Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Dubai
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Clemente

    Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Hi, I have been reading this forum for some time now and have learned a lot. Thanks to all for that. I hadn't posted anything until today.

    I am new in photography (less than a year). I mainly shot candid pictures and portraits of my family and friends. Because of my preferred photography style, I :

    - Try not to use flash (to keep my subject unaware I am taking his/her picture)
    - Use mostly zoom lens (same reason as above)
    - Shoot almost exclusively with a handheld camera
    - Do not have too much control on lighting
    - Normally have only a single chance to take a good shot. That is, don't have time to adjust my camera settings and take another shot if the first one didn't result as intended.
    - Like to have control on DoF. When taking portraits I like to use a large aperture but sometimes I like to include some more background and use a smaller aperture to increase the DoF. So aperture control is important for me.

    So far, my results have been very disappointing. Many times I have found that otherwise great shots have being ruined because of camera shake or because an important part of the composition is out of focus.

    Because I want to have control on my DOF, I normally shoot in aperture priority. However, many times the resultant shutter speed is too low and my pictures result blurred (camera shake). The solution to this would be to increase the ISO speed and try again, but as I mentioned above, by the time I adjust the ISO, the opportunity to take the picture has passed. Also, I prefer to have my ISO as low as possible to minimise noise.

    I have also tried shooting in shutter speed priority. I set the shutter speed to the minimum recommended for a hand held camera (1/60 s). However, by doing this, I loss control of my DoF. Most of the times, this results in a very narrow DOF and pictures with parts of the subject being out of focus.

    I read somewhere that the solution to my problems is to shot in manual mode with auto ISO. That is, I set the shutter speed to the minimum for handheld camera (1/60), the aperture to my desired value and let the camera to decide the correct ISO speed.

    So far, my results with this new approach have not being great either. Sometime, when shooting in low light conditions, the selected ISO speed is so high that my pictures get a lot of noise. When shooting in opposite light conditions, my pictures are normally overexposed (camera cannot reduce ISO below 100).

    I'd like to hear your views on this camera settings (manual + auto ISO). Also, it would be great to hear your recommendations to improve the quality of my shots based on my style of shooting.

    Thanks a lot,

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    4,217
    Real Name
    Dave Ellis

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    I'd be interested to see what others have to say but I think for your situation I would be shooting in Aperture Priority mode with ISO set to Auto and the Max ISO set to a value you believe to be the maximimum acceptable for your camera.

    Granted you will still get shutter speeds that are too low if the light is too low but there is a limit to what you can get without increasing the light ie flash.

    Dave

    PS You didn't say what sort of camera you are using.
    Last edited by dje; 31st December 2012 at 09:16 AM.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Dubai
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Clemente

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    I'd be interested to see what others have to say but I think for your situation I would be shooting in Aperture Priority mode with ISO set to Auto and the Max ISO set to a value you believe to be the maximimum acceptable for your camera.

    Granted you will still get shutter speeds that are too low if the light is too low but there is a limit to what you can get without increasing the light ie flash.

    Dave

    PS You didn't say what sort of camera you are using.
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your reply. I am using a Canon EOS 600D. I mostly use a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM and a Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3

    So, you are suggesting using Aperture Priority + Auto ISO. I still don't understant quite well how this works. By your suggested setting, I am leaving to the camera to decide 2 parameters: shutter speed and ISO speed. If my understanding is correct, there are multiple combinations of these 2 parameters that will give the same exposure (for my selected aperture).
    How does the camera decide what combination of ISO and Shutter to use? In what order/priority the camera will adjust these 2 parameters. For instance, in low light conditions, will the camera increase the ISO to the maximum before start reducing the shutter speed?

    Thanks a lot,

    Clemente

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario (mostly)
    Posts
    6,621
    Real Name
    Bobo

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Firstly, please edit your profile so that we have a "real" name to talk with.

    2nd, as Dave said - camera info, lens too.

    3rd - You are going through almost exactly what I was in the first few months with the DSLR. I read a lot and seen many many works by others and thought it was easy. Boy was I wrong. The best way you are going to learn is in baby steps. Get rid of that long list of constraints and start from the top.

    4th - about your reluctance to use flash. It is not as if your targets are unaware of what you are doing. Start using that flash. They will learn to ignore you like they do now. Family/friends should be fine with that. Burst of light - ahhhhh crazy xxx at it again.

