2022 is full of surprises, but the best surprise us photographers can think of is the best low light camera. Overall, we picked an amazing winner, but our range of best low light cameras can make any photographer a low-light shooting pro.
Sit back as we rank the 11 best low light cameras for 2021 and judge how they do in dim light situations:
Best Low Light Camera Pick – Sony A7RIV
When it comes to extremely usable full-frame cameras, impressive and versatile is the name of the game with the Sony Alpha a7R IV. This is the fourth edition of the a7R and it boasts a revamped 61MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor including an even better BIONZ X image processor. The new processor makes for incredible imaging results that are smooth. It also has a 15-stop dynamic range as well as high speeds at up to 10 fps.
With this camera, record UHD 4K30 video that includes Tracking AF technology and Real-Time Eye AF technology as well. Even the sensor design is the creme of the crop, with Fast Hybrid AF System, including 567 phase-detection autofocus points. This makes for the most fast and correct focusing on the block.
Work in an array of lighting conditions with its flexible native sensitivity range of ISO 100-3200. Stills as well as video are both superior and minimize shake by up to 5.5 stops with the five-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift stabilization.
With its weather sealing design, the Sony A7R IV is made for photographers shooting in any condition. Achieve clear viewing and playback, including live view shooting and menu navigation with its OLED electronic viewfinder. At a high 5.76m-dot resolution and 3.0” rear-tilt touchscreen LCD, playback is achieved at 1.44m-dot resolution.
The camera features UHS-II-rated dual SD card slots for the fastest performance. In-camera battery charging happens quickly with its USB Type-C port. Finally, at 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi of its built-in Bluetooth and the touch wireless transferring of connected mobile devices and remote camera control make for easy connectivity and efficient work done.
Customers love the camera for the picture quality and ability to crop photos without losing the high resolution. They love the focus tracking and how well it works and all the other amazing features and capabilities that are packed in this camera.
Clearly, the Sony Alpha a7R IV makes the top of our list for being the most luxurious of cameras for its high-tech features. The pricetag is an investment on a solid and innovative camera that will weather any storm.
Budget Best Low Light Camera – Nikon D3500
For those looking to get a lasting, quality camera, at a budget-friendly price, our go-to is the Nikon D3500. It’s our pick because its effortless to use, compact, and is versatile enough to be in all kinds of photography settings.
The D3500 was designed to be flexible and intuitive, yet offers the high-end capabilities that you would only expect from a DSLR camera. The camera suits a wide range of lighting conditions as it utilizes a DX-format 24.2MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor and boasts a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600.
Record a full HD 1080p video at 60 fps with a 5 fps continuous shooting rate. Because the sensor is designed in such a way, it omits an optical low-pass filter for the best sharpness and resolution whether shooting photography or videography.
Customers love the Nikon D3500 for its ease of use and getting great-quality with minimal effort. This DSLR far exceeds customer expectations because they expect a moderately complex camera for such an effortless beautiful shot.
It only makes sense that such a well-designed and high-end featured camera that is the D3500 would be our pick for a budget-friendly camera. For beginner photographers and hobbyists looking to expand their knowledge, this camera is top-notch.
Runner Up – Sony A7sII
Our runner-up is the a7S II Mirrorless Digital Camera from Sony. This camera blends sensitivity, dynamic range, speed, and resolution perfectly that benefits an array of multimedia work.
The a7S II handles internal UHD 4K recording at 30 fps including full pixel readout and 1080p recording up to 120 fps in its XAVC S format like a champ due to its full-frame 12.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor.
We wouldn’t put this camera on our list if it wasn’t for its BIONZ X image processor that pairs with its sensor, enabling expanded sensitivity to ISO 409600, continuous 5 fps shooting, and fast and smart autofocus including low-light sensitivity to -4 EV. This makes the camera excellent for both photography stills and video.
Furthermore, this camera works well in harsh lighting environments all due to the 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization which compensates for yaw, pitch, horizontal, vertical, and roll camera movements. This feature makes for easy, smooth, and incredibly sharp handheld recording.
The camera’s S-Log3 Gamma, S-Gamut3, and S-Log2 complement 4K recording, which is a completely revamped recording setup. This increases dynamic range values up to 1300%, which matches high-end post-production workflows better than ever.
Enhanced Zebra function supports working with S-Log gamma settings and for a much clearer monitoring. Gamma Display assist, which converts S-Log2 and SLog3 settings to the ITU709 gamma for previewing imagery, helps with natural contrast and better on-camera viewing.
The body design of this camera is compact while being strong in build with its magnesium allow body. The Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder boasts a higher .78x-magnification. The finder can work in an array of lighting conditions with its resolution of 2.36-million dots and Zeiss T* andi-reflective coating. It also have previewing exposure and settings adjustments before recording. There’s even a tilting design, which supports working in high and low angles with rear 3.0” 1,228,800-dot LCD screen.
