Have You Discovered The Power Of Auto ISO Yet?

Have You Discovered The Power Of Auto ISO Yet-
Image by Condesign

Exposure In Photography

Exposure, it's the most important factor in any photo. End of statement.

For many of us, our exposures are made up of a combination of shutter speed and aperture. Of course, there is one other important factor exposure and that is ISO.

It's often neglected as we are looking for the ultimate quality and that leads us to set our ISO at base – usually 100 or 200 – and try to forget about it. The thing is though, modern cameras are so good at controlling noise that we can get great images all the way up to 3200 ISO with very little noise in them.

Because of this, we should be considering ISO as an important way of controlling exposure. There is a way we can control ISO automatically, like shutter priority and aperture priority. It’s called, not surprisingly, Auto ISO and it can be a brilliant addition to our exposure armoury, especially when shooting in tricky or low light conditions.

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What Is Auto ISO?

Auto ISO allows us to set specific parameters on how ISO interacts with shutter speed. It is present on virtually all modern cameras and as well as having a fully automatic setting it also allows us to set a both a minimum shutter speed and maximum aperture.

How It Works In-Camera

When shooting in one of the automatic modes, shutter or aperture priority or program the Auto ISO function will monitor your exposure. If the light levels start to fall, so will your shutter speed, if that shutter speed reached the minimum that you have set, it will start to increase the ISO to give you the correct exposure.

It will do that all the way up to the maximum ISO that you have set then warn you that you need to change.

About Author


Jason has more than 35 years of experience as a professional photographer, videographer and stock shooter. You can get to know him better here.


This will depend on the specific Canon camera. Exposure compensation is possible on some models, specifically the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 80D, EOS 5DS / 5DS R, EOS-1D X and EOS-1D X Mark II.

By coincidence I wrote about the topic myself yesterday and showed how you can access exposure compensation with auto ISO in manual mode.

one important element you didn’t talk about is which metering mode you use… evaluative can really blow out highlights in a mostly dark frame where the subject does have light on them, and spot metering is only good for certain camera models where the active AF point is also used to meter…

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