  5. #5
    dje's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    4,217
    Real Name
    Dave Ellis

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by Clementer View Post
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your reply. I am using a Canon EOS 600D. I mostly use a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM and a Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3

    So, you are suggesting using Aperture Priority + Auto ISO. I still don't understant quite well how this works. By your suggested setting, I am leaving to the camera to decide 2 parameters: shutter speed and ISO speed. If my understanding is correct, there are multiple combinations of these 2 parameters that will give the same exposure (for my selected aperture).
    How does the camera decide what combination of ISO and Shutter to use? In what order/priority the camera will adjust these 2 parameters. For instance, in low light conditions, will the camera increase the ISO to the maximum before start reducing the shutter speed?

    Thanks a lot,

    Clemente
    Clemente

    I have a 600D also. I'm not sure exactly how the camera makes a choice between shutter speed and ISO (it doesn't say in the User Manual) but from what I've read elsewhere, it should always use the lowest ISO until a designated minimum shutter speed is reached and then start increasing the ISO to prevent the shutter speed going below this value. Once it reaches the max ISO, then shutter speed will start to decrease again.

    Hopefully someone else may know more.

    I'll see if I can do a test tomorrow in daylight.

    Dave

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,932

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    I also recommend using Aperture Priority and Auto ISO, subject to certain conditions explained below. Keep in mind that the Auto ISO has two direct settings and one related setting:

    Maximum ISO -- use this to keep the ISO at a value that generates no more noise than can be reasonably handled during post-processing

    Minimum shutter speed -- use this to configure the shutter speed that is appropriate for the situation. The OP mentioned that 1/60 is fast enough for hand holding a camera. However, it may not be fast enough when using a focal length of 100mm or longer and may not be fast enough even when using a 50mm lens with no image stabilization. It also may not be fast enough when shooting people without flash because it may not stop their motion. (My guess is that at least some of the blur the OP is experiencing is caused by this.)

    Camera ISO -- This is the ISO that the camera is set to whether or not Auto ISO is enabled. When using Auto ISO, always configure the camera to its lowest ISO. That makes it possible to use the lowest ISO and generate the least amount of noise when such conditions allow (which will not be often when shooting family and friends inside a home).

    However, depending on the camera, you may not be able to configure the minimum shutter speed fast enough. As an example, the Nikon D80 allows a minimum shutter speed only as fast as 1/125. If you are shooting in a situation requiring faster shutter speeds, I recommend configuring Auto ISO and using Shutter Priority or, as the OP suggests, configuring Auto ISO and using manual mode to also allow total control over depth of field.

    Even so, it's important to understand what your camera will do when the conditions do not allow the camera to use your designated Auto ISO settings and exposure compensation. As an example, assume that you are shooting in Aperture Priority at f/4, using Auto ISO at a maximum ISO of 1600, a minimum shutter speed of 1/250, and zero exposure compensation. When conditions do not allow that exposure to be made, a Nikon camera will reduce the shutter speed to something slower than 1/250. (That's because you are shooting in Aperture Priority, which in effect tells the camera to adjust the shutter speed when needed. If I remember correctly, a Nikon camera will not increase the ISO beyond the configured maximum value.)
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 31st December 2012 at 01:23 PM.

  7. #7
    dubaiphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,851
    Real Name
    Phil Page

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Personally I'd go for auto ISO with a maximum value that you are comfortable with.

    Minimum shutter speed can be focal length based, but as you're dealing with people I'd go for a minimum of 1/100th to 1/125th to make sure that the image is sharp and free from camera shake and subject movement.

    And aperture priority mode

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,296
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by Clementer View Post
    I prefer to have my ISO as low as possible to minimise noise.
    This is "false economy" in my view Clemente,

    If you don't under expose and you don't crop excessively and you don't need to make huge images to be studied at close distance, the noise, even if visible at 100% (when pixel peeping the capture) should not be an issue.

    One question not asked so far (unless I missed it); are you shooting jpg or RAW?

    RAW is best; then if noise is a problem, it allows you to deal with it via Neat Image (or similar) before you sharpen. Also don't sharpen before you downsize (if for web use).

