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Photo

Learn to love auto ISO


60 replies to this topic

#1
onewiththecamera

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Until really recently I thought one of the stupidest features on a camera was auto ISO. Well after getting the Nikon D5100 and getting used to it a bit I have become a convert. I love the auto ISO feature. Basically you set what the maximum ISO is that you can live with (I go with 6400), set what shutter speed you don't want the camera to go below, set your base ISO (I always set 100) and then let the camera at it in aperture priority mode. As you shoot then if the light is so low that you cannot do your minimum shutter speed at the current low ISO the camera will start to ramp up the ISO to get the proper exposure. So if you set say 1/250th of a second and you need another stop of light the camera will bump up ISO to 200. So it is giving you the lowest ISO possible for the aperture and shutter speed.

 

This is awesome for a number of shooting environments, but probably rocks the most on simple day trips. I was on a vacation this summer and did not have to fuss with the camera settings while out and about sightseeing. I knew that the camera would handle all of that and I would get all my shots. Give it a try and see if you don't agree that it is really awesome.



#2
Jaculinb4

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Well said, couldn't agree more!



#3
shuttrr

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I've never used this feature but I'll certainly give it a go. Thanks for the info.

#4
Mark Win

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Certainly worth giving a go



#5
Erewego

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I have to agree - I initially started in 'auto' and thought my shots were great.

After being 'clever' and trying  to work in the same way I did with 35mm film I found that Nikon software is a darn sight better than my 'fiddling'.

I'm back on auto again at the moment unless I want to force it to do something strange.



#6
Adamwesleyo

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I have yet to use that. Might have to give it a shot.



#7
romalliv22

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I always use Aperture priority since it is the easiest to use. I would certainly try this new trick. Thanks onewiththecamera. :)  



#8
DCB

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Auto ISO is one of the best things in the new cameras in my opinion. 

 

Makes life so much easier.

 

Peace



#9
Ian Stuart Forysth

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Auto ISO is wonderful as it allows one to set their exposure first and let the camera set the best ISO for that given exposure.

#10
MonochromeColour

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Just a heads up though guys If you go into a studio and shoot using a trigger It does not work as it will set on ambient light and your images will be totally blown out. Just remember to reset to manual if studio or using off camera flash :ph34r:



#11
Mark Win

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Good tip Monochrome, i know sometimes i have forgot to set back to manual when under certain conditions and although from using liveview checking the pictures ive just taken they looked fine, once back home and onto the computer you can clearly see the difference , good shots wasted.. 



#12
greenwing

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We seem to have drifted away from the joys of Auto ISO to a discussion of Auto vs. Aperture Priority vs. Manual exposure modes..

 

It's true that Auto ISO is not a good idea with Studio strobes, but auto-anything is not a good idea if you're adding a blast of flash that the meter doesn't know about.

 

If using a CLS Commander on the camera (either pop-up or a speedlight) Auto ISO is disabled.

 

Chris



#13
onewiththecamera

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I have started to work through a little list of settings in my head when I go into different shooting situations to make sure that I have the settings right on the camera. I have had enough times that I missed a setting when I went from say a low light shoot with high ISO to the studio. Maybe one of these days I should come up with an acronym for the different settings. The most important are ISO (and now auto ISO is part of that), white balance, any exposure compensation, any flash compensation. Those are the biggies.

 

Back to auto ISO, one exercise I have my students do is take their camera and shoot a series of photos increasing the ISO in full stop increments from 100 to the top of the range. Do it with both a higher contrast image and a lower contrast image. Put the images on the computer and go through them looking hard at the noise levels. Each person has a different noise tolerance. Find where that is on your camera. It will be different from camera body to camera body. When you figure out what the highest is that you are comfortable with then you know what your max will be for auto ISO. Canon cameras typically all jump in full steps for ISO. Nikon go in third steps. So to do full stop jumps just keep doubling your number, which will be three steps up. So 100 goes to 200 then 400 then 800 then 1600 then 3200 then 6400 then 12,800, then 25,600 etc etc. For me on the D5100 I am happy all the way to 6400. Some will stop at 3200 and I know a few that won't go over 1600 on that camera. Of course if I see Bigfoot or a UFO and it is dark I am going all the way to 25,600 so I can get the shot - duh!



#14
DCB

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 Of course if I see Bigfoot or a UFO and it is dark I am going all the way to 25,600 so I can get the shot - duh!

 

Now that's funny!

 

Peace



#15
ThePicturesofYou

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I am definitely going to give this a shot, thank you so much!!



#16
Russ

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Auto-ISO in the latest (800, 600, 7100 I think) is even better than before because now you can link the min shutter speed to auto-ISO (just like Pentax always has!)

 

So you can tell the camera to raise ISO when the shutter speed will be below 1/FL (the old rule of thumb for shaky images), OR you can tell it to raise the ISO sooner (to keep faster ss) or slower (to use slower ss). Magic.



#17
PrettyCranium

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Thanks, I've never paid much attention to this feature but it might be really helpful for bird pictures.



#18
Roxy

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Thanks, I've never paid much attention to this feature but it might be really helpful for bird pictures.

I use it for bird/wildlife pics all the time and just use the exposure +/- . It works for me.



#19
lindax

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Thank goodness for auto ISO! Makes things so much easier!



#20
bredies

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I like it and use it but I dislike the fact that it keeps flashing - to me flashing is an alarm signal!