Don't be afraid to boost your camera's ISO to make better pictures

Taken at ISO4000, detail is clear right down to the stubble on the face of the person on the left (Image credit: Brian Worley)

Photographers want to take great photos – and by the amount spent on camera gear, a lot of photographers seem to believe that new cameras are the way to better pictures. The trouble is that they use these new cameras in exactly the same way as their old ones – and an old camera may have been noisy at ISO1600, but a new one is much better. So photographers should make use of tech updates to improve their photos. 

To raise the ISO, the electronics need to amplify the signal from the sensor. Modern sensors give much cleaner signals than older ones, but increasing the level of the signal still amplifies the noise. Comparing the results from an old DSLR with a modern mirrorless camera at a high ISO is very revealing of just how big the improvement is.

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Brian Worley

Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus.