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

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 9,562
Re: Beware the Sony Auto-mode in low-light! (Or: don't make my mistake)

Some kind of person wrote:

GaryW wrote:

Some kind of person wrote:

*snip*

What setting is "ISO AUTO Min. SS"? On my A6500, it's set to "Fast". I imagine if you set it lower, it'll force the shutter speed lower before raising ISO?
Another thing you could try is just force the ISO to be what you want. (If it's that dark, you still might want to stick to 3200 or at least 1600.) I'm surprised there isn't a "Maximum ISO" setting.

You can use P mode, but it'll still try to use 1/160 (well, does for me) unless you turn the dial. Handing the camera to another person (as was mentioned earlier) won't work, as others won't want to fiddle with the settings, so you'll have to set them ahead-of-time.

One thing that is really handy sometimes is using Manual mode and leaving it at "Auto ISO", but forcing the shutter and aperture to be what you want. Then, if it STILL hits ISO 6400 with a slow shutter and wide aperture, then at least you know it HAD to.
So, yeah, use manual and force the shutter to 1/80, the aperture to maybe f2, and go for it. Let us know if that works.

Having said all of that... I don't think high ISO is that much of a problem anymore. First, we see through noise pretty well; I think it's less objectionable in actual use. Second, software does a really good job of noise-reduction from RAW, and there are a lot of options there.

Well, I have adjusted the ISO AUTO Min. SS setting, as well as the Maximum ISO setting (which does exist), though even at their standard settings, Program mode still chooses more reasonable shutter speeds for me (around 1/60 under similar conditions to when I had it in Auto), but in Auto mode, those settings are unavailable/greyed out (along with most other settings). Basically, in Auto-mode, there is zero opportunity to make any manual adjustments (as far as I can tell).

Yeah, I don't think that's really the fault of Auto mode, though -- it's there when you want to just go to some default settings in a hurry.  I set my Auto mode to the "smart" one so that it at least tries to make somewhat intelligent choices (in low-light, for example), but I only use Auto mode when I'm not sure what state the camera is in and don't have the time to go through the settings.
For normal shooting, I use P mode (and occasionally A, S, or M, depending on the situation).  But P is like auto, except for being able to control all of the settings, plus you have the ability to rotate the top dial to change the shutter/aperture combination, so I would favor that unless you have reasons to use something else.

You're right, though, software has gotten really good at doing noise reduction, and the photos were far from unsalvageable (Topaz Labs Denoise AI did a wonderful job, as usual).

That seems like great software.  I have not had much of an opportunity/need to use it, though.

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Gary W.

 GaryW's gear list:GaryW's gear list
Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6500 +10 more
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