1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Going to Africa, auto ISO or not?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by RenaudVL, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011

    I am going to South Africa, see signature for gear.
    I will probably shooting in all sort of condition!

    I always wonder if I should use auto ISO?

    Should I?

  2. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    Why wouldn't you? It is a very useful feature.
  3. I normally use auto ISO, but tend to switch it off in certain situations:
    -Manual flash
    -Long exposure
    -Any tripod shot
    -Need higher minimum shutter speed in aperture priority
    • Like Like x 1
  4. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    Auto ISO is like any other tool available to you. Sometimes it's the right tool, other times not, just like should I always shoot in aperture priority, or shutter priority, or always manual, or always shoot with flash.

    Use it when you're concerned about getting too low a shutter speed and/or don't want to be bothered checking that stuff in the view finder while shooting.

    It's not a panacea that fixes all problems and should be used with caution in 'some' situations where more manual control would be better. Letting the camera decide the ISO could have a negative impact if you wanted high shutter speed but it decided it could shoot a lower ISO by choosing a slower shutter speed or visa versa. Likewise, if you're in shutter priority it could choose a less than desirable aperture based on the auto ISO setting.

    My suggestion is this..... don't use a tool like auto ISO in critical non repeatable situations unless you totally understand how it's going to react and work for you in different situations. Use it lots before you go, find out it's good and bad points on your camera with your lenses and most importantly in your hands.

    Most of all, have a fun trip and come back and post lots of photos! :) 
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    It depends on which mode you are using. In Aperture priority the camera will push up the ISO to give you a shutter speed close to twice the focal length you are using (for zooms it uses the current focal length you are at).

    This means that if you are using a 300mm lens the "reference shutter speed" will be 1/600. And this means the camera can push the ISO up a lot. If you have a tripod, monopod, beanbag, etc. or with IS you can probably use a lower speed and this means lower ISO. Are you going for a safari?

    The opposite is when shooting moving targets with a short lens and the "reference" speed is too slow: here I would just switch to Shutter priority with Auto ISO.

    The only reason I see not to use it is when you need to take multiple shots with the exact same exposure, but even here you could use AEL to do this without switching to full manual.

    Set the top value to something reasonable for you, like 1600 or 3200 and be ready to change it depending on the situation. If shooting jpeg experiment with the denoise/sharpen settings to find the best ones for these high iso values.
  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Shoot how you normally shoot.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Enjoy South Africa - ridiculously photogenic country, particularly the cape region.

    As for auto-iso - shooting in South Africa isn't significanlty different from shooting anywhere else, on a technical level. It's just prettier than most places. So use it when it would be appropriate, and don't use it when it wouldn't.
  8. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I generally shoot in manual mode where I select aperture and shutter speed then set the camera to Auto ISO and start shooting. I always watch what ISO the camera is selecting and can easily adjust my manual settings or EV Comp to adjust ISO. This , to me, is a simple way to know and control all three exposure settings at one time.
  9. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I'll answer a different question first: If you expect to be shooting wildlife, add a 100-300mm to your kit and make sure to carry two bodies with EVFs. Personally, I would carry the 100-300 on one body and a 14-140 or 14-150 on the other, but your 50-200mm will probably work. You need reach and you need to be able to quickly react to a wide range of distances between you and the subject. When we were there we occasionally had animals walk so close to the game drive vehicle that we could almost touch them, but analyzing my shots the majority were shot at 300mm. A monopod is extremely helpful but also polish your skills in hand-holding while bracing yourself using available objects like the canopy posts in a game drive vehicle, the seat back in front of you, putting your foot on the seat and using your knee as a camera rest, etc. IBIS is nice, but no camera movement is better. IMO trying to compose a shot using the LCD and having a stable camera is a nearly impossible dream.

    If you have no hometown use for a 100-300, sell it when you get back from your trip. The net cost will be minimal. Buy again when you need the lens for another trip. I did just that in 2011 when we went to southern Africa. Now we are going to Ethiopia in January and I have just bought another copy to use on that trip, expecting to sell it when I get home.

