Low light photography can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what settings to use on your camera. Luckily, the Canon 6D is a very capable camera when it comes to low light and indoor shooting. Pair it with a cheap fast prime like the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8, and you will definitely have an easier time shooting in low light.
To get better low light photos here are my recommended settings for the Canon 6D. I use these settings all the time when shooting in low light situations and they have helped me get better results.
Setting Up The Canon 6D
- Shooting in RAW format is recommended but JPEGs should still look good
- Use a fast lens with an aperture of at least f/2
- Set your camera to Av or manual if you prefer
- Aim to get a shutter speed of 1/160. Go higher if you’re shooting moving subjects
- Select an ISO between 1600-6400. ISO 6400 is the limit before the noise starts to get really bad.
- Select Auto White Balance
- If you don’t have a fast lens, using an external flash is a great way to expose the image correctly.
To get better photos in most low light situations, it’s important to understand what controls the exposure triangle: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
These three elements are connected and interact with each other in different ways depending on how dark or bright your surroundings are.
By controlling these three factors, you can achieve a correct exposure that captures as much detail as possible without losing anything due to noise or motion blur.
Is the Canon EOS 6D good for low light shooting?
Yes! I’m still using my Canon 6D for professional work and until today, it’s still one of the best DSLRs for low light and for shooting Astro. I don’t have any major issues when using high ISOs with this camera. I get a lot of sharp shots, even with high ISOs.
But still, you will have to invest in good lenses and fast primes if you want to take advantage of the 6D’s low light capabilities.
When I’m out there shooting weddings, I always find myself shooting in dark and low-light situations. I’m always amazed at how the 6D’s RAW files can pull details out of those dark areas.
The 6D’s 20MP full-frame sensor is capable of producing clean and sharp images, even when you’re shooting at high ISOs.
Its AF performance is actually pretty good, considering that it’s an older system and you’re using the center autofocus point. The center focus point is blazingly fast and accurate 99.9% of the time even in low light.
The only thing that I don’t like about this camera is its outer focus points. They’re not the fastest and most accurate out there when used in low light situations. So, I rarely use them.
But what if my subject is not in the middle of the frame? One solution that I have found very effective is to use the center focus point and then recompose my shot after I obtained focus.
This allows me to get the shot I want without having to rely on the outer focus points.
Overall, I highly recommend this camera for anyone who wants a good all-around full-frame DSLR that can take some abuse and not break the bank. The Canon 6D may not be as advanced as today’s mirrorless camera, but it still has a great value when you consider the cost. It is a great camera for anyone from a beginner to an advanced photographer.
If you want something newer, maybe you can consider the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. The 6D Mark II is not a mirrorless camera, but it has a lot of advantages compared to its older brother 6D.
What ISO should you use for a low light setting?
The ISO setting controls how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light, which means it determines how bright and colorful your photos will be. With the Canon 6D, I can go ISO 6400 without having too many issues.
The higher the ISO, the brighter your image will appear. However, this comes at a cost: higher ISOs introduce noise into an image that can make it look grainy or washed out.
But of course, using lower ISO settings will give me cleaner and sharper images. The higher the ISO, the more noise and grain you will see in your image.
What shutter speed setting is better for low light?
For shooting stationary subjects with a prime 35mm or 50mm lens, I like to keep the shutter speed at around 1/100 of a second. This will allow me to capture more detail in the image and avoid motion blur, which is particularly important when shooting indoors with artificial lighting.
You can still go slower than 1/100th if you’re shooting with a lightweight fast prime lens or are in a well-lit room. If your subject is moving, though, I recommend setting your shutter speed to 1/150th or faster.
How much aperture is good for low light?
Ideally, you should use your lens’ maximum aperture when shooting in low light environments. This could be anywhere from f/1.2 (for prime lens) to f/4 (for kit lens).
With the Canon 6D, which is a great camera for low light, you shouldn’t worry too much about using higher ISOs.
What is the native ISO for Canon 6d?
This camera has a native ISO of 100-25600 standard and 50-102800 expanded. But from my experience, Canon 6D’s highest useable ISO is only at around 6400.
How do I make my pictures sharp in low light?
When shooting in low light areas, it’s important to use a fast shutter speed and steady your camera. Also, don’t use ISO settings higher than you need, as this will cause more noise in your photos and it can also soften the image.
A good starting point is ISO 800 with a shutter speed of 1/50 if you’re using a fast prime lens and shooting a stationary subject. Then increase the ISO and shutter speed slowly to gain proper exposure.
Here are some additional tips if you’re still having trouble shooting in low light:
- If you’re having trouble keeping the shutter speed fast enough, try using a tripod.
- If you don’t have a tripod, hold your camera steady, and keep it as still as possible.
- Use the self-timer setting, so you don’t need to press the shutter release button and risk causing a camera shake.
- Use an external flash or any available light source to light your subject. Window lights are great for this.
Is an f/2.8 aperture good for low light?
Yes, using an aperture of f/2.8 is good for low light. It’s fast enough for most situations and it can also blur the background.
In fact, this aperture is mostly used by pros when shooting gigs. When I’m shooting weddings, I usually bring my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II with me, because it’s super useful when shooting indoors where I have no control over lighting.
Why are my low light photos grainy?
There are a few reasons why your low light photos might be grainy. The most common reason is that you’re shooting at an ISO that’s too high for the situation. Try to keep your ISO below 1600 unless you have no other option.
Remember that the higher the ISO, the more you introduce noise to your images. Another reason is, that you’re shooting in a really dark environment. If that’s the case, you should definitely use an external lighting source, like a flash or an LED light.
As long as you understand how your camera works and the different options available to you, you can capture fantastic low light photos with the Canon EOS 6D.
There are a lot of variables that go into taking a picture and it’s important not only to learn about them but also practice using them so that when it comes time for an important shot, everything will fall into place naturally.
Also, the Canon 6D still has great value today for hobbyists and professionals who need a reliable camera that can capture amazing photos in low light.
Emma Lucy is the Founder & CEO of Emma Lucy Photography. She has over a decade of experience shooting weddings and other intimate events. She also tests the latest digital camera bodies, lenses, analog cameras and other gear from Canon, Nikon, Sony and other camera brands. She currently lives in London where she spends most of her time being a self-employed professional photographer and writer.