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How to make good night images with Canon SX540 HS?


Hello All, I am still around…still no expert but learning slowly as I go. One mystery I have never been able to solve has been How to photograph in the dark…without flash…my camera has a night mode which suggests I could do this. I live in a rural area where moonlit nights can be magical. I have tried a few times to take pix of the moon, hills, a nearby pond, etc. with very poor results, no better than one would achieve with a cheapie pocket camera. The manual doesn’t really explain how to do this, and I haven’t seen specific instructions online anywhere either. I assumed all I needed was to set the camera on the night mode, put ISO at 1600 and Voila’…but alas, not so! Can anyone advise? Thank you



Your camera has two night related scene modes:

Screenshot 2022-03-28 142703.jpg

Neither of those modes will do what you are hoping for.

You need to be on a tripod. Set the camera to Manual mode. Set the aperture to f/4. ISO at 1600 or 3200. Set shutter speed to 15 seconds. 

If you are trying to capture a moonlit scene 15 sec may or may not work (too dark or too bright, depending on moon) If too bright start reducing shutter speed. If too dark increase ISO.

Screenshot 2022-03-28 155329.jpg


John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


Note too, that a camera records night images very differently than your eyes.