I dunno - a new DSLR should be able to...

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Jan 19, 2008
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It happened again today: For interior shots I very often crank up iso on my D700, but have a flash attached to the camera just in case I may need it later. And suddenly, I stumble into a backlit situation, switch on the flash and forget to reduce iso. The result, of course, are heavily overexposed shots (I dunno - who combines iso 5000 with a flash :Curved:????).

I don't think my current D700 is able to do this, but it would be nice if a new successor camera could be programmed in a way that it either automatically dials down high iso if a flash is activated or if a warning is sounded or better flashes in the viewfinder or if the trigger is locked so that you have to manually override it. Anyway, any programming gimmick would be great to spare the disappointment (and embarrassment) of discovering these drastically overexposed shots.

What do you think? And what should a successor camera be able to do based on your experience with the current model?

.... or maybe, I am just getting old and start forgetting thinks....:frown:
 
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Auto ISO

See Auto ISO Sensitivity Control on page 108 of the D700 User's Manual.
It works in Manual mode metering as well as the auto metering modes. If you turn on Auto-ISO, you can set a max ISO of 6400 and a minimum of ISO 200 with minimum shutter speed of 1/80 for interior work. When the flash is off, the camera will push ISO to whatever is needed in order to keep shutter speed at or above 1/80 if using Aperture priority mode. If using Manual mode, it will just push ISO to what is needed, based on your selected aperture and shutter speed. It bumps ISO in 1/6-stop increments to obtain a good exposure. It can be easily overridden or fine tuned by using the +/- exposure compensation button. Turn on the flash (iTTL or iTTL-BL) and ISO will drop to your selected base ISO. During the actual exposure the ISO is pushed up to whatever is needed. The camera will boost flash power until it maxes out the flash and then boost ISO to make up the difference. Auto-ISO will blink in the viewfinder if enabled.

Here are examples with full EXIF from a retirement party I shot at an art gallery where ambient went from very bright to very dark. I used manual mode and chose the shutter speed and aperture based on ambient lighting conditions and DOF required for the shot. I used an SB-800 for bounce flash with Auto-ISO enabled on my D3. With the D3, I use ISO 400 as my base ISO for parties. There is no real noise to worry about and the flash range is better than using ISO 200, with a faster recycle time. Inside it was very bright, so the first shot was at ISO 400 off the ceiling. The second was off the outdoor overhead cover at ISO 1400. I never needed to adjust the flash or ISO, I just concentrated on the composition and shot.

ISO 400
20061-D3-200-800x533.jpg
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ISO 1400
20192-D3-200-800x533.jpg
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Joined
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Not to take anything away from the OP, but thanks for your post Mike it was very helpful to me as I learn as much as I can with my new D700.
 
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I'll second that

Not to take anything away from the OP, but thanks for your post Mike it was very helpful to me as I learn as much as I can with my new D700.

boy, did I learn something! Thanks.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
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Mike,

thanks a ton. I have never used auto iso (although I have heard about it before, but never took it as seriously as I should have:Curved:). Until now, I have always set iso manually. Just tried your suggestion by taking some stupid photos at home and it works great.

So maybe, there is no need for an improvement in this respect for the next Dxxx incarnation. I dunno, back to studying the handbook....
 
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LEARNED SOMETHIN TODAY. Thanks for the tip, I'm sure I'll be using it sometime. The only Auto-ISO I've ever dealt with was helping out kids just starting, and that one would leave the ISO at 400 regardless of the situation.
 
Joined
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Centerville, Ohio
The D700 has such a huge range of ISO's that the Auto-ISO ON setting can help you produce photos in almost any situation and still have a high quality photo. Set shutter speed and F-stop and the ISO automatically adjusts in Manual Mode. Auto-ISO works great in the other modes, too - Shutter speed, Apperature, and even Program.

I think even the D70 has an earlier version of this cool feature.
 
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Rochester, NY
I don't think my current D700 is able to do this, but it would be nice if a new successor camera could be programmed in a way that it either automatically dials down high iso if a flash is activated or if a warning is sounded or better flashes in the viewfinder or if the trigger is locked so that you have to manually override it. Anyway, any programming gimmick would be great to spare the disappointment (and embarrassment) of discovering these drastically overexposed shots.

Honestly, though I've made the same mistake you're describing, I don't expect my camera to do my thinking for me. In fact, that would annoy me a lot.

It may be a weird combination, but how is the camera to know that it's the "wrong" one?
 
Joined
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Honestly, though I've made the same mistake you're describing, I don't expect my camera to do my thinking for me. In fact, that would annoy me a lot.

It may be a weird combination, but how is the camera to know that it's the "wrong" one?
That's a good point. The camera doesn't know anything more than what you set it up to do. The photog has to know how to setup the camera for it to respond in the best way possible. Even using Aperture or Shutter priority mode, one allows the camera metering to help with, or make your exposure decisions.

One way that the cameras might be programmed in the future to help avoid poor exposures is to have the values being accumulated by some sensor pixels monitored in real-time and adjust the exposure based upon the level of light at particular pixel group areas. If say 100 unique pixels were evaluated and all were at a value of 250+ on a scale of 0-255 during the exposure, then the programming would assume you have an overexposure taking place and close the shutter. If this was a function you would enable or disable only when you wanted it to, it might be quite useful for some situations. The Olympus OM-2 actually metered off the film during the exposure and was incredible at making excellent exposures under very tough lighting conditions.

Nikon's Auto-ISO helps the camera to respond in a similar manner today. That's why I use Auto-ISO almost all the time.

The other really cool feature for Auto-ISO is that it will dial down the ISO if needed (if possible.) For example, as I posted earlier, I use ISO 400 as my base ISO for parties. If I were shooting outside under an awning or tent , I might be be using 1/500, f/8, and ISO 400. I see a couple standing just outside the awning doing something cute. I turn and fire off a couple of quick shots. In the sunlight, the couple will be about 2 stops brighter. I should dial down my settings, to compensate, but what if there isn't time to do that manually and get the shot? The camera will dial down the ISO. At ISO 400, 1/500 and f/8, I would be 2 stops over exposed, so the camera will dial down to ISO 200. Auto-ISO will not go below ISO 200 on the D3, so that is as far down as it will go, but that will give me a shot that is only 1-stop over exposed, rather than 2 stops over exposed. Much easier to get a quality image when you only have to pull 1 stop versus 2. And 1-stop overexposed is far better than missng the shot completely. That's why I also shoot outside at ISO 400 when I know I may be shooting in situations where the lighting varies by 2 stops. It gives me 1-stop exposure leeway so that the camera can keep me out of trouble. I use the strengths of the tool to maximize my opportunity to make a good image.
 
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