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Thread started 05 Dec 2013 (Thursday) 18:23
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Understanding ISO on my 6D

 
ten31
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Dec 05, 2013 18:23 |  #1

So I was a 100% Av/Tv shooter when I had my T3i. I let the camera do most of the work and I just set those values. One of those things I kept on auto was ISO selection.

Now that I have a camera with no pop up flash, and am working towards being a manual shooter, I notice the camera on AUTO ISO defaults higher that what I expected it to. I am wondering if I should limit it to 800 or 1600? Is this to be expected or am I doing something wrong? I need some tutelage on the matter. I've seen it up around 12000+. I've included some pics I took at different ISO's. I don't know if that helps. Maybe someone can point to some differences here. Any link to a primer etc would help.

Thank you in advance.

ISO 100

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Last Import-1 (external link) by Hurricane Foto (external link), on Flickr

ISO 200

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Last Import-2 (external link) by Hurricane Foto (external link), on Flickr

ISO 400

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Last Import-3 (external link) by Hurricane Foto (external link), on Flickr

ISO 800

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Last Import-4 (external link) by Hurricane Foto (external link), on Flickr

ISO 1600

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Last Import-5 (external link) by Hurricane Foto (external link), on Flickr

ISO 3200

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Last Import-6 (external link) by Hurricane Foto (external link), on Flickr

ISO 6400

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Last Import-7 (external link) by Hurricane Foto (external link), on Flickr

Canon EOS 6D | 24-105mm f/4 IS USM | 85mm f/1.8 | 430EX II | Mefoto Roadtrip | RC6 remote

  
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liquefied
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Dec 05, 2013 18:27 |  #2

The only reason to limit it is if you're getting too much noise. Ideally you always want to use the lowest ISO possible because it will produce the least amount of noise.



  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Dec 05, 2013 18:28 |  #3

Go to the thread at https://photography-on-the.net …338929&highligh​t=auto+iso and check my comments, #3 I think.




  
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dodgyexposure
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Dec 05, 2013 18:34 |  #4

I have just moved from a 600D (T3i) to a 6D. On my 600D, I set the auto ISO maximum to 800, because that was the point at which i thought noise was too much in most situations. I went over 800 if I needed to.

Some quick testing with the 6D led me to conclude that ISO 6400 is about the same on the 6D as ISO 800 is on the 600D, in terms of noise. I can see a jump in noise when I go over 6400.

So I set the Auto ISO in the 6D to 6400. For general shooting, I let it float on Auto ISO up to 6400.


Cheers, Damien

  
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quadwing
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Dec 05, 2013 18:36 |  #5

liquefied wrote in post #16504740 (external link)
The only reason to limit it is if you're getting too much noise. Ideally you always want to use the lowest ISO possible because it will produce the least amount of noise.

6D? Noise? What?


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tat3406
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Dec 05, 2013 18:39 |  #6

I use manual mode all the time, when I need fast and convenience, I put ISO to auto. The limit I put to ISO12800, the noise still acceptable to me. choose the right metering mode is very important to let camera get more accurate exposure.


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maverick75
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Dec 05, 2013 18:56 |  #7

liquefied wrote in post #16504740 (external link)
The only reason to limit it is if you're getting too much noise. Ideally you always want to use the lowest ISO possible because it will produce the least amount of noise.


Not only noise but dynamic range plummets as well.
Digital cameras don't have that much to start off with, especially Canons.


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liquefied
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Dec 05, 2013 19:21 |  #8

maverick75 wrote in post #16504813 (external link)
Not only noise but dynamic range plummets as well.
Digital cameras don't have that much to start off with, especially Canons.


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I knew there was something I was forgetting. Two reasons!



  
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Nick3434
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Dec 05, 2013 19:39 |  #9

Dude, just set your Iso too and be done with it. I am an av 70% of the time shooter, but I never have ISO set to auto and always control it. Basically, set your aperture and use the lowest iso that gives you adaquate shutter speed, done deal.

I do find full manual better than tv because I never want the camera picking my aperture, either for dof reasons or lens sweet spot reasons for what I am shooting, so if I need shutter control I just go manual.

By the way, those pics all look almost the same to 3200, 6d is sick with noise.


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amfoto1
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Dec 05, 2013 20:06 |  #10

Um, you are aware that Av and Tv are auto exposure, too. If you used those on your T3i and set Auto ISO as well... you were using "auto auto". That's sort of overkill and hard to know what's going to happen.

Canon probably designed the 6D to skew higher with Auto ISO, compared to the T3i, because the FF camera is less prone to noise and renders cleaner high ISOs, so they feel safe allowing the camera to take advantage of it.

The best thing you could do is set your own ISOs, shoot tests like you did above and learn how your camera performs at the various levels, decide for yourself what you are willing to use and are happy with.

I don't know what a pop-up, built-in flash (which are generally worthless) has to do with using manual or auto modes, but I'd advise learning how Tv, Av, P and M all work... they each have their uses and you should learn to take advantage of them.

