Is Auto-ISO good or bad?

Today I’m going to get a bit philosophical.

Yes, that’s right. Photography is sometimes related to our life philosophy also.

And I will demonstrate this by talking about the setting of Auto-ISO.

If you’ve done my Photography Course, you would know that one of the points where I differ from other Photography teachers is that I am a big advocate of using Auto-ISO.

Auto-ISO simply means you don’t select the ISO value on your own. The camera does it for you, thereby making your photography quick and easy.

In fact it makes it so easy that sometimes when I have shot events using Auto-ISO, I have almost felt guilty in receiving the payment because the job was so easy.

So first of all let’s talk about why other teachers don’t tell their students to use Auto-ISO.

According to them, Auto-ISO leads to noise.

This is a completely wrong argument because Auto-ISO itself doesn’t result in any noise. It’s just a setting that selects the required ISO automatically. The problem is if you are unnecessarily cutting down light from other settings like Shutter Speed and Aperture, then the ISO will obviously go up and it will result in noise. But that has got nothing to do with Auto-ISO. It has got to do with the photographer not paying attention to the settings being used.

For example, if you are shooting a wedding and accidentally you leave the shutter speed to 1/2000 while shooting relatively still subjects, then of course that will cut down the light and the required ISO will be high. Auto-ISO is just doing its job of selecting an ISO value that brings the light meter to the center for the correct exposure.

So yes, you have to be a bit careful about your settings when using Auto-ISO. But the advantages far outweigh the cons. Because you don’t have to worry about selecting the correct ISO every time and that makes your photography super quick and convenient, almost as fast as shooting in the Automatic mode. This means you can focus on more important things like capturing great emotions, composition, etc.

So I hope this point is clear.

But the second reason why I feel Auto-ISO gets a bad reputation has got to do something with our life philosophy.

I feel most people are not happy till they SUFFER.

Photographers are no different.

They don’t like Auto-ISO because it makes photography effortless.

Because it is effortless, they feel something is wrong.

We have been conditioned to think that everything good has to come out of suffering.

And we take that thinking into photography too.

We don’t believe that we can have our cake and eat it too.

But the truth is you can, at least in Photography.

Let me know what you think about this.

About the Author

portrait photographer for portfolio shoot in pune

Hi there, I'm Kush Sharma, the founder of Creative Pad Media, an organization dedicated to simplifying photography and videography education.

We have over 40 online courses that cover various genres in photography & videography, catering to both beginners as well as professionals. These courses are available via Our courses have been downloaded in over 170 countries.

I hope to see you inside a course very soon!

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