Finally, the WiFi connectivity with NFC pairs effortlessly with devices so you can share wirelessly and hook up to a remote camera control.
Customers love the a7S II for the awesome features including silent shooting that lives up to its promise. The sensor is so high, enabling you to shoot at high shutter speeds even in low-light. The superior video shooting make this the camera to have for those who regularly shoot videos.
Under $1000 Best Low Light Camera – Nikon D610
Our under $1000 camera pick is the Nikon D610 DSLR, which has a full-frame, a FX-format 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor as well as a EXPEED 3 image processor, which produces high-resolution still images and full HD 1080p video with amazing image detail and low-light sensitivity which expands to ISO 25600.
How does it work? Well both the sensor and processor work hand-in-hand to produce high image quality with wide dynamic range with higher signal-to-noise ratio, producing smooth color and tonal gradiations and low noise levels simultaneously for ramped up clarity overall.
Speed is another gift of these technologies. They combine for great speed throughout the D610. This also includes a continuous shooting rate at 6 fps. Also, a quiet shooting mode. The quiet shooting mode allows the camera to record sequential imagery without having to lower or raise the mirror.
Want fast autofocus speeds? Using a 39-point array, the Multi-CAM 4800 AF sensor is in the design and acquires focus in a wide variety of lighting scenes. In fact, seven central AF points work with f/8 or faster lenses. This helps enhance autofocus performance with long lenses like telephoto lenses, which can be used with teleconverters. There is even contrast-detection, a focusing method which works to deliver accurate focus continuously while subject tracking and face-detection using the full-time servo mode work in tandem.
Videographers rejoice as full HD 1080p video up to 30 fps is supported in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. Also, ISO, shutter speed, and aperture are available in manual control for an optimized control over how the movies turn out. It’s also possible for uncompressed recording using an optional external recorder that is connected to the HDMI port. There is even both headphone and microphone posts to use for better recording sound control.
The D610 has optimal connectivity with an accessory terminal. The terminal is compatible with WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapters and GP-1A GPS Unit, which makes wireless image sharing possible as well as remote camera control, and geotagging.
Camera loving and photographer customers love this camera for its affordability without skimping on the features of an expensive camera. Customers also can appreciate that the D610 is entry level camera in the full frame, pro category, but isn’t a beginner camera in general. Truly worth the under $1000 category on our list for best low light cameras.
Best Low Light Camera Under $500 – Fujifilm X-A5
Those who want to practice photography under a $500 budget can rejoice with the X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera from FUJIFILM. This mirrorless camera has a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, an updated processor, which is 1.5 times faster than its predecessors. Designed for portability, this camera only weighs 1.1 pounds, including the 15-45mm f/3.505.6 kit lens.
All the features a professional photographer or videographer needs is right here with its UHD 4K recording, full HD video at 60 fps. The camera even has Intelligent Hybrid AF system including phase-detect points so you can focus lightning fast.
Your life will be simplifies with the functions the X-A5 offers including producing stills at 15 fps. You’ll be able to get the best frame while also using Portrait Enhancer Mode for rendered skin tones to your liking.
Theres even a Multi-Focus Mode so you can focus stack, and automatically merge 4K images as well as adjust for the right depth of field, getting the best results possible. And with 17 advanced filters and 11 film simulation filters offered (including fog removal and HD photography), you can shoot in a variety of situations.
Want the easiest operation? The camera offers a tilting three-inch LCD touchscreen. This includes a 1040k-dot resolution and changed GUI that has more intuitive use than predecessors. Turn the screen at 180 degrees for selfies and you’ll find the camera boasts a rear command dial which will automatically switch functions, allowing you to easily control the zoom and shutter release. With the rotation comes an automatically activated eye detection AF function to assist with focusing in on the subject’s face.
There are other features with the X-A5, including maximum ISO sensitivity of 12,800, 450 pictures per charge, Bluetooth connectivity to transfer files over to your smartphone, tablet or INSTAX SP-3 printer.
Customers love the Fujifilm X-A5 for its ability to go anywhere, being so lightweight. Photographers looking to travel, not wanting to spend much, can rejoice with this camera. Its compact ability to go with you anywhere without breaking your budget make this one of the best low light cameras for 2021.
Best Low Light Camera – Honorable Mentions
Canon 5D Mark IV
It couldn’t go without mentioning that a runner-up for the best low light cameras for 2021 is the Cannon 5D Mark IV DLSR, a legacy Canon camera that is a true workhorse. For still photography, this camera is a top bet and also is equipped for 4K video for those videographers out there.
This Canon DLSR offers a revamped 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor, which pairs perfectly with the DIGIC 6+ image processor, which offers a great balance of detail as well as resolution including low-light performance and sensitivity.
