The camera allows more light to enter when you use a high ISO number, which is applicable in scenes where there is low or insufficient light. A high ISO mode also lets you avoid blurred photos by minimizing the effect of camera shake. Moreover, if you decide not to use flash for your photo op, a high ISO number makes the images appear more natural.
Compact digital cameras have small sensors unlike digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. Remember that you will get poor image quality if you force the ISO number beyond 100. Image noise is also increased when a high ISO mode is used. Prevent this by relying on noise reduction software that are currently available in the market.
Pitfalls of using high sensitivity mode
High Sensitivity Mode should be used with care because it automatically adjusts the ISO number to a very high setting – usually from 800 up and in extreme cases, ISO 3200 or more – depending on the kind of illumination around the subject or scene.
Because of this, image resolution might be sacrificed. You might even not be able to adjust the size as well. The camera tends to tone down the image noise by reducing the resolution – if it is set on a high ISO mode.
Do not rely too much on a high ISO mode because what you will get are pictures that are of low quality, blurred or unappealing. This would be very evident if you print them out in photo papers larger than the standard 4x6”.
Noise reduction and high ISO
Thankfully, noise reduction software is already readily available in current models of digital cameras these days. The disadvantage to this is having images that are not very sharp-looking. Colours do not pop out or the small details are not that noticeable at all – which defeats the purpose of taking the pictures in the first place. Even if you have access to cutting-edge editing technology, it will not guarantee that you can capture the same essence of the original subject or scene.
When you can avoid it, do not use a high ISO mode. For sceneries that need a little more illumination, do something with the lighting or just use a tripod to avoid having your camera switch to a high ISO mode.
But if this is unavoidable, you just have to choose then – blurred and unappealing pictures or no pictures at all. Just make the most out of the situation by having fun at it.