Taking pictures and even videos in low light can be very difficult. The challenge is even more complex when you are not using the right tool for the job and in this case they are cameras that have the ability to film even in poor lighting conditions.
Most cameras are advertised as being able to take clear videos even in low light setting but the minute you use it you are left disappointed at the nature of its output. The videos not only are they not clear but they are distorted as well.
We have therefore taken it up ourselves to help you out of this mess. We have compiled a list of the best low light cameras in the market. We believe this list will help you the next time need a low light camera.
Things to Consider
- Budget. Low light cameras can get a little bit expensive and you need to gather enough resources before you proceed to purchase one. Avoid the cheaper models as they are probably a hoax that will see you waste your cash on substandard models.
- Autofocus Function. Since images in low light are blurred and not clear, you need a camera with an excellent autofocus function. This will enable them to clearly sense the images in low light are capture a clear and focused image of it.
Information for Buyers
Low light cameras are high sensitivity cameras that are tailor-made to function in low light conditions but still be able to produce high quality images and videos. The sensors to these cameras are designed in large megapixels so as to provide them with a large surface to collect light.
For greater focus, the low light cameras have a lenses placed over every pixel so as to collect light from the larger areas and then channel it to the smaller light pixel collecting area.
This double-focus performance ensures that the final images and videos are crystal clear and of a high quality. It also eliminates any blur and unsteadiness in pics and videos.
Top 5 Low Light Cameras
1. Sony DSC-RX100/B
Of all the low light cameras in the market, the Sony DSC-RX100/B 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom is the best of them all. Its 3.6x high definition imaging lenses ensure that you capture every detail as you take pictures.
Its CMOS high definition image sensor guarantees you better low light performance than other such devices in the market.
Its dynamic optical image stabilization allows you to take accurate shots even when the objects are in motion. This feature has made hand-held recording with this device easy and efficient.
Its extended battery life provides this camera with close to 12 hours of uninterrupted high definition recording. It also has a cinema-look filter that helps eliminate any noise and blur as you capture your pictures and videos.
It also has the capacity to generate high quality videos in 1080p format even when the light at the area is dim.
Get one of these today and take your image capturing and video experience to a whole new level
- Most compact digital camera among the options
- Maximum light sensitivity at 25600 ISO
- Has a built-in HDR mode
- 330-shot battery life
- Excellent image quality for a compact camera
- Fast operation for focus and raw capture
- Flexible lens range
- Offers a reasonable degree of control customization
- Does not have a flip-out screen
- No hot shoe and AF tracking
- Low 2.5fps for continuous shooting at high resolution
- Does not offer continuous AF for video recording
- No WiFi support
- No remote control functionality
2. Sony A7
Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera with 28-70mm Lens is one of the best low light cameras that one can get. Its 4x optical zoom feature allows it to clearly capture images that are faraway even in a low light environment.
Its high definition CMOS image sensor improves the image capturing performance by 20% thereby giving you that quality image and video that you have been looking for. The videos it produces are in 1920 x 1080 Full HD format.
It comes with an in-built Wi-Fi and FTP connectivity that allow you to share to images and videos with family and friends.
It also comes with a 3.0 inch tilt-able view screen that allows you greater control and navigation as you shoot your videos.
It comes with dual SD card slots so that you can effectively store all the memories you capture.
Get yourself the Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera with 28-70mm Lens today for high definition videos and crystal clear images.
Related read: Best Lenses for Sony A7
- A system camera
- Has an electronic viewfinder
- Has a 24.3-megapixel image sensor
- 25600 ISO max light sensitivity
- With phase-detection autofocus for photos
- Allows pro-shooting with a two-stage shutter
- With a 24P cinema mode
- Has a microphone input port
- 340-shot battery life
- Supports Near-Field Communications
- Fastest shutter speed is 1/8000 seconds
- No built-in flash
- Some offerings do not include a lens
- One of the more expensive options
- Does not have a PC sync socket
Read also: Best Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras
3. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70
Taking videos in low light can be very difficult and depressing but with the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD it becomes easy and simplified.
Its 60x advanced optical zoom ensures that it can easily focus on the objects that are in low light. It eliminates noise about any image allowing you to take the best possible version of the object.
Its CMOS sensor clearly identifies images in low light thereby enhancing your picture and video taking experience.
Its battery life is long and this affords you enough time to shoot your favorite videos.
Ditch all those low light cameras that are not working and pick the best; pick Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD.
- Has an optical viewfinder
- Allows a 60-second exposure time
- With a zoom microphone
- Has a 400-shot battery life
- Older model with remote control functionality
- Ergonomic handling
- Three programmable function buttons
- Includes a hot shoe
- The screen does not flip out
- Large and heavy
- Lowest maximum light sensitivity
- The image sensor only has 16.1 megapixels
- No continuous AF for movie recording
- Does not support WiFi
4. Sony Alpha A6000
The Sony Alpha a6000 is a mirrorless compact digital camera that packs a 24.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. It offers full HD video recording at 1080 pixels, and it has a three-inch tilting display. It also features WiFi connectivity and Near-Field Communications (NFC).
This camera has incredibly fast autofocus, and it allows 11.1fps burst shooting with autofocus tracking. Even with high ISO settings, this camera can produce fantastic image quality. It uses its OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) to capture images as sharp as they should be and to match the high-speed AF.
