Beware the Sony Auto-mode in low-light! (Or: don't make my mistake)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Some kind of person New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Beware the Sony Auto-mode in low-light! (Or: don't make my mistake)

expressivecanvas wrote:

I think Sony has resorted to using higher ISOs in Auto mode because of two reasons.

The first has to do with the fact that very few people can hold a camera steadily while pressing the shutter button. It truly boggles my mind how much difficulty people have with this. I notice it every single time someone else handles one of my cameras to get me in the photo.

The next thing is that if the auto-focus system is noticing a larger depth of field being necessary (ie, two faces being the 'main subject' but they are not the exact same distance from the camera) then the camera will stop down a bit. If it stops down, then you need either a slower shutter speed (not advisable in auto for the above reason) or a higher ISO.

With today's ability for cameras to jump into higher than usual ISOs without the noise we used to see a decade ago, I don't see a problem with this. I'd certainly rather have a bit of noise as opposed to camera shake.

Patrick

This makes sense. I guess I hadn't considered the problem of most people not being familiar with techniques for holding the camera steady, and the Auto-mode being deliberately set-up for such users. Looking closer at how it behaves, I believe it chooses shutter speeds similar to a "ISO Auto Min. SS"-setting of "Fast" instead of "Standard" (which is the default the moment you leave Auto-mode), which I guess is based on the assumption that people who choose to opt for at least Program mode are more likely to know proper technique.

And you're right, while the noise level in the images was greater than I would like as a starting point, I was still able to get a satisfactory result using my usual noise reduction software. Still, if the shots had been done with my usual settings, I might not have needed to do any additional work at all, and that just vexed me a little. Though I guess the additional work is preferable to images with camera shake.

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