Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know

Started May 26, 2012 | Discussions
Graystar
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Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
May 26, 2012

As those who have actually read the manual (and understand how Auto-ISO works) know, Nikon's Auto-ISO implementation is the best one available. Still, I do wonder about a couple of things.

1. Why is there a "Maximum Sensitivity"? Those quick on the draw may say that, obviously, to limit noise in your image. Yes, but think about it...when the Max ISO is reached, the camera will then continue to reduce shutter speed, giving you blur in your image. So is blur more acceptable than noise?? I thought that was a universal "No". You can apply more aggressive noise reduction to an image, but there's nothing you can do about blur that you don't want. So personally, I always want my "Max. Sen." to be the highest available ISO.

How do you guys use Max. Sen.? When has it saved you?

2. Why can you adjust the lower limit? The idea behind the shutter-based ISO is to maintain the lowest ISO possible. So why would you shoot at a higher ISO if it isn't necessary? So personally, I always have my ISO set to the lowest value when using Auto-ISO.

How do you guys use the ISO settings?

Controlling Auto ISO

The D4 and D800 have a new way to enable Auto-ISO. You hold the ISO button and rotate the sub command dial. What I would like to see next is the ability to change the Minimum Shutter Speed using the ISO button and main command dial. Of course, this would leave no way to adjust the low end of ISO. However, as I previously noted, I don't think that's necessary, so I don't see a problem. But if good examples are presented on using the lower end of ISO with Auto-ISO, then that idea would have to be scrapped.

Personally, I thought a better way to enable Auto-ISO was to hold the ISO button for 2-3 seconds...just like setting a custom white balance. That would have freed the sub command dial to adjust shutter. Maybe we can all make a suggestion to Nikon on this.

Finally, if you don't like Auto-ISO for whatever reason, I ask that you refrain from posting anti Auto-ISO comments. And if any get posted, I ask that other posters ignore them, as I'd like to discuss how the upper and lower limits have benefitted people.

.

Nikon D4 Nikon D800
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mosswings
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

As those who have actually read the manual (and understand how Auto-ISO works) know, Nikon's Auto-ISO implementation is the best one available. Still, I do wonder about a couple of things.

1. Why is there a "Maximum Sensitivity"? Those quick on the draw may say that, obviously, to limit noise in your image. Yes, but think about it...when the Max ISO is reached, the camera will then continue to reduce shutter speed, giving you blur in your image. So is blur more acceptable than noise?? I thought that was a universal "No". You can apply more aggressive noise reduction to an image, but there's nothing you can do about blur that you don't want. So personally, I always want my "Max. Sen." to be the highest available ISO.

You're on the right track with the noise idea, but long before noise becomes objectionable you will see degradation in highlight handling, edge acutance, and eventually color fidelity. These are all related to dynamic range. For example, I won't go above ISO 800 on my camera because it begins to lose detail and snap, even though max ISO is much higher.

On Nikon cameras you can apply amazing amounts of noise reduction, but if you're starting with compromised data to begin with, that noise reduction is also compromised. The amount of NR smearing you will accept is therefore a function of max ISO.

What the camera does when you hit max ISO is a function of the automation you've chosen. If Aperture priority, indeed the shutter speed drops. If Shutter priority, the aperture opens. If Auto, both shift depending on the program parameters. The point here is that you can see where the controlled parameter is going in the viewfinder and compensate accordingly. And whether blur or noise is more acceptable is a matter of taste. Sharpness is not always the end goal, though we seem to think so. Overall Image Quality is what we're after here, and this is a much broader and nuanced subject to consider.

How do you guys use Max. Sen.? When has it saved you?

2. Why can you adjust the lower limit? The idea behind the shutter-based ISO is to maintain the lowest ISO possible. So why would you shoot at a higher ISO if it isn't necessary? So personally, I always have my ISO set to the lowest value when using Auto-ISO.

How do you guys use the ISO settings?

If you're talking about the min shutter speed setting, one way that helps is that you can set a minimum shutter speed for your subject blur requirements for the lens that you're using at the time. On the higher end bodies, a 1/focal-length variable lower limit is available, and very useful. If I were restricted to 1/60 or 1/30 as my ISO kickover point, I'd have a lot more blurred shots when using my 300mm. By setting the min shutter to 1/500, for example, I can be pretty confident that I'll keep camera shake and a lot of subject motion to a minimum (note that VR doesn't help much above 1/250 sec).

