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Using Very High ISOs

Is ISO 12800 just not enough for you? Well, in that case, you will need to turn on the ISO Expansion setting. This setting opens up another stop of ISO, raising the new limit to an incredible 25600. The highest setting will not appear in your ISO scale as a number, but as H for 12800.

Setting up the ISO Expansion feature

  1. Press the Menu button, navigate to the Custom Functions option, and press Set (A).

  2. Use the Quick Control dial (or Cross keys) to get to the ISO Expansion setting, located in the C. Fn I: Exposure section, and press Set (B).

  3. Set the option to On and press Set (C).

  4. Press the Menu button twice to exit; then press the ISO button to find the additional ISO setting of H (25600).

A word of warning about the expanded ISO settings: although it is great to have high ISO settings available during low-light shooting, they should always be your last resort. Even with the High ISO Speed NR turned on, the amount of visible noise will be extremely high. I can’t think of a situation where I ever needed to use the 25600 (H) setting, but you might find yourself at a nighttime sporting event under the lights, which would require ISOs of 3200 or 6400 to improve your shutter speeds and capture the action (Figure 8.4).

Figure 8.4

Figure 8.4 The only way to get a fast-enough shutter speed during this high school football game was to raise the ISO to 8000.

ISO 8000 • 1/800 sec. • f/2.8 • 200mm lens

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