The Canon 5D Mark IV works with a native range of ISO 100-32000 and can even be expanded to ISO 50-102400. This gives photographers the ability to achieve sharp, low-noice images, in a wide range of different environments. Not only is image quality taken up a notch, but performance is boosted with an even better AF system, NFC, built-in WiFi, GPS, and more capabilities.
This camera delivers the best detailed images quickly by leveraging the powerful DIGIC 6+ image processor, handling up to seven frames per second during continuous shooting. Using a 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, it evaluates the scene and subjects for accurate exposures with differing lighting conditions.
Furthering up the camera’s speed comes the revamped 61-point High Density Reticula AF. What it does is it tracks and locks onto subject fast and accurately for the sharpest photos. There’s even a new AF area select button to get to the setting quickly, something that wasn’t quite available before.
Want great video? With the added Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF, you’ll get a smooth rack focus while shooting. You’ll also be able to use the 3.2” 1.62m-dot touchscreen LCD, which you just tap to adjust the focus point.
With its DCI 4K (4096×2160) up to 30 fps video recording, users get 8.8MP stills from the video, a faster capture option. And a new feature at Canon: Dual Pixel RAW. This allows you to fine tune image parameters like bokeh shift and focus micro adjustment, even after you take the photo.
Finally, the Canon 5D Mark IV has been refined to be easy to use, and is durable and weather resistant to boot. There’s a Canon N3 remote port that’s been moved to the front of the camera along with GPS, WiFi, and NFC for connectivity.
Customers love this camera because it allows for sharp and clear shots. Also, the dynamic range captures light in a way that is unexpected and wonderful. It’s no wonder why this camera makes it on our list as the best low light camera.
Pentax K-1 II
If you want a revamped processing and improved imaging quality, the K-1 Mark II by Pentax is the camera for you. This DSLR has a 36.4MP CMOS sensor, PRIME IV image processor, and is can produce high resolution still up to 4.4 fps and also Full HD video.
This camera includes a 14-bit image processor, updated with Ricoh-developed Accelerator Unit to reduce noise and have better clarity and color. There’s also a sensitivity boost for a range up to ISO 819200, perfect for low-light scenarios.
The five-axis Shake Reduction minimizes the camera shake appearance when handheld shooting. The system also starts up Pixel Shift Resolution II to leverage the movement of the sensor, and records four sequential frames, merges them together, and gives greater color detail along with resolution. Included is Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution, which uses the technology and gives you the same results when using handheld.
The design of the K-1 Mark II is unique and in its own league with its stainless steel, magnesium-alloy body, and weather sealing which makes this camera easy to use in all kinds of weather conditions. It boasts a large pentaprism optical viewfinder, which gives 100% frame coverage and high .7x magnification. The rear LCD has a cross-tilt design for working all the angles.
Finally, the camera has built in WiFi, available for wireless remote control, image transfer, and built in GPS for geotagging your images to track shots on a digital map.
Customers love this camera for taking amazing night shots. They love that possibilities are limitless when using the K-1 Mark II. Customers can shoot just about anything with this great quality best low light camera.
The Nikon deserves its place on our list of best low light cameras for 2021 due to its D500, a staple camera model in the Nikon arsenal. With its robust physical makeup, picture qualities and capabilities, and its more compact and sleek design, this camera solidifies its spot.
This camera has a 20.9MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 5 image processor, which is appealing for still and video photographers. This is in large part due to the fast 10 fps continuous shooting rate and 4K UHD features.
Both the sensor and processor have a native sensitivity range of up to ISO 51200 and expands to ISO 164000 when in dark or dim lighting. The expansive Multi-CAM 20K 153-oint AF system has 99 cross-type points, making it a fast performer and the most accurate at tracking.
The design of this DSLR is unmatched with its tilting LCD touchscreen to work on low and high angles, an updated version of SnapBridge for WiFi connectivity included with NFC, and Bluetooth Low Energy technology, which allows linking mobile devices to share images. The camera itself is housed in durable magnesium alloy for dust and its even weather sealed to allow work in different weather and environment conditions.
Customers love the D500 for its amazing low light performance, solidifying its spot as best low light camera. It’s also known as being beast for sports and wildlife photography due to its superior autofocus and 10 frames per second.
Pentax never fails to make the list of best low light camera. Why? Well the Pentax KP DSLR, which is unique, smart, and functional. In fact, you can even swap grips depending on what you need as a photographer.
What really makes this Pentax camera outstanding on our list is the low light performance by this particular model, which is due to its 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, eliminating anti-aliasing filter, and prime IV Engine which have an accelerator unit for processing. With all this, it allows the camera to get up to IS0 819200 sensitivity with barely any noise and the maximum sharpness.
The camera boasts a five-axis-in-body Shake Reduction II model to assist image quality. It compensates up to five stops of shutter speed in longer exposures. It also activates Pixel Shift Resolution mode.
