LOW Light Photography SETTINGS with Canon EOS M50

Let’s say…. I am a complete beginner. All I have is Canon EOS M50 and the kit lens which came with it which is 15 – 45 mm lens f/3.5 – 6.3 IS STM. And I don’t have any external flash. I don’t have any studio lights. I’m completely beginner. That’s all I really have and I want to know what is the best settings in low light situations for photography. Now, I’ll be straight up with you. There is no best settings for low light situation, just because every single low light situation is different.

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So every single low light situation requires different setting. But in today’s tutorial I’m gonna try to lead you to find your own best settings in that particular low light situation and just like in all my other tutorials I’m gonna try to be very simple and very easy on you so everybody can understand…. yeah, I said everybody. Step number one. You will forget the automatic mode and you will turn the dial to the M which is manual mode, because you will be able to bring more light on your camera sensor by adjusting three things. ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed. Have you ever heard of the Exposure Triangle? That’s what it is.

And also, you will save all your photos not in JPEG but in RAW format, so change that. Simply because JPEG is compressed and RAW will save more details in the shadow areas and also if we are off with your white balance then you can always change it in the post-production. The first thing we are going to look at is the f-stop. And here it can get confusing.

I remember when I was starting out I always had a problems with that, so just try to remember the lower the number is the more light you will get into your camera. The higher the number is, the less light you will get into the camera, because the lower the number, your lens is open all the way up. You will get more light into the lens. The higher the number, the more closed the lens will get and you will get less light. It’s always the opposite. I know, It’s just, sometimes it can get confusing. It’s always the opposite, so what you want to do is start with the f-number the lowest you can possibly get and in this case is f 3.5. You have to keep in mind though that the lower the F number the more blur you will get to your background. The more blur you will get in the photos. Its depth of field. So if I’m taking photo of a flashlight or a cup or a lamp or something like that, it will be sharp and the background will be blurry and that’s okay, but if I am in a wedding for example and I’m shooting group of people, then if I’m keeping it 3.5 the first person will be sharp but then people next to them will be blurry, so myself when I’m shooting at the wedding and I’m shooting my DSLR with different lenses I usually crank it up to 5.6 or even higher to make sure that the people in the group are all sharp.

If you are shooting hand held and you don’t have any tripod, a general rule of thumb is that you are not going to go any slower than 1/60th a second to avoid blurry shots. Now I tried it with my DSLR. I pushed it lower and lower and lower and yeah, it’s pretty much the true for me, for my hands. My shaky hands. So 1/60th a second and up is probably the safe. This applies only to non moving objects. If I am taking photo of a couple walking in or dancing. I need to make sure that the shutter speed is fast so I crank it up all the way up. They say that if you are shooting on DSLR you should match your focal length with your shutter speed, so if you are shooting on 50mm lens you have 50 millimetres there you should use your shutter speed 1/50th.

I don’t know I tried it and I still feel a little bit safer to go with the 1/60th. Let’s move on to the Canon EOS M50 and 15 – 45 mm lens. I tried it. I tested it. I took a whole bunch of photos. I tried to go slower and slower and slower and here is the number which worked for me and my shaky or steady hands. Maybe you should try that and start and see if you can go with that speed or if you need to go faster, you can even try to go a little bit slower. Keep your ISO as low as you possibly can. Only increase it, if you already max up your shutter speed and aperture, because the more ISO, the higher ISO number is the more light you will get into the camera, but the higher ISO will get the more noise and grain it will get into the photos.

But don’t be scared of grain. You can have a little bit grain in the photos, sometimes it adds something special and it is always better to have a little bit grain in the photos then having blurry photos. Plus if you use Lightroom and Photoshop you can get that grain much lower. I tried to play with the Canon EOS M50 and the kit lens and I tested different ISO numbers. Here is the number I feel comfortable personally to go with. When I uploaded it on a computer and played with it in the Lightroom and Photoshop and edited it a little bit, I think, it looks pretty decent. What is very interesting.

I went to Facebook Canon M50 group and I asked other owners of that camera what ISO they would feel comfortable with to go up to. You know what’s the maximum ISO. Everybody gave me a different answer. So it really depends on your personal taste, what you like. Take few test shots, upload it on your computer, zoom in and see how you like it, if that’s something you can go with.

I know that tripods and monopods can be sometimes annoying and they are in a way. We all want to shoot free and such, but if you’re taking photo of a non-moving object, you can pretty much shoot in any exposure length when it comes to tripod. For example, if you are taking photos at night, sometimes the exposure can be over 30 seconds long, so you need to have a tripod. Also to avoid the camera shake you know as you are pressing the button, it is the best if you use timer or you can connect your camera to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. It would be a good idea to learn how to read histogram because when you shoot in very low light your LCD screen can get very bright. Brighter than usually and that way if you are reading your histogram and you know adjust your exposure, you will avoid clipping highlights and shadows.

If you have problems focusing, then try the manual focus. Zoom in, focus, zoom out. Take the photo or even shine a light on your objects, half press your shutter, turn off the lights and take the photo. What I would tell you personally that don’t stress out over the settings. As long as your clients enjoy the photos, like the photos, and as long as you upload the photos to stock and they get accepted and sold, you got it. When I shoot weddings my main focus, focus is to have the emotion into the photos, the real story in the photos or just make the photo very interesting.

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If I’m a little bit off with settings, who cares? You know next time I’ll get it right. If there’s someone who’s telling you that they are the best in the settings they’re probably full of it. Wwe all make some mistakes. We all might make a little bit different photos which it actually don’t work sometimes. The main is to have fun with photography, be very creative and it will eventually come to you. It will eventually be automatic. Just keep in mind that the story is the main thing you should really concentrate on when it comes to photography.

Well, that’s all when it comes to low-light basic settings for photography. Please give me thumbs up if you liked today’s video and subscribe to all future videos. Don’t forget to hit the bell notification button to get notified when the next video is up. Don’t be shy to say hello in a video comment section below. Let me know how you’re dealing with low light situations, if you have any extra tips they will be greatly appreciated. We all learn from the comments sections below as well, so don’t be shy to comment. Also let me know I would love to hear from you what everything you would like to learn when it comes to M50. Is there anything important right now you’re looking for? I’ll make video about it so it will be very helpful if you can comment that as well and I’ll see you in the next one.

Have fun shooting….. Cau… Ahoj…. What you didn’t see when I was filming… I had my lunch, drank all the coffee checked all emails… but the video is finished I’m fed, I feel good. See you next time..