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Deleted1929
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

The upper limit I use to avoid excessive noise. I know if I'm warned about hitting it that the shots needs light added ( to gain my shutter speed ) rather than simply trading for noise beyond the point I'm comfortable with for a given shot.

The lower limit is a bit of an odd ball, and I can't say I've used it. I can imagine using it to force shutter speed from dropping too low ( as it might if I use a lower limit ), but I'd approach that problem a different way.

I won't debate how to set toggle AutoISO with you, as specific handling preferences do tend to be precisely that - personal. I would like to see far more user customization of button use - camera makers really are incredibly conservative when it comes to these things. It's one thing to have default settings, it's another to lock users in. I think the makers all suffer from a reluctance to give up control to the users, and this lack of programmability is one example of it.

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Nightwings
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

As those who have actually read the manual (and understand how Auto-ISO works) know, Nikon's Auto-ISO implementation is the best one available. Still, I do wonder about a couple of things.

1. Why is there a "Maximum Sensitivity"? Those quick on the draw may say that, obviously, to limit noise in your image. Yes, but think about it...when the Max ISO is reached, the camera will then continue to reduce shutter speed, giving you blur in your image. So is blur more acceptable than noise?? I thought that was a universal "No". You can apply more aggressive noise reduction to an image, but there's nothing you can do about blur that you don't want. So personally, I always want my "Max. Sen." to be the highest available ISO.

If there were no Maximum Sensitivity, your Auto ISO ladder would be a single step ... the base ISO. [If I'm to understand your question..If however I did not undertand your question..pardon me for insulting your intelligence with my answer]

And you already know that .. for example if your base is 100 and your upper limit is 800 .... and you set your min shutter speed to 1/125 .... In "A" mode, your camera will stick to the 1/125 like glue throughout the ISO ladder untill it hits the upper ISO limit where then and only then will the shutter speed decrease. Whereas when the camera hits the lower limit (Base ISO set), then and only then will the shutter speed increase. It's up to you to watch as you get to you upper limit and decide if the min chosen shutter speed is enough.

How do you guys use Max. Sen.? When has it saved you?

When I want to stick relatively close to a certain shutter speed ... without neccessarily using shutter priority.... but still be in aperture priority.

2. Why can you adjust the lower limit? The idea behind the shutter-based ISO is to maintain the lowest ISO possible. So why would you shoot at a higher ISO if it isn't necessary? So personally, I always have my ISO set to the lowest value when using Auto-ISO.

So do I .... 100.

How do you guys use the ISO settings?

If I'm shooting flash indoors in an average sized room with varing distances, I'll set the ladder to 100~400 with a min shutter of 1/125 - for casual shooting, anything other than that, I shoot manual.

Outdoors the extension ladder comes out .. 100~800 .... same minimum shutter speed of 1/125 with my 18-105 ... I'll up the min shutter to 1/200 with my 70-300 for casual shooting. Anything else other than casual shooting I go into manual mode ... set auto ISO to 100~3200.

Personally, I thought a better way to enable Auto-ISO was to hold the ISO button for 2-3 seconds...just like setting a custom white balance. That would have freed the sub command dial to adjust shutter. Maybe we can all make a suggestion to Nikon on this.

I have my first menu item set to ISO settings and my Fn button to activate it ... very simple and fast. I have easy ISO enabled to the rear command dial .. again... quick and simple. Or should I say.... quick and simple enough.

Finally, if you don't like Auto-ISO for whatever reason, I ask that you refrain from posting anti Auto-ISO comments. And if any get posted, I ask that other posters ignore them, as I'd like to discuss how the upper and lower limits have benefitted people.

Very good point.

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Graystar
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to mosswings, May 26, 2012

mosswings wrote:

You're on the right track with the noise idea, but long before noise becomes objectionable you will see degradation in highlight handling, edge acutance, and eventually color fidelity. These are all related to dynamic range. For example, I won't go above ISO 800 on my camera because it begins to lose detail and snap, even though max ISO is much higher.

Yes...but is motion blur preferrable to that?

And whether blur or noise is more acceptable is a matter of taste. Sharpness is not always the end goal, though we seem to think so. Overall Image Quality is what we're after here, and this is a much broader and nuanced subject to consider.

The idea that the choice of blur or noise being a matter of taste is interesting. Personally, I don't agree with it, but that's just me...it would interesting to have a poll and see where most people stand on the subject.

