Low Light Photography Canon - City

Canon's Guide To Low Light Photography

Capturing that perfect photo at night requires thought and experimentation. At Canon, we are dedicated to capturing the best stories in every scenario. 

To celebrate our exciting sponsorship of The Wave at Lumiere London 2018, we’ve pulled together some some tips to help you get the best shots at night, so you can produce fantastic low-light images to treasure and share.

Avoiding grainy images 

To capture clear detail at night, you will often need to use a high ISO setting, but be careful not to go too high as the results can look dusty or grainy. Most modern cameras are capable of shooting at ISO of 1600 without a big degrade in image quality. Canon’s DIGIC processor cleverly reduces noise and preserves fine details – allowing maximum creativity in low-light.

Low Light Photography Canon - Waterfall
Taken with PowerShot G7 X
  • f/8
  • 8
  • 125

Keeping your images sharp 

When you are taking handheld photos in low light, you may end up with blurred results. This usually happens because your camera needs a longer exposure time to capture more light. If you are shooting handheld, try not to use a shutter speed of under 1/60. If your camera or lens has an image stabiliser you may be able to use a lower shutter speed. Think about using your environment to reduce movement of the camera, lean against a wall or place your camera down on something solid. If you have one, use a tripod – this will give you maximum flexibility but be aware of other people when using tripods at night. 

Lighting effects 

Photographing light trails and light streaks are great ways to capture Lumiere’s installations in a creative way. You need a long exposure if you want to get the movement of light trails travelling through your photograph, use a long shutter speed of a few seconds to get this effect. Experiment with different time exposures. Use the cameras self-timer or remote capture feature to ensure you don’t shake the camera when pressing the shutter. Many of Canon’s cameras are equipped with Wi-Fi which will allow you to change setting and fire the shutter from your smart phone. 

Hand-held-Night-Scene-EOS-80D
Taken with EOS 80D
  • f/5.6
  • 1/8
  • 10000

Creative angles

Look for new angles and get creative! Walk around the subject and shoot it in a different way. If you shoot low, will you achieve something more dynamic? For an effective background or frame, shoot through buildings, street items or even people. Try zooming in and out too, and see what effect this has. These are all ways that you can get something truly unique and different from that of other photographers.

Cameras ideal for low-light photography

Canon EOS M100

The ideal step-up from smartphone photography

  • Stylish, lightweight, compact mirrorless body with DSLR quality
  • Automatic shooting modes and changeable lenses – just like a DSLR
  • Effortless, award-winning smartphone-like touch control and Bluetooth/WiFi connectivity
 

EOS M100

Canon EOS 200D

The perfect starter DSLR 

  • Canon’s lightest DSLR camera, but without any compromise in quality 
  • Intuitive menu navigation with a huge range of shooting modes 
  • Packed with user-friendly features including WI-FI and Bluetooth connectivity. 

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EOS 200D

PowerShot G1 X Mark III

The ultimate all-in-one compact camera 

  • Canon’s first compact camera with a DSLR-sized sensor: perfect for low-light 
  • Unique blend of DSLR speed, quality and resilience 
  • Ideal alternative to a DSLR – or a more portable companion camera 

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G1X MkIII

Companion app

With personalised content, challenges and inspiration to guide you along your photography journey, our Photo Companion app is the perfect partner for any visual storyteller. Plus, you can use it even if you don’t own a Canon camera!

Discover more about Photo Companion app