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Auto ISO logic, done logically

Discussion in 'Samsung NX Forum' started by Luckypenguin, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    As I sit here trying to learn the ins and outs of the Samsung NX300 I come across a programmable Auto ISO logic item in the menu that is so comprehensive and yet so simple at the same time, which makes me wonder why I can't have something similar on every camera.

    Going into the first page of the menu there is an item called "Minimum Shutter Speed" which deals with the camera's Auto ISO logic

    IMG_6723_zpsf6bc8fa7.

    Selecting this item brings up a submenu as follows

    IMG_6724_zps38e32637.

    Selecting "Off" restricts the camera to using the standard 1/equiv focal length as the minimum shutter speed before bumping up the ISO. This is fairly standard practice and is perfectly acceptable in a lot of different scenarios. However, if you have a lot of faith in your own hands or in the IS system to keep the camera still, or you think that higher than normal shutter speeds will be required then the next menu item is for you. Selecting "Auto" brings up this screen

    IMG_6725_zps3c46aca3.

    In this case the middle setting applies the same 1/equiv focal length logic as the "Off" setting. Slow and fast allow you to tell the camera to lower or raise the calculated minimum shutter speeds from this rule by increments of one or two stops. Very logical, very easy.

    This is all very good, but sometimes when you are doing street photography to give an example you want to set a minimum speed much higher than usual since both you and your subjects are likely to be both moving. In the past I have previously used my cameras in "S" mode with the shutter speed set to about 1/500 and then had to live with whatever aperture the camera chose. On this Samsung however I can also set a discrete value for the minimum shutter speed, but rather than restrict me to only a couple of values as I have seen elsewhere, here I can choose any value (in one stop increments) from 1/2000 all the way to 1 sec.

    IMG_6724_zps38e32637.

    IMG_6726_zps19763aea.

    IMG_6727_zpsf034c025.

    Again; very logical, very easy. In this case I can choose my preferred minimum shutter speed of 1/500, and put the camera in "A" mode using a larger aperture of about f/2.8 or maybe f/4 to narrow the depth-of-field. When it's bright outside the camera's native ISO 100 and 1/6000 maximum shutter speed will protect from overexposure, and in darker areas the minimum shutter speed will protect from motion blur and start to bump up the ISO whenever 1/500 is reached. If the maximum Auto ISO setting is reached (3200 on this camera) only then will it start to increase the shutter speed from the selected value in order to maintain the correct exposure.

    I've had a few different cameras that allow you to customise the Auto ISO logic to a degree but for me this is easily the best setup I've seen.
     

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  2. muzee

    muzee SC Veteran

    244
    Apr 30, 2013
    Very nice feature and implementation - I struggle with the same issue on the K-01.
    With AutoISO it sets the shutter speed so low that more often than not I'm forced to switch from Av to M.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    What so many of us have wanted for so long, Nic. A genuine usability improvement that has an impact on our photography, instead of built-in wifi or more megapickles...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Oh, don't worry. It has both of those, too :smile:
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Nic,

    I had the same sort of revelation with the Nikon A, which uses a very similar type of setup. It limits the high shutter speed to 1/1000, but for my purposes, 1/500 is as fast as I've needed. I could see an action photographer with a longer lens wanting faster, but for street with a 28mm, 1/500 works for me. It's incredibly liberating shooting with that setup and it took me a little while to figure out just how useful it was. And it was THE feature that caused me to choose the Nikon over the Ricoh GR, which has its own set of nice features. The Ricoh uses the same logic, but caps the shutter speed at 1/250, which just doesn't cut it for me.

    The Fuji X100, X100s, and XM1 (and maybe the XA1?) use similar logic, but with a high shutter speed of 1/125, which seemed pretty useless to me. But the XE2 raises that to 1/500, which is a big step in the right direction. Once I'd used the Nikon for a little while, I also wondered why ALL cameras didn't have this setup? I'm glad to hear the Samsung has it as well and makes me more interested in their products, to be honest. Although hopefully, in another year or two, nearly everyone will adopt something similar.

    I think auto-ISO has gotten so much more potentially useful just in the past few years as sensors have gained so much latitude and I don't think most camera makers had really thought through how it could be used. Now that it's capabilities are so great, hopefully something like this setup/logic will become nearly universal.

    -Ray
     
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  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Thanks for sharing Nic!!

    I love that auto-ISO implementation! That alone may be reason to give Samsung a try! Is that how all Samsung's implement auto-ISO, or is that specific to the NX300 only (if you know)?

    Pentax K-5 has three settings for auto-ISO logic, which I really liked. A "normal" that utilizes 1/35mm EFL rule; a fast, which doubles the speed; and a slow, which halves the speed. But looks like Samsung is the king of auto-ISO logic for sure!!

