Two questions: Auto ISO & burst mode

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Hockey_Nut, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    Two quick questions for anyone willing to take the time to answer them for me.

    1) I use auto ISO when I shoot (manual). I've got the high end set for 1600, but what should I select for my minimum shutter speed - and why?

    For some reason, I can't get this simple concept through my thick skull. I've had it set at 1/125, but that was just a random selection as the default is 1l60 on my D300.

    2) I acquire focus using the AF-ON button and have turned off focus tracking length (A4). I think Chris or Randy mentioned a while back that this worked for them and it's been fine for me too ... but when I shoot in bursts, I sometimes get oof photos - especially the frames towards the end of the burst. I'm guessing it's camera shake, but do I have to keep pressing the AF-ON button throughout the burst, especially if I've turned off the focus tracking? The burst shots I've taken have been of my daughter's softball team ... and they don't move too fast! Should I re-set my A4 setting to short instead of turning it off?

    Any help or insight into these two areas would be greatly appreciated.

    Take care,
    Brent
     
  2. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    Can you clarify question 1? I think I know what you want but...You say the camera is st to MANUAL + ISO-Auto but you talk about a min shutter and mention you have ISO set to a high of 1600 and wanted a min shutter. If you are in manual mode you set the aperture and SS while the ISO bounces all over the place based on the exposure. i.e. your shutter is fixed to whatever you set it to. Or did you mean to ask what your min ISO should be? If it is min ISO, I would guess you don't care what the min should be. If it is shutter speed, then it depends on what you are shooting and where.

    For question 2. You have to hold the AF-On button through the shot. It's been a while since I have used a Nikon body but if I remember correctly and it works like a Canon, you can adjust the sensitivity of the tracking and how it reacts when something unexpected gets in front of your subject. If placing "AF Tracking to Off" may result in making it ultra sensitive so when a stick passes in front of your subject, the AF will lock onto that instead of your intended target. In softball, the camera could lock onto a bat or a waving arm. I keep my tracking on Fast but sometimes I wish it were set to slow, but when I set it to slow I sometimes wish it were set to fast. I have settled on fast, but I sometimes have to release the AF-On button and press it again because the AF grabbed something that just passed in my frame.
     
  3. Hi Alex,

    Sorry for not responding to your post until now ... very busy day ... coaching my 7 y/o soccer team, then off to my 9 y/o softball tournament, then entertaining friends all afternoon & evening ...

    Essentially I was wondering what my minimum shutter speed should be set at when selecting auto ISO. I have selected ISO 1600 as the max, but need to select a minimum shutter speed. The default is 1/60 and for sports, well it just isn't enough. I've opted for 1/125 for normal everyday use. But given that I normally shoot manual and set my aperture & ss, the ISO will bounce around, just as you said. I just couldn't figure out how a minimum shutter speed would work with the settings that I use. I'm guessing that given my other variables, the minimum shutter speed, even if it were set to 1/250, would not even be applicable.

    Thanks for the insight on the AF-ON button. I tried shooting in aperture mode today and re-set my AF-ON to "short" and had much, much better results.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to help me out.

    Take care,
    Brent
     
  4. acena

    acena

    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    You are welcome Brent. As you said, the min shutter does not matter when you shoot MANUAL + ISO-Auto. It will only matter when you shoot A priority or P mode. Personally, I would turn off ISO-Auto for anything other than manual mode. I just do not like giving the camera more control than I have to. You may as well set the min to 1/60th just be mindful of that when you shoot in A-mode. Be sure the intial settings A and ISO settings are sufficient to get the speed you want. I would go with low only because you may want it that low in certain flash situations. If those situations seldom happen, I would just get in the habit of shutting off ISO-Auto and ignore the low min settings.
     
  5. Also, keep in mind that w/ AutoISO, the D300 max FPS rate drops from 8 to 7.5 (assuming you have the right batts in the grip).
     
  6. Alex,

    Thanks for the clarification. I shot my daughter's softball game yesterday using A mode + Auto ISO and had the focus track set to low. All shots were at f4. The results turned out great. I only started using auto ISO just a short while ago ... I'll keep experimenting with it or if the lighting is consistent, turn it off altogether.

    Again, thanks for your help - I appreciate it.

    Take care,
    Brent
     
  7. Hey Chris,

    I forgot about this. I've just been using regular Energizer batteries in my grip and although the battery level is about 1/2 done, I haven't noticed a significant decrease in my fps. I also shoot RAW so I'm going to see if shooting jpg will bump up the fps. I don't think I was getting 8 fps but the camera sounds like a machine gun though :biggrin:

    Thanks for chiming in.

    Take care,
    Brent
     
  8. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    Brent,

    If you are using Nimh batteries then you should be getting 8 FPS, and 7.5 in AutoISO. Not sure how you can test that difference !!

    It's the EN-EL3 (is that right?) that reduces FPS to 6

    I'm on the jury with autoiso - at the rugby the other night i shot manual iso1600 and then using auto it ranged in the same burst from ISO 1000-2500. Now, exposures looked good, but obviously the noise changes a fair bit between 1000 and 2500 so, I dunno.
     
  9. Hey Darren,

    The manual indicates that the grip with either "AA" batteries or the en-el4a will yield 8 fps unless auto ISO is activated. So, I guess I can get the 8 fps with the regular alkaline batteries ... I hope. They won't last as long so that will reduce the fps as they wear down.

    I saw your rugby photos (congratulations on getting the gig & great photos too!) and I understand what you mean with the fluctuations in the ISO. My daughter's softball game from a couple of nights ago was played in the early evening, but as the sun set, the shadows crept onto the field. I used auto ISO & given my 1/1600 & f4 or 2.8, the ISO really jumped. I think under poor lighting I may go back to what I used to do and not use auto ISO ... again, like you, I think I'm on the fence.

    Take care,
    Brent
     
  10. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    Hi Brent, thanks, I do LOVE Auto-ISo for those sort of sun/shade conditions where there's a two-three stop difference in a few feet. That to me is when it excels and i use it all the time in just those conditions. Just don't think it's great not where there is not that same light range - eg under good stadium lights.
     
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