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I have a Canon Power Shot SX 160 IS. Is it possible to take a five minute exposure with this type of camera?

  • Short answer - no. The longest available exposure with this camera is 15 seconds. – ElendilTheTall Oct 7 '14 at 9:06
  • Thank you. Is it possible to take a five minute exposure with a Minolta 404 si dynax film camera? – Pamela Lee Forney Oct 8 '14 at 0:39
  • @PamelaLeeForney with the Minolta 404, yes. It is known as a bulb exposure. Associated manual page 48 & 49 – user13451 Oct 8 '14 at 1:30
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According to the Manual: No. The longest shutter time is 15s, even in Manual Mode. No mention of a Bulb mode.

Your best shot at achieving functionality is by trying out the CHDK alternative firmware, which allows an override of the Shutter Speed values, letting you select how long you want. It seems the CHDK is available for the SX160 IS (cf. here). Try at your own risk, though.

  • +1 for chdk, it allows for many more than just the exposure and not really as risky as people sometimes say. – PlasmaHH Oct 8 '14 at 14:52
  • IMO, CHDK is not at all risky if you choose not to put Lua scripts on it that can hurt your camera. I use CHDK long exposure on my SX1IS all the time without any problem. – shortstheory Oct 17 '14 at 13:57
  • I never had any problems either when I had a compact camera, but since CHDK is an alternative firmware, and I do not own a SX160 IS, I do have to add a little disclaimer bit, don't I? ;) – matt.nguyen Oct 21 '14 at 9:07
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In the camera specs, the one you're looking for is the slowest shutter speed. For the SX 160 IS, this is 15s. For the Minolta 404 si Dynax, it's 30s. Most compact fixed-lens digital cameras will max out somewhere shorter than 30s. What you really want, if you have to make a five-minute exposure, is bulb mode, which allows you to keep the camera shutter open for as long as you'd like. But you will only typically find feature this on interchangeable-lens cameras.

What you can do, however, with a more-limited camera is to stack images to simulate a longer exposure. For example, you could take 20 15s exposures, and then stack them--combine them digitally--to simulate a 5 minute exposure.

See: Can stacking multiple exposure images in post-processing give the same effect as a long exposure?

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