DSLR Settings for Indoor Photography

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Updated November 9, 2022

If you are new to the world of digital cameras, you may want to learn the best DSLR settings for indoor photography. Many of the best digital cameras, after all, are DSLR models, and these cameras shine in low-light scenarios with some know-how. So why learn to properly set up the best DSLR cameras for indoor photos and how to get started? Keep reading to find out.


  • DSLR cameras can struggle to take decent indoor photos due to lighting concerns.
  • Your first step is to address these lighting concerns by adding more warm and natural lights to the space.
  • Adjust the ISO to its lowest setting, around 100, check the white balance, and experiment with different shutter speeds, favoring slower shutter speeds over faster shutter speeds, with a shallow depth and high aperture priority.

Why Set Up a DSLR for Indoor Photos?

Finding the best settings for indoor photography is just as important as finding the best settings for outdoor photography. In other words, learning how to set up a DSLR camera is crucial to taking good photos. This is true even if you are using the best DSLR camera around.

Insider Tip

You should also experiment with all of the “wrong” settings for indoor photos, as that could produce unique results.

Once you learn how to take decent indoor photos, you can move on to learning what kind of files digital cameras create. After that, learn how to use a DSLR for streaming, which is very possible.

DSLR Indoor Photography Tips

Here are some tips to ensure your camera is properly set up to take fantastic indoor shots.

Focus on Lighting

The biggest challenge for DSLR cameras taking photos indoors is poor lighting. Before heading into the camera’s settings, make a few analog adjustments out here in the real world. In other words, make the lighting better throughout the space. Add more lights and place emphasis on dedicated photography backlights. Experiment and take photos with the different lighting schemes to find one that fits your grand design.

ISO and Shutter Speed Settings

The biggest setting to worry about when taking photos indoors is the ISO adjustment setting, followed closely by shutter speed settings. Set the ISO to a low setting, around 100, if possible. Select the white balance preset and cycle through custom settings for indoor photos. As for the shutter speed, there is no correct answer here. Experiment with different speeds until you are happy with the results.

STAT: The best way to capture indoor photos is to use a tripod. That will keep your camera steady, so you can use longer shutter speeds and low ISO to combat dimmer lighting conditions. (source)

Use a Tripod

There is no way around it. You are going to have to make adjustments on the fly to make the most out of the indoor lighting conditions. This is much easier if the camera is attached to a tripod; otherwise, your needs could change as you manually move the camera around (accidentally or not.) You don’t need a professional-grade tripod; you just need something to keep the camera steady.

DSLR Indoor Settings FAQs

What is the best shutter speed for indoor photography?

The best shutter button speed is a lower speed, but the exact setting depends on what mode you are using (manual mode vs automatic), what file type you are using (RAW files vs others), and the ISO settings.

How do you take good indoor pictures without flash?

Without a flash, you need to address the white balance and light in the room itself. Do this by adding more lights or allowing natural light to flow in. You can also adjust some settings via the shutter button and manual mode. Try going with a wide aperture and try taking photos in RAW files.

What equipment to use for indoor photography?

You can never go wrong with a window for natural light or artificial light fixtures placed throughout. Beyond natural light and ambient light, try using an external flash, a tripod, and more.
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