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5hane Jan 6, 2006 6:38 AM


I have been advised to askowners of this camera whatISO's they recommendto have set for themost commonsituations,as ISO settings apparently vary from camera to camera and so 400 on one model will not be the same as 400 on another.

Iunderstand thatthe numbers oflighting conditionsare infinite, but it would still help a newbie like myself agreat deal to get an idea how bestto set the ISO.

For example, last weekend I took some photos during a dullwinters afternoon walk, and I wonder if my shots would have been sharper had I chosen a different ISO than 400.

Many thanks

5hane Jan 13, 2006 3:37 AM

No users with this camera have any experience with the ISO?

Carrots Jan 13, 2006 8:42 AM

I dont have that specific camera, but as a rule I like to keep my ISO as low as the light permits. 50 - 100 is best, on my camera, 200 shows a little noise. 400 is only for when you have no other choice.

For all-round "default" setting, I would use 100. But its best to change it with the lighting conditions.

Also, ISO is not realy an issue with sharpness. ISO affects the noise (those little coloured dots all over the picture)

JimC Jan 13, 2006 8:52 AM

You want to stay at the lowest ISO speed you can, while still insuring shutter speeds are fast enough to prevent motion blur. How fast is that? It varies. ;-)

If you have a distant subject that is walking, you may be able to get away with 1/60 second (the amount of movement in the frame will be much smaller, since they only occupy a small portion of it). If you're shooting a tennis match, you may need dramatically faster shutter speeds, if you want to freeze the action (for example, 1/500 second or faster).

Shutter speeds needed are going vary with lighting, and with your subject. If your subject is stationary, you only need to worry about the camera shake part. If you subject is moving, you'll also need to worry about blur from subject movement.

In better light, you may also be able to influence the camera by using a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number) than the camera's autoexposure would use. That can get you faster shutter speeds. In low light, the camera is going to use the largest available aperture setting anyway. But, in better light, it may be picking a "mid range" aperture that doesn't allow shutter speeds that are fast enough to freeze the action if your subject is moving too quickly.

One way to learn what is going on with your photos is to use an EXIF reader to see what settings the camera used (for things like aperture, shutter speed and ISO speed) when you see a blurry photo.

Then, you'll know if you need to make changes (for example, using higher ISO speeds) in similar conditions.

You may also want to pick up a book on basic photography that explains the relationship between film speed (a.k.a, ISO speed), aperture, lighting and shutter speed. It doesn't need to be specific to Digital.

In most outdoor conditions with my Konica KD-510z, I stick to ISO 100. In most outdoor conditions with my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, I stick to ISO 400.

Sometimes, I'd prefer being able to use ISO 400 with my KD-510z so that shutter speeds would be faster, reducing the chance of blur. But, using higher ISO speeds is a tradeoff (you're trading lower noise for faster shutter speeds). You'll need to decide if the tradeoff is worth it, in the conditions you're shooting in.

If you don't have an editor that can see the camera settings used, download irfanview from (it's free). After opening an image, you'll find the camera settings used under Image, Information, EXIF.

5hane Jan 13, 2006 9:05 AM

Thanks to both of you!

This is all blowing my mind :?

Ok I do kinda understand, but each bit of info I am given pushes out another bit of info I just learnt.

irfanview sounds interesting, so your saying that when opening an image with this, it will tell me what settings my camera used?? thats amazing!!

Digital Photography for dummies is the book I have just purchased, I must be an extra thick dummy cos my brain still hurts after a few pages, but I am dying to learn.

JimC Jan 13, 2006 9:33 AM

This calculator may help you to understand the relationship a bit better, too.

In most outdoor conditions, your camera's autoexposure is probably going to select settings for ISO speed, Aperture and Shutter speed that will give you acceptable results.

But, sometimes, you may wantto tell your camera to do something different (for example, you're shooting sports and need faster shutter speeds than it would pick by default to freeze the action).

Depth of Field can also be a consideration (the amount of the image that is in focus, as your get further away from your focus point). Aperture influences depth of field, too. If you use larger apertures (smaller f/stop numbers), you'll get faster shutter speeds, but a shallower depth of field. If you use smaller apertures (higher f/stop numbers), you'll get a larger depth of field. With a non-DSLR model like your H1, you've got far more depth of field for the same settings compared to a DSLR or 35mm model. So, DOF won't be a concernas often. But, you'll still want to be aware of how settings can influence it.

Here is yet another calculator that may help you understand Depth of field (and how focus distance, focal length and aperture influence it). Select your camera model, and make sure to use the actual focal lengths (6 to 36mm for your camera's lens) to see how it works.

5hane Jan 16, 2006 3:02 AM


Thanks for the info. it was very helpful!

Ill see how I do now.

5hane Jan 26, 2006 9:07 AM

Regarding the shutter speed, I am struggling to get to grips with this.

Should shutter speed be a big priority, becausewhenI make the adjustments to shutter speed of aperture, the monitor darkens or lightens to the point that I like the look of the picture im about to shoot.... then click, job done.

All I want to know is what to have ISO set on.

If I set ISO to whatever, wont the differences show up on the monitor before I take the picture?, otherwise how will I know if the ISO numberI choose is correct.

Iv got my Dummies guide to digital photography but even that has to much in-depth info.

I just wana take my camera, fiddle aroundquickly until the picture looks good in my monitor and click.

What'sa safe bet to stick ISO on?

Thanks for being patient

rjseeney Jan 26, 2006 10:05 AM

You could just leave the ISO set to auto...that way the camera will choose what it thinks is appropriate. As a rule, as light levels decrease, you will need a higher ISO...that will result in more noise. The advice of keeping the ISO as low as possible to achieve shutter speeds appropriate for the situation is sound.

5hane Jan 27, 2006 3:41 AM

Hi rjseeney

Please forgiveme forsaying "that sounds like a controdiction"....>

As a rule,as light levels decrease, you will need a higher ISO...that will result in more noise.

I dont like noise so i think ill pass on that.

I like the ISO auto idea, think ill give that a shot.


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