Frankly, I have yet to find a necessay use for Auto ISO. The main reason I won't use it is that it doesn't support Exposure Compensation... i.e. there is no way for me to skew the auto exposure involved to fine tune it for accuracy. With Av, Tv and P you can use Exposure Compensation. Even if and when Canon implements E.C. on Auto ISO, I still don't see many situations where it would be particularly helpful to me. I really feel like I have plenty of flexibility with the other three auto exposure modes and the one manual exposure mode.


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Dec 05, 2013 20:27 |  #11

I highly recommend you get this book: http://www.amazon.com …ds=understandin​g+exposure (external link)

or at least check it out from the library.


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dodgyexposure
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Dec 05, 2013 20:34 |  #12

amfoto1 wrote in post #16504958 (external link)
Canon probably designed the 6D to skew higher with Auto ISO, compared to the T3i, because the FF camera is less prone to noise and renders cleaner high ISOs, so they feel safe allowing the camera to take advantage of it.

Alan, from my experience (i.e. nothing official from Canon), when in Av mode and AutoISO, the camera prioritises lower ISO by lowering shutter speed first. The big difference (relevant to this discussion) between the 600D and the 6D is that the 6D allows you to set a minimum shutter speed, or let it go Auto (when the camera appears, from my limited testing, to keep the shutter speed faster than 1/focal length, before raising ISO).

This is strictly observational, though - I haven't tried any systematic testing.

EDIT: this is, of course, another reason to set the ISO yourself . . .


Cheers, Damien

  
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Dec 05, 2013 20:40 |  #13

quadwing wrote in post #16504765 (external link)
6D? Noise? What?

Pretty much this ^


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Jerobean
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Dec 05, 2013 22:26 |  #14

jkdjedi wrote in post #16505022 (external link)
Pretty much this ^

agreed. I found myself in a situation where all i had was my 24-105 taking pictures in a poorly lit environment for a family function. iso12800 all night :oops: but the pics turned out great.:lol: (by great i mean way better than expected and 100% better than not getting any shots ;) )


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Dec 06, 2013 07:13 |  #15

OP, not sure if your question is relevant to the built-in flash (you mention no built in flash with the 6D), but you probably noticed with your T3i that auto ISO with the built in flash was limited at 400.
So that's one big change, since there is no built-in flash.

The auto ISO in "auto" mode will select a shutter speed (in AV) that will more or less follow the 1/focal length rule (more like a guideline). This will look at your selected aperture, your focal length then selects the lowest acceptable shutter speed for that focal length, then calculates the necessary ISO for good exposure. This works ...most of the time.

But there are factors that can change that.
For example, when shooting static subjects and you have a good stabilization in the lens, you could shoot at a much slower shutter speed and thus a lower ISO, think for example a low light church interior, where your 6D would probably pick a 1/30 shutter speed for your 24mm lens, while you could actually do that at 1/10 easily with a stabilized lens (for example my Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC). So the 6D may pick an ISO of 3200 for instance to go with the aperture and 1/30 ss, while you could shoot the same scene at ISO 800 at longer ss, and still end up with a nice sharp image. I know the 6D is great at high ISOs, but still, even with the 6D, ISO800 is better than ISO3200 :)

The other situation is related to what has been mentioned before, where you need to actually set the minimum shutter speed in the auto ISO menu for a specific situation.

Let's say you're shooting a low light event indoors. You want to shoot f/2.8 for shallow DoF and to lower ISO. You could go manual and use auto ISO, but you'd also like to do +2/3 exposure compensation for your shots. Now, that's impossible to do in M + auto ISO since the 6D will always try to select an ISO that will result in 0 EC (it's possible on Nikons though). But you are determined that you need 2/3 EC to make your shots better looking.
Ok, so you could still use M mode and manually vary the ISO as you shoot. However, sometimes lighting changes fast and you'd maybe end up with improperly exposed images.
You could also do normal AV mode, but when you zoom out to 24mm, the 6D will pick a shutter speed of 1/30 which will result in motion blur when you shoot people moving around etc.
You could use TV mode to set your minimum shutter speed along with auto ISO but then your aperture will go out the window, the camera will vary it.

So that's where shooting in AV mode with auto ISO AND setting "minimum shutter speed" comes into play. I use this method with good success. Basically you tell the 6D you need at least 1/x shutter speed, let's say 1/125 to eliminate occasional motion blur. You can still do EC, +2/3 as you desire. And auto ISO will take care of providing that +2/3. This way you are controlling your aperture, it's ensured that you're not shooting below a desired shutter speed and still don't have to worry about ISO.

Of course I know many people like to go full manual, even setting the ISO manually, I do that too occasionally where I know the circumstances don't change rapidly (like when I'm shooting birds from a fixed location such as a blind).
But for a fast paced event with varying lighting I use the above described method and it works for me.


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