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Auto ISO only up to 1600 - is this admission by manufacturer on usability?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by New Daddy, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    With my GF1 and GH1, the maximum auto ISO you can have is 1600. If you want to crank it up even higher, you have to do it manually.

    Is this a tacit admission on the part of the manufacturer that 1600 is the highest ISO that can be used without having to worry about IQ degradation?
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Every Olympus camera allows you to set the upper and even the lower limit to your liking. Can you not do that on the Pannys?
     
  3. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    That's what I'm talking about. The upper limit for auto ISO stops at 1600, when the absolute maximum ISO the camera can do is 3200. So, if you want to go above 1600, you must go manual ISO, not auto ISO.

    My question was, why such limit?
     
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The top ISO on any given camera is typically an "extension" ISO obtained by push processing the RAW data up a stop. You almost certainly don't want to use it. I guess they're trying to encourage you not to push the camera to those depths accidentally.
     
  5. ageha

    ageha Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Jun 14, 2011
    Yup but it's still an annoying limitation.
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Not to ask a dumb question, but are you sure that's how it works? On my GF2 and G3 I'm pretty sure the auto ISO goes up to the camera max. The auto ISO *limit* can only be set to one stop below camera max however, since otherwise it makes no sense to have the ISO limiting feature on in the first place and you should just run with that disabled.

    EDIT: m43er and AnttiV had it right, when I got a chance I checked the camera today and confirmed that it does indeed limit you to a stop below the camera max for the auto limit, and default stops at 800 ISO. There's no practical difference for me as I limit mine to 1600 anyway, but I do agree it seems silly to artificially limit functionality like that.
     
  7. m43er

    m43er Mu-43 Regular

    71
    Oct 6, 2011
    On my G3 it goes up to 3200 on auto and intelligent ISO but I set the limit to 1600.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Apr 19, 2012
    Finland
    On my G3, the limit behaves rather oddly. If I leave the limit in "off" mode (In my mind, this shouldn't then limit the auto function at all, but be able to go all the way up), the auto function is limited to ISO800. (yes, really. I don't know why, but that's how it behaves.) To go above 800, I need to set the limit to 1600 or 3200. If I manually set the limit to 3200, the auto function correctly goes up to that limit.

    And yes, the last stop is not available in auto mode at all, if I want to go up to ISO6400, I need to select it manually. I find that perfectly understandable. Like said above, the last (and sometimes the first) "stop" is an Extended-mode, and thus available only by selecting it manually.
     
  9. ageha

    ageha Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Jun 14, 2011
    The behaviour is correct. If you set it to "off" it will use the hardcoded upper default limit, that's probably ISO 800. If you want the automatic to go higher you have to set it explicitly.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Apr 19, 2012
    Finland
    I just find that highly illogical. The menu is like this:

    Auto-ISO Limit:
    Off
    400
    800
    1600
    3200

    My logic dictates that if I set any limit to "off", then it uses all available options and doesn't limit anything (because the limiter is off).

    Also, if "off" and "800" behave identically, why are both there? I don't really care that much, because I have set it as I like it and it behaves exactly as I want it, but things like this just confuse me a bit every time.

    It's like a store would see "free drinks" and then it would cost x amount anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ageha

    ageha Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Jun 14, 2011
    Every Lumix G camera behaves like that.
     
  12. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    372
    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    Alan
    personly on my old GF1, I set max auto ISO at 800, on my GX1, its set at 1600
     
  13. ageha

    ageha Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Jun 14, 2011
    I don't think it's an issue. I think it's more bothersome that you can't set the limit in 1/2 or 1/3 ISO steps.
     
  14. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Apr 19, 2012
    Finland
    Then every Lumix G camera behaves illogically :smile:

    If it isn't OFF, why call it OFF? Why not name the first choice "Default". That would make tons more sense (to me, at least).

    It's like driving a highway marked "no speed limit" and then get a ticket for speeding. "no limit" or "limit off" means just that - no limit.

    I vote for calling it "default".

    Otherwise, the auto function does work as I expect it to, however. And I'm more than happy that I chose the G3 as my camera, I like it a lot.