Help with auto ISO on D300s please

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Okay the way i shoot a rugby game is set the camera to manual and have auto-ISO on.

But today I went along to the club open day and could not get the ISO to drop below 200. I know that is the lowest "native" ISO, but it has those Lo modes and I want it to be able to use them on auto. I've checked all my settings, rad the manual, but can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Anybody got any ideas how to solve this please?

Any yes sometimes on a bright sunny day I want an open aperture and slower shutter, but couldn't today.
 
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Okay, I read the manual again and it says, "the minimum value for auto ISO sensitivity is automatically set to ISO 200".

To me this is just dumb, why have the settings lower than that but not allow us to use them? Man, I wish these camera makers could all get together and use each other's ideas for some of these settings, or just copy them, I'm sure the users wouldn't mind!
 

Growltiger

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But why would you want to use those low ISOs where you lose dynamic range, i.e. get photos that are not as good? Nikon quite sensibly don't think you should want to do that.

ISO 200 is the base setting, that is the speed your sensor works best at.
 
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Nikon knows what I want? Is ISO 3200 optimal? They let me use that.

Bright sunny day, taking photos of people running, maybe I want a slower shutter to show some motion blur, but also want to keep the background oof: so I want a slow shutter, large aperture and a LOW ISO - can't do it without going to manual ISO. I'd prefer to be able to use the auto ISO.

I know what you're saying but Nikon shouldn't presume they know everything that a photographer may want to do. If I'm prepared to sacrifice a little IQ for my end purpose then they should not discourage it.
 
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Wileec

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Just to chime in on this, using the upper range of ISO is plenty of compromise and the same is true for below base ISO. The better solution is to shoot manually, or with Aperture priority and set ISO where you want it to be. I've found this more useful for high action in lower light - then I check my histograms and previews to make sure I'm getting what I intend to.
 
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I know what you're saying but Nikon shouldn't presume they know everything that a photographer may want to do. If I'm prepared to sacrifice a little IQ for my end purpose then they should not discourage it.

You are assuming LO 1 and ISO 100 are equivalents. Nikon does not think that. They never refer to LO 1 as ISO 100. They went out of their way to not to say that. It does not met specs to be able to say that. D300S page 97 clearly says ISO 200 or above is recommended.

It is a ISO 200 sensor. If you need this "ISO 100", just move the Brightness down in Photoshop, later at home. That is what LO 1 does.
 
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JThe better solution is to shoot manually, or with Aperture priority and set ISO where you want it to be. I've found this more useful for high action in lower light - then I check my histograms and previews to make sure I'm getting what I intend to.
Yeah but you can't change manually (well I can't anyway) when you're following someone with the ball running from direct sunlight into the shadow of the grandstand! Or clouds are scuttling across the sky changing the light every few seconds. That's the beauty of manual with auto ISO.

It is a ISO 200 sensor. If you need this "ISO 100", just move the Brightness down in Photoshop, later at home. That is what LO 1 does.
So you're saying after Photoshop the highlights will be exactly the same from an overexposed shot at 200 (which meters at 100), as one shot at Lo 1?
 
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So I should whack on a filter when the guy runs back out of the shadow into the sunlight? :wink::biggrin:

even if the result is the exactly the same I'd still like the camera to be able to do that for me, rather than me having to do it later on. The cameras allow us to use so much automation to make things easier for us, why not this? If the result is the same, where's the harm?
 
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So you're saying after Photoshop the highlights will be exactly the same from an overexposed shot at 200 (which meters at 100), as one shot at Lo 1?
I'm saying no matter what you do, it is always an ISO 200 sensor.

Higher ISO amplifies it digitally (multiplies data values), same as a boost in photoshop does. This amplifies the noise as well, either way. It is not more sensitive, it merely lies about the value it saw, and shifts it higher.

LO 1 just cuts the gain to be less than one, shifts it down lower (than the actual ISO 200 sensitivity). This reduces the dynamic range (Nikon calls it contrast, which it is), since technically there cannot be detail in the top half of the shifted histogram. Everything has been divided by two. That's the way it is always explained.

But if you intentionally overexpose a LO 1 picture, the picture looks awful, but the top half of the histogram is not blank (top half speaking linear... but we cannot see linear RAW). It does show data and spike in the top. So the histogram is not showing the data as shifted. Or rather, it is like the histogram scale is shifted along with the data, so it still looks like the unshifted values. Which seems useful, I'm sure this eliminates many customer complaints about an empty histogram. :smile: Just my notions, I don't know for sure.

I have not tested to carefully properly expose a picture at LO 1, and another carefully overexposed one stop at ISO 200 (same lighting setup), and then shifted the latter, and compared it to the former. I feel sure the histograms will appear different, but I have not looked at the image itself. I have just believed Nikon, but I should do that. The detail is not lost, just shifted down, but there is nothing left in the top half, so the dynamic range and contrast is less. Top half of a gamma encoded histogram is about 187 to 255. So hard to detect in the detail, but side by side, the contrast should appear to be lower, if it had full contrast in the first place.

What is clear, Nikon specifically does not call it ISO 100, and they do specifically recommend ISO 200 or higher, at risk of "contrast". Conceivably, a low contrast scene may not matter.
 
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Geez Wayne, I hope you're a fast typist! Not like me, that's why my posts are always short.

Okay, I understand what you're saying, sort of. But I still believe, as should you coming from the land of the free, that Nikon should let the user decide what's right for them, if they let us use anything other than 200, then why not that? At least being able to set it in camera would allow opening up of the aperture.

