After trying unsuccessfully to take pictures by night with my Canon SX60 HS, I noticed that I could not set the ISO to more than 100 with long exposure (> 1.3").

This behavior is well explained in the camera's manual (p. 92 for Tv, p. 94 for M) (screenshot below).

A as I could not believe it, I just went online and noticed that some users were also surprised about experiencing this restriction.

I learned that there is a famous Canon Hack Kit, though I do not want to install it, as the camera belongs to my girlfriend.

Why is there such limitation in this camera? Is there any way to circumvent it?


  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. I assumed (clearly incorrectly and without much thought) that it was a DSLR under discussion here, so your extra detail makes all the difference. My apologies, and I have removed both my comment and downvote. Unfortunately I don't know of a solution for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor Boyd
    May 8, 2018 at 1:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems like a restriction by Canon to enforce something (e.g. user should use low ISO at bulb-like shots, to get good images and this restriction should be a help, because if the shutter speed is already so slow, than he took a picture of something that is not moving, so time is not the critical factor) or there is some internal technical restriction for that (some "funny" algorithm that provides best results at this settings). Unfortunately probably nobody on this forum is a canon tech dev or something like that. So i recommend to ask Canon itself. \$\endgroup\$
    – Horitsu
    May 8, 2018 at 4:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's a slightly different model, but the problem and explanation is exactly the same in Can I get longer than 15 second exposure with my canon SX 50? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 8, 2018 at 5:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if it's something to do with preventing heat damage? Someone may be able to clarify, so that's why this isn't an answer. Does a sensor get hotter when it's being used at higher ISO setting? It's probably using the assumption that by this shutter speed and higher, you would always be using a tripod, therefore longer shutter speeds can compensate for the limitation \$\endgroup\$ May 8, 2018 at 14:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Guys. I am sorry but the question is definitely not a duplicate! I want to change iso while exposure >1s not at all increase the maximum exposure time! Can someone fix the close post, please? \$\endgroup\$
    – Waza_Be
    May 8, 2018 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


I think primary reason is that at high ISO and high exposure, noise makes images nearly unusable. Here is review of Canon's high ISO performance at long exposure. One of images is this:

enter image description here

As you can see, at same exposure of 15s, Canon 5d2 shows much more noise in ISO6400 shot. You camera sensor might accumulate too much noise during long exposure at high ISO to kill any image.

Camera manufacturers do that all the time, limiting performance in order to still produce useable images. Otherwise users will be upset:

Hey! I used 120 sec exposure at iso 6400 and all i got was bunch of noise. Your camera is garbage!

It's easier to limit camera's capabilities, rather than educate users about its limitations.

On the opposite end of spectrum you have modern DSLRs which can be set to ridiculous, nearly-useless ISO settings of 3.276.800. Probably, because Nikon wanted to brag about high ISO numbers to lay public, but actual Nikon D5 ($5000 camera) users understand that it's not real option.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I understand, but 100 is really restrictive.. With 100 and 15s I was close to a perfect shot of a volcano, and doesn't 6400, but something in between would be nice. Some gradual restrictions maybe.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Waza_Be
    May 25, 2018 at 19:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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