How do you guys use the ISO settings?

If you're talking about the min shutter speed setting, one way that helps is that you can set a minimum shutter speed for your subject blur requirements for the lens that you're using at the time. On the higher end bodies, a 1/focal-length variable lower limit is available, and very useful. If I were restricted to 1/60 or 1/30 as my ISO kickover point, I'd have a lot more blurred shots when using my 300mm. By setting the min shutter to 1/500, for example, I can be pretty confident that I'll keep camera shake and a lot of subject motion to a minimum (note that VR doesn't help much above 1/250 sec).

I was asking about the regular ISO setting...not the shutter speed. I'm wondering if there's ever an advantage to using a higher ISO when it's not necessary.

For shutter, I simply set it to match my subject matter. That usually means shooting at least at 1/60s - 1/120s normally, 1/320s for sports, 1/500s for birds in flight, etc. My 70-300 zoom lens has a VR that provides 4 stops of protection. So if the 1/FL rule says I should be shooting at 1/500s, then that means that I can shoot at 1/30s and get sharp images (and I do.) So for VR zoom lenses I feel that a 1/FL rule really doesn't apply. If you're using a prime lens, then obviously you can set the shutter appropriately once and be done with it, so prime lenses aren't really an issue.

Personally, I think Nikon added the auto-shutter speed function just to shut up reviewers like DPReview, who seemed to harp on the "omission" every chance they got. Obviously, Nikon could have done this years ago if it was really an issue. In fact, it would have been better to have the option years ago, as people would have been more likely to be using non-VR zoom lenses. But now that every modern zoom and long lens has had VR for many years...what's the point?

70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 at 300mm and 1/30s...handheld

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Mako2011
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

As those who have actually read the manual (and understand how Auto-ISO works) know, Nikon's Auto-ISO implementation is the best one available. Still, I do wonder about a couple of things.

1. Why is there a "Maximum Sensitivity"? Those quick on the draw may say that, obviously, to limit noise in your image. Yes, but think about it...when the Max ISO is reached, the camera will then continue to reduce shutter speed, giving you blur in your image. So is blur more acceptable than noise?? I thought that was a universal "No". You can apply more aggressive noise reduction to an image, but there's nothing you can do about blur that you don't want. So personally, I always want my "Max. Sen." to be the highest available ISO.

Good point. I can see exactly the reasoning there.

How do you guys use Max. Sen.? When has it saved you?

For me personally, I look at the lens and scene and determine a realistic upper limit. If the lens/scene combination has no hope of getting good results at ISO 1600 (just an example) then I set higher limit than ISO 1600. I have had good results with Topaz DeNoise at ISO 3200 and fair at ISO 6400. With that in mind I set 3200 most often and then make a determination if I can accept 6400 vs a slower shutter. If the action in the scene is most often faster than a walk, I set ISO 6400 as I know blur will be a bigger problem. If the action is a walk or slower, I know that I have a good chance with VR and 6 FPS to get a few keepers at 3200 (when shutter gets forced lower than my min) which is often preferred over 6400 in my case personally. It's just how my mind works as I see the line between 3200 and 6400 as a wall one must make a conscious decision to climb.

2. Why can you adjust the lower limit? The idea behind the shutter-based ISO is to maintain the lowest ISO possible. So why would you shoot at a higher ISO if it isn't necessary? So personally, I always have my ISO set to the lowest value when using Auto-ISO.

Me too...and why I think setting Auto ISO to "on" should default to a Base ISO of 100 to prevent "mistakes". Min shutter deals with the rest. I'm sure though that someone may point out a valid reason I had not thought of.

How do you guys use the ISO settings?

I really have no all the time way I do it....I simply start at 100 and "go from there" to include the use of Auto ISO. I guess I'm still learning.

Controlling Auto ISO

The D4 and D800 have a new way to enable Auto-ISO. You hold the ISO button and rotate the sub command dial. What I would like to see next is the ability to change the Minimum Shutter Speed using the ISO button and main command dial. Of course, this would leave no way to adjust the low end of ISO. However, as I previously noted, I don't think that's necessary, so I don't see a problem. But if good examples are presented on using the lower end of ISO with Auto-ISO, then that idea would have to be scrapped.

Dial vs Menu.....I can see that.

Personally, I thought a better way to enable Auto-ISO was to hold the ISO button for 2-3 seconds...just like setting a custom white balance. That would have freed the sub command dial to adjust shutter. Maybe we can all make a suggestion to Nikon on this.

