Howdy, Stranger!

If you're just starting out in the world of photography and want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then this forum is your new secret hangout spot!

Take better photos today with my Nikon D3200 Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

ISO Settings

edited May 2014 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Hi! Not going to lie, this is my first camera ever and I am struggling! I downloaded the cheat sheets for my D3200. A lot of them suggest switching my ISO sensitivity to Auto, but I can't. I get a message saying that I can't in the camera's current state. I've tried A, S, and M modes, but none of them will let me. Please help!


  • edited May 2014
    You must go into Menu, then Shooting Menu, then ISO Sensitivity settings.
  • Hey @hbrokman - @ohyeahar is spot on. The Auto ISO setting isn't located in the same menu where you manually set your ISO. Why Nikon decided to do this is beyond me. If you have any other questions regarding the cheat cards, feel free to email me at support "at" All the best!
  • edited May 2014
    I must have something else turned off, or on, because that is where I am at when it won't let me choose auto. I will have to play around and see if it will let me choose it after I change some things around. This camera is smarter than I!
  • edited May 2014
    @hbrokman, you must be in P, S, A, or M mode.
    @Moose, I agree. It's odd that we can't toggle Auto ISO in the ISO settings menu. It's possible on the more pro bodies like the D7000, D7100, or any of the full frame bodies. You just hold the ISO button and rotate the front dial. But we don't have a front dial and Nikon probably doesn't want to waste time changing up the menu interface across their cameras. So that's probably why "Auto" is there in the ISO settings, just sitting there teasing us by not letting us select it.
    In M (manual) mode, since pressing the aperture button and rotating the rear dial is the equivalent of rotating the front dial on the D7xxx, I tried pressing the Fn button (which I’ve set to toggle ISO) along with the aperture button and rotated the rear dial hoping that it will toggle Auto ISO. No such luck…
  • edited June 2014
    It's confusing here, because there are two different auto modes that behave differently depending on what shooting mode you're in.

    In P,S,A and M modes, you must go to the menu and switch "auto" on or off there. When it's on, you also have the option of setting a maximum ISO it will go to, and a minimum shutter speed at which it takes effect. When shooting, you still set a base ISO, from which the camera will vary as needed. It will never go beyond the max you set in the menu, and unlike other models, it will also ignore user input higher than that max! You can still force higher ISO in the "scene" modes, but in P,S,A, and M, higher settings will be ignored even though they're shown on the rear screen. You must go back to the menu.

    Just to add to the confusion, when choosing the minimum shutter speed here, there is also an "auto" setting. If you set this, then the shutter speed will be chosen by the camera depending on the focal length if the lens is AF, to an equivalent of 1/30. If the lens is not AF, it will default to 1/30. It ignores VR.

    "Auto" will change ISO in P and A modes when the shutter speed goes below the minimum you chose in the menu. In S mode it will change ISO when maximum aperture is exceeded at the chosen shutter speed. In M mode it will change ISO when your chosen exposure does not satisfy the meter.

    In the 'scene' modes, the menu options do not exist. In these modes, the default is always full auto (no base chosen by the user), but now "auto" will appear on the list of ISO choices with the Fn button. You can override full-auto operation in these modes and set a manual ISO. What you specify in one mode applies to all.

    The D3200 differs from others, however, in that whenever you change ISO setting in P,S,A and M modes, it will always reset the 'scene' modes to "auto." It does this no matter which way you go, in auto or full manual mode.

    In the two point and shoot modes, there is no user choice of ISO at all.
  • edited April 2017
    What will be the best settings, on a Nikon D3200, to take pictures of a Rodeo with clouds coming in and out?
  • I think for a rodeo you'd do best to shoot in shutter priority or manual mode, with whatever shutter speed you find can stop the action reliably, and use Auto ISO. Set the starting ISO at 100 and let the auto ISO vary as the lighting changes.
Sign In or Register to comment.