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View Full Version : Auto ISO difference D70, D50, D80, etc?



cvicisso
08-30-2007, 08:14 PM
I'm looking seriously at a used D50, but am curious about the Auto ISO feature. People rave about it on the D80 and D200, but I'm not sure if this feature has been 'enhanced' on those newer models (compared to the D50, D70, etc). From the DPReview review of the D50, there does appear to be some slight difference between the Auto ISO modes of the D50 and D70, and K.Rockwell goes on and on about the feature on his D200, but only briefly mentions it in his D50 User's Guide.

Does anyone know for sure the differences (specifically) in Auto ISO between the Nikon DSLR models mentioned? Thanks in advance.

fionndruinne
08-30-2007, 08:18 PM
It may have to do with the actual ISO performance of the sensor, and the different models might either have tweaked auto-ISO modes to best fit the sensor's capabilities, or perhaps the different sensors have different thresholds to begin with. The D80 and D200 both have their own individual sensor, while the D50 and D70 share the same (if I am not mistaken?).

rawpaw18
08-30-2007, 08:34 PM
It is a feature I use seldom. I find it wants to jump to 1600 more often
than I would like. It does, on the D50 allow you to get in between ISO settings instead of the standard 200,400,800 & 1600. But as far as enchancements I have not read anything specific at all.
Personally it can have its uses, but knowing ahead of time what your ISO is by setting it yourself is my preference.

SantaCruz
08-30-2007, 09:16 PM
It is a feature I use seldom. I find it wants to jump to 1600 more often
than I would like. It does, on the D50 allow you to get in between ISO settings instead of the standard 200,400,800 & 1600. But as far as enchancements I have not read anything specific at all.
Personally it can have its uses, but knowing ahead of time what your ISO is by setting it yourself is my preference.

Not sure about the D50, but both the D40x and D80 allow you to set maximum ISO and slowest shutter speed limits when set to Auto. I alternate between auto and manual ISO values as situations change. When using Auto, I usually set a maximum of ISO 400 and 1/30th sec. as the slowest shutter speed. Without limits, the Auto ISO feature is a whole different animal. Not sure if the D50/D70 offer limits or not.

K1W1
08-30-2007, 10:27 PM
Not sure about the D50, but both the D40x and D80 allow you to set maximum ISO and slowest shutter speed limits when set to Auto.

Can't do that on the D50.
As Rich says the D50 tends to want to jump very high very quickly (like whenever there is something approaching a shadow in a scene). You do get some neat Exif data though. You have photos with ISO1240 or ISO 720 because the camera can select intermediate values not just the 4 that the operator can use. :)

LR Max
08-30-2007, 10:32 PM
I have a D70s and the auto ISO is pretty useless in everything except full manual. Sometimes I'll use it and the computer will use ISO as a fine tune adjustment to keep the exposure right. You'll get some wierd ISO numbers, but the pictures come out looking ok.

Other than that, I manually set my ISO. I recommend paying the extra 50 bucks for a used D70s because adjusting WB and ISO on the D70s is easy and convienent.

Rooz
08-30-2007, 10:58 PM
i can only comment on the d80. i shoot mostly in Ap and have auto iso on all the time, (unless i use a flash). i set the min shutter and max sensitivty. max sensitivity i pretty much always set to 800 and min shutter speed varies depending on the lens i use.

it works a treat for me. don;t understand why people wouldn;t use it to be honest.

toriaj
08-30-2007, 11:18 PM
I have the D50, and stopped using auto ISO almost immediately. Not that there's anything wrong with it necessarily, but I prefer manual controls. I keep it on 200 95% of the time. If I'm in a moderately shady situation without tripod use, I change it to 400. I only use 800 and 1600 if I really want to get the shot of a moving subject. If the exposure is correct at 800 or 1600, there's not too much noise, but too much PP adjusting makes for a lot of noise.

Bottom line: don't base your decision on the AUTO ISO feature. Probably the main reason to get a D50 right now is price. If you get a great deal, IMO the D50 stands up to all the other comparable cameras.

cvicisso
08-31-2007, 07:13 AM
Thanks for the advice, everyone. Didn't know that the D50 tends to hunt high in Auto ISO - that's good information. As I understand it now (after further reading), the newer cameras (D80, D200, etc.) allow you to set MIN SHUTTER and MAX ISO but the older ones do not. This would have been a way to prevent the D50 from skipping all the way to 1600.

