We look into what the ISO setting on your camera does and doesn't mean – why it can't necessarily be measured, and why your sensor's sensitivity never changes.
Articles tagged "fundamentals"
In the final part of our beginners' guide to camera fundamentals, we look at the trade-offs you contend with when you choose a sensor size. We hope it helps you find the balance that works best for you.
In part two of our beginners' guides to the fundamentals of cameras, we're going to look at the benefits that a larger sensor can bring. Part three will look at the trade-offs that this brings.
In the first of a three-part beginners' guide, we're going to look at whether you need to worry about pixel size when choosing a camera. Parts two and three will look at the benefits of a larger sensor size, and the trade-offs you make.
Raw bit depth is often discussed as if it improves image quality and that more is better, but that's not really the case. And it doesn't have much to do with colors or gradation. Here's why 12-bit is enough most of the time.
Equivalence is much-discussed, but still often misunderstood. Here's a simplified explanation of the concept of equivalent apertures, which is just another way of talking about light received by your camera.
Bayer filters are far from perfect – they're prone to sampling artifacts and throw away a lot of light. So why are they used by the cameras that live in millions of pockets around the world? Because it's a briliant piece of design. Read more
Dynamic range can seem esoteric and confusing but, chances are, your camera offers a mode to make use of the impressive capabilities of modern sensors. How do these work and what impact do they have? Read more
Following on our look at the effects of shot noise, our attentions turn to the electronic noise added by your camera. In this second part of the series, we look at read noise and how your sensor's behavior defines what your camera is capable of and consequently, how you should shoot with it. Read more
How would you react if you were told that the aperture and shutter speed you choose make more difference to image noise than the ISO setting? You might be surprised to discover that a lot of the noise in your images doesn't come from your camera at all: it comes from the light you're capturing. Our own Richard Butler explains. Read more
Equivalence, at its most simple, is a way of comparing different formats (sensor sizes) on a common basis. Sounds straightforward enough, but the concept is still somewhat controversial and not always clearly understood. We thought it was about time we explained - and demonstrated - what equivalence means and what it doesn't. Learn more
Sensitivity (ISO) in digital imaging is the subject of quite a lot of confusion - it's becoming common to hear talk of manufacturers 'cheating with ISO.' Here we look at why sensitivity can be hard to pin down, why we use the definition we do and how it's really as complicated as it can seem.