Why Boosting Your Camera's ISO Setting Can Make Your Photos Worse

Increasing your camera's ISO setting improves its ability to see in the dark, but it can also lead to artefacts in your images that look like millions of tiny dots, known as noise. But where exactly does it come from?

Dylan Bennett breaks it down for you in this clip which explains how your camera's sensor works, where that noise is coming from, and why boosting the ISO setting can make your images unfortunately look like they were taken in a snowstorm, if you over do it. [YouTube via PetaPixel]


    where does the noise come from on traditional films then?

      Film doesn't have noise. It has grain, which is a result of the bits and pieces that make up the light-sensitive emulsion coating the film. The more light-sensitive the film, the grainier it appears. Or something like that.....

        Not exactly...
        It is grain but it sort of happens for the same reason really. The longer you expose the film the bigger the error factor when it exposes unevenness and imperfections in the film grain. So it is noise really in an analogue way.

        And the same thing even happens in the human eye as well! When the pupil expands to let in more light and your brain tries to make sense of that low light image it receives there's usually a bit of fuzz or snow or noise or whatever you want to call it in your vision.

        Film grain is due to the size of the silver halide crystals used in the light sensitive emulsion. In order for the film to be more sensitive (higher ISO), the individual grains need to be larger to allow for the chemical reactions to occur at the right speed.

    Brilliant! Thank you..

    It's INTERESTING how similarly things work across 3 completely different mediums: noise in our eye in the dark, noise in film grain and noise in digital camera sensor..... makes you think.... coincidence?

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