISO 200, which would have twice the brightness of one taken at ISO 100.

What is Base ISO?

Your “base ISO” is determined by the natural sensitivity setting that is the lowest on your camera. This is a very effective option because it allows you the opportunity to make images of the finest possible quality while simultaneously reducing the amount of noise that can be seen to the greatest extent feasible.

While the majority of current digital cameras have an ISO setting of 100 as their default, certain older DSLRs and a few recent cameras, such as the Fuji X-T2, have a base ISO setting of 200. If you want the best possible picture, you should always make an effort to shoot at the camera’s native ISO setting. However, this is not something that can be guaranteed, mainly when operating in settings where there is a limited amount of light.

What Camera ISO Should You Use?

There are a lot of photographers out there that are familiar with the fundamentals of ISO, but they don’t know which ISO setting to use while they’re really shooting.

In application, there is a good reason why the ISO settings of your camera may be adjusted to such a broad range: Different shooting conditions need a variety of ISO levels. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss some of the most prevalent situations that may arise.


The ISO setting of a camera determines how sensitive the image sensor is to light within the camera. It is what controls how effectively the camera takes photos in low-light situations, but it also has the potential to create noise or graininess.

Photographers are able to adapt to varying lighting conditions and obtain the correct exposure levels by adjusting the ISO setting on their cameras.

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