K1W1 - are you sure that you can't set minimum shutter (not max ISO) on the D50 in its Auto ISO menu? On the DPReview D50 review (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD50/), it says "Auto ISO: Yes, with min shutter speed selection." Can someone confirm this?


Bottom line: don't base your decision on the AUTO ISO feature. Probably the main reason to get a D50 right now is price. If you get a great deal, IMO the D50 stands up to all the other comparable cameras.

Good advice, toriaj! Yes, price is my primary motivation - not Auto ISO (otherwise I'd get a D80 or D200). But... Auto ISO is still a factor for me. :D

And speaking of price... what is a good price on a D50 today? :confused: I've seen anywhere from $400-$900 (body only) - all second-hand/refurb.

cvicisso
08-31-2007, 07:55 AM
K1W1 - are you sure that you can't set minimum shutter (not max ISO) on the D50 in its Auto ISO menu? On the DPReview D50 review (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD50/), it says "Auto ISO: Yes, with min shutter speed selection." Can someone confirm this?
I think I just found the answer here (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d50/d50-settings-menus-custom.htm). It's item #10 in the D50's 'Custom Settings (Detailed)' Menu:

"ISO AUTO: This lets the camera increase the ISO automatically as the light fades... If you set it to ON you have the option to select the lowest shutter speed the camera will use before it starts to increase the ISO."

At least that's something. ;) I think I'll go for it. My plan is to get a body to learn on while acquiring lenses to eventually use on the D300 - years from now when I'm worthy! :D

cvicisso
09-03-2007, 07:53 PM
I recommend paying the extra 50 bucks for a used D70s because adjusting WB and ISO on the D70s is easy and convienent.
Thanks - I took your advice (sort of) and got a D70. As I understand it, the 2.0 firmware upgrade will get the D70 almost up to the D70s specs except for the 2.0" vs 1.8" LCD (obviously)...and the age of the body of course.

Anyway, it's a done deal now anyway. D70 and kit lens are on their way and should be here on Thursday. I'm going to stop obsessing over the specs and just start shooting pictures! :D

Thanks again (everyone) for the help.

fionndruinne
09-03-2007, 10:42 PM
Congratulations, have a lot of fun!

tcadwall
09-04-2007, 09:00 AM
A used D70 is good. I don't think it will give you the iTTL remote control of a SB-600 or SB-800 though. Guess I could be wrong on that, since I am recalling from dim memory when I was researching for my D70s purchase 1.5 years ago.

As far as Auto-ISO, I don't like it. It wreaked havoc on my learning curve when I first started shooting all manual. Once I shut it off, I got much more predictable results. Some people will like it, and it will have a good use for them. For me it was counter-productive for the long-term.

cvicisso
09-04-2007, 10:29 AM
A used D70 is good. I don't think it will give you the iTTL remote control of a SB-600 or SB-800 though.
Thanks tcadwall. I haven't gotten the camera yet, but you got me curious - so I looked it up in the D70 manual online. Pages 150-151 describe something called a 'Commander' mode on the D70:

"Choose this option to allow camera to control flash level when one or more SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlights are used for wireless flash photography in P, S, A, or M mode."

This might be what you're talking about. :rolleyes:

As far as Auto-ISO, I don't like it. It wreaked havoc on my learning curve when I first started shooting all manual. Once I shut it off, I got much more predictable results. Some people will like it, and it will have a good use for them. For me it was counter-productive for the long-term.Yeah, I'm not too sure about the Auto-ISO thing anymore. I'll have to try it out once I get the camera.

Anyway - thanks again for the feedback! I can't wait to start shooting. :D Is it Thursday yet? :confused:

tcadwall
09-04-2007, 10:53 AM
http://www.bythom.com/olddslr.htm

Here is a good place for research... The chart looks like commander mode is new to the D70's' but the review article he has doesn't read that way (or I missed it). I have his D70s book at home, If I think about it I will look closer there for you.

Speaking of which.... Buy his book (on cd). It is very informative.

erichlund
09-04-2007, 11:00 AM
Yes, the D70 has commander mode. IIRC, it's a little more restricted than the D200 commander mode, in that it can only control one channel of remote lights, where the D200 can control 2 or 3 (I only have on SB-800, so I haven't read up on this in a while).