The Best Camera for Astrophotography Every Stargazer Should Own

best-camera-for-astrophotography

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.

Astrophotography is all about taking high-resolution images of the night sky. It’s becoming an increasingly popular pursuit thanks to the hi-tech modern cameras available today but which is the best camera for astrophotography?

This branch of photography allows you to take in-depth photos of distant galaxies. You can also take super-sharp images of celestial objects and events.

If you’re interested in combining your love of astronomy and photography, you’ve come to the right place. Our guide will help you find the best camera for astrophotography on the market.

So let’s get started!

Top 5 Cameras for Astrophotography

Astrophotography allows you to take breathtaking pictures of the moon, star clusters, and much more.

All you need is the right amount of love for astronomy and the right equipment, starting with a reliable camera.

Keep reading to find out about the 5 most popular astrophotography cameras of 2021.

Canon EOS M100: Top Pick

The Canon EOS camera is known for its impressive features and high-quality images. It allows for capturing multiple photos for continuous shooting with fast autofocus.

One of the Canon EOS camera’s best features is it weighs less than a pound. Another great feature is it boasts a 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor. This ensures your images will be highly detailed and crisp.

This camera has a DIGIC 7 image processor, which minimizes graininess. There’s also a Creative Assist feature. It allows you to adjust the settings for a real-time preview of your image.

The EOS is equipped with a 3-inch touchscreen 180-degree LCD display screen. Plus, the lens quickly gets into focus for picture-perfect images every time.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wi-Fi compatible
  • Quick autofocus
  • Creative Assist feature

Cons

  • May require an additional lens to help decrease image noise

Sony Alpha 7R III : Best High End

Featuring an impressive 42.4 megapixels, the Sony Alpha 7R III is one of the most powerful cameras on the market. It delivers incredible details with each shot.

One great feature is its fast image processing. The updated BIONZ X processor provides processing speeds up to 1.8 times faster than other cameras.

You’ll also enjoy impressive shooting speeds. Another terrific feature is its quick-focus, which boosts its ability to handle low lights quite well.

In addition, the Alpha 7R III features 4K video technology and Bluetooth capabilities. The body of the camera boasts of a durable build and weighs a little over 1 pound.

Pros

  • 42.4 megapixels
  • Fast image processing
  • 4K video technology
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Price is relatively high

Nikon D7500 : Best Compact

Nikon is a reliable name in the world of photography, and this camera is one of its best contenders. The D7500 boasts high ISO performance, amazing exposure, and auto-correct color rendition.

One great feature is its durable, weather-resistant build that’s almost 2 pounds in weight. It’s protected from moisture, dust, and drops. The 3.2-inch LCD touch screen can tilt to increase your shooting angles.

For easy file transfers, you’ll enjoy the built-in SnapBridge feature. It’s one of the things that make this camera easy to use.

For maximum functionality, the Nikon D7500 comes with various shooting modes. Plus, you get over 20 megapixels for super sharp images.

Pros

  • Moderately-priced
  • Durable body
  • Weather-resistant
  • Tilting LCD screen
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities

Cons

  • Autofocus is weaker than other brands

Panasonic LUMIX G7: Best Controls

Featuring a full kit, the Panasonic LUMIX G7 is everything an astrophotographer can ask for. Plus, it features easy-to-use controls to help you capture perfect images. They also allow for easy control of the shutter and aperture.

Another great feature is that you can assign settings to any of the six control buttons for easy access. The touch-display can tilt and swivel for added functionality. It’s great for multi-angle viewing.

The viewfinder allows ultra-visibility, high details, and auto-focus. You can guarantee the perfect shot with the 30 frames/second 4K ultra-HD video technology. What’s more is this camera is light, weighing only one pound for easy portability.

Pros

  • Reasonably-priced
  • Supports 4K
  • Wi-Fi compatible
  • Moveable touch-display screen
  • Auto-focus

Cons

  • Low battery life

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless: Best MIrrorless

The Fujifilm X-T3 is great at delivering crisp images in low light. It’s known for its terrific handling of high ISO settings.

What makes this camera stand out is it’s the first mirrorless digital camera with a large sensor. Then there’s the dynamic range signal to noise ratio, which ensures high-quality pictures. It also features 4K video technology to allow you to pick the perfect moment.

You can control the shutter speed for optimal functionality. Even at slow speeds, this camera can produce some of the sharpest images you can take.

Its rubbery exterior and strong build provide added durability. The one downside is it weighs nearly three pounds, which is heavy for a camera.

Pros

  • Great handling of high ISO and low-light settings
  • 4K technology
  • Has 2 memory card slots
  • Strong build

Cons

  • Low battery life
  • The heaviest camera on our list

History of Astrophotography

We’ve always been in awe of the night sky and the astronomical objects floating in it. This fascination has encouraged us to explore our universe.

The first attempt at astrophotography was in 1840 by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre. Then came John William Draper. He was the first one to successfully take a detailed picture of the moon in 1840.

Few attempts followed until the late 19th century. That’s when technology helped bring astrophotography into the limelight once again.

Nowadays, almost anyone can get their hands on a high-quality camera, and capture sharp photos of the night sky, especially the stars.

What to Look for in a Camera for Astrophotography

Here are some factors you should keep in mind when shopping for the best camera for astrophotography.

ISO settings

ISO refers to the light sensitivity of the film in your camera. In digital cameras, it refers to the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light.

Higher ISO settings give more crisp images but increase the graininess of your images. So make sure you enhance the light sensitivity settings. If you’re going to use a high ISO potential of up to 6400 and more.

Shutter Speed

The speed of the camera shutter determines how long the shutter remains open. It also controls the amount of light entering the lens. The longer it’s opened, the more light will hit the film or digital sensor.

Measured in relation to seconds, fast shutter speed can be 1/1000 of a second. Slow speed can be one second. There are even longer exposures of up to 10 seconds. The slower the shutter speed, the less blurry your images will appear.

Aperture

Aperture is the opening in a camera lens that allows the light to pass through. Using a lower aperture setting allows for more light to enter the camera lens. This makes the exposure and clarity much better.

Types of Astrophotography

Taking simple pictures of the night sky can be truly amazing on its own. But astrophotography is so much more than that.

Here are some types of astrophotography.

  • Star trails
  • Meteor showers
  • Auroras
  • Constellations
  • Deep-sky imaging
  • Milky way panoramas

Closing Thoughts on The Best Camera for Astrophotography

If you’ve tried any type of photography, you know the first step to taking amazing photos is having reliable equipment.

We’re pretty sure you won’t find better than our top 5 picks for the best camera for astrophotography on the market. They all come with high-quality hard-to-beat features and functionalities and so which one is the best?

Our pick is the Canon EOS M100. Its remarkable autofocus and continuous shooting features are unmatched.

You’ll also be impressed with how lightweight, yet durable this camera is. Then there’s the Creative Assist feature, the high-detailed sensor, and a superb image processor.

Photo of author

About John Lochert

What started out as a passion to acquire the best camera gear quickly turned into an obsession to research all types of cameras, lenses and photography accessories in general. I started this site to help others enjoy the art of photography and provide you with the best and most reliable information either from my own experiences or from a range of trusted sources.

More To Explore