    It would be useful if you did Edit your Profile and pop "Clemente" into the Real Name field and where you are (city/state/region + country) into the Location field - thanks.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

  9. #9
    dje's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    4,217
    Real Name
    Dave Ellis

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Hello again Clemente

    I just did a simple test to see how the 600D behaves in Av mode with ISO Auto and Max ISO 800. I started out with the aperture wide open and then gradually decreased the aperture to get gradually decreasing light. For plenty of light, ISO remained at 100 as the shutter speed decreased. Once the shutter speed became 1/100, and the light was decreased further, the ISO started to increase to 200, then 400, then 800. At this point , further reduction in light caused the shutter speed to start decreasing again with ISO remaining at 800. So the behaviour was as expected with the "cut-off" shutter speed 1/100.

    Incidentally I don't really like using an ISO greater than 800 on the 600D as it gets a bit too noisy.

    Dave

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,186
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    I have not shot with an xxxD camera in a long whle but, my xxD and 7D cameras show the ISO, shutter speed and f/stop combination within the viewfinder.

    Shooting in the Programmed mode with an ISO selected, it is easy to scroll through the f/sop-shutter speed combinations to give a combination which suits your needs. If you need to increase or decrease the ISO to allow for the f/stop-shutter speed combination, it is easy to do that also.

    If you absolutely need an f/stop-shutter speed combination which is not available at any ISO with the lens you are using you have chosen you can: adjust the lighting, change to a faster lens and or adjust the ISO.

    IMO, one of the advantages of shooting with prime lens with a faster f/stop or a zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture is that you have a greater f/stop-shutter speed range available. A mid range 17mm or 18mm to 50mm or 55mm zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 f/stop will allow a shutter speed that is 1/4 that of the f/5.6 of the average kit lens at 50mm or 55mm. In other words, if the fastest shutter speed you can use for any given ISO in any given light level is 1/25 of a second with your kit lens, you can shoot at 1/100 second with an f/2.8 lens. If your ISO-lighting level will allow you only 1/15 second with your kit lens at maximum focal length, you can use 1/60 second for the constant f/2.8 lens. The 1/60 second brings hand holding into the range of possibility even with a 1.6x camera. The rule of 1/focal length would normally require about 1/80 second to stabilize a shot with a 50mm lens on a 1.6x camera but, I can usually hold the camera steady enough to shoot at 1/60 second.

    Bringing a larger grouping of f/stop/shutter speeds into possibility would be the use of a lens with Image Stabilization. The IS will allow me to hold my camera steady enough for crisp shots at 1/15 second. Some people can hold slower but, I am an old man.

    Sure, the IS will not stop subject movement and when shooting with IS at a very slow shutter speed, you have to select your shots to eliminate as much subject motion as possible by shooting when the subject is not moving, shooting at peak of action or shooting when the subject is coming toward or away from you.

    I personally have no hesitation in imcreasing ISO to get an f/stop-shutter speed I can live with. IMO, noise can be controlled in post processing and even noise in an image is far less objectional that unsharp images whether from camera shake, subject movement or incorrect focus - or all of the above.

    I mentioned above, that when you cannot achieve the f/stop-shutter speed you need, here are ways of working around this. I have mentioned using a lens with a wider aperture and boosting your ISO. However, one of the most efficient ways around the problem of shooting in low light levels is to increase the light that is available. The most efficient way to do this is with bounced hotshoe flash using a reflector/diffuser to modify the light from the flash. Using flash doesn't have to result in the "deer in the headlights" look. Creatively used flash will not look like flash was used but, will allow you a greater control over the shutter speed, f/stop and ISO.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,631
    Real Name
    Greg

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    I am also relatively new to photography with a DSLR and have been using a Canon 600D for a few months now. I found all the variables (shutter, aperture ISO etc) overwhelming at first -- and am still no expert. But the first thing I decided to 'pin down' was ISO because I also thought it was necessary to use as low a speed as possible to preserve detail and clarity. So I set the ISO to 100 and then moved on to Aperture Priority. However, as I generally prefer to shoot around dawn and dusk I found that sometimes the results were less than satisfactory because the shutter speed had to be very slow to accomodate the low light.

