I had a conversation recently with a couple of people about cameras and their specifications. The most question I received was “what is a good “budget” low light camera?”, and the answer to that question was never really simply. Many things go into defining what a good camera is and it’s never a matter of megapixels only. So, I thought of writing the following blog post to help people understand more about what to look out for when buying a camera! But do keep in mind that I am no professional photographer, but only a guy that took some time to read about camera specifications and what they mean.
With higher ISO settings, you can take advantage of faster shutter speeds. However, the image quality is compromised. The shot may get grainy and this is known as digital noise. Even though we have seen digital noise finding application in black and white photoshoots, too much may render the shot unusable. When you intentionally want to take grainier shots, go with a high ISO.
We have times when lighting is impossible: For instance, shooting landscapes and architectures in the evening. If a tripod is available, clear shots could be taken at a slow shutter speed. A Low ISO setting is appropriate at such a time.
When shooting documentaries and travel shots, using flash would make the shots less realistic. It destroys the atmosphere by killing ambient light. Experiment with your camera to determine the highest ISO possible. In very low light, high settings ensure ambient light reaches the sensor. In action-rich photoshoots, a high ISO is more suitable.
Camera’s aperture is an opening in your lens that allows light to come into contact with your film. This aperture can be adjusted by using your camera’s F-Stop, or in case you have a digital camera by tinkering with some of the manual settings. Most digital cameras even normally have a fixed aperture mode that allows you to pick the aperture and then the camera automatically figures out the other settings.
Aperture is ruled in “F” numbers, that usually show up on your camera as F8 or F/8 or some other variation on the theme. As the value of the F goes up, the amount of light that is allowed into the camera goes down. For instance, an F value of 1/4 would be considered wide-open, while 1/22 would be pretty much as closed as possible.
What Does the Aperture Really Do?
Your camera aperture can make a significant impact on the quality of your photograph. A closed aperture will allow very little light into the camera, which will, in turn, give you the opportunity to expose the film for a longer period. Adjusting the F value is an efficient way to use slow shutter speeds and long exposures without overexposing your image.
Why Should I use Aperture?
You don’t have to manipulate your camera aperture. Most cameras do it automatically to great success, and sometimes it’s easier to not fret over all the tiny details. However, manually adjusting the aperture of a camera allows you to influence the depth of field of an image directly. An open aperture (low f-stop) will give you very little depth of field (subjects close to the camera will be clear while the background is blurry) and a closed aperture will make everything in your photograph seem more detailed.