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Shooting Manual with Auto ISO....A Discussion

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by gryphon1911, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    My shooting habits are generally that I shoot 90% of the time in aperture priority and 10% in manual - which is generally when I am shooting with off camera lighting.

    In aperture priority, I tend to use the exposure comp dial as a makeshift way of shooting "manual" with auto ISO.

    I would like to hear from others who shoot manual, but with ISO set to auto. I plan on starting to shoot this way to experiment on my own, so have that covered.

    It's just the more I think about it, and as good as all the digital cameras I have are in IQ between ISO 100 and 6400....it just seems to make more sense to give myself more creative freedom by having 2 exposure settings at my control instead of just 1 in aperture priority mode.

    What are your thoughts regarding shooting this way? Did you previously shoot full manual with manual selection of the ISO or did you used to shoot aperture priority?

    Again, just trying to get a feel for what others think about this or any stumbling blocks that might be run into while shooting this way.

    I plan on starting to shoot this way today for my personal/fun shooting and see where it leads.

    Much appreciation for those who choose to participate.
     
  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I sometimes do it with available light photography, set the slowest shutter speed I can afford to freeze motion and sufficient aperture to get enough in focus. In theory it will give me the best ISO for noise for each shot, if the light goes up the ISO and noise go down.

    Doesn't always work however it's very lazy and quick, you don't need to think deep thoughts as the camera does the stuff which doesn't matter.
     
  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I usually shoot aperture priority with auto-ISO, although the poor implementation on the Sony A7r (particularly for non-stabilised lenses) and its tendency to default to a (too slow for most focal lengths and situations) 1/60th of a second means I shoot Manual with auto-ISO a lot of the time, or aperture priority with a manually set ISO.

    An ideal camera would let me set a minimum shutter speed for auto-ISO, at which point I'd probably stick with aperture priority most of the time. How I currently use M mode in uncontrolled or variable lighting situations is manually set aperture and shutter speed, adjust exposure with exposure compensation and let ISO fall where it may. This is where an EVF with Zebras for exposure is very handy. I don't think all cameras allow exposure compensation to be used effectively in conjunction with auto-ISO, but I find it to be a very useful 'manual priority' semi-auto mode. The dedicated EV dial on the Sony also promotes this sort of use.

    I honestly don't shoot this way with the E-M1 most of the time, because blur due to subject motion is generally the issue for me in low light, rather than unsteady hands. So if shutter speeds can go nice and low, I'll just shoot aperture priority/auto-ISO with the E-M1 and let IBIS handle the rest :)
     
  4. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    For wildlife I try to keep the lens at f8 or even f11 where it works best. Then I'd like to trade a little shutter speed to keep the ISO low and with Manual I can do it. What I can no longer do is exposure compensation and with foliage and tree or to save the sky I often push down a full stop or more.

    In other words with Auto-ISO you completely loose exp comp AFAIK.

    So the ideal setup for this specific situation would be:
    front wheel: exp comp
    back wheel: ISO
    secondary wheel functions:
    front wheel: aperture (I change this but not often)
    back wheel: whatever

    This would allow me to choose a different shutter speed from the calculated one changing the ISO.

    I think that the E-M1 with the 2x2 switch can almost do all of that. With the E-M10 I have to use A mode and the Multi-function button for ISO and I loose ISO control as soon as I select one, not ideal.
     
  5. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I tend to shoot Av mode most of the time. I use M when using bounce and off camera flash. I have used M mode in the past for general shooting where, I know I want a certain minimum shutter speed - e.g. on a moving boat, capturing action. The downside I found with using M mode/auto ISO is there is no exposure compensation dial. I shoot RAW so it's not a big issue if exposure is slight off (I tend to find it tends to underexposure as to overexpose). If I do want to increase/decrease exposure - I'd press my dedicated ISO button and then twist the dial, until exposure is to my liking. But then you are in full manual mode and need to change ISO if the environmental lighting changes.
     
  6. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    The idea of Auto ISO has never appealed to me, at least when shooting with a priority for quality. I prefer to fix the ISO at some low setting, base ISO for no more than 2 stops higher.
     
  7. Web-Betty

    Web-Betty Mu-43 Veteran

    337
    Jun 16, 2013
    Denver
    MJ
    I love the idea of Auto ISO. I find I am constantly shooting in changing lighting conditions and if it was accurate, it would be great. I find, however, the camera likes to go really high, even when the situation doesn't call for it. Of course, it could be operator error. :rolleyes:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    It's nice that the OMDs let you set an upper limit for Auto ISO.
     
  9. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    I don't like auto ISO, but what difference does it make what I think? Maybe you should just try it for a couple of days and see how it goes.

    Fred
     
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Is this the case for Oly cameras? It's not for Sony, and I believe it isn't for Fuji or Nikon either.

    I tend to use auto-ISO in manual in situations with pretty poor light and moments that you get one chance at (i.e. low light gatherings of people like parties, etc.). ISO performance is generally so good these days that freezing the moment accurately takes priority over a super low ISO value. IBIS does help a lot, so really what we need is better auto-ISO implementation, IMO.

    My 'perfect' system, which I haven't got in any camera I own quite yet:
    - Aperture priority (DOF defines
    - Shutter speed minimums in auto-ISO mode: Focal length multiplier (i.e. 1/focal length rule, 1/2x focal length, 1/3x focal legnth), with the option of an added fixed minimum (e.g. at least 1/100 to freeze motion)
    - Auto-ISO based on above.

    Or even better: optional additional ISO-priority or Shutter-priority auto-ISO: set different rules for different ISO ranges. So if necessary ISO would end up between 100-800 (where any ISO will do fine, user defined), prioritize higher shutter speed over lower ISO (no blurring beats a bit of grain), or instead use a lower ISO and accept a lower shutter speed. The ability to define this sort of behaviour for specific ISO ranges could come in very handy indeed. But would probably make people complain that the menu system was entirely undecipherable :-D
     
  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    If we didn't want your opinion, I would not have posted this! Your opinions on these kinds of subject are as valid as anyone else's.
     
  12. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Re-reading my post, it sounds very negative. I didn't intend that. Re-reading your original post I see you're planning to give it a try.

    I'm interested in hearing about and seeing the results you get.

    Fred
     
  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I just don't want anyone to think that they cannot participate in a discussion because they may not agree with the premise or with the majority opinion. Those minority opinions or thoughts that go against the grain often are just as , if not more thought provoking than the majority.
     
  14. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 10, 2012
    I would have guessed most M43 can do this. Actually - I see the part about focal length multiplier and maybe that is the tricky part. My Nikon D300 basic auto-ISO operation allows: (1) max ISO level; (2) minimum shutter speed. I typically have auto-ISO on unless there is a specific reason not to use it. I usually leave the minimum shutter speed b/w 1/60 and 1/100 for wide to normal lenses. Then I will increase the shutter speed as needed for longer focal lengths.

    To the OP: I have seen many comments about shooting in M with auto-ISO. I think it would be a healthy exercise at the very least. I generally shoot in aperture priority, but there is lots of fun and creativity to be had using slow or fast shutter speeds. I think shooting in manual mode might help keep you mindful of those options.
     
  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    You can set a minimum shutter speed with the flash slow synch trick, up to 1/250 (F menu, no need to use flash). Not very easy to set but it works.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Yes no exposure compensation dial in M mode, is the case for oly cameras (at least em5/em1). Also think this is the case for most panasonic cameras.