I still have my AUTO ISO "on" tied to the FN button and the menu in "my Menu" I would simply like to do it by holding ISO button and "Auto" be the next click lower than 100. Like WB

Finally, if you don't like Auto-ISO for whatever reason, I ask that you refrain from posting anti Auto-ISO comments. And if any get posted, I ask that other posters ignore them, as I'd like to discuss how the upper and lower limits have benefitted people.

We can only hope. Good discussion, Thanks.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

  1. So personally, I always want my "Max. Sen." to be the highest available ISO.

I suppose it depends on how high you want to go ISO wise I set the D90 to ISO 3200 some might prefer lower.

How do you guys use Max. Sen.? When has it saved you?

It doesn't save you it just means you can set the ISO to where you are comfortable

2. Why can you adjust the lower limit? The idea behind the shutter-based ISO is to maintain the lowest ISO possible. So why would you shoot at a higher ISO if it isn't necessary? So personally, I always have my ISO set to the lowest value when using Auto-ISO.

Easy ISO and you can set the lower limit I did this a few times by mistake on the D90

How do you guys use the ISO settings?

Auto ISO to 3200 and pick a shutter speed that is appropriate

Personally, I thought a better way to enable Auto-ISO was to hold the ISO button for 2-3 seconds...just like setting a custom white balance. That would have freed the sub command dial to adjust shutter. Maybe we can all make a suggestion to Nikon on this.

I shove the Auto ISO in the my menu for quick access works ok for me

Finally, if you don't like Auto-ISO for whatever reason, I ask that you refrain from posting anti Auto-ISO comments. And if any get posted, I ask that other posters ignore them, as I'd like to discuss how the upper and lower limits have benefitted people.

The only other point you missed is the focal length aware auto ISO that Nikon have got around to recently (many years after everyone else!) Useful to have esp for zoom lenses.

In short Auto ISO is a tool it's useful but there are times you might want to pick manual settings for ISO.

Shooting with my 2 Minolta's I have an Auto ISO of 800 no choice I would often want to go to ISO 1600 so it's a time saver for me to be able to set the Auto ISO limit (esp handy for weddings etc)

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Graystar
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Nightwings, May 26, 2012

Nightwings wrote:

If there were no Maximum Sensitivity, your Auto ISO ladder would be a single step ... the base ISO.

Well, it could be the highest ISO setting, and you simply can't change it.

And you already know that .. for example if your base is 100 and your upper limit is 800 .... and you set your min shutter speed to 1/125 .... In "A" mode, your camera will stick to the 1/125 like glue throughout the ISO ladder untill it hits the upper ISO limit where then and only then will the shutter speed decrease.

Right...and that's the point where my question begins. If speed drops, then you may get blur. If you had a higher Max Sen setting, you avoid blur, but get noise. It is my personally feeling (and I thought a fairly universal feeling) that the noise is preferable to the blur (which is the reason why we have the Auto-ISO MSS setting in the first place!) So this where things get hazy for me...we're using Auto-ISO, which gives noise to avoid blur, but then use Max Sen to give blur to avoid noise. I'm just trying to understand...if blur wasn't acceptable to begin with...how does it become acceptable?

I would rather take the noisy image because I might be able to salvage it. If not then I toss it, as the image would likely have been tossed anyways from blur.

How do you guys use the ISO settings?

If I'm shooting flash indoors in an average sized room with varing distances, I'll set the ladder to 100~400 with a min shutter of 1/125 - for casual shooting, anything other than that, I shoot manual.

Outdoors the extension ladder comes out .. 100~800 .... same minimum shutter speed of 1/125 with my 18-105 ... I'll up the min shutter to 1/200 with my 70-300 for casual shooting. Anything else other than casual shooting I go into manual mode ... set auto ISO to 100~3200.

Flash is a whole 'nother interesting subject for Auto-ISO, especially since Nikon changed the way it works from the D90 and earlier bodies. I don't know if anyone really has a good handle on how it behaves. On my D90 it never goes up unless I've run out of flash power. That seems to make sense, but then if you try any Slow Sync shots where you want to capture a background, the ISO never increases, leaving you with shutters that are just a bit too long for the subjects standing in the foreground.

Personally, I thought a better way to enable Auto-ISO was to hold the ISO button for 2-3 seconds...just like setting a custom white balance. That would have freed the sub command dial to adjust shutter. Maybe we can all make a suggestion to Nikon on this.

