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Automatic ISO versus Manual Setting

 
 
Morton
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      02-22-2008
Hi,

I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and decreasing
vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using a Canon Digital Elph
SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is usually OK
but occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high ISO setting
was turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g. ISO 100 should
theoretically give the best noise-free pictures. This camera has a shake
icon for when the shutter speed is too slow, and can be set to bump up
the ISO on one shot at a time by pressing one button.

In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at 100 while
watching out for slow shutter speeds?

Thank you.

Mort
 
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Dave Cohen
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      02-22-2008
Morton wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and decreasing
> vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using a Canon Digital Elph
> SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is usually OK but
> occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high ISO setting was
> turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g. ISO 100 should
> theoretically give the best noise-free pictures. This camera has a shake
> icon for when the shutter speed is too slow, and can be set to bump up
> the ISO on one shot at a time by pressing one button.
>
> In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at 100 while
> watching out for slow shutter speeds?
>
> Thank you.
>
> Mort


I set my camera to 100. If a special situation should require something
higher I override it for that instance.
Dave Cohen
 
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David J Taylor
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-22-2008
Morton wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and decreasing
> vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using a Canon Digital
> Elph SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is
> usually OK but occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high
> ISO
> setting was turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g. ISO 100
> should theoretically give the best noise-free pictures. This camera
> has a shake icon for when the shutter speed is too slow, and can be
> set to bump up the ISO on one shot at a time by pressing one button.
>
> In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at 100
> while watching out for slow shutter speeds?
>
> Thank you.
>
> Mort


Mort,

With the small-sensor cameras I've used, the lowest ISO setting gives by
far the best results. I keep mine on the lowest ISO. If you therefore
need a low shutter speed, try and find a brace for the camera. Failing
that, if you have an inage which is very noisy, you can try
noise-reduction software (but don't overdo it), and/or convert the image
to monochrome where the grain (noise) can add character to the image.

Cheers,
David


 
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Morton
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      02-22-2008
Dave Cohen wrote:
> Morton wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and decreasing
>> vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using a Canon Digital
>> Elph SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is usually
>> OK but occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high ISO
>> setting was turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g. ISO 100
>> should theoretically give the best noise-free pictures. This camera
>> has a shake icon for when the shutter speed is too slow, and can be
>> set to bump up the ISO on one shot at a time by pressing one button.
>>
>> In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at 100
>> while watching out for slow shutter speeds?
>>
>> Thank you.
>>
>> Mort

>
> I set my camera to 100. If a special situation should require something
> higher I override it for that instance.
> Dave Cohen


Hi Dave and David,

Thanks for the good advice. It sounds logical, and paying attention to
the shake icon in poor light should not be difficult.

I'll try setting the ISO at 100 as my default setting, and bump up the
ISO manually and/or lean against a wall, as needed.

Mort
 
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HEMI - Powered
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-22-2008
Morton added these comments in the current discussion du jour
....

> Hi,
>
> I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and
> decreasing vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using
> a Canon Digital Elph
> SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is
> usually OK
> but occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high
> ISO setting was turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g.
> ISO 100 should theoretically give the best noise-free
> pictures. This camera has a shake icon for when the shutter
> speed is too slow, and can be set to bump up the ISO on one
> shot at a time by pressing one button.
>
> In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at
> 100 while watching out for slow shutter speeds?
>

What lighting condition(s) are you shooting in, what subject(s) do
you shoot, etc.? Since you're a film photographer, you know the
rule of 16, namely shutter at the reciprocal of the ASA/ISO at
f/16, so at ISO 100 in bright daylight, your camera ought to be
able to do just fine. But, if you're shooting action and/or you
have a need to get more DOF, you might first try setting either
shutter or aperture priority mode instead of full auto or
programmed auto and see if you can get by at ISO 100. If not, then
try 200 then 400. I don't like auto ISO for exactly the reasons you
cite. Hope this helps some but I'd need more info to give a better
answer.

--
HP, aka Jerry

"Surely you jest - and don't call me Shirley!" - from the movie
"Airplane!"
 
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HEMI - Powered
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-22-2008
Morton added these comments in the current discussion du jour
....

>> I set my camera to 100. If a special situation should require
>> something higher I override it for that instance.
>> Dave Cohen

>
> Hi Dave and David,
>
> Thanks for the good advice. It sounds logical, and paying
> attention to the shake icon in poor light should not be
> difficult.
>
> I'll try setting the ISO at 100 as my default setting, and
> bump up the ISO manually and/or lean against a wall, as
> needed.


