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Less noise with auto ISO than with manually switching?

Started Jun 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Less noise with auto ISO than with manually switching?
Jun 9, 2012

Hi all,

Here's a strange question. I've had a T1i for several years and like it. I've never been too satisfied, though, with the low-light performance. Even at ISO 800, or certainly at 1600, I've found the noise unacceptable. I usually shoot in manual mode and stick with ISO 200 or so. When I need to, I manually move the ISO higher.

The other day, though, I was playing around with full auto mode and shooting pictures of my daughter. Unknown to me, the ISO went up to 1600 and, hmmm, there's very little noise!

Is it somehow possible that MANUALLY moving the ISO higher adds to the noise, but if AUTOMATICALLY going there, the camera handles it better? I know that this question makes no sense, and the answer is surely "no," but the pictures don't lie, and I'm very curious. (I find uploading shots to DPReview very cumbersome, so for the time being I won't upload examples and hope you'll take my word for this.) All ideas welcome -- but not flames about not uploading pictures!

Thank you!

Canon EOS 500D (EOS Rebel T1i / EOS Kiss X3)
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