Camera Settings for Pets

Pets, generic animals or any wildlife in general all need special camera settings. Our furry feathered friends do not pose or hang out for very long. So you need to be quick. With this in mind, I feel, camera settings for pets, your shutter speed needs to be king. The following is my recipe (using a Canon Rebel all the way up to a Canon 7D) to capture those critters.


Exhibit A:

Buddy is playing tug in ideal lighting; normal daylight.

Therefore set your camera to:

ISO 200    f4.0   ss 1/640

If the light from your surroundings does not allow for this setting, we need to get to work.

The following are all without a flash, using a Canon 5D.

Beagle Brigade 10-11-071

Buddy ISO 1000    f2.8    ss 1/400

Beagle Brigade night time -011Beagles August 055

Buddy ISO 640    f2.8    ss 1/400

Maddox ISO 3200    f2.8    ss 1/400


Daphney ISO 1250    f2.8    ss 1/400

Your shutter speed needs to be 1/400 or higher. While the aperture should be no lower than f2.8.

Don’t be afraid to take your ISO over 1600 to get that shutter speed and aperture combination. This will all depend on your camera body, the power of your lens and surrounding light. If you cannot get (f2.8  ss 1/400) with your ISO at it’s highest number, than your captures will be, well, sucky. You will need a flash.

Le pain and Beagles 064

Daphney ISO 1000    f2.8    ss 1/40


Good luck… let me know in the comments if you have any question or would like other camera settings – I would be happy to share.


ISO 6400    f16    ss 1/25

Hand Held Baby {while holding my breath}!



  1. Michelle Weisenberg says

    So, are those in AV, or Tv?

    • Very good question! On your camera, AV is aperture the “f” setting. While the TV is the shutter speed ie “ss” shown above.

  2. I so needed this for the kids jumping off the diving board.

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