Video Tech Tips - ISO

How to properly control and adjust your camera's ISO setting
Jun 29, 2016

Hi, this is Wade James. Welcome back to another Guidefitter Video Tech Tip. The next three videos that you will see all work in conjunction with each other. We'll have ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Understanding these three components will help you learn how to set your camera on the fly to be properly exposed every time.

Today we're going to talk about ISO. ISO is your camera's sensitivity to light. For instance on a bright sunny day, the lower the number the better because it'll darken your image. If you're in a dark situation or a low light situation, you will boost your ISO to a higher number that'll actually send more light into the sensor of the camera making things appear brighter.

The problem is the higher you turn your ISO the more your camera will show graininess. Most DSLRs start at 100 ISO and will go the whole way up to wherever they max out at. Each camera is different. The only way to tell what your max range is for ISO or gain is to do some test shots and see. What I would suggest doing is taking the camera that you're using out and filming a low light situation finding where your image gets too grainy for your preference and maxing it at that number. Don't go above that number unless you have to because when you get back it'll be garbage in post. The trick is to keep that ISO number as low as you possibly can. There you'll get the clearest image and there'll be zero grain.

The trickiest situation you'll get into with ISO settings is in a ground blind. You're shooting this out of a dark structure and filming out through windows in the daylight. When you go to film out of the windows at the object or a deer, everything will be blown out or completely washed out white but inside the ground blind it still might be dark. I would suggest practicing in this scenario. Set up a ground blind and set up a 3D target somewhere. Sit inside the ground blind and film somebody. See what your settings are at. See where you need to put your ISO so you can see the person inside the blind, but then remember when you zoom out of the windows to shoot you'll have to adjust everything on the fly quickly to get that exposed properly.

On the next few episodes we'll talk about shutter speed and aperture and how they work in conjunction with ISO. Stay tuned and thanks for tuning into Guidefitter's Video Tech Tips.s