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Shutterbug Life podcast

Shutterbug Life is a weekly podcast that celebrates the creative photographer's lifestyle. Through a series of discussions, expert interviews, and photo challenges, the podcast examines everything you need to be, do, or have to reach your full photographic potential. Episodes are designed to be helpful no matter where you are on your learning path. Shutterbug Life podcast is hosted by Lynford Morton, a second-generation photographer who build one of Washington, DC’s fastest growing photography Meetup communities, Shutterbug Excursions. He has also trained thousands of photographers to take great pictures in Washington, DC and New Orleans from the business he founded, PhotoTour Excursions. Now he recreates the community of enthusiast photographers with Shutterbug Life.
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Dec 4, 2015

When should you use Auto ISO?

When Darren asked me this question on our last photo tour, the answer I gave was very different than my standard answer when I started leading photo tours in 2009 - 2010.

It's not so much that times have changed but that technology has evolved significantly.

Just five or six years ago, most digital cameras topped out at ISO 1600 - ISO 3200. With that narrow range, noise started to be visible at as low as ISO 800 in many cameras. It was downright distracting by ISO 1600.

When your camera can't be trusted to create clean images north of ISO 1600, you shouldn't leave the ISO decision to chance.

Back then, I counseled that you should change your ISO deliberately, so you can ensure you are always getting the sharpest image possible.

ISO performance in 2015 is incredibly better. It is not uncommon for entry level DSLRs to top out at ISO 128,000. With such a wide range, a DSLR can create noise-free images at much higher DSLR levels. With that increased performance, Auto ISO is not as risky.

Here are a few scenarios when Auto ISO might be helpful. 

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