ISO

jeffashman

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Hi! I’m manually setting speed and aperture, and letting the camera set the ISO. What is a good max setting for auto-ISO? My Rebel 2000D has a max of 6400, but for now I have it set at 3200. If I understand correctly, the higher the number, the lower the light level requirement, but with a trade-off in increased noise. So, max it out at 6400? Limit it to 1600? TIA!


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480sparky

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Take a series of images with different ISOs and choose the highest that you accept the noise level.
 

Ysarex

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Hi! I’m manually setting speed and aperture, and letting the camera set the ISO. What is a good max setting for auto-ISO? My Rebel 2000D has a max of 6400, but for now I have it set at 3200. If I understand correctly, the higher the number, the lower the light level requirement, but with a trade-off in increased noise. So, max it out at 6400? Limit it to 1600? TIA!


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The rule should always be get the photo. If you need to use the camera's highest ISO value to get the photo, GET THE PHOTO. Where do you come out ahead saying, "well that shot required raising ISO above my limit so I passed."
 

Strodav

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Increasing ISO decreases Dynamic Range in addition to amplifying noise. This is an important fact many photographers ignore, but should not. I recommend shooting at the lowest ISO possible for the best possible IQ with a given lens. To determine what noise level is acceptable to you, just try it! Set up a scene with color and texture and both highlights and shadows in a controlled light environment (like in a room with a window with blinds that you can open and close), go to manual mode, take a properly exposed shot at base ISO at, say, f8, then start increasing ISO while speeding the shutter. Examine your images to see what level of noise is acceptable to you. For me, it’s ISO 800 on my Nikon bodies.

In tricky situations I will go higher, but there are techniques you can use to reduce noise. If the scene is still or with very slow motion, take multiple shots, align and average in PP. When you average 2 images together you effectively 1/2 the ISO. Another technique is to take the higher ISO shot then cut ISO in 1/2 and shutter speed in half and take 4 or 5 shots knowing there’s a very good chance one of the shots in the sequence will be sharp. Repeat the process of cutting ISO and shutter speed and taking multiple shots until ISO gets at or below your tolerance for noise.
 
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Original katomi

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I kind of agree with all the posts but I set my settings manually
Do the test with the iso to see where you draw the line
Yes get the image even if you have to bump the iso to the max
once you have done your own tests you will know where to draw the line
I have images that are grainy as hell, but it is a memory of the day/event that I would not otherwise have
 

RVT1K

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You'll need to determine how much noise you're willing to put up with.
Which is pretty much my way of agreeing with the others who suggested experimenting and seeing how things turn out.
Personally, I try to keep the ISO as low as possible. One of my reasons for seeking out fast glass.
 

Ysarex

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Don't worry about the ISO. GET THE PHOTO. The ISO isn't causing the noise in the first place. All it's doing is brightening the camera output JPEG. The noise comes from the exposure. The noise comes from the shutter speed you set and the f/stop you set and how bright the scene is. ISO doesn't cause noise. In your camera ISO suppresses noise -- raise it to get less noise. GET THE PHOTO.

The photo below is from an APS-C sensor camera like yours. The ISO was set to 12800. See any objectionable noise? The ISO value isn't causing noise. Now, the photo below is a parlor trick. I wasn't forced and so I was able to manipulate the camera -- the exposure to control the noise. Normally when we're raising the ISO it's because we're forced. You can't do anything about forced -- you're forced and if you get a noisy photo it's because you're forced to reduce the exposure. The forced exposure reduction will cause noise, not ISO. In your camera raising the ISO if you're forced to reduce exposure will suppress noise. GET THE PHOTO.

ISO 12800
 
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jeffashman

jeffashman

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That’s a nice still life photo. I see what you mean.


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jeffashman

jeffashman

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Thanks everyone! Great advice. I’ll continue to experiment, but when situations like the wind blowing the plumage on a cardinal come up, I will get the shot. I missed a shot of an American Goldfinch this morning, because I forced the ISO too low, but I’ll get it tomorrow morning, or the next day. Thanks again!


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Jeff15

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I use auto iso almost all the time, noise is dealt with in PP...
 

Scott Whaley

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I use auto ISO most of the time unless I an doing nighttime photography. I am using higher end cameras and the ISO can go above 12,800. I like to keep it below 6400. Sounds like the OP may be maxing out the ISO for his or her camera.
 

Ysarex

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Try underexposing the shot a little. I prefer increasing the exposure in post rather than getting rid of noise.
You can't increase exposure in post. The only things that can change exposure are shutter speed, lens aperture or more/less light on the subject. The source of noise is underexposure. You want less noise, expose more.
 

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Take a series of images with different ISOs and choose the highest that you accept the noise level.

Also, some images actually look good with a bit of noise. Some people like it because in some cases it approximates the grain we would get with film. While noise itself is technical how the viewer responds to it is subjective.
 

480sparky

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Try underexposing the shot a little. I prefer increasing the exposure in post rather than getting rid of noise.
You can't increase exposure in post. The only things that can change exposure are shutter speed, lens aperture or more/less light on the subject. The source of noise is underexposure. You want less noise, expose more.

Depending on the camera and software, you can intentionally underexpose and recover shadows in post.
 

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