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Old March 26th, 2012, 02:48 AM   #1
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Auto ISO?

I have read a few articles and almost all of them including Philip Bloom say not to use auto ISO for film making. I was out in the garden with the glidecam yesterday and shooting at f22 ISO 100, this was fine but as soon as I walked into the shade the camera could not see a thing. I had to either crank up iso or increase aperture both are quite difficult to do if you are going in and out of the sun. Auto ISO saved me and I think it's fair to say that in some situations it's ok to use. Has anybody else come
Across harsh light situations like this and how did you work around it?
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Old March 26th, 2012, 04:51 AM   #2
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Re: Auto ISO?

If you want to do it right you would never let the camera decide what the best option is for exposure, focus or whatever but I also agree that with dslr's there are some situations where auto iso is a better option then doing it manual.

Especially like you said on a steadicam since you can't control the camera during motion, if you are going from a good exposed to a dark area in one shot and you want to have it exposed right, the only option is to keep the iso in auto BUT as long as the light conditions are balanced in the dark room, like no spots shining in your lens or backlight from windows that will cause your iso to go up and down.

I"m not sure if you can lock the max iso but if that would not be possible it can also cause unwanted grain if the iso would go up to 6400 when it's really dark.

I once had to follow a couple during a wedding on a steadycam from outside to inside, it was very bright and sunny and not that dark inside and I didn't have any backlight coming from windows so I decided to put the Iso and white balance on auto and the shot turned out great. I know the real filmmakers might say "put the camera in all manual only" but I like to see them nail this type of shot without touching the camera (as you are on a steadicam) and with everything on manual. :) There is no way you can adjust whitebalance and iris manually in one continuous shot when operating a dslr on a steadicam alone without it clearly noticing.

Most comments from filmmakers about not using auto iso is because they all work under controlled situations, then I would agree with them, but in real life and run and gun situations the limitations of a dslr in functionality often force you to do things that are not "logical" to do when it comes to "filmmaking".
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:43 AM   #3
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Re: Auto ISO?

Tariq, you have asked this question before You have to accept that some shots are nigh on impossible. Cut between different light sources, no one will notice, you dont need to capture every last second of the day. Thats what editing is all about. Far more important is knowing exactly how your camera is going to perform in any settings, in any given situation. Unless you have a crew, and a decent light set up, some shots are best forgotten. You only have one chance at a wedding, dont take a risk with steadycams etc, on crucial shots, unless you know the shot will work

Last edited by Colin Rowe; March 26th, 2012 at 07:33 AM.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: Auto ISO?

Auto ISO is one solution. My preferred solution is to make cuts in editing, rather than going for a continuous shot. That can require more coverage, like a) the sunny shot, b) the dark shot with new settings, and c) a shot to break up the two, such as a side shot of stepping into the doorway. When that's not possible, Auto ISO is the way to go.
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