I have my first menu item set to ISO settings and my Fn button to activate it ... very simple and fast. I have easy ISO enabled to the rear command dial .. again... quick and simple. Or should I say.... quick and simple enough.

Yeah, I have the Fn button set the same way. But you know...you still have to mess with the multi-selector...navigate to the shutter setting, press OK, select, etc. Would be nice to have a way to make the shutter changes quickly. Although it's rarely a big deal...I set my shutter for the subject matter, and if I'm right I don't have to update it. If I'm wrong, a few seconds later and it's right. So my suggestion really is a minor quibble.

.

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Graystar
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Deleted1929, May 26, 2012

sjgcit wrote:

The upper limit I use to avoid excessive noise. I know if I'm warned about hitting it that the shots needs light added ( to gain my shutter speed ) rather than simply trading for noise beyond the point I'm comfortable with for a given shot.

Seems like several people prefer to gamble on the blur than take the sure-thing of more noise, which I guess I can see. If you gamble and win, you have a better image than if you let the ISO go too high.

Do you have an idea of your keeper rate at, say, one stop below your MSS?

I think this would be impossible, but it would be interesting to get all the Auto-ISO users together and see what MSS values we select under the same shooting conditions. You know...see what people set at the zoo or museum. Would there be more similarities than differences? I wonder...

.

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Graystar
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Mako2011, May 26, 2012

Mako2011 wrote:

For me personally, I look at the lens and scene and determine a realistic upper limit. If the lens/scene combination has no hope of getting good results at ISO 1600 (just an example) then I set higher limit than ISO 1600. I have had good results with Topaz DeNoise at ISO 3200 and fair at ISO 6400. With that in mind I set 3200 most often and then make a determination if I can accept 6400 vs a slower shutter. If the action in the scene is most often faster than a walk, I set ISO 6400 as I know blur will be a bigger problem. If the action is a walk or slower, I know that I have a good chance with VR and 6 FPS to get a few keepers at 3200 (when shutter gets forced lower than my min) which is often preferred over 6400 in my case personally. It's just how my mind works as I see the line between 3200 and 6400 as a wall one must make a conscious decision to climb.

So are you shooting in S or M mode usually?

2. Why can you adjust the lower limit? The idea behind the shutter-based ISO is to maintain the lowest ISO possible. So why would you shoot at a higher ISO if it isn't necessary? So personally, I always have my ISO set to the lowest value when using Auto-ISO.

Me too...and why I think setting Auto ISO to "on" should default to a Base ISO of 100 to prevent "mistakes". Min shutter deals with the rest. I'm sure though that someone may point out a valid reason I had not thought of.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking as well...just disable setting the lower limit.

I still have my AUTO ISO "on" tied to the FN button and the menu in "my Menu" I would simply like to do it by holding ISO button and "Auto" be the next click lower than 100. Like WB

There has to be some reason why Nikon didn't do this, because that's how you get Auto ISO when you use the P&S modes (although to be fair, that Auto-ISO is different from the one used in MASP.)

.

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apaflo
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

My take on AutoISO is a little different than many. I can see using P mode, but just don't have any reason for A or S mode, and personally only use AutoISO along with Manual Mode. Programmed Mode would be fine for someone who wants a fully automatic Point & Shoot configuration. But I see no reason at all for choosing either Aperture or Shutter Priority, when Manual Mode essentially provides both at the same time!

The significance for my purposes of setting a minimum ISO and a maximum ISO is that I can watch the actual ISO used to determine if AutoISO is out of range. By setting the camera's ISO to one step lower than I want (basically, to L0.3 in my case, but others might prefer L1.0 for example) and then setting the AutoISO menu maximum to 1 step higher than the maximum that I actually want to use, those hi/lo values become a marker that the AutoISO is out of range. Since the camera does not indicate if it wants to go farther than those values, if they are used the exposure might be right but also could be several stop beyond too. By choosing values just past what I actually want it is easy enough to avoid out of range conditions by accident.

My method is to set the desired aperture and shutter speed that based on artistic requirements. The camera adjusts ISO to provide automatic exposure. Exposure can be fine tuned by setting Exposure Compensation as desired. Watching the actual ISO used provides an out of range indicator that flags if the desired aperture/shutter settings are not reasonable for the existing light conditions and will have to be changed.