    So I cautiously increased the ISO to 200, anticipating the results to be grainy. But that ddin't happen. In fact I could see no difference usually. So I upped the ISO to 400 and the results were still acceptable; so I increased it further and so on til I discovered that the auto ISO could be limited, as others have said here. So now I generally leave the ISO on auto, but limited to a max of 800. Then it was back to my adventures with Aperture and DOF.

    When trying to photograph a flower up close (about 1m) I found that I could only get the front petals in focus and the rest of it was blurry. I couldn't figure out the reason, and in frustration got a ruler and measured the distance from the front of the flower to the back of it: less than 2cm if I recall correctly. It was then that I realised that DOF does not simply vary with the aperture setting number. The distance from the camera to the subject also plays a large part in determing the DOF. For example (only), using the same aperture setting to shoot a subject, the depth of field will be much shallower with the subject 1m from the camera than a subject 20m from the camera.

    I realise there is nothing particularly remarkable about that observation -- I had read as much -- but until I came up against the problem with the flower shot, it didn't really click with me. So, experience is the best teacher (for me at least).

    Perhaps if you posted an example of the problem you are having, and include the details and distance to subject, people here might be able to offer more specific advice.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,932

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Greg,

    Your success no doubt is at least partly attributed to changing just one variable at a time. People who change multiple variables at a time understandably become confused, come to inaccurate conclusions, and fail to improve their skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by FootLoose View Post
    using the same aperture setting to shoot a subject, the depth of field will be much shallower with the subject 1m from the camera than a subject 20m from the camera.
    Don't forget that the third factor is the focal length of the lens. Change any one or more of those three factors and the depth of field will change.

  13. #13
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Dubai
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Clemente

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    4th - about your reluctance to use flash. It is not as if your targets are unaware of what you are doing. Start using that flash. They will learn to ignore you like they do now. Family/friends should be fine with that. Burst of light - ahhhhh crazy xxx at it again.
    Bobo,

    1st, Thanks for your response

    2nd, I have found that when people notice that I am taking their picture, they tend to stop what they are doing and pose to the camera, which sometimes completely ruins what I wanted to capture. That is why I try to minimise the use of the flash and shoot with a zoon lens.

    Clemente

  14. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Dubai
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Clemente

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    This is "false economy" in my view Clemente,

    If you don't under expose and you don't crop excessively and you don't need to make huge images to be studied at close distance, the noise, even if visible at 100% (when pixel peeping the capture) should not be an issue.

    One question not asked so far (unless I missed it); are you shooting jpg or RAW?

    RAW is best; then if noise is a problem, it allows you to deal with it via Neat Image (or similar) before you sharpen. Also don't sharpen before you downsize (if for web use).

    It would be useful if you did Edit your Profile and pop "Clemente" into the Real Name field and where you are (city/state/region + country) into the Location field - thanks.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...
    Dave,

    I do shoot RAW. I have also experienced what other members have commented that above ISO 800 - 1600, noise become excessive. I have not printed any picture yet (haven’t shot one good enough worth printing). However, the noise in my pictures taken with high ISO speed is clearly visible on the screen (computer and digital photo frame). Maybe is the quality of my camera or that I am not doing a good job in post processing.

    Clemente

  15. #15
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Dubai
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Clemente

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Hello again Clemente

    I just did a simple test to see how the 600D behaves in Av mode with ISO Auto and Max ISO 800. I started out with the aperture wide open and then gradually decreased the aperture to get gradually decreasing light. For plenty of light, ISO remained at 100 as the shutter speed decreased. Once the shutter speed became 1/100, and the light was decreased further, the ISO started to increase to 200, then 400, then 800. At this point , further reduction in light caused the shutter speed to start decreasing again with ISO remaining at 800. So the behaviour was as expected with the "cut-off" shutter speed 1/100.

    Incidentally I don't really like using an ISO greater than 800 on the 600D as it gets a bit too noisy.

    Dave
    Thanks Dave,

    Is the minimum shutter speed (1/100th in the case you are describing) a configurable parameter? Some post talk about set the camera maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed. I checked my camera manual and found how to set the maximum ISO but I couldn’t find anything about minimum shutter speed.

    Clemente

  16. #16
    dje's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    4,217
    Real Name
    Dave Ellis

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by Clementer View Post
    Thanks Dave,

    Is the minimum shutter speed (1/100th in the case you are describing) a configurable parameter? Some post talk about set the camera maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed. I checked my camera manual and found how to set the maximum ISO but I couldn’t find anything about minimum shutter speed.

