Best camera setting for car photography

Best camera setting for car photography [4 situations]

Finding the perfect camera settings is always the key to getting top-quality photos. Nailing the camera settings is a necessity for anyone pursuing professional car photography. So, how can you get the best camera setting for car photography?

Well, finding the best settings always comes down to three primary settings. It’s the shutter speed, ISO, and Aperture. In general, using a lower ISO with a quicker shutter speed and a wide aperture should give you some amazing-looking car pictures.

But we won’t leave with this little information. Stick with us until the end for a detailed explanation of getting the best camera setting to click car photos.

Let’s get one thing straight, and there are plenty of settings on your camera that you can tweak. But for the most part, you must work with three basic settings crucial for perfect photos. 

These settings include shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO. Here’s how they affect your car photographs –

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is one of the key factors when it comes to using a DSLR camera. It determines how fast or slow the shutter will open and close in your camera. 

Usually, various numbers like 1/125, 1/80, and 1/1000 indicate the shutter speed of a camera. Using the shutter speed, you can decide how much light will enter the lens when clicking a picture of your car. 

It’s better to start with a 1/125 shutter speed if you shoot in daylight. For nighttime, get a slower shutter speed to click a brighter picture.


In the aperture setting, you will mostly be concerned about the depth of field of your photo. It also dictates the amount of light coming into the camera. The aperture reading, like f3.2, f7.1, f11, etc., is indicated.

Adjusting the Aperture for comes down to your needs. Do you want to focus on the car while blurring the background more? Then you have to use a lower number like f/3.5 here. 

But if you want a crisp picture without blurring out anything, go for a higher number, such as f/10.


ISO is another factor determining the exposure or brightness of your image. It’s a sensor in the camera that lets light inside or keeps it at a certain level. 

To determine ISO, the camera uses a number. It usually starts from 100 and goes up to 1600 for car photography.

Starting with a 100 ISO is always a great option. You can keep the ISO low and see whether you need more brightness. If the picture looks dark, you can increase the ISO bit by bit until you are satisfied with the brightness.

Best Settings For Car Photography

Now that you know what options to tweak on your camera, it’s time to find the exact settings. Here, we will share some particular settings based on different shooting conditions. You can try them out in different scenarios.

For Night Time Car Photography

Night Time Car Photography camera settings

Right off the bat, clicking car photos at night is the most difficult thing you can do. You must go for absurd camera settings without lighting setup to click a proper picture. 

Check out the table to see what settings you should put in your camera for shooting at night.




f/5 to f/28

Shutter speed

6 to 12 seconds



Well, you can play around with the Aperture to your liking. With better lighting conditions, you can opt for a lower value. 

The most important setting you have to tweak here is the shutter speed. A higher shutter speed is necessary to let light into the camera longer.

As for the ISO, you should keep it lower than 500. If you try to get too high with the ISO, it may start turning the images slightly grainy. Especially considering you are shooting at night.

For Clicking Moving Car Pictures

Clicking Moving Car Pictures

Let’s be real here, whenever you think of car photography, you think about pictures of moving cars. Also, pulling such pictures takes a lot of expertise and skills. Provided you have the skills and knowledge, here are the settings that will give you the best quality.




Less than f/5.6

Shutter speed

1/200 – 1/80



When doing motion photography, using a wide aperture is always better. They provide you with the best possible focus on the images. In case of capturing a moving car, try keeping the Aperture somewhere around f/5.6 or lower.

For the shutter speed, we suggest using a faster speed here. Because the car will pass through very quickly from the camera lens, a faster shutter speed, somewhere between 1/200 and 1/80, should be able to bring great results.

Lastly, there is the ISO, where you can keep things standard with an ISO of 100 to 300. Especially if you shoot in daylight, 100 ISO should be fine.

