What is ISO? In very basic terms, ISO is simply a camera setting that illuminates or darkens a photo. As you increase your ISO number, your photos gradually become brighter. For this reason, ISO can help you take pictures in darker environments, or be more flexible in aperture and shutter speed settings. However, raising your ISO has consequences. A photo taken too high with an ISO will show a lot of grain, also known as sound, and may not be used. So brightening a photo via ISO is always a tradeoff. You should only raise your ISO when you cannot shine the photo via shutter speed or aperture instead (for example, using a longer shutter speed may cause the subject to blur). Notice how much brighter the image becomes when ISO is raised from 1
What does ISO mean? The abbreviation ISO stands for "International Organization for Standardization". But camera ISO does not directly refer to the organization that creates different technology and product standards. Ever since two film standards called ASA and DIN were combined to ISO standards in 1974 (later revised for both film and digital photography), they were referred to as a word "ISO" from that time. Although ISO originally only defined film sensitivity, it was later adopted by digital camera manufacturers in order to maintain similar brightness to film. Common ISO values; each camera has a different range of ISO values (sometimes called ISO speeds) that you can use. A common set is the following: ISO 100 (low ISO) 200ISO, 400ISO, 800ISO, 1600ISO, 3200ISO and 6400 (high ISO). Simply, when you double your ISO speed, you double the photo's brightness. So a photo at ISO 400 is twice brighter than ISO 200, which is twice brighter than ISO 100 (above is a photo showing different ISO settings).
What is white balance? Whatever you photograph, there is one thing you should realize about light. Not all light is created equal. I am not talking about the quality of light, but rather the color of light. What you might see as white light from different sources may actually have different colors, or what are called color temperatures. Direct sunlight at noon (which I will only refer to as sunlight) is considered a "normal" color temperature, so all light sources are compared to this by default. For example, light from a light bulb appears to be more orange than sunlight. On the opposite side of the spectrum, shady areas appear to be more blue than sunlight. In photography, we refer to these differences as "warmer" (or more orange) and "cooler" (or more blue) than our neutral reference point for sunlight. In this article, we will go through the basics of white balance and color temperature, topics that can be a little daunting for beginners to understand.
So how does this apply to photography? Have you ever taken a photo that looked orange or blue? When you looked at the scene with your eyes, it probably didn't look orange or blue. It looked normal. This is because our brains compensate for different color temperatures so that we only see normal colors. Our cameras do not automatically compensate for different color temperatures. Instead, if you do not use a setting that compensates for different color temperatures (which we will discuss soon), cameras capture the light and color temperatures that are actually in a scene, not what your eyes see.
What is color temperature? Let's talk a little more about color temperature. Color temperature is measured in units of Kelvin (K) and is a physical property of light. There is a large margin for variance between different light sources, although they appear to be exactly the same. For example, you may have been in a room with rows of glowing fluorescent lamps and noticed that there were some light bulbs that had a slightly different color than the others. Maybe they were older or another brand of incandescent bulbs, but no matter why they had a different color temperature than the rest of the incandescent bulbs. Similarly, at noon, sunlight may have a different color temperature than at sunset. A neutral color temperature (sunlight at noon) measures between 5200-6000 K. You will find that most external flash units come from the factory in that range, which means they are basically trying to imitate sunlight. A light bulb (warm / orange) has a color temperature of about 3000 K, while the shade (cool / blue) has a color temperature of about 8000 K. Here is a diagram that gives you some different light sources and their typical range of Kelvin measurements: Light Type Color temperature in Kelvin (K) Light flame 1,000 to 2,000 Household lighting 2,500 to 3,500 Sunrise and sunset3,000 to 4,000 Sunlight and Flash5,200 to 6,000 Clear Sky6,000 to 6,500 Cloudy skies and shadows 6,500 to 8,000 heavy Cloudy skies 9,000 to 10,000. I always turn on my drone's white balance to auto. Note: I included a white balance diagram with the photo showing different ISO settings. I also included a video showing how to set the white balance to auto in the DJI Go app (4)
Raw and JPEG the pros and cons. I always take pictures in Raw format, because it is much higher quality and stores much more data from the camera sensor than a photo in JPEG format. You can also edit a Raw format photo better than JPEG format photo because it is not compressed. The best way I've heard it explained is that JPEG is like a cake and you can't change the cake on the other hand Raw is the ingredients of a cake and you can change it much easier than a cake that has already been baked. So I suggest you always shoot in Raw format, not JPEG format.