ISO and digital noise are often a cause for concern with photographers. In this video, I look at how much noise is acceptable in an image and how that varies depending on the application of the photograph.
Many moons ago, photographers lusted after the most beautiful grain they could find in a film emulsion, shooting delta 3200 for its soft grain, developing film in Rodinal for really high acutance, and a one-degree Celsius increase in temperature to make the grain the size of a golf ball. Then along came digital. For many years, the digital cameras couldn't really go above ISO 400 for 35mm cameras and ISO 100 for medium format. Since then, a lot has changed, and the ISO that can be reached by a camera means that you can photograph pretty much anything anywhere. However, with high ISO comes more than noise, as I discuss in this video.
There is a plethora of noise reduction software out there, although I have personally never found a need for it. Understanding your sensor and the scene can do far more than putting a raw file through a processor. Nevertheless, there are certainly times at which an ISO is as high as it should be and that going further may be detrimental to the application of the image. In this video, I look in detail at various ISO settings from a scene in my studio and discuss where each application would be appropriate to be used.
What are your views on ISO?