FROM SEVEN YEARS AGO: What ISO setting to use? High is good for shooting without blur or shooting in the dark but gives you noise (“grain”). What is optimal?
The following may help.
If you do not use AUTO ISO, my rule of thumb for starting points is:
- Outdoors, or when you are using a tripod: 200 ISO
- Indoors: 400 ISO (whether or not you are using flash)
- Problem light, such as museums or hockey arenas: 800 ISO
You can vary from there of course, but you will not be far off.
Here’s an 800 ISO handheld image (200mm, non-stabilized lens). It won me a media award:
TODAY: so what has changed? Only that you can now shoot, on a modern camera, at higher ISOs before you start no notice grainy noise. What worked then works now—but you can now go higher, sometimes much higher, without noticeable noise. Life is good.