It is doubtful, of course, if that is a suitable method for everyone or for every camera. As an example, I use Nikon equipment and years ago when the D2X first came out I too just really didn't see much value in using AutoISO (given the rather limited range that was usable on the D2X!). When the D3 came along it was a good while before it actually occurred to me that that useless AutoISO was now very useful!

And the recent models from Nikon, with something closer to a so called "ISOless" sensor, have modified my view of AutoISO again, but ever so slightly and as yet I'm not sure exactly what is best. One thought is that I can set the maximum ISO much lower, and base it on knowing that brightness can be adjusted in post processing with virtually the exact same effect as a higher ISO. The choice would be one that flags, at the time, that exposures are into that range (as opposed to just being absolutely out of range). The other thought is to continue using the maximum as a flag that exposure is too low, and that either aperture or shutter should be changed.

Regardless, AutoISO and Manual Exposure Mode are my standard configuration, though I do sometimes turn it off and go fully manual. But AutoISO is the only form of auto exposure that I've used for a long time now.

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Nightwings
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In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

Yeah, I have the Fn button set the same way. But you know...you still have to mess with the multi-selector...navigate to the shutter setting, press OK, select, etc. Would be nice to have a way to make the shutter changes quickly. Although it's rarely a big deal...I set my shutter for the subject matter, and if I'm right I don't have to update it. If I'm wrong, a few seconds later and it's right. So my suggestion really is a minor quibble.

I guess I must be spoiled ... I'm just happy my camera focuses and exposes properly .. I'd never trade that away even if I had to call an 800 number to get permission to change my ISO settings

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Deleted1929
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Regarding your "gamble" viewpoint I would point out that some people regard poker as just random gambling, and some people regard it as an exercise in skill and judgement with some luck involved. There's a difference between calculated risk and trusting to luck.

Do you have an idea of your keeper rate at, say, one stop below your MSS?

I am pleased to say I do not. Such analysis does not interest me in the slightest.

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Mako2011
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

For me personally, I look at the lens and scene and determine a realistic upper limit. If the lens/scene combination has no hope of getting good results at ISO 1600 (just an example) then I set higher limit than ISO 1600. I have had good results with Topaz DeNoise at ISO 3200 and fair at ISO 6400. With that in mind I set 3200 most often and then make a determination if I can accept 6400 vs a slower shutter. If the action in the scene is most often faster than a walk, I set ISO 6400 as I know blur will be a bigger problem. If the action is a walk or slower, I know that I have a good chance with VR and 6 FPS to get a few keepers at 3200 (when shutter gets forced lower than my min) which is often preferred over 6400 in my case personally. It's just how my mind works as I see the line between 3200 and 6400 as a wall one must make a conscious decision to climb.

So are you shooting in S or M mode usually?

I really do float from A, S, and M with me primary being in A or M depending on the subject/scene or effect I'm after. Still a constant learning/growing experience for me in many ways.

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Mako2011
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

sjgcit wrote:

The upper limit I use to avoid excessive noise. I know if I'm warned about hitting it that the shots needs light added ( to gain my shutter speed ) rather than simply trading for noise beyond the point I'm comfortable with for a given shot.

Seems like several people prefer to gamble on the blur than take the sure-thing of more noise, which I guess I can see. If you gamble and win, you have a better image than if you let the ISO go too high.

Do you have an idea of your keeper rate at, say, one stop below your MSS?

One thing the happens for me which is weird I suppose, is I'm very aware when dropping below MSS in Auto ISO. That causes me to actually pause and take more time concentrating on holding technique and subject characteristics (watch for the person to pause) For a brief time I think my keeper rate, just below MSS, goes up slightly. I should be taking the same care all the time...but I don't

I think this would be impossible, but it would be interesting to get all the Auto-ISO users together and see what MSS values we select under the same shooting conditions. You know...see what people set at the zoo or museum. Would there be more similarities than differences? I wonder...

.

That would be furn

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Graystar
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, May 26, 2012

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

I suppose it depends on how high you want to go ISO wise I set the D90 to ISO 3200 some might prefer lower.

It doesn't save you it just means you can set the ISO to where you are comfortable

I was asking more specifically about the decision of blur over noise. If you're using A mode and Auto-ISO, and you set a Max Sen, then when you hit that max your shutter will slow. Now...the reason you've set that shutter in the first place is because that's the slowest you're willing to use to avoid blur. By setting a Max Sen, you're saying that at a certain point you'd prefer the blur over more noise. That's what doesn't really make sense to me.

