Last month, a friend of mine decided to start professional long exposure photography and asked me what the best camera for Long Exposure Photography is.
I told him he can get away with any camera that has a good sensor and the ability to shoot in Bulb mode.
Because he had almost no experience with professional cameras, he asked for some recommendations and I recommended some of the beginner level DSLR for him.
Again, around a week back, a reader of this blog mailed me asking the same question. I recommended him too.
During the startup of any creative profession, there’s a time of dilemma we pass through. We can’t figure out how to start shooting, we look at the results of already established photographers and even sometimes get overwhelmed.
If you didn’t, you either had a good guide or you’re lying.
So I decided to write this article.
I’ll go through 3 of the best cameras for long exposure photography that will help you either start or upgrade for the best results.
The 3 best cameras for Long Exposure Photography are Nikon D5600, Canon EOS 90D, and Sony Alpha7 III.
Plus, the camera I recommended will not be in any rank so you can get away with any one of those based on your budget and favorite brand if you have.
Let’s start with the first one.
So if you’re opting for a budget offering from Nikon, D5600 might be the best option for you.
Let me elaborate on the factors that you must consider before buying the camera for long exposure photography.
D5600 slows down its shutter for up to 30 seconds on Shutter priority mode and if you want to go further, you can use Bulb mode that allows opening the shutter for up to practically any length of time.
Nikon D5600 ranges its ISO from 100 to 25600 which is a good range considering you might often shoot long exposures in low light situations.
On a full charged battery, Nikon D5600 can shoot around 800 to 900 photographs on average. Battery capacity should be considered one of the most essential factor while choosing a camera for long exposure photography and Nikon D5600 could be a good option.
So, as a conclusion, if you’re really a beginner to Long Exposure Photography or Photography in general, Nikon D5600 is one of the best options for you because of its entry-level price.
Here’s a Canon alternative for Nikon D5600.
Canon EOS 90D
Now if you’re someone who is willing to invest a bit more than low, Canon’s midrange Canon EOS 90D could be your best option. It costs much more than the previous Nikon D5600 but EOS 90D is a professional level camera rather than an entry-level. Because of its Digic-8 Processor, it is better compared to D5600.
Canon EOS 90D slows down up to 30 seconds on regular shutter priority mode which is the same as Nikon D5600 and it also has Bulb mode for manual shutter speed. So, there’s no loss in the shutter speed game.
Canon EOS 90D has an ISO range from 100 to 25000 which is a bit less than that of D5600 but that’s not a big deal considering ISO 25000 is already a sensitive number.
Now this is something Canon EOS 90D shines. It can take around 1300 to 1500 shots on a full battery. So this is a big plus point especially for Long Exposure Photographers who really need to care about the battery as some long exposure sessions could take hours to complete.
So, Canon EOS 90D is an overall much better camera than the Nikon D5600 in almost all major factors of general photography. If you’ve got a bit big budget to invest in or if you’re upgrading from the previous lower-end camera, Canon EOS 90D is a really good option for you.
Canon EOS 90D
Sony ɑ7 III
This mirrorless offering from Sony is one of the highest-end cameras that we are discussing today.
Sony ɑ7 III is considered one of the best mirrorless cameras right now in the high-end camera market. Because it is mirrorless, its compact design is sometimes a dealbreaker over DSLR. Also because of its mirrorless nature, it is much lighter than the DSLR. I’m not going to explain any further about mirrorless vs DSLR right here. For now, let’s talk about Sony ɑ7 III’s long exposure photography factor.
Same as Canon EOS 90D and Nikon D5600, Sony ɑ7 III has a slow shutter speed up to 30 seconds in shutter priority mode and bulb mode. So, no compromises here.
Sony ɑ7 III has an ISO sensitivity ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 51200 + Expandable up to 204800 which makes it instantly a better light-sensing camera.
Now there are some compromises in battery departments in the mirror-less cameras. Because of compact design, it’s impossible to put in the big battery as of DSLRs in mirror-less cameras like Sony ɑ7 III. So, Sony ɑ7 III can shoot around 600-700 shots on a full battery which is not that bad but considering the capacity of cameras above it, it is low.
So if you are a professional level Long Exposure Photographer and searching one of the best cameras money can buy, Sony ɑ7 III is almost no-brainer for you. But you must consider its high price.
Sony ɑ7 III has a full-frame sensor which basically means no cropping while shooting photos. This instantly makes it a better camera than two of those mentioned above.
Sony ɑ7 III
So, those were 3 best cameras for long exposure photography. If those didn’t fit your requirement here are some alternatives.