01 November 2019

Using Auto ISO for High Speed Action

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
I'm currently researching the application of Auto ISO in Birds in Flight photography and would like to share a few images captured with the Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - demonstrating the modern DSLR's ability for making ISO changes (when Auto-ISO is enabled).

Note: My own field study is based on the relationship between BIF photography (high shutter speed action shooting / continuous AF tracking) and the modern DSLR's Auto-ISO function and will not (necessarily) apply for static subjects (i.e. perched birds) - although, I use the same settings when shooting perched birds (when out doing Birds in Flight photography in good light).

The Canon EOS 70D (APS-C / crop body) is not really recognized as a Canon-recommended high-end body (in the same way as the EOS 7D Mark II (2014) and higher were at the time of Canon's 2013 Auto-ISO publication) for shooting Auto-ISO in Manual and the Semi-Auto Modes (Av = Aperture Priority / Tv = Shutter Priority Modes).

Nevertheless, I went out with the EOS 70D on Auto-ISO for testing / demonstrating the typical enthusiast camera's ability for auto-adjusting ISO's in a low-light and fast-changing background shooting environment.



Each of the 4 consecutive frames exposed at different ISO's as the small / erratic bird moved quickly against a lighter to a darker background:

Image 1
 ISO 1000
Image 2 ISO 1600
Image 3 ISO 2000
Image 4 ISO 2500

Canon Gear

  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens

Exposure Settings

  • Manual Mode
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • ISO: Auto ISO (1000 - 2500)
  • Shutter Speed:1/5000s

Autofocus (AF) Settings
  • AI Servo
  • Continuous Shooting: 7 fps
  • Zone Selection
  • Handheld

Focal Length
: 300mm

Lightroom 6 Post-Processing
Minimal post-processing (+- 50% crop / slight exposure correction / lens profile correction)

Cape Town Location
Pied Kingfisher at the Pump Station Diep River / Woodbridge Island

Shooting Conditions
Low-light / overcast conditions

Finding
A significant finding is the rapid change in ISO 1000 to 2500 (between the 4 continuous frames) as the camera is attempting an ideal exposure.

(Click to Enlarge)
Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image 1: ISO 1000 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (Canon EOS 70D)

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image: ISO 1600 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (Canon EOS 70D)

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image 3: ISO 2000 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (Canon EOS 70D)

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image 4: ISO 2500 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (canon EOS 70D)

Low Light / High ISO Shooting Canon EOS 7D Mark II Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View