My non camera savvy mom is borrowing my t5i with a stock 18-135mm f/3.5 lens so I am fiddling with the settings so she can just point and shoot with no extra hassle. I thought simply putting it to fully auto would be just fine, but I am almost insulted that it defaults to 1/30s shutter speed with ISO at 400. For outdoors this isn't an issue but for anything even remotely "low light", the camera likes to shoot at 1/30s.

Perhaps it's a personal preference but I would much rather prefer the ISO to be increased to 800 or even 1600 so I can shoot a faster photo without motion blur. I don't like that the camera accepts 1/30s as tolerable. I tried toggling to the sports setting, but it takes it to the other extreme with ISO cranked way too high and shutter speed unnecessarily fast. What's the best way to have the camera auto pick the settings, but not let it shoot as slow as 1/30s?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is definitely brand-specific if not model specific. Many cameras have a lot of tunables for the exposure program. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 3:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the T5i have a setting for minimum Tv allowable when in P, Tv, Av, and M modes? How about Auto ISO in P mode? Many Canon cameras can do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 4:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ryan Do you have 'Safety shift' enabled? If so what parameter(s) is(are) selected to be shifted? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 23:59

2 Answers 2


This question is camera-specific, but maybe one trick will help.

On modern cameras (I am looking at my Nikon D600 right now) you have few manual or semi-manual modes.

Consider that ISO is in auto-ISO mode. When set into A (Av, aperture-priority), you can set aperture, and modern camera will pick shutter and ISO for you. When set to S (Tv, shutter), you set shutter speed, and camera picks aperture and ISO.

The "auto" mode, or Program, will not change these settings. So you can set S mode to be your "night" mode, with shutter of 1/60 or slower, camera will keep it locked, changing aperture or ISO. Then you can tell your mom: "if it's dark, switch from auto (or P/program) to S for better pictures".

Another solution is to actually invest time into teaching your mom how to use camera efficiently, and shoot with proper technique (hold the lens, elbow position). Digital photography is great in that user can look at resulting image and adjust accordingly within seconds.


My answer is not to tell you what you want to know about your camera but to tell you that you should be telling your camera what to do.

Improve your auto settings by improving your knowledge of light, photographic principles and when to override your cameras "brain".

The human brain is vastly superior to any cameras software. THE most important part of photography is the knowledge of the human using the camera. That means understanding Light, how it behaves, how to record in on film or digitally and knowing the equipment you are using to record it with.

The camera only "knows" so much and there are frequently time when the human needs to override the cameras software in order to get a "proper exposure" or the desired exposure/artistic statement.

I would NEVER let a camera set the iso. I always use the lowest ISO i can for the best low noise image possible, and only change it up if i need settings that help me get the proper exposure or effect ( IE: different aperture, different shutter speed than is available at a lower ISO ) MY brain knows this, The camera does not know i would prefer less digital noise or motion in my image.

I frequently shoot with a 24mm lens and a 30th of a second is acceptable with that lens because my brain knows that if i hold the camera properly, steady and calmly, i will not get any motion blur or movement in my image. ( because my brain prefers to shoot with proper technique rather than compromise quality with a higher ISO.)

If you only want to use your camera in auto mode than you have to except that you are not always going to get the results you expect or desire.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ On my Pentax and Fujifilm cameras, one can tune the auto ISO program (with particular flexibility from Pentax — see this answer). There are many situations where I know I want a certain shutter speed and aperture but would like the camera to pick an amplification that gives a nice final exposure. That makes it easier to get the shot without fiddling. Why take that tool out of one's toolbox? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm - does the camera decide on the appropriate ISO in 1/3 stop increments? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 21:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Yes. Well, on Pentax you can choose between ½ and ⅓ stops. (Pentax is awesome if you like to tweak things!). I don't think Fujifilm has an option. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 21:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ -1 Very patronising and condescending. \$\endgroup\$
    – user29608
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 21:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You completely ignored the OP's first sentence. He wants reasonable auto settings so his mother can point and shoot. BTW, I sometimes use auto ISO, and I still use the lowest ISO for the best low noise image possible, and I only have to adjust my shutter speed, and/or aperture to get it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Robin
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 22:06

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