by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I find which semi-professional camera has the resource to open the shutter for long exposure, with the purpose to take night shots?

share|improve this question
The feature you're looking for is "bulb" mode which allows you to hold the shutter open for as long as the shutter button is depressed. As far as I know, it's pretty rare (if at all) for an SLR not to have this function. – John Cavan Jun 3 '12 at 14:32

All DSLRs have a Bulb mode which lets you open the shutter for a user-controlled time-interval. This is what you are looking for. Plenty of SLDs have it too.

There is a catch though! The amount time the shutter can be left open has a rarely documented limit on the vast majority of digital cameras. Sometimes it is in the order of a few minutes and sometimes in the order of a few hours. All Olympus cameras all stop after 30mins. Higher-end models can sustain an open shutter for hours as long as the battery holds and the sensor does not overheat. This later point will is non-deterministic because it has to do with the ambient temperature. With a Pentax K-7 for example, it I never managed more than about 30mins in the summer.

My advice is to narrow down your choice of cameras to a few you are interested in. At least in the class of a Canon 7D / Pentax K-5 / Nikon D7000 and then do a Google search for each model with bulb limit or long exposure. It may help for you to get a model which supports a battery-grip if you won't be able to use AC power where you are planning to shoot.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.