Beginner's question on A vs. M :)

Started Feb 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,390
Re: Wrong - you need EC anytime you use auto-ISO

Peter Mueller wrote:

Ray Sachs wrote:

For me, the best approach 95% of the time is Aperture priority mode with auto ISO turned on. Then I can designate the maximum ISO (and minimum if I feel the need) and the minimum shutter speed. If there's a lot of light, the ISO will be at the lowest setting and the shutter speed will be well above your designated minimum. If there's less light the shutter speed will stay at your designated minimum and the ISO will rise as needed to keep the shutter speed fast enough. If there's so little light that the ISO is maxed out and it still can't maintain your minimum shutter speed, only THEN will it drop the shutter speed below your minimum.

This is exactly how I shoot most of the time as well. I use the D700 and typically limit ISO to 800 or 1600. As Robin pointed out, one loses dynamic range when increasing ISO but for me what counts most is the depth of field in a given situation which makes the aperture the most important variable. The rest is a tradeoff between motion blur and noise/limited dynamic range, which is addressed with the setting of a maximum value for ISO and a minimum shutter speed (as Ray explained it). If there is not enough light to allow the desired shutter speed, I'd rather have more motion blur than higher ISO. This approach works very well for me.

When I use a flash (or several flashes for that matter) I switch off auto ISO and shoot in all manual. Typically I keep the exposure time at or near the fastest flash sync speed (1/250 with the D700) and I vary ISO (manually, not with auto ISO) to balance available light with the contribution of the flash(es). This works pretty well, but I am still learning flash...

This is exactly what I do as well.

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