Best Low Light Cameras Of 2021

  • By: John Lochert
  • Date: July 31, 2021
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Photographers and videographers often have to work in low light. It can be a challenge to capture the perfect shot when the camera’s sensor is picking up too much noise, or there isn’t enough light for an image to be captured at all. But what if you had a camera that was able to take those shots with ease?

Photographers, videographers, and vloggers alike are always looking for the best tools to improve their work. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, it’s important to stay on top of new technology that will help your craft. Low light photography is one area where we’ve seen advancements in recent years, but what camera should you buy? This blog post will review some of the best low-light cameras available today. We’ll cover things like sensor size, megapixels, ISO range (lowest and highest), price point (and cover the budget-friendly options first). Let’s dive into our list!

Today, we’ve put together reviews of the top 6 options available on the market and a simple buying guide to make the decision easier for you.

Top 6 Low Light Cameras

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera

When it comes to low light cameras, Sony offers some terrific features in the Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera to deliver excellent picture quality even in low light conditions.

With 24.3 MP resolution and the fastest auto-focus medium out there, you’ll get stunning photos in the blink of an eye.

The Alpha a6000 camera has an ISO range of 100-25600, producing gorgeous portraits in low-light settings. It also features a pop-up flash for an extra light burst.

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ 16-50mm and 55-210mm Power Zoom Lenses

If portability is a concern for you, the compact design and lightweight construction should take your worries away. You’ll find the sensor size and mounting system to be top-notch.

What We Like

  • Ultra-fast autofocus
  • Very portable
  • Wide ISO range

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the best audio quality

Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera

The LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera is an example of why Panasonic is one of the leading names in the industry.

This camera is specifically designed for low light conditions, with a 4K video feature and 18.1 MP resolution to guarantee outstanding picture output. It also features high lens quality supporting a stabilized long zoom within a range of 20-1200mm.

The 3-inch LCD display adds a touch of sophistication, while the lightweight build of the LUMIX FZ80 allows you to carry it wherever you want.

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80 4K 60X Zoom Camera, 18.1 Megapixels, DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9, 4K 30p Video, Power O.I.S., WiFi ? DC-FZ80K (USA BLACK) (Renewed)

What We Like

  • Excellent zoom
  • High-quality materials
  • Remarkable value for money

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the best autofocus

Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera

Stylish and reliable, the Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera is designed to satisfy your low light photography needs with a bunch of exciting features.

The P900 is equipped with the highest ISO sensitivity in its series, ranging at 6400. It has a 16 MP resolution that’s perfect for the brightness you get in low light.

Nikon COOLPIX P900 16MP Zoom Digital Camera with 83x Optical Zoom, Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Black) (Renewed)

This camera can record videos in 1080p, and it features dynamic zooming that deems it an awesome travel companion. The P900 is pretty easy to grasp thanks to its non-slip exterior, ensuring better grip and extra stability.

What We Like

  • Amazing zoom quality
  • Impressive GPS function
  • Good grip stability

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit too heavy

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Digital Camera

If you’re looking for a professional-level DSLR for capturing both stills and videos, then you may want to consider Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV.

Offering just the right balance between resolution and low noise, this camera combines a 30.4 MP full-frame sensor with a 61-point autofocus system for tremendous pictures and quick, yet smooth tracking.

The EOS 5D Mark IV can give you clear images despite the very high ISO range of 100-32000, all thanks to the DIGIC 6+ image processing engine. You can also record 4K and HD videos with a wide dynamic range of up to 800%.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body

What We Like

  • Superior image processing
  • 61-point autofocus system
  • Highly versatile

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

Sony a7 III Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera

Making another stop at Sony, their a7 III is a mirrorless full-frame camera that’s capable of producing great images in low light settings. This can be attributed to the 24 MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor paired with the BIONZ X image processing engine.

While autofocusing in low light can be a major issue for most cameras, the Sony a7 III camera surpassed this obstacle using a 693-point phase-detection hybrid autofocus system with 425 contrast-detection points.

Sony a7 III (ILCEM3K/B) Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 28-70mm Lens with 3-Inch LCD, Black

Image stabilization is also noteworthy as it brilliantly brings everything together. The built-in 5-axis sensor-shift type image stabilization is what gives you steadier stills and videos.

What We Like

  • Superior autofocus
  • Good image stabilization
  • Long battery life

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Last but not least, the X-T3 is Fujifilm’s replacement for the previous X-T2 camera.

Look and feel wise, the X-T3 is pretty similar to its older sibling, but the company added some upgrades that really improved its capability of shooting good-quality images in low light.

The X-T3 features a 26.1 MP X Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X Processor 4 image-processing engine to deliver beautiful photos in limited light settings.

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/XF18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens - Black

This camera also maintains adequate colors and contrast when shooting at a higher ISO thanks to the BSI sensor technology.

As for the autofocus performance, the X-T3 has improved the phase-detection area to the whole frame, as well as extended the low-light autofocus sensitivity from -1EV to -3EV.

What We Like

  • Improved image processing in low light
  • Faster autofocus
  • Solid build quality

What We Don’t Like

  • Short battery life

How to Choose the Best Low Light Camera

When shopping for the best low light camera, there are a couple of features you need to consider to make sure you end up with the right purchase:

low light camera settings

Sensor Size

The sensor size is a crucial factor in low light cameras. Depending on its size, the sensor is capable of capturing more or less light.

In low light settings, you want your camera to capture as much light as possible, which is why you should consider buying a full-frame camera since it automatically captures more light.

However, keep in mind that full-frame cameras tend to be quite expensive, so be prepared to invest some serious cash.

This is why some photographers prefer to make a compromise and opt for a smaller sensor size to be able to take great shots in all conditions.

ISO Sensitivity

ISO sensitivity is a measure of the camera’s ability to capture light. In other words, it tells you the amount of light that your sensor can capture under low light conditions.

The higher the ISO, the higher the shutter speed. While this can be very beneficial for shooting in low light, higher shutter speed also means that the images won’t come out as clear and you may have to deal with more noise.

The best low light cameras can handle their high ISO rather well, so you won’t have to worry about such problems. These models accurately adjust the incoming light through the sensor, so the images turn out crisp and clear.

Noise Control

As we mentioned above, a high ISO can result in more noise production due to the increased shutter speed. This is where the noise control feature kicks in.

Noise control affects the sensor and its aperture value directly. But how well it works depends on the model you choose because the noise levels of any camera increase or decrease according to the sensor size and ISO specifications.

Image Stabilization System

The ISS or Image Stabilization system is a very important aspect to consider in low-light photography cameras.

ISS technology helps you produce clear and sharp images even if your hands get a bit shaky. The ISS eliminates blurring and haziness in photos, which is always a plus in low light conditions.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best low light camera can be a challenge, which is why we have included only the top-performing options to help you make an informed decision about which one best meets you needs.

The Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera is our top recommendation for the best low light camera. It has an ultra-fast autofocus and wide ISO range that will help you produce great images in any kind of light, including low light conditions.

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