I recently got into photography and use a Nikon D3400. I have started shooting in Aperture Priority and Manual modes about 2 weeks ago and I noticed something strange regarding the ISO. When I am manually setting it, it starts from 100 and then the values keep doubling. If I switch over to Auto mode however, I get photos with odd ISO values, like 360. Is it at all possible for me to set an ISO value, for example between 400 and 800? If not, why does Auto mode seem to have more control over the ISO than the other modes?

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Is it at all possible for me to set an ISO value, for example between 400 and 800?

Not on the D3400. It is on higher end cameras.

If not, why does Auto mode seem to have more control over the ISO than the other modes?

Because Nikon decided to implement it this way. The are two arguments for this, both of which are probably somewhat true:

  1. The D3400 is an entry-level camera and as such it makes sense to keep the available options as small as possible. More options give more settings for beginners to mess up.
  2. Restricting the D3400 to only full stop ISO settings gives another way for Nikon to differentiate between their low end and high end models without fundamentally changing the hardware. Therefore they make more profit.

(For avoidance of doubt, this isn't an anti-Nikon rant; Canon definitely do the same thing, Fujifilm do something similar with shutter speeds and I suspect other brands do the same as well).

  • 1
    For what it's worth, my Fuji X100s also sets automatic exposure times which aren't available manually with 1/3 stops increments. (e.g. 1/70s or 1/105s). – Eric Duminil Nov 18 at 18:28
  • it's also not really useful or needed. you can easily correct an image's exposure by a factor of 2-4, so a factor of 1.5 in ISO is without consequence (and nearly rounding error for the camera) – Aganju Nov 19 at 20:57
  • I have a Nikon D500 (very high end apsc from nikon) but I doesn't found that option to set ISO values to something like 282 or 734 (and yes I have photos in autoISO with such kind of strange values) – Horitsu Nov 20 at 6:24
  • @Horitsu But you can set third stop ISOs on your D500. As Aganju points out, any more than that is definitely beyond the realms of "necessary". I'd put money on those odd ISO values being from mobile phones. – Philip Kendall Nov 20 at 6:57
  • @PhilipKendall Nope that are real ISO values from my D500. So where is my money? ;) – Horitsu Nov 21 at 9:09

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