Long Exposures
Canon PowerShot G16 The Canon PowerShot G16 shoots very long exposures, up to 250 seconds.

Long exposure times permit the camera to gather enough light to take a quality photo, even in the darkest of environments. If you want to keep the noise levels low and use lower ISO levels in dark environments long exposure times can be very useful. Most people don't normally need to take very long exposure photos, but they can provide an amazing creative opportunity for those interested. For example you can take long exposure shots of the night sky to capture the movement of stars across the sky, capture nigh-time vistas, landscapes at dusk, turn water in to flowing clouds, and add blur to photos for effect.

Get Creative with Long Exposures

The following photos demonstrate how long exposure time can create photos that would otherwise be impossible.


Nighttime Landscape
night time landscape of hills overlooking the waterThis photo by Amir K via flickr shows a great late night landscape. The longer exposure clips out and blends the lights and smooths the water and sky leaving the landscape in crisp detail. Shot on a Canon XSi entry-level dSLR
Flowing Water Effect
photo of a waterfallThis photo by Neils Photography illustrate a 4s long exposure of a waterfall via a Canon EOS 400D a f/16 18mm. The long exposure turns the waterfall and water into pillowing clouds creating a wonderful calming interpretation.
Nighttime Snow
photo of a snowy field and forest late at night Paulo Brandao's great nighttime shot uses a super long 124 second exposure using a Nikon D90, the effect is a wonderfully dark interpretation of the trees and snow at night with rays of light bursting through from the house beyond. Shot at 18mm f10 ISO 100.
Nighttime Highway Scene
photo of traffic lights blurred and trailing off into the distanceThis photo by nrbelex via flickr shows a fantastic interpretation of a nighttime highway - using a long exposure to turn the taillights in to bands of light trailing up the photo to the horizon. Shot with a Canon XTi.

Great Digicams with Long Exposures

Canon PowerShot G16
Canon PowerShot G16
from $449
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
922k dots
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
12,800 ISO

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot G16

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III
from $798
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,229k dots
True resolution High true resolution Help
20 MP

Learn more about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II
from $567
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,229k dots
True resolution High true resolution Help
20 MP

Learn more about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
from $998
True resolution High true resolution Help
20 MP
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
69.0
Sensor size Large sensor Help
Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm

Learn more about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Green arrow See more of the top Digicams that can take 30s or longer exposures

Entry Level SLRs with Long Exposures

The following entry level DSLRs provide at least a 30s exposure

Pentax K-3
Pentax K-3
from $931
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,216 ISO
Cross type focus points Many cross-type focus points Help
25
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"

Learn more about the Pentax K-3

Nikon D7100
Nikon D7100
from $1,097
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,256 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
83.0

Learn more about the Nikon D7100

Nikon D5300
Nikon D5300
from $679
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,338 ISO
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
83.0

Learn more about the Nikon D5300

Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
from $447
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,600 ISO
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift

Learn more about the Pentax K-50

Green arrow See more of the top entry level DSLRs that take 30s or longer exposures

Discussion

Showing 8 comments

Karpov (7:00 AM, August 05, 2013)
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR
 
Avatar for Aniket Kukade Aniket Kukade (10:39 AM, December 27, 2012)
CANON sx50
or nikon p510?
 
Avatar for Micah Goff Micah Goff (1:02 PM, September 12, 2012)
How about a Sony DSC-H90?
 
Avatar for Rubén Dario Pizzurno Aguilera Rubén Dario Pizzurno Aguilera (1:49 PM, June 13, 2012)
Is the same with the FZ47? In S mode?
 
Avatar for Mike Svitek Mike Svitek (0:04 AM, January 04, 2012)
It may be late, but set your camera to the "M" setting and rotate the adjustment dial up to 30" (30 seconds). the "B" mode means a manual shutter speed up to 30 seconds. As long as you hold the shutter button, it will remain open.
 
Mike (8:08 AM, August 03, 2011)
how do i get long exposure on the Fuji HS20 ex???
 
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:00 PM, January 15, 2011)
Have you tried turning the top dial to "S", then push the up/down buttons on the back (the top and bottom buttons in the circle of four buttons) to change the shutter speed.
 
Aballplayer (2:48 AM, January 15, 2011)
how do I get to the long exposure option on the DMC-ZS7??