However, that seems to be what responders to this thread do more often than not, so there must be something to it. As I noted in another post, I guess people are willing to gamble on the blur to avoid the noise, instead of the sure-thing of a sharp but really noisy image.

I shove the Auto ISO in the my menu for quick access works ok for me

Yeah...MyMenu with the Fn option seems to be popular amonst the posters. I also like it because I can press "left" on the multi-selector and get to MyMenu easily, where I have 6 items that I change all the time.

The only other point you missed is the focal length aware auto ISO that Nikon have got around to recently (many years after everyone else!) Useful to have esp for zoom lenses.

Like I said in another post, I don't think it's a very useful function...especially since VR zoom lenses have been around for some time now. I think Nikon just wanted to shut some vocal people up.

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Graystar
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Re: I'm pleased easily I guess
In reply to Nightwings, May 26, 2012

Nightwings wrote:

Graystar wrote:

Yeah, I have the Fn button set the same way. But you know...you still have to mess with the multi-selector...navigate to the shutter setting, press OK, select, etc. Would be nice to have a way to make the shutter changes quickly. Although it's rarely a big deal...I set my shutter for the subject matter, and if I'm right I don't have to update it. If I'm wrong, a few seconds later and it's right. So my suggestion really is a minor quibble.

I guess I must be spoiled ... I'm just happy my camera focuses and exposes properly.

LOL! Careful...don't let the Pentax people hear you say something like that

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Auto-ISO Discussion for Those in the Know
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

Graystar wrote:

I was asking more specifically about the decision of blur over noise. If you're using A mode and Auto-ISO, and you set a Max Sen, then when you hit that max your shutter will slow. Now...the reason you've set that shutter in the first place is because that's the slowest you're willing to use to avoid blur. By setting a Max Sen, you're saying that at a certain point you'd prefer the blur over more noise. That's what doesn't really make sense to me.

Makes sense to me what's the point of a max Auto ISO limit if the camera will go past that?

You pick what you want.

However, that seems to be what responders to this thread do more often than not, so there must be something to it. As I noted in another post, I guess people are willing to gamble on the blur to avoid the noise, instead of the sure-thing of a sharp but really noisy image.

That would depend a lot on focal length used.

Yeah...MyMenu with the Fn option seems to be popular amonst the posters. I also like it because I can press "left" on the multi-selector and get to MyMenu easily, where I have 6 items that I change all the time.

I have it on the Fn button too it makes sense to me

Like I said in another post, I don't think it's a very useful function...especially since VR zoom lenses have been around for some time now. I think Nikon just wanted to shut some vocal people up.

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On this I will have to disagree because not every zoom is VR.

Everyone else has been doing focal length ISO for a long time, some offer different program settings such as high speed or lower speeds too.

Even if they don't it's logical even for primes.

You lose nothing because you can still set the min shutter speed yourself if you want to, or leave it on Auto.

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Steve_in_FL
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Re: I'm pleased easily I guess
In reply to Graystar, May 26, 2012

This is an EXCELLENT topic! Thank you Graystar for starting it, and everyone else for your thoughtful responses. Let's have more threads like this!

I'm not usually torn between shutter speed and ISO. But then again, I rarely exceed 400 or 800 ISO, or 1/500 shutter speed. God I'm old school.

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apaflo
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Re: I'm pleased easily I guess
In reply to Nightwings, May 27, 2012

Nightwings wrote:

Graystar wrote:

Yeah, I have the Fn button set the same way. But you know...you still have to mess with the multi-selector...navigate to the shutter setting, press OK, select, etc. Would be nice to have a way to make the shutter changes quickly. Although it's rarely a big deal...I set my shutter for the subject matter, and if I'm right I don't have to update it. If I'm wrong, a few seconds later and it's right. So my suggestion really is a minor quibble.

I guess I must be spoiled ... I'm just happy my camera focuses and exposes properly .. I'd never trade that away even if I had to call an 800 number to get permission to change my ISO settings

Graystar is the one who is spoiled! He not only gets his camera to focus and expose properly, he gets that instantly as needed too! If he swings the camera from this direction to that, with a change in light that requires an ISO adjustment, he gets the shot that will be missed by anyone either not using AutoISO or needing to call an 800 number for permission.

Granted it isn't really a free lunch though, as he had to take the time to actually understand what his camera can do to make life easier.

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