ISO Example

Increasing ISO to Reduce Grain in Your Images (Podcast 661)

Today I provide clear evidence of the benefits to increasing your ISO to reduce grain. Sounds crazy, I know, but after this post you’ll believe me.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Mike Cristina
    Posted at 23:19h, 16 May Reply

    Thanks Martin. With my 1Dx, in manual with auto ISO, first I set aperture, then shutter, then exposure compensation to expose to the right, and I let the ISO fall where it may. Am I on track?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 00:58h, 17 May Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Anything automated, be it Aperture or Shutter priority, or auto-ISO will fall-fowl of the camera’s lack of ability to decide on the exposure, but if you are using Exposure Compensation and getting your histogram data over to the right shoulder, then yes, you’re well on track.

      How you get the information over to the right is less important, as long as you don’t leave much of a gap on the right side in camera, especially when using high ISOs.

      Thanks for taking the time to check out the post and to comment!


  • Nicholas Tinelli
    Posted at 01:30h, 20 May Reply

    Hi Martin, thanks for your article, very interesting and well explained!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 15:19h, 21 May Reply

      Thanks, Nicholas! I’m pleased you found it useful.

  • Angela C. Brown
    Posted at 22:00h, 21 May Reply

    Thanks Martin. Mind blowing after viewing your photos with commentary. I’ve been exposing to the right for a while but never grasped the difference it would/could make to ISO and noise prior to your examples. Eye opening post indeed. Thank you!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 11:23h, 23 May Reply

      That’s great Angela. I’m really pleased this helped.

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know.


  • Tim Harty
    Posted at 19:57h, 30 May Reply

    Great podcast Martin. Do you think part of it ISO performance of particular cameras? My 7D Mk II is pretty bad above 800 while my 5D Mk IV seems to be much better. Have not thought about the mirrorless yet. Thanks for all your great work!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 20:08h, 30 May Reply

      Hi Tim,

      Absolutely, yes. The 7D Mark II is pretty poor, but the 5D Mark IV should be very similar to my results. It’s essentially the same sensor.

      You’re welcome for the work. Thanks for commenting!


  • Brandon Harris
    Posted at 20:15h, 02 June Reply

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful Podcast on How to Increasing ISO to Reduce Grain in Your Images. It’s one of the best articles I have read in recent times.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 13:41h, 03 June Reply

      Thank you, Brandon. I’m pleased you found it useful.

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