However, the EVF sometimes lags in meager lighting conditions, and the single AF area position setting can be a laborious process. We also don’t like that it doesn’t have a touchscreen and its eye sensor is sometimes overly sensitive.
- A system camera
- Uses an electronic viewfinder
- With a 24.3-megapixel image sensor
- With a high max light sensitivity of 25600 ISO
- Has phase-detection AF for photos
- Pro-shooting with two-stage shutter
- Includes a built-in HDR mode
- Has a 24P cinema mode
- 420-shot battery life
- Supports a smartphone remote controller
- Max shutter speed of 1/4000 seconds
- No built-in optical image stabilizer
- Some sellers have this product without a camera lens
- Overly sensitive eye sensor
- Starts up slow
5. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III
The Sony DSC-RX100 III is Sony’s third-generation flagship compact digital camera. It boasts a one-inch image sensor with a 20.1-megapixel resolution, a 3x optical zoom function, and a pop-up OLED EVF. It also includes a built-in neutral density filter that helps both stills shooting and video recording in bright light.
This camera produces images with a quality that is unparalleled in most compact digital cameras. Although it has a large image sensor, it comes in a pocketable size, making it an excellent option for maximum portability.
However, this camera comes at a price that can be pretty steep for many consumers, most especially entry-level photographers. It also lacks a hot shoe for accessories, and it doesn’t have the functionality for manually selecting AF points on the screen.
Another drawback is its clickless control dial, which can also be laggy at some times. This feature can make any shooting experience feel a bit disconnected for some photographers.
- With an electronic viewfinder
- Comes with a neutral density filter
- Compact and lightweight, pocketable
- Has a two-stage shutter
- With a BSI sensor
- Allows video playback using 24P cinema mode
- With slow-mo video recording
- Supports NFC
- No hot shoe
- Maximum light sensitivity is lower than that of the RX100
- Can’t create panoramas in-camera
- Lowest battery life capacity of 320 shots
Low Light Camera FAQs
1. What Happens When You Take Pictures in Low Light Conditions?
You can approach low light conditions in two ways: as obstacles or as excellent opportunities for creativity. Some might think of dim settings as obstacles because they may result in dark, blurry, grainy, or washed-out images lacking color and details.
However, for most skilled photographers, utilizing all the camera features can turn any low light condition into tremendous opportunities for dramatic effects. Simply put, if you know what you’re doing, you can produce beautiful pictures even in low light conditions.
To turn low light areas into fine works of art using a camera, you have to understand the basics of exposure, sensitivity, and noise.
2. What Is the Best Setting for Camera in Low Light?
Since every camera is different somehow, the settings you can play around with for low lighting situations also vary.
For cameras with variable ISO settings, increasing the ISO will allow more light to reach the camera sensor. Higher ISO settings allow more light exposure and result in brighter images. Nevertheless, it is always better to familiarize yourself with the results of using higher ISO settings as they tend to produce more image noise.
Cameras will also allow you to adjust the shutter aperture. While the ISO sets the rate at which light reaches the sensor, the aperture sets the amount of light it lets into the camera. A lower f-stop value provides a wider lens opening to allow the entrance of more light. That said, a lower f-value will make the depth of field shallower.
3. What Is a Good Shutter Speed for Low Light?
While the aperture determines how much light you let in, the speed at which it closes also regulates the amount of light that enters. You will find shutter speed settings on your camera labeled in seconds or fractions of a second. A shorter exposure freezes an image, but it can make the results appear darker.
On the other hand, more prolonged exposure can make images appear brighter if you are shooting with low light. Still, it is vital to keep your camera as stationary as possible to get a clear, crisp photograph. Any movement during longer exposure times will produce unwanted blurs or noise in your images.
Here is where a tripod, a camera stabilizer, or even just a steady hand can come in very useful. Many skilled photographers can use 1/80 or even 1/50 shutter speeds with just their steady hands.
4. How Do You Take Good Pictures Without Natural Light?
In essence, taking good pictures without natural light requires higher ISO values, wider lens apertures, and slower shutter speeds. To use these settings successfully, you have to reduce or eliminate the camera shake, use other light sources, and adjust the white balance.
A camera with white balance controls lets you set what white should look like in your images. When you set the white balance, the camera adjusts accordingly to capture colors precisely.
You can also consider using a faster lens with a wider aperture. Faster lenses enable a camera to take in more light while using much quicker shutter speeds.
5. How Do You Film Without Natural Light?
Filming in low light conditions is different from low light photography. Since video recording requires the lens to be continuously open, you will need a wider aperture to let more light in. Still, you can always add extra lighting fixtures around your camera’s field of view to increase the brightness of the area you are shooting.
The Bottom Line
If you scrutinize all the features of each option closely, the Sony A7 wins the title of the best digital camera among the choices. However, if your focus is low light photography, we recommend the Sony a6000.
It is cheaper than the A7, and it also is a system camera that can accommodate a variety of lenses and other accessories. Furthermore, it can shoot using high ISO settings for low light conditions, and it keeps images crisp with its 24.3-megapixel resolution.
Nevertheless, many entry-level photographers will find that a system camera can be pretty complicated. In that case, the best low light camera for absolute beginners is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100.