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Photography Understanding your camera's ISO profile and how you can benefit from it.

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This thread is about general or macro photography discussion. Feel free to talk as much as you want :).


Staff member
3 1
Aug 4, 2020
Well it just goes to show your never too old to learn! My camera (Oly OM-D E-M1 Mark II - daft name!) handbook recommends 200 as the native ISO, whereas the graph appears to suggest 320 would be nearer the mark. Likewise 2000 rather than 1600. My brain hurts! Am I interpreting the graph correctly or am I misunderstanding?
Hi T thematelot šŸ˜€,

Let'a start by looking at the signal to noise graph for your camera:

DNvISO-Olympus OM-D-E-M1 Mii.jpg
Unusual but very clean looking graph. Strangely, extended ISOs below the native ISO of 200 are sitting above ISO 200 possibly suggesting that the true native ISO for camera is closer ISO 320, but this is speculation at best. We can see that ISO settings below ISO 400 sit below zero for Read Noise, this is very good, lower numbers are what we want to see here. As for what ISO looks the best in this graph, 250 is looking like the best ISO but even 320 is outperforming ISO 200 for better signal to noise ratio. Another interesting thing to note is the drop that occurs at ISO 2000, it indicates dual circuits and ISO 2000 is slightly better than ISO 1600. But let's look at the Dynamic range now.

DR-Olympus OM-D-E-M1 Mii.jpg
ISO 250 is once again the winner here, 200 is next with 320 the next runner up. The extended ISOs below 200 are also performing well with DR close to performance to ISO 320.

Based on these 2 graphs I would try to use ISO 250 whenever possible since it has a clear advantage in both DR and signal to noise ratio. ISO 200 has better DR than ISO 320 but worst signal to noise ratio. I will leave the choice of what you think is more important. Personally, I would choose better signal to noise ratios in most shooting scenarios but that's just my opinion. If you dont mind a little bit more noise for better DR then you may place place ISO 200 above ISO 320, but even then as we can see from the graphs ISO 250 beats both ISO 200 and 320 in both regards.

Avoid ISO 1600, try to get under but if that's not possible skip 1600 and try ISO 2000 instead of 1600.

Hope this information helps you and if you have any questions please ask šŸ˜


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New Member
1 2
May 22, 2021
Interesting. I checked it for my Sony a7rii. Guess instead of iso 400 it would be better to use iso640 Schermopname (1).jpg


Legend TEAM
5 3
Apr 20, 2020
Wow! Excellent post Chavezshutter Chavezshutter! VERY informative and well described! I checked my cam (Canon EOS 90D) and I'm surprised, that ISO160 is even better than ISO100, which gives me more options for lower light situations. And ISO320 is slightly worse than ISO 100.

But it's somehow strange, that even ISO160 as the lowest noise setting is so high compared to other cams. Is it just because of the APS-C sensor?