What defines high ISO nowadays?

Started Aug 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 13,260
Re: What defines high ISO nowadays?

Jeff Charles wrote:

Pacerr wrote:

"High ISO" begins when I have to make a conscious decision as to whether an increase in ISO will begin to affect the practical use of the image.

Is ISO really a "conscious decision"? Isn't it the byproduct of other factors and decisions? Specifically:

  • Scene illumination

  • Aperture

  • Shutter speed

  • How bright we want the photo to be, i.e., where we want to position the camera histogram

We can deal with those factors in two ways: set the camera to Auto ISO, in which case the decision to increase ISO in response to them is unconscious, or select ISO ourselves, in which case the decision is conscious.

Assuming one of the seni-automatic modes (Av etc) there is always a choice, in dim light, between increasing ISO and dialling in -EV. -EV makes the out-of-camera image darker but it can be brightened in PP, especially with high-DR cameras like the K-5. Deciding which of these options to adopt is certainly conscious and not just a forced response to circumstance.

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First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

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