    Clemente
    Clemente as far as I'm aware, the minimum shutter speed for this situation is not able to be set on the 600D. It possibly is able to be set on other cameras.

    Dave

  17. #17

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,932

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Considering that it's apparently not possible to configure the minimum shutter speed on the 700D when using Auto ISO, it is very understandable why Clemente has gotten used to using Auto ISO in conjunction with manual metering. An alternative is to use shutter priority. However, Clemente likes having direct control over the aperture; using shutter priority provides only indirect control over the aperture.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    155

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Quote Originally Posted by Clementer View Post
    Is the minimum shutter speed (1/100th in the case you are describing) a configurable parameter? Some post talk about set the camera maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed. I checked my camera manual and found how to set the maximum ISO but I couldn’t find anything about minimum shutter speed.
    The Minimum Shutter Speed is a setting that Nikon cameras have. Most cameras from other makers don't have such an option.

    The Canon 5D MIII, 6D, and 1D-X do have a Minimum Shutter Speed setting. However, for some inexplicable reason, Canon has limited the speed range from 1" to 1/250s. On Nikon cameras the range is 1" to 1/2000s or 1/4000s (depending on the camera.) Having a range of faster speeds allows you to set a minimum shutter speed that is appropriate for sports or wildlife shooting, where you may need minimum speeds as fast as 1/1000s. So I just don't understand Canon's limitation of 1/250s. But I guess it doesn't matter much if don't own one of these very expensive cameras.

  19. #19
    Letrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Haarlem, Netherlands
    Posts
    1,683
    Real Name
    Peter

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Clemente, I notice a few things you could look at. And by the way, it might be helpful if you posted a few examples of shots that went wrong in various modes.

    First of all it would be interesting to see what kind of lens you are using for your shots and how fast that lens really is. You mention using a zoom for your shots, so that people don't notice you too quickly. Now, I am not a Canon shooter, so I don't know what their zooms are capable of, but let's assume you have a zoom that has maximum apertures of 3.5-5.6.

    If you zoom in on people, the aperture will automatically adjust, so if you are zoomed to the maximum (to get those far away shots of people) your aperture will be at e.g. 5.6. That means that you are already loosing a lot of light, which has to be compensated by shutter/ISO to keeep it workable.
    Assuming your lens has VR (or something similar) you might get a small benefit from that, but if it has not I would recommend to keep your shutter speed at the same number as your zoom range. So if the zoom is 55-200mm and you are zoomed to 200mm, set your shutter speeed to 1/200 at least to minimize the effect of shake.

    Use the widest aperture (you lose some sharpness that way, so your focusing has to be accurate) possible and set your ISO for the maximum that you find acceptable. If you see unacceptable noise at ISO800, keep it under that number. If not, try one higher and go to ISO1600.
    Auto ISO is fine to use, but your maximum setting has to produce acceptable results, so that is what you should set it for. Cameras can go very high nowadays in their ISOs, but not always with good results.

    These are your boundaries basically. You can improve a bit perhaps if your camera technique improves. Find something stable to stabilize your camera if possible.

    If I take evening shots indoors I usually use my 50mm or 85mm lens. They both have a maximum aperture of F/1.8 and for those kind of shots I keep them close to that number. In my camera ISO3200 is still acceptable, so I have some flexibility there as well.

    Look at the lens you are currently using and try to find out if that lens is the ideal partner for the shots you want. Sometimes another combination of body+lens will work better.

  20. #20
    davidedric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Cheshire, England
    Posts
    3,089
    Real Name
    Dave

    Re: Manual Mode + Auto ISO

    Warning dumb question alert!

    I fix the max ISO to value I find acceptable. I fix the aperture to fully open (or some other value I choose. But the shutter speed is too low and I get camera shake. If I deliberately under expose using ev compensation and so push up the shutter speed, then bring the exposure back up in PP, am I helping at all? Since there is no magic, I expect the answer is No, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Maybe the under exposure messes up the signal to noise ratio?

    The reason behind the convoluted thinking is to give the OP the best chance to get a usable shot without having to change settings for each shot.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •