Do you really need an ISO of 25600?

I’m looking to get into using DSLRs for photography, and one of my focuses is going to be low-light pictures. Some people say that the highest ISO you should ever use is 6400, but the cameras I ve been looking at all have ISOs higher than that, like 25,600, or 52,000. Do you really need that to take a high quality low light picture though?

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  • Frank
    Lv 7
    6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are possible scenarios where that high of an ISO could be needed. However, once you take into account the horrible image quality that one gets from using ISO 25,600 or higher, it pretty much makes using such high-ISO settings as a last resort option. Say you're using a lens that has a small maximum aperture of only f/5.6 and you're shooting a riot on some street at night. You need to use a fast shutter speed of about 1/125~1/250th at the minimum to prevent motion blur of the moving subject. Stabilized lenses or in-body image stabilization (IBIS) would not help, so you have to use a high ISO setting. But then again, the image quality would be extremely low. So low in fact, that if it were I, I'd make sure that I had a very fast f/1.2 or f/1.4 lens in my bag so that I didn't have to resort to ISO 25,600 but rather ISO 1,600.

    It's one thing to say that ISO 25,600 or 52,000 produce unacceptable images, and it's something entirely different to actually seeing the results. Here's a link to dpreview.com's web app allowing you to compare various camera bodies at various ISO settings. Be sure to set the file type option to RAW to prevent any in-camera noise reduction from being a factor - https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison

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  • 6 months ago

    simple answer

    no

    long exposures and a tripod for still objects is better

    otherwise work with 6400 for less noise

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    No.

    Unless that's a high-end full-frame dSLR or mirrorless camera, you won't be able to comfortably use ISOs that high. Anywho, specs like that are just there to flaunt how "good" the technology of the camera is. :)

    • John P
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      Not in "everyday family photography", nor even in "everyevening clubbing photography". But if you are photographing fast moving sports indoors or under floodlights for a living, you need all the help that Nikon, or Canon, or Sony etc can give you!

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    There are times when any pictures, even a lousy ones are better than no pictures at all.

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