Mobile Photography — ISO

Importance of ISO in Mobile Photography

ISO in Mobile Photography by Saket Kumar

What is the relationship between shutter speed and ISO?

ISO is a camera setting that allows you to make your image brighter or darker. ISO helps to shoot even when there is a very limited amount of light available or when too much light is there.

Whereas shutter speed is a fraction of a second, or we can say how much time we want the shutter of the camera to be open.

Longer shutterspeed in low light conditions and greater shutterspeed in daylight conditions.

Shutterspeed is always balanced against ISO.

Relation between Shutter Speed and different ISO that is ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200 via image of flower pot captured from an android mobile device of android version 11

In the picture above, you can see that with the auto shutter speed when the ISO is increasing, after a certain ISO level, the noise starts coming into the image.

Do you want to know how to resolve this issue?

So, this issue can be solved by changing the shutterspeed setting according to the ISO setting so that the image will come out better and without grains.

I have shown this in the following picture.

Demonstration of relationship between Shutter Speed and different ISO that is ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200 via image of flower pot captured from an android mobile device of android version 11

Exposure Triangle: Aperture, ISO & Shutterspeed

The Exposure Triangle is the flow of light into the sensor.

An aperture is a setting that tells the area over which light can enter your camera.

Shutter speed is a setting that determines the duration of the exposure. ISO speed is a setting that helps in controlling the amount of light required.

The ISO setting and shutterspeed can be changed according to the situation by the manual mode of a mobile camera.

But the aperture cannot be changed by a mobile camera because it has a fixed aperture.

What are the good ISO settings for mobile cameras?

There is no such thing as a good ISO setting. It depends on how much light you are shooting in.

If you are shooting in daylight or in a place where there is a good amount of light in the surroundings, then the ISO setting should be something like ISO 100 to ISO 400.

But when you are shooting in a low-light area or where there is no sufficient light available, then the ISO setting should be something like ISO 400 to ISO 800.

When you are shooting, you should also change the shutter speed according to the ISO setting, which will help you take pictures without noise. I have shown this in the picture below.

ISO setting required in the case of daylight and low light for optimal photo through mobile device

How does an ISO setting affect the quality of an image?

Set the ISO according to the light available in the surroundings. When the ISO is set too high, the image may suffer from graininess or noise.

So keep the ISO setting at only that much, which won’t affect the picture quality too much.

Image of an idol at ISO 3200 from an android version 11 mobile phone

Explain it like I’m 5. How do you know what ISO is appropriate for what kind of shot?

ISO is the setting in the manual mode of the mobile camera. So, before you take a photograph, check to see how much light is available for taking photographs.

When you are clicking pictures in daylight or in any indoor place when there is sufficient light, then the ISO setting should be ISO 200 to ISO 400.

At the same time, when you are clicking pictures in low light or when there is not enough light, the ISO setting should be ISO 800 to ISO 1600.

It is not necessary to click at the exact ISO setting; you need to figure it out by depending upon the sufficiency of light.

Should ISO always be as low as possible?

The ISO setting should be as low as possible until there is sufficient light to take a good picture.

When there is low light, you need to increase the ISO setting, but by increasing the ISO setting, the noise in the image also increases.

The lower the ISO setting, the more buttery, creamy, saturated your colour comes out in the picture. But when the ISO is high, it will give you more of a texture of noise than smooth colour. But noise in images isn’t necessarily bad all the time.

Image of a dummy at ISO 100 and ISO 3200 from android version 11 mobile phone

How to take good pictures of the moon on a phone?

You can take good pictures of the moon with keeping the ISO setting between ISO 200 to ISO 800.

To come up with better results don’t keep the shutterspeed at auto mode , change the shutterspeed according to ISO setting.

I have clicked a picture in manual mode keeping the ISO setting at 400 and the shutterspeed at 1/2. It is shown below, you can have a look.

Picture of a Moon at ISO 400 and Shutter Speed 1/2 from an android version 11

Thanks for reading.

Saket Kumar, Signing off!

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