Difference between ISO and EV on a Camera

ISO and EV are two key settings on a camera that affect the exposure of an image. ISO controls the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light, while EV adjusts the overall exposure level of the image.

Understanding the difference between ISO and EV is crucial for capturing well-exposed photos in various lighting conditions.

Difference between ISO and EV on a Camera

What is the ISO standard?

When it comes to understanding the features of a camera, one term that often causes confusion is ISO. ISO is a setting that determines the sensitivity of your camera’s image sensor to light. It plays a crucial role in capturing quality photos, especially in low light conditions.

ISO, which stands for International Standards Organization, is a standardized scale used to measure the sensitivity of a camera’s image sensor. This scale ranges from low values, like ISO 100 or 200, to higher values, such as ISO 1600 or even ISO 3200.

Essentially, a low ISO setting makes the sensor less sensitive to light, resulting in darker images, while a high ISO setting increases sensitivity, allowing you to capture brighter photos.

How ISO Affects Image Quality

The ISO setting directly affects the overall image quality of your photographs. When you raise the ISO level, the image sensor becomes more sensitive to light, which can be advantageous in darker settings.

However, this increased sensitivity comes at a cost. Higher ISO settings introduce digital noise, which appears as grain or speckles in your photos. This noise can compromise the clarity and sharpness of your images, reducing the overall image quality.

On the other hand, lower ISO settings produce cleaner, less noisy images, but they require ample light conditions to capture well-exposed photos.

Choosing The Right ISO Setting

Selecting the appropriate ISO setting depends on the lighting conditions and the desired effect you want to achieve. Here are some tips to help you choose the right ISO setting for your photography:

  1. Use a low ISO setting, such as ISO 100 or 200, when shooting in bright daylight or well-lit environments. This will minimize noise and ensure maximum image quality.
  2. In low light situations, increase the ISO level gradually to capture a well-exposed image. However, be cautious not to raise it too high, as excessively high ISO values can result in significant noise.
  3. Experiment with different ISO settings to find the right balance between exposure and noise. Modern cameras often offer a range of ISO options, allowing you to fine-tune the sensitivity to your liking.
  4. Keep in mind that higher ISO settings are generally more suitable for action photography or situations where capturing a fast-moving subject is crucial.

Read Also: How Do I Record Longer Videos on My GoPro?

What is EV (Exposure Value)?

EV (Exposure Value) is crucial for photographers as it helps them capture the perfect shot by controlling the exposure settings on their cameras. In simple terms, EV refers to the amount of light that enters the camera’s image sensor, ultimately determining the brightness or darkness of an image.

EV is a numerical value that represents a combination of settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed on a camera. It allows photographers to achieve the desired exposure for their photos by adjusting these settings accordingly.

The EV value is a standardized measurement system that helps photographers maintain consistency in their photography across different cameras and lighting conditions.

How EV Affects Exposure

The EV value has a direct impact on the exposure of an image. A higher EV value means more light is being captured by the camera’s image sensor, resulting in a brighter photo.

Conversely, a lower EV value indicates less light is being captured, leading to a darker image. By understanding EV, photographers can control the exposure of their photos, ensuring the right balance between light and shadow.

Adjusting Ev Values

To adjust the EV value of a camera, photographers can use the exposure compensation feature. This allows them to manually increase or decrease the EV value to achieve the desired exposure for a particular scene.

Increasing the EV value will make the photo brighter, while decreasing it will make it darker. By experimenting with different EV values, photographers can enhance the overall aesthetic and mood of their images.

Difference between ISO and EV on a Camera

DefinitionISO measures the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light. Higher ISO values result in increased sensitivity, allowing for better performance in low-light conditions.EV represents a combination of aperture and shutter speed settings that result in a specific exposure level. It is a way to express the overall brightness or darkness of an image.
UnitsISO values are measured in numerical increments, such as 100, 200, 400, 800, etc. Higher values indicate higher sensitivity.EV values are expressed in stops, with each stop representing a doubling or halving of the amount of light. For example, EV 0, EV +1, EV -1, etc.
AdjustmentAdjusting ISO allows you to control the sensitivity of the camera to light. Higher ISO settings are used in low-light conditions, but they may introduce more noise or grain in the image.Adjusting EV involves changing the combination of aperture and shutter speed settings to achieve the desired exposure. It allows for creative control over the overall brightness or darkness of the image.
Impact on ImageHigher ISO settings can lead to increased noise or grain in the image. Lower ISO settings are preferred for capturing images with less noise, especially in well-lit conditions.Adjusting EV affects the overall brightness or darkness of the image. Increasing EV makes the image brighter, while decreasing EV makes it darker.
Use CasesHigher ISO settings are commonly used in low-light conditions, such as night photography or indoor settings with limited light.Adjusting EV is useful for creative control, such as achieving a specific depth of field or capturing motion in different ways. It is also crucial in situations where automatic exposure may not provide the desired results.
ExampleISO 800 might be used in a dimly lit room to ensure proper exposure without using a slower shutter speed.Setting an EV of +1 might involve using a wider aperture or slower shutter speed to brighten the image intentionally.


It is essential to comprehend the distinction between ISO and EV for capturing high-quality photographs. ISO affects the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light, while EV refers to the overall exposure level. By mastering these concepts, photographers can have full control over their images, achieving the desired balance between brightness and noise.

So, next time you pick up your camera, don’t overlook the importance of ISO and EV settings. Happy shooting!