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Auto ISO, is it useful

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Tips on Auto ISO

Auto ISO, is it useful? 

Ted’s tips on how to use Auto ISO for better exposure

Photo Tip Friday June 5, 2015

Almost all new Digital cameras (including new DSLRs and mirrorless cameras) have the Auto ISO setting. Is it really useful? Let’s Take a look.

You can control exposure by using Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO. Usually you set the ISO and then select what shooting mode you want to use and then set the shutter speed and/or aperture to achieve the right exposure.

When manufacturers introduced the AUTO ISO for the first time, many photographers didn’t like the idea of leaving it to the camera, to set the ISO. And I should say they were right!…to a degree.

Normally, you don’t want to shoot in high ISO, as your photos can get grainy (noisy); with new sensors you can easily shoot the images at 1600 ISO or even higher, with unnoticeable noise!

Does it mean that I can shoot all of my images in higher ISO?

No. This is not a good idea, and there are several good reasons for it. The most important reason is at higher ISO you reduce the Dynamic Range of the sensor, which means the camera can not capture as much details in shadow and highlight in higher ISO. Another disadvantages of higher ISO can be listed as Lack of Sharpness, Chances of getting artifacts in image (Pixilated edges), etc.

ISO 100 vs ISO 6400 you can notice the Noise or Grain in high ISO

ISO 100 vs ISO 6400 you can notice the Noise or Grain in high ISO

 

So learning the power of Auto ISO will help you to shoot sharper and better images faster; with less fiddling around with shutter speed or aperture.

Here are some tips for Auto ISO:

Example 1: you are shooting a sporting event, and want to keep your shutter speed at 1/1000s and the aperture at f2.8. But some of actions happen in the shade and the others in the light. Turn on the Auto ISO in Camera. Auto ISO is your best assistant in this case. It maintains the shutter speed and aperture combination, regardless of whether your subject is in the shade, or in the light.

Set camera to Auto ISO and camera will compensate ISO to maintain the shutter speed and aperture

Set camera to Auto ISO and camera will compensate ISO to maintain the shutter speed and aperture

Set camera to Auto ISO and camera will compensate ISO to maintain the shutter speed and aperture

As the light changed, Camera reduced the ISO

Example 2: You take photos of children playing in a playground. If you shoot in manual mode and set the shutter speed and aperture, you don’t have to be worried about your exposure; the camera will set it right for you in Auto ISO, regardless if kids are playing in the shadow or the sunshine!

In Auto ISO mode, you can focus on your subject and rest assure that the Auto ISO will take care of exposure

In Auto ISO mode, you can focus on your subject and rest assure that the Auto ISO will take care of exposure

In Auto ISO mode, you can focus on your subject and rest assure that the Auto ISO will take care of exposure

In Auto ISO mode, you can focus on your subject and rest assure that the Auto ISO will take care of exposure

That is all for now. We love to hear from you. Feel free to send us your questions and we will answer your questions in our weekly Photography posts.

Ted and Omnilargess Team

Do you want to learn more hidden settings in your camera?

Check our Digital Camera Bootcamp for Beginners. It is an eight week program starts September 16. There are two field trips in this bootcamp to cover day time and night time photography. Class size is limited

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