    Rico noted that he suggested the K-5 way to Fuji, but Fuji decided to go the other route.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. James_T_Menendez

    James_T_Menendez SC Rookie

    11
    Oct 17, 2013
    In the galaxyNX menus I'm not found it, but it's possible lost in the multiple configuration modes, but in the iso menu no.
    And the prospects included are merely a quick start guide and a beguinner's guide to photography.
    Online it's the same pamphlets to go nowhere.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I'm fairly sure that I'm also not going to take advantage of the full range of selectable minimum shutter speeds on the NX300, but surely it makes no difference to the bottom line of the manufacturer to not make them all available. Like you say, someone may want that 1/2000s...or 1 sec for that matter. I've used the Ricoh GXR which I believe also used 1/250 as it's fastest speed, and Fujifilm choosing 1/125 as their limit prior to the X-E2 seems odd. You wonder who makes the decision to go to the trouble of implementing a feature, and then choosing to restrict it's usefulness. It isn't as if either company has a more expensive camera that they want to push you towards that DOES open up that extra capability.
     
  9. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I'm unaware of how the other current model Samsungs implement their Auto ISO logic, sorry. The older NX200 (which is essentially 1.5 generations removed from the NX300) offers no Auto ISO customisation at all. Actually that camera was a bit odd in that it was very optimistic about your ability to handhold a camera. At 28mm equiv focal length it would wait until 1/20 until raising the ISO, and at 80mm EFL it would choose 1/40. If you steadied yourself you could do it, of course, but without any IS lenses it did mean that I was always thinking about switching the ISO back to manual and raising it higher. When using the NX200 alongside the Olympus E-M5 it was ironic that I felt the exact opposite was true with that camera. The IBIS in the E-M5 means that I would often consider selecting a lower ISO value than what the Auto ISO selected because of how easy it is to handhold that camera at slow shutter speeds.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I imagine that if the option was there on the Galaxy NX it would come up in the basic camera settings on the first page/tab of the menus. It would be odd if that camera didn't have the option when the NX300 does, but the the Galaxy NX is a fairly unique product compared to the rest of the NX line.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yeah, I know - seems so obvious when you see how well it can work. But I guess auto-ISO was less useful with lesser sensors and nobody had really thought about how to make it more than an afterthought. Why Ricoh, of all companies, would stick to 1/250 is beyond me. It would seem like about a five minute firmware fix once you have the basic function and logic built in to just change the upper limit... Oh well, I guess they're coming around slowly but surely...

    -Ray
     
  12. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    I wish Olympus would employ minimum shutter speed. The only saving grace is that it will do AUTO ISO in manual mode.
     
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  13. James_T_Menendez

    James_T_Menendez SC Rookie

    11
    Oct 17, 2013
    I found it but with other menu distribution and no icon. W
    hen I put ISO in automatic mode few lines down apeared as 'Personalizar ISO' 'customice ISO' in english I supose.
    And with no complete manual is an adventure.
     
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Olympus cameras (and Panasonic for that matter) cry out for this kind of customisation since their autofocus speed advantage and liberal use of touchscreen-based interface otherwise makes them one of the best types of camera to use for street photography.
     
  15. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Yup.

    For example, we were in a dark aquarium a few weeks ago. My E-PL2 did a better job, the XZ1 was aweful. In P mode, where my gf likes to shoot, it was selecting f1.8 at 1/10s at the 28mm focal length.
     
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    It's odd that certain camera makers simply refuse to change their ways. Would love to see one manufacturer borrow the best from all worlds -- particularly as it relates to usability.
     
  17. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    By the way, this improvement only arrived with a fairly recent firmware update. Before it was the same as NX200.
     
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The newer Olys (EM5, EP5, EM1, at least - maybe the EPL5 too?) have a back door to set a minimum shutter speed for use with auto-ISO in aperture priority mode. It's in the "gear" menus under "flash custom". You can set the X-sync as high as 1/320 of a second and that somehow also becomes the minimum shutter speed the camera will use in A mode with auto ISO. Until it's pegged at your maximum designated ISO and still doesn't have enough light, at which point it will lower the shutter speed as a last resort. But this is the same logic that the Samsung and Nikon and XE2 and Ricoh uses too, so the logic is fine even if the highest minimum you can choose isn't that great and it takes a treasure hunt to even find the feature.

    I have no idea if this worked the same way on earlier Oly models, but its worth going into the gear menu and having a look...

    -Ray
     
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  19. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Just found out about the flash sync speed thing last week!
     
  20. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Yeah, that's a neat trick albeit a very roundabout way of doing it. Shame that it doesn't go to my magic number of 1/500 but it's close.

    That's right. It shows that adding functionality like this to an existing camera is not impossible.