    Re auto ISO, given adequate light I like to set the aperture at whatever gives optimum sharpness, probably one or two stops from wide open, and then let the camera worry about ISO and shutter speed. For my GX7s I set maximum ISO to 3200, but that will vary according to the camera and your taste in noise.
  10. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    Lots of valuable point of vue, here.
    I testing it.
    Thanks guys...
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Do what you normally do. If you shoot auto now, shoot it there. If you don't, don't. Otherwise, you'll be fiddling with the camera and paying attention to stuff like that instead of enjoying your trip. :) 

    I once started shooting with a brand new camera on a trip...(never shot it before). It was similar to a previous camera I had (5D Mark II and I also had the 5D Classic), except one of the buttons was in a different place. Thanks to this, I accidentally changed the Exposure Compensation without noticing it (I have never used EC before or after, so it being the culprit never occurred to me) and all my pics for about a day were blown out. I quickly corrected (thinking the metering was off) and didn't lose many pictures, but for a day or two, it was all I could think about instead of enjoying my trip. Thankfully, I noticed the +/- symbol on the LCD, quickly put EC back to 0 and solved my problem...still...to this day I wish I could have paid more attention on those days instead of worrying about my camera.
  12. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    When I shoot wildlife in Kruger Park or in the Colorado mountains, I usually want a high shudder speed to get good high speed sequences of animals running/leaping or birds in flight. I usually set the camera to Aperture priority, ISO to 800-1600 as the starting point. Then I monitor the resulting shudder speed. For birds in flight, and takeoffs and landings, you likely want a shudder speed of around 1000. For cheetahs 1000 is also a good shudder speed. For slower moving animals you can usually have speeds in the 500 range and sometimes less if you can pan. I can't wait for the 40-150 f2.8 and 300 f4 Pro lenses and 1.4 TC to replace my slower Panny 100-300 (that is not weather sealed)

    I have the MySet presets programed as follows:
    MySet 1: landscapes (aperture priority, 2 second timer, single shot, ISO 200)
    MySet 2: wildlife (aperture priority, no timer, high speed, ISO 800)
    MySet 3: BIF(aperture priority, no timer, high speed, ISO 1600)
    MySet 4: HDR (aperture priority, 5 step HDR, ISO 200...etc.)
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Wise advice. Be comfortable with your equipment before you leave home. New equipment, new technique, whatever ... The time for "new" is before the trip, not on the trip.

    I tried one of the Tokina 300mm mirror lenses in Central America last spring. What I found was that, for moving wildlife, it was like trying to find the subject by looking through a soda straw. I missed many shots because I just could not find a moving subject or, more often, I could not even find a stationary subject in brush or trees. I have since sold the lens, mainly for that reason. For Africa again this January, I just picked up a 100-300. With that I can start wide, find the subject, and then zoom closer. YMMV of course.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Ever see one of these? Very fast and very helpful for exactly the situation described (can't help with focus). Hot shoe adapter here. Or from B&H if one prefers. Just make sure the reflex sight mount matches since Weaver and Picatinny are different enough to cause problems in some cases.

    Another DIY example.
  15. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Cute. No, I had not. I actually have a few Ultradot pistol sights and enough machine tools to make a flash shoe adapter pretty easily.

    Life's a tradeoff, though, and the instability created by holding at arms' length to shoot using the LCD is IMO such a big negative compared to using an EVF that I'm not interested in going there. For shooting off a tripod, however, the tradeoff might go towards the shoe-mounted sight. I rarely use a tripod for wildlife though.
  16. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 15, 2014
  17. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Neat. I have a small astronomical telescope with a red dot sight, but the idea of using them on cameras with long lenses is new to me. The eye relief on my Ultradots is essentially zero, so probably they all are. I wonder if it would be feasible to aim with a red dot like the small/cheap BSA ones, then (quickly) move one's eye to the EVF. Gary5, any thoughts on this?
  18. DWS

    DWS Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 6, 2014
    Thus far, I have found the auto ISO to be reliable in changing situations that would not allow for taking the time to consider adjustments.
  19. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 15, 2014
    I think if the sight doesn't stick out and bang your head, it's feasible for still or slow subjects. Following action, I think you'd just use the red dot.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.