Long Exposures
Ricoh Theta S The Ricoh Theta S shoots very long exposures, up to 60 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 G7 X Mark II
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
from $679
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
71.0
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
25,600 ISO

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
from $1,398
High-speed framerate High speed movies Help
120 fps
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
External mic jack External mic jack Help
Record higher quality audio with a microphone

Learn more about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

Canon PowerShot G9 X
Canon PowerShot G9 X
from $379
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/2
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot G9 X

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V
from $998
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
24 mm
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,228k dots

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

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

Nikon D5600
Nikon D5600
from $697
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons

Learn more about the Nikon D5600

Canon EOS 80D
Canon EOS 80D
from $1,099
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Focus points Many focus points Help
45
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
7 fps

Learn more about the Canon EOS 80D

Pentax K-70
Pentax K-70
from $599
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.62x
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather

Learn more about the Pentax K-70

Pentax KP
Pentax KP
from $950
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
819,200 ISO
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.62x
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
7 fps

Learn more about the Pentax KP

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 D Pizzurno A Rubén D Pizzurno A (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??