Aperture, shutter speed and ISO – Explained visually

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First of all: my entry into visualization using Flash in my last article was less than perfect. Mainly because I didn’t shoot every image in my sequence with the same aperture. Meaning that the background changed because the depth of field change.

So, I’ve made a new ISO-test of the 5D Mk II. Slightly better. At least the aperture stayed at 5.6 at all ISO values. The flash file is big, and I’ve not made any kind of download indicator. So when you click the link you need some patience while the page load.

Link to: Flash animation showing ISO-change

Aperture

But what about that aperture stuff? Did you say depth of field? Yes. When you change that thing called aperture on your camera things happen to your image. To put it short: a low value, like 1.4 gives more blur in your image. A high value, like 22 gives less blur. The detail that you focus on will stay sharp, but the amount of detail around that point change.

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Huh? Exactly. This is easier to show with an image. Or, actually several images. In an animation like the ISO-experiment. Where you can click the row of f-numbers at the bottom and see the image change. And it’s the same as with the ISO-animation. When you click the link you have to wait a while for the page to load.

Link to: Flash animation showing aperture change

Shutter Speed

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But hey! I can also adjust something called “shutter speed”. Yes, in addition to ISO and aperture the shutter speed adjust the amount of light you will let in at the CMOS- or CCD-chip. And the effect on the image? A long shutter speed gives motion blur. And if you are shooting without a tripod or something to support your camera a long shutter speed mostly means a completely blurred image.

To show the difference that the shutter speed makes I did the test again. With a train moving in the image. So now you can see the effect of both the shutter speed and the aperture. And you know what? When you click the link you need patience. Let the page load…

Link to: Flash animation showing aperture and shutter speed change

But your flash animations are crap

Indeed. I haven’t coded flash since 1999 and used Apple KeyNote to make these. So, if you want to make them better I have provided you with all the original images. Full resolution:
ISO-test Originals
Aperture Test Originals
Aperture and shutter speed test Originals

These are zipped archives of the images. And please let me know in the comments if you use these images. They’re licensed under a creative commons license.

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO – Explained visually

Quick ISO test of the Canon 5D Mk II

1600vs1600

People keeps asking about test images to show the low light performance of my new Canon 5D Mark II. So far I find it pretty amazing. The image above is a comparison of my old 400D at iso 1600 and the new 5D at iso 1600. Both images shot in RAW and converted with Canon DPP.

Because the 5D looks so good at iso 1600 I also did the same with the 5D at iso 6400.

1600vs6400

In addition to this I have put together a flash animation that shows you the same image at different ISO values. You can click the image to browse through the different values, or choose directly with the buttons.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://eirikso.com/flash/ISOtest2-500.swf” height=”375″ width=”500″ /]

The example embedded here is small and doesn’t really show the images very well. If you have some patience and wait for the loading, I have also published a bigger version. And no, I’ve not made any fancy “loading-animation”. You just have to wait for the page to finish. And I know: Not very smart to let the camera change the aperture. Apart from the fact that it gives a nice demonstration of how the depth of field change…

Quick ISO test of the Canon 5D Mk II