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Why use high ISO camera settings?

ldoetjeldoetje Member
edited August 2016 in flash & lighting
just wondering....

there is used such high iso to keep as much as ambient light in the shot

But instead of 1/200 iso 1600  why not using 1/60 and iso 400 ?    Should be the same effecht and your picture should look much cleaner  in my opinion.


  • rs_eosrs_eos Member
    Depending upon factors such as focal length*, desire to freeze action, flash recycle time, it may be required to use a faster shutter.

    But I agree with you in that if the conditions warrant it, 1/60 at 400 would be much better.  Or, 1/125 at 800 could be a good compromise.

    * I'm thinking in terms of camera shake.  If you're on a tripod or have lens image-stabilization (Canon term; terms will vary for other brands), less of an issue.
  • dbrunodbruno Member
    I know the photo that first comes up in the article looks posed/no movement, but maybe it's possible the rest of the photos had more movement, and the shutter speed had to be faster. Maybe he found a good setting that would work for all photos in that group, and just left it?
  • The article is about making TTL flash not look like flash.  Given this is on-site and the bride is getting ready, Neil probably doesn't have time to use manual flash.  

    In general, when you are using flash, you want to set your camera's shutter speed to match the flash's sync speed to get the maximum amount of flash power available.  So, that value is often 1/200 or 1/250.  He likely left the shutter speed at that for the sessions.  Also, with TTL flash, "aperture and ISO and shutter speed – all three controls – to control available light."  So, in these photos, his shutter speed is set (for flash sync speed) and his aperture is set (for focusing on the subject and "blurring" out the background a bit).  The only aspect left to control ambient light is ISO.


  • On the original question (why not 1/60 @ ISO 400), in general I find 1/60 a little slow for photos of people. That's not to say it can't work - it would depend on a whole bunch of factors - but as a general rule I would shoot faster than that. Also, DSLRs the last several years are quite capable at high ISO. If the photo is exposed well, shooting at ISO 1600 is no sweat on many DSLRs.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I mostly use higher ISO settings when I try and retain as much of the ambient light as possible.
    Instead of pulling my shutter speeds down, I prefer higher ISOs. 
    The reason for this - I can fix high ISO noise, but I can't fix camera shake or subject movement. 
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