Before I resorted to leaning against a wall, which is iffy at best,
I'd go to 200 or 400 and kill the noise in your fav graphics
editor. If the camera is reasonably noise-free, it should be no
problem. Again, I don't know if your subjects are moving or stock
still or how steady you are. e.g., in my film days circa 1970s with
a Nikon FTN and a 50mm lens, I could get at least reasonable
available light shots at 1/4 or 1/8 sec in places where I couldn't
use flash and the film of the day wasn't nearly high speed enough.
But now, at age 60, below 1/30 with my Rebel XT and I get
noticeable shake, so there's a lot of variables to consider.

--
HP, aka Jerry

"Surely you jest - and don't call me Shirley!" - from the movie
"Airplane!"
 
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Bob Williams
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-22-2008
Morton wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and decreasing
> vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using a Canon Digital Elph
> SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is usually OK but
> occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high ISO setting was
> turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g. ISO 100 should
> theoretically give the best noise-free pictures. This camera has a shake
> icon for when the shutter speed is too slow, and can be set to bump up
> the ISO on one shot at a time by pressing one button.
>
> In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at 100 while
> watching out for slow shutter speeds?
>
> Thank you.
>
> Mort



Keeping your camera at its lowest ISO setting will always give the
lowest noise level.....BUT..... If you shoot in a low light situation
you will pay a price, one way or another. "There ain't no free lunch".
Low ISO will mean low shutter speed which can cause blur from camera or
subject movement. You may end up with a well exposed, low noise, UNsharp
image. Image stabilization helps but it has its limits too. If yo bump
up the ISO to say 400 you can use a faster shutter speed to reduce
motion blur, but the price you pay is more noise.
As the old adage says, "You pays your money and you takes your choice".
Bob Williams
 
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ray
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      02-22-2008
On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 11:18:50 -0500, Morton wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and decreasing
> vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using a Canon Digital Elph
> SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is usually OK
> but occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high ISO setting
> was turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g. ISO 100 should
> theoretically give the best noise-free pictures. This camera has a shake
> icon for when the shutter speed is too slow, and can be set to bump up
> the ISO on one shot at a time by pressing one button.
>
> In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at 100 while
> watching out for slow shutter speeds?
>
> Thank you.
>
> Mort


I don't see a major problem. Though I have encountered some winter
scenery this year where ISO 64 way too high to produce a useable shot - I
finally went to auto ISO for the day.
 
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Blinky the Shark
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2008
HEMI - Powered wrote:

> But now, at age 60, below 1/30 with my Rebel XT and I get
> noticeable shake, so there's a lot of variables to consider.


Hi, H-P. Look at the bright side, though...if you were much younger than
60, you wouldn't *remember* those *real* hemis.

PS I'm sixty, as well.

--
Blinky

 
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Morton
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2008
ray wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 11:18:50 -0500, Morton wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm an advanced photographer, who for reasons of age and decreasing
>> vision gave up on my SLR film outfit. I'm now using a Canon Digital Elph
>> SD-850. I can set the ISO values for automatic, which is usually OK
>> but occasionally results in very noisy pictures when a high ISO setting
>> was turned on. Setting the ISO manually for, e.g. ISO 100 should
>> theoretically give the best noise-free pictures. This camera has a shake
>> icon for when the shutter speed is too slow, and can be set to bump up
>> the ISO on one shot at a time by pressing one button.
>>
>> In general, is one better off with automatic ISO, or manual at 100 while
>> watching out for slow shutter speeds?
>>
>> Thank you.
>>
>> Mort

>
> I don't see a major problem. Though I have encountered some winter
> scenery this year where ISO 64 way too high to produce a useable shot - I
> finally went to auto ISO for the day.


Hi,

Thanks for all the nice replies. My Canon SD 850 says in its handbook
that at higher ISOs it automatically applies noise reduction. As I
understand it, that entails some loss of sharpness. I guess it is a
matter of weighing all the factors together, e.g. large DOF needed,
etc..moving versus stationary subjects,etc.. In the old days, with
Kodachrome ASA 10, it was 1/25 at f. 6.3 in sunlight, and cross your
fingers.

When I do lean against a wall, or use a beanbag, if it is a stationary
subject I use the selftimer to reduce vibration.

Thanks again.

Morton
 
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