Settings For Indoor Conditions

Indoor Conditions

At times you may need to capture car photos in indoor environments. When it comes to clicking pictures indoors, you have to look at the lighting condition first. But with regular lighting conditions, you can go with the following settings –




f/2.8 – f/4

Shutter speed

1/100 – 1/40



When you are doing automotive photography indoors, you can go for a narrow aperture. In such conditions, the depth of field isn’t that great anyways. So, you can get by with an aperture of f/2.8 to f/4.

Coming to the shutter speed, you can go from 1/100 to 1/40. You can keep the speed a bit fast but don’t go overboard with it because the light source will always vary from one place to another.

One key thing to remember with indoor car photography is the ISO. Always keep it between 100 to 200 because indoors tend to have good lighting. The value you choose depends on the lighting you have.

Settings For Outdoor Conditions

Camera settings for Outdoor Conditions

The best way to click car photos in outdoor conditions. With the right kind of settings, you can get very sharp images with proper details on the car. And the outdoor lighting during the daytime always makes your photos pop up even more. Here are the settings you can start with –




f/2.8 – f/4

Shutter speed

1/125 – 1/60



Whenever you are taking car photos in outdoor conditions, you don’t have to bother too much about the ISO or the Aperture. 

If you want a bokeh effect in your images and want to focus your car, try going with a narrow aperture like f/2.8. To get a crisp shot without too much blur, go with f/4.

You can keep the ISO at a standard value of 100 or 200. The real setting you have to tweak here is the shutter speed. Try using a faster shutter speed if there is a lot of lighting around. It will give you pictures with proper exposure.

Tips To Get Better Car Photos

Here’s the thing, just getting the settings right may not be enough sometimes. If you want to take your car photography to the next level, there are several tricks you can try. Let’s get going through them right away, then.

  • Always try to utilize different angles when doing car photography.
  • If you capture a moving car, try getting in another car and following it along for better photos.
  • Try avoiding reflections while clicking a car photo, as they ruin the vibe of a picture.
  • Focus on the composition of a picture more than anything else to be creative with it.
  • Using a wide-angle lens always brings out better images, especially outdoors.
  • To highlight the beauty and particular components of the car, use the bokeh effect more.
  • Never miss an opportunity to incorporate motion blur.
  • It’s best to keep a lower ISO to reduce the grainy element in your photos.

Now that you have the settings under your belt, you should be able to get some quality pictures. Still, if you have some questions, check out the popular questions we answered here.

What Is the Best Angle For A Car Picture?

Clicking pictures of your car from different angles always brings out good results. Among many different angles, the three-quarters angle seems to bring out the best appearance of any car. Whether it’s a fancy car or a regular one doesn’t matter.

Do You Need An Expensive Camera For Quality Car Pictures?

No, having an expensive camera is unnecessary to get quality car pictures. If you are trying the correct camera settings and shooting under proper conditions, the results can be pretty good. You can get better quality with some more tips.

What Is The Best Camera For Car Photography?

Well, there is no one true best camera for car photography. There are plenty of options out there. Still, if you pick one of the best, you can easily go with the Sony A7R IV for any kind of car photography.

How To Take Sharper Images Of A Car?

If you want sharper images of your car, you need to keep the ISO low. Also, try a wider aperture to lower the blurriness in the image. As for the shutter speed, you can make it fast.

Final Words

There you go. Now you have a clear idea of the best camera setting for car photography. We tried to share settings for four different situations to meet your requirements. So you can have proper settings for every kind of shooting condition.

Now, one thing you should know, these settings may vary based on the camera you are using. These are just some basic settings you can try or use as a benchmark to tweak your settings.

Although, you don’t need to worry too much because these settings should work out for the most part. If you want to find something to your liking, you can always try out small changes to get the perfect results.

Bordie Capron

Bordie Capron


“Bordie Capron is a Sr. Content Maker who is working in The Clipping Path Service an US-based image and video post-production company for over 7+ years. She completed her degree in graphic designing and worked as a graphic designing expert for several years. She always loved writing”

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Quick Response


Hotline Support:
Mobile:       +1 (718) 717-2362