Aperture, ISO, or SS; which to give up first and why.

First, let's start with the assumption that you have set the camera so that the ISO, SS, and Aperture are ideal for the subject and your intent, and now the light get's worse. Which do you give up first and why?

For me it's simple, I *always* give on ISO (up to a point). Why? Because it has the least penalty. You give up some dynamic range which might not even be of use. You give up some color sensitivity which is easily adjusted in post but is often not missed. And you gain a little noise which may not even show in a print and can be treated in post if it will. Depending upon the camera, where the ISO becomes a "problem" varies. For my cameras its around 3200-6400. Above that I might expect to have to do some noise reduction. For another camera it might be around 800.

I don't want to give on aperture. I've already set that for the best compromise of DOF and sharpness, clarity, contrast... loosing any of that will severely affect my desired image *fixing* those in post can be very problematic and seldom ever ends up as good as if caught correctly to start with. Except maybe contrast.

SS; I don't want to give on that either. it's either set to give me the desired amount of motion blur (motor sports) or to give me enough shutter speed to freeze any motion.

So for me, the order is ISO (to a point), SS (to a point), and then Aperture.


Now, if you're choosing the initial settings and you have more light than needed which do you accept "more of" and why? That's a little tougher question but, for me it's usually going to be SS first. I say that because the ROT SS is crap... If you want really sharp images your SS for handheld should be well above the ROT. So for most subjects and most settings I will gladly use a couple stops more ISO for the gain in SS. If I have way too much SS then I can lower the ISO...but that's really not compromising or "giving up" anything.

 

I'm not saying I'm "right;" there is no such thing. 



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