Long Exposures
Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) The Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) 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

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
from $1,498
Movie format Shoots UHD movies Help
UHD @ 30fps
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/2.4
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,228k dots

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

Canon PowerShot G7 X
Canon PowerShot G7 X
from $453
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons
True resolution High true resolution Help
20 MP

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot G7 X

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV
from $948
Movie format Shoots UHD movies Help
UHD @ 30fps
High-speed framerate High speed movies Help
120 fps
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8

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

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II
from $1,114
Movie format Shoots UHD movies Help
UHD @ 30fps
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,228k dots
External mic jack External mic jack Help
Record higher quality audio with a microphone

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

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 D7200
Nikon D7200
from $849
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
87.0
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,333 ISO
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,228k dots

Learn more about the Nikon D7200

Nikon D5500
Nikon D5500
from $539
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,438 ISO
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
84.0
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps

Learn more about the Nikon D5500

Pentax K-3 II
Pentax K-3 II
from $850
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
8.3 fps

Learn more about the Pentax K-3 II

Pentax K-S1
Pentax K-S1
from $329
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.63x
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,200 ISO
Movie continuous focus Movie continuous focus Help
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies

Learn more about the Pentax K-S1

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??