ISO Speed

What is ISO Speed?

ISO speed, in simple terms, is a standard set by the International Organization for Standardization that determines the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light. The higher the ISO speed, the more sensitive the sensor is to light, resulting in brighter images. It plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect exposure for your videos.

Understanding ISO Speed for Video Production

When shooting videos, controlling the ISO speed can help you achieve the right balance of brightness and noise in your footage. Here’s how ISO speed impacts your video production:

  • Low ISO Speed: A lower ISO speed (like ISO 100 or 200) implies less sensitivity to light. This is ideal for situations with plenty of light, such as shooting outdoors on a sunny day. Low ISO values result in darker but sharper images with less noise or grain.
  • High ISO Speed: Higher ISO speeds (like ISO 800 or higher) increase the sensor’s sensitivity to light, making it useful in low-light conditions. However, a high ISO speed can introduce more noise or grain into your footage, potentially reducing the overall video quality.

How to Choose the Right ISO Speed for Your Videos

Choosing the right ISO speed largely depends on the lighting conditions you’re shooting in and the look you’re aiming to achieve. Here are a few tips to guide you:

  • If you’re shooting in bright conditions, start with a lower ISO speed and adjust as necessary.
  • In low-light conditions, you may need to increase the ISO speed. However, keep in mind that higher ISO speeds can result in grainier footage.
  • Always do a test shoot and check the footage for noise and grain. Adjust the ISO speed as needed to achieve a balance between brightness and video quality.

The Role of ISO Speed in Exposure Triangle

Besides ISO speed, aperture and shutter speed also form part of the “Exposure Triangle” that determines the exposure of your videos. While aperture controls the amount of light entering the camera, shutter speed determines how long the camera sensor is exposed to light. ISO speed, on the other hand, controls the sensitivity of the camera sensor to this light. Balancing these three settings can help you achieve the perfect exposure for your videos.


Understanding ISO speed can greatly enhance your video production skills, allowing you to achieve great results even in challenging lighting conditions. Remember to always balance your ISO speed with other camera settings to ensure optimal video quality.

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