ISO Sensitivity

The camera’s sensitivity to light (ISO sensitivity) can be adjusted according to the amount of light available. In general, choosing higher values allows faster shutter speeds at the same aperture. Choose from settings of from ISO 100 to 102400. Extended settings of from about 0.3 to 1 EV below ISO 100 and 0.3 to 5 EV above ISO 102400 are also available.

Adjusting ISO Sensitivity

Hold the S (Q) button and rotate the main command dial.

  • The selected option is displayed in the viewfinder and top control panel.

  • By default, changes are made in increments of 1/3 EV. The size of the increments can be changed using Custom Setting b1 [ISO sensitivity step value].

The Photo Shooting Menu [ISO Sensitivity Settings] Option

ISO sensitivity can also be adjusted using the [ISO sensitivity settings] item in the photo shooting menu.

High ISO Sensitivities

The higher the ISO sensitivity, the less light needed to make an exposure, allowing pictures to be taken when lighting is poor and helping prevent blur when the subject is in motion. Note, however, that the higher the sensitivity, the more likely the image is to be affected by “noise” in the form of randomly-spaced bright pixels, fog, or lines.

  • “Noise” can be reduced by enabling high ISO noise reduction. High ISO noise reduction can be enabled using the [High ISO NR] items in the photo and movie shooting menus.

Hi 0.3–Hi 5

A setting of [Hi 0.3] corresponds to an ISO sensitivity approximately 0.3 EV higher than ISO 102400 (ISO 128000) and [Hi 5.0] to an ISO sensitivity approximately 5 EV higher (ISO 3280000). Note that pictures taken at these settings are particularly prone to “noise” in the form of randomly-spaced bright pixels, fog, or lines.

Lo 0.3–Lo 1

[Lo 0.3] corresponds to an ISO sensitivity about 0.3 EV below ISO 100 (equivalent to ISO 80). [Lo 1.0] is roughly 1 EV below ISO 100 (ISO 50). Use for larger apertures or slower shutter speeds when lighting is bright. Highlights may be overexposed. In most cases, ISO sensitivities of ISO [100] or above are recommended.

Auto ISO Sensitivity Control

Auto ISO sensitivity control automatically adjusts ISO sensitivity if optimal exposure cannot be achieved at the value selected by the user.

Enabling Auto ISO Sensitivity Control

  1. Select [ISO sensitivity settings] in the photo shooting menu, highlight [Auto ISO sensitivity control] and press 2.
  2. Select [On].
    • Highlight [On] and press J to enable auto ISO sensitivity control. If a flash is used, ISO sensitivity will be adjusted appropriately.

    • If [Off] is selected, [ISO sensitivity] will remain fixed at the value selected by the user.

  3. Adjust settings.

    • Adjust auto ISO sensitivity control settings.



      [Maximum sensitivity]

      To prevent ISO sensitivity being raised too high, you can select an upper limit for ISO sensitivity control; choose from values of from ISO 200 to Hi 5. The minimum value that will be selected using auto ISO sensitivity control is ISO 100.

      [Maximum sensitivity with N]

      Choose the maximum ISO sensitivity for flash photography; options range from ISO 200 to Hi 5. Selecting [Same as without flash] sets the maximum ISO sensitivity for flash photography to the value currently selected for [Maximum sensitivity].

      [ Minimum shutter speed]

      In modes P and A, auto ISO sensitivity control only takes effect if the shutter speed needed for optimal exposure would fall below this value; choose from settings of 1/4000 s to 30 s. If [Auto] is selected, the camera will choose the minimum shutter speed based on lens focal length (CPU lenses only). For example, the camera will automatically choose faster minimum shutter speeds to prevent blur caused by camera shake when a long lens is attached.

      • To view auto shutter-speed selection options, highlight [Auto] and press 2. Auto shutter-speed selection can be fine-tuned by choosing faster or slower minimums. Faster settings can be used to reduce blur when photographing fast-moving subjects.

      • Shutter speeds may drop below the selected minimum if optimal exposure cannot be achieved at the ISO sensitivity chosen for [Maximum sensitivity].

    • Press J to save changes.

When [On] is selected for [Auto ISO sensitivity control], ISO AUTO indicators will appear in the viewfinder and top control panel. When these indicators are lit (not flashing), pictures will be taken at the sensitivity selected for [ISO sensitivity]. When sensitivity is altered from the value selected by the user, the ISO AUTO indicators will flash and the altered value will be shown in the displays.

Auto ISO Sensitivity Control
  • If value currently selected for [ISO sensitivity] is higher than that chosen for [Maximum sensitivity], the value chosen for [ISO sensitivity] will serve as the upper limit for auto ISO sensitivity control.

  • During flash photography, shutter speed is limited to the range defined by the values selected for Custom Settings e1 [Flash sync speed] and e2 [Flash shutter speed]. If the value selected for [Minimum shutter speed] is not in this range, the value selected for Custom Setting e2 [Flash shutter speed] becomes the effective minimum shutter speed.

  • If a non-CPU lens is used without lens data, the minimum shutter speed will be fixed at 1/30 s.

  • If an optional flash unit is attached, ISO sensitivity may be raised automatically when auto ISO sensitivity control is used in combination with slow sync flash modes, possibly preventing the camera from selecting slow shutter speeds.

Turning Auto ISO Sensitivity Control On or Off

You can also turn [Auto ISO sensitivity control] on or off by holding the S (Q) button and rotating the sub-command dial ( Enabling Auto ISO Sensitivity Control ).