I have used my D200 fairly extensively using Auto ISO in both the on and off position. I had begun to use Auto ISO more and more of late and, for the most part, have been fairly pleased. About the only times I've hated what it has done is if I am trying to shoot without flash in too low of lighting and the subsequent auto switch to 1600 has left an ugly noise trail.
Fairly recently, I was given Thom Hogan's guide to the D200 where he pretty much disparages Auto-ISO and recommends NOT to use it, at all. However, he did not say much to convince me that he was correct. I found this a bit disturbing since he is generally spot on with his recommendations.
I know that much has been said in past threads regarding Auto ISO. Perhaps someone can just explain with different and understandable rationale why someone would adivse against its use (other than some sort of "I HAVE TO BE IN TOTAL CONTROL" ethos). Thanks
As much as I respect Thom Hogan, I believe he has somewhat short-changed auto-iso. You can search this forum and find detail on how it operates, a necessary condition for its effective use. On my D200 I set it for a maximum of ISO800, with various shutter speeds, operating primarily in aperture mode. On the D300 I've upped the limit to ISO3200. It's a great way to keep the shutter speed up in less than ideal lighting conditions.
>As much as I respect Thom Hogan, I believe he has somewhat >short-changed auto-iso. You can search this forum and find >detail on how it operates, a necessary condition for its >effective use. On my D200 I set it for a maximum of ISO800, >with various shutter speeds, operating primarily in aperture >mode. On the D300 I've upped the limit to ISO3200. It's a >great way to keep the shutter speed up in less than ideal >lighting conditions.
Thanks. Yes, I know how it works,just woderning why the ixnay by T. Hogan. 800 is now my usual max for ISO, too, but I seldom set it much above 400.
>>>Perhaps someone can just explain with different and understandable rationale why someone would advise against its use<<<
The only reasonable rationale not to use it would be there isn't any reason not to use it. Use it and you may get noisier images that don't suffer motion blur (thus usable), don't use it and have your ISO set too low and you may get less noisy images with motion blur (thus unusable).
I didn't even discover that the D200 had much improved Auto ISO over the D70 so I never used in on the D200 until someone had pointed out that it had been improved and after trying it I used it all the time for hand held shots.
>>>>Perhaps someone can just explain with different and understandable rationale why someone would advise against its use<<< > >The only reasonable rationale not to use it would be there >isn't any reason not to use it. Use it and you may get >noisier images that don't suffer motion blur (thus usable), >don't use it and have your ISO set too low and you may get >less noisy images with motion blur (thus unusable). > >I didn't even discover that the D200 had much improved Auto >ISO over the D70 so I never used in on the D200 until >someone had pointed out that it had been improved and after >trying it I used it all the time for hand held shots.
Interesting. I am wondering if past experience with the D70 might have clouded his opinion such that he didn't give it a fighting chance on the 200. Further wonder if he has since changed his mind in this respect.
I think there's good reason to look critically at auto anything. Auto ISO has one reason to exist - you want an extra level of automation so you don't have to make ISO choices yourself. There's no doubt that you have a lot more powerful computer perched on your neck than Nikon put in its DSLs. But sometimes convenience trumps everything. I haven't done it yet, but I'll set up a "point and shoot" mode on my D300 that I will never use but might set if I have to hand my camera to someone who doesn't know how to use it. In that setting I'll enable auto ISO along with other full auto modes I would use rarely if ever myself.
The lower the noise and less impact on image quality that high ISO imparts, the more I can see the utility of an auto ISO mode. Someone shooting with a D3 could well use auto ISO without paying a great price in average image quality. I personally was reluctant to use higher than ISO 400 on my D200 except when there was no other way to get a shot. So I don't think auto ISO is nearly as painless a choice with the D200 as with the D3. The D300 is a little more auto ISO friendly than the D200, but not in the same league as the D3.
That individual working ethos thing does matter. For instance, you may own a DSLR but be looking for nothing more than nice 4x6 prints and some web images to share. In that case, high ISO noise isn't going to compromise your experience and results. Most folks who want control are going for much larger prints and more critical applications of their images.
Thanks, I appreciate your considered take on the matter. I sense a bit of bristle, though, regarding the "ethos" comment. Keep in mind that I was not discounting anyone's ethos as being unimportant, just wondering if there were reasons OTHER than that for recommending no Auto-ISO.
I'm sure that reviewers sometimes say things without actually having put their thoughts to any exhaustive tests, probably due to time constraints. (I bet a pound to a penny thatThom Hogan is under tremendous pressure now to get D300 and D3 guides onto the market).
Auto-ISO was greatly misunderstood when it appeared on the D70. The understanding seems to have improved over time with the D200 (which brought a major step up in user control over Auto-ISO).
Now, with the improvement in noise levels on the D300 I expect Auto-ISO will prove to the few remaining doubters just how useful it can be.
It's no big secret that I'm a big supporter of Auto-ISO and, indeed, I have it as my first option in the "My Menu" settings on my D300.
I need now, when I get time, to see if it's been improved in any way with regard to flash (which is the only criticism I have of it on the D70 and D200).
Pete "Cameras don't take photographs, people do" - John Hedgecoe said that. "Expose for the highlights and let the shadows take care of themselves" - Ansel Adams said that. "The camera is only a tool. The best saw in the world won't make you a great carpenter" - I said that A few photos, here for a reason
I think that a person's position for or against auto ISO would depend on their working habits and priorities. I never use it because I would rather use a tripod at ISO 100 than get a sharp hand-held photo at ISO 800. I use higher ISOs in situations where I can't use a tripod, but I tend to work deliberately, and I'd rather make the decision on ISO/aperture/shutter speed than have the camera do it for me. Other folks prefer not to bother with a tripod, or the nature of their photography doesn't offer them the luxury of taking the time to set the ISO for each shot, so auto ISO may be a good way for them to avoid blurred photos. It's great that Nikon included it as a tool for people to use if it suits their needs.
I agree with KGM. I have set up my shooting banks so that auto ISO is activated for shooting sports. For landscapes, etc., I prefer to maintain the base ISO. The flexibility of these cameras is their greatest feature in my view.
The only reasons that I can think of to not use Auto Iso is if the camera did not tell you that auto ISO has kicked in or did not communicate what the resultant ISO setting is prior to the shot being taken.
Of course, the good news is that the D300 and D200 virtually slap you in the face with this data. You can then decide if the resultant ISO is acceptable or not, and make whatever choice you like...take the shot as is, get out the tripod, break out the SB's, open the aperture, slow down the shutter speed...whatever.
Why someone would fail to take advantage of this powerful tool is most perplexing. Why Thom Hogan would dump on this feature is even more baffling.
As others have mentioned, I don't use Auto Iso on the tripod or with flash. Otherwise, it is always on in my camera, with the ISO/shutter speed limits set in my Shooting Bank menu with four options based on lens focal length.
I am not sure where the link is, but someone posted a link to Dave Black's site where he was showing photos taken with a D3. After reading what he was saying about using a D3 set to Auto ISO, pre-setting the shutter speed and aperture, I took my D300 out for a similar test.
I tried setting my camera to Manual, with the shutter set to 1/1000 second and the aperture to f6.3. This one has a -2/3 EV. I set the camera to Auto ISO and shot away. With a cloudy day, I was getting ISO results between 250 and 900 on the final shots. The swan image was captured at ISO 900. I am not sure I will go that way all the time in my action shots, but it was certainly a good experiment. I can see this being a great option for a soccer game with good light. This one was also shot trying out the 3-D tracking feature.
I realize the post was in relation to a D200, but between Dave Black's article on his web site and my few test shots, I can see a lot of uses.