Despite those expensive accessories, Steinmetz shot with an entry-level digital SLR, the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, because it is small, light, and cheap. Just as important, the camera's eight-megapixel resolution was sufficient for a full National Geographic spread. And digital's instant feedback "allowed me to see what I captured and continually make adjustments," says the photographer. The Rebel XT's smooth, low-noise output at ISO 1600 was far superior to film of comparable speed, and well suited to the long exposures Steinmetz envisioned. "Most night shots with flash have no context because the background is pitch-black," he says. "The creative breakthrough here was to show the wildlife with the night sky."