Auto ISO Tips

Auto ISO, is it useful?

Almost all new DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have the Auto ISO setting. Is it really useful? Let’s talk about it.

You know that 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 with unnoticeable noise!

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

Here are some tips for you:

If you have a constant light (even contrast) and want to use a certain combination of shutter speed and aperture value, you should turn on Auto ISO.

For example: you are shooting a sporting event, and want to keep your shutter speed at 1/1000 and the aperture at f2.8. 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.

Another example: 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!

Do not use Auto ISO…

-If you shoot steady subjects (such as landscape, macro, or even portraits.) You want to control the Depth of Field.

-In Flash Photography, especially if you use off-camera flashes.

-If you are aiming for a long exposure, Auto ISO can drive you nuts! When you want to slow down your shutter speed, the Auto ISO will keep increasing the sensitivity to maintain the minimum safe shutter speed.

-If you want to create a very shallow Depth-Of-Field.

We cover Auto ISO in our Sport Photography workshop in detail.

That is all for now. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Ted and Omnilargess Team


Scroll to Top