Omar - I just got this one and have trouble remembering all I should about it, don't need another just yet thanks!
 
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Wileec

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Nikon allows the user to choose the camera they need to best capture what they want to shoot. There isn't a perfect camera (in terms of features/capabilities) for every shooting situation. It sounds like you really need a D3s, as it's the best camera for widest range like you are describing. It's not that you can't get very good results with what you have, but you seem to want the camera to do what traditionally has been done by the photographer. In that context, the D3s is the best camera for shooting with auto ISO, given it has the widest usable ISO range of any of Nikon's current cameras. Of course, moving to an FX body means the lose of FLM, which means you may also need to invest in longer glass to get the same FOV in your shots.
 
W

Wileec

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Nikon allows the user to choose the camera they need to best capture what they want to shoot. There isn't a perfect camera (in terms of features/capabilities) for every shooting situation. It sounds like you really need a D3s, as it's the best camera for widest range like you are describing. It's not that you can't get very good results with what you have, but you seem to want the camera to do what traditionally has been done by the photographer. In that context, the D3s is the best camera for shooting with auto ISO, given it has the widest usable ISO range of any of Nikon's current cameras. Of course, moving to an FX body means the lose of FLM, which means you may also need to invest in longer glass to get the same FOV in your shots.
 
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I guess we see it different. Russ, you're willing to believe it is all the same, at least in a good enough way.

My notion is that the camera has an ISO 200 sensor, and it cannot do ISO 100. Because that seems Nikon's idea, since nothing on it is marked ISO 100. They went some distance to specifically NOT say ISO 100. This is intentionally omitted from the Auto ISO menus too. Seems not all the same.

You apparently have brighter light which is an issue. If you want the equivalent range, maybe just work with the the aperture closed one more stop. Or a stop faster shutter speed if not using flash. That will give you the same scene range extent that the ISO 100 hopes would have reached, at least at the bright end. Maybe I'm in a silly mood today, but I've got nothing better. :smile:
 
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Wileec

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No - Wayne - you're on the right track. This is about the user understanding the camera they chose and being in charge of how it shoots and it seems Russ would rather the camera be in charge AND have an ISO range he didn't invest in. As you point out, it's easily covered by stopping down or adding an ND, but that requires understanding and action on the part of the shooter and this one seems less interested in those options.

I've preferred to handle this kind of situation, as others have suggested, by setting ISO at base (whether a base 100 or 200 camera), then shoot in aperture priority and use exposure compensation if I find that I'm not getting the exposures I intend - checking them via histogram on the camera, etc. As long as the exposure is very close, even if I have captured a bit under or over, I can address it in RAW with a minimum of noise issue since I was shooting at the optimum ISO for the camera. And by the time we get to print, if the exposure was close, whatever tweaks done in Adobe Camera RAW to optimize tonal range will have no noise impact.
 
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I'm in a position of having just come from Pentax, so naturally and subconsciously I relate everything while I'm learning my Nikon ways to my Pentax experience, like it or not for me and you poor guys! So far, and I'll admit it's very early days, the Pentax way seems more logical and user friendly, but then I think the K-7 came out after the D300. I know I chose this camera, but we don't all know the intimate detail such as this until we come to use it. And yes Wileec I know I can stop down (I don't want to as it affects the dof) or add a ND (I'd be very busy taking that on and off during a game) but the camera automates lots of stuff for us, so why not this (at our choice of course, you could turn it off).

So please don't get annoyed with me (and nobody has yet, publicly :wink:) while I figure all this out. I was brought up to question (2 teachers for parents!) and I believe it's good to do so, within reason of course.

So thank you all for the comments, we are going to have to agree to disagree here
 
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Wileec

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I don't see it as disagreeing as much as you seem to want the automation of a point and shoot with the capabilities (dynamic range) of a pro-level camera.

Most choosing to invest in a D300 or better are choosing it with a clear understanding of it's particular strengths. All the ISO info is clearly stated in the specs and Nikon makes the manual a free download, so if a person has a question about something specific to their shooting, then they can dig into it before making a purchase. As with all DSLRs, the ability to override what the camera sees, etc. is the main reason people opt for them. It seems in this instance you just didn't buy enough camera for how you want to use it, as in general, the only ones I have read that shoot that way are typically using the D3 or D3s, since their strength is a greater usable ISO range without compromising the dynamic range. Using below the base ISO of the D300/D300s is not the same as just a lower ISO setting since the dynamic range is compromised - in essence, it's not up to "Nikon standards" which is why it's not an option for auto ISO, as already pointed out. If you need below ISO 200, then either manually choose it, knowing you are working with limited dynamic range, or choose a camera with the capability. The choice is yours. I think the D300 is a great camera, more than capable of handling this - I just wouldn't do it the way you want to - and I think that's the rub. So the choice is to work with the camera, or get a camera that works as you want it to.
 
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See - we're even disagreeing about what we are disagreeing about :eek:

Put it this way then. It seems strange to me that Nikon let you use Lo 1 in manual ISO, but not auto (providing of course that you have the option to use or not use in auto). Setting an upper AND lower limit for auto iso should be up to the user in my opinion.
 
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Since you seem to be locked into a specific apertature, why aren't you shooting in aperture mode with auto- ISO? This way the camera can vary the shutter speed as you go between light and shadow. You can set the minimum shutter speed to lowest acceptable value and the camera will bump the ISO when the light falls below that level. I shoot a lot of sports and this is exactly how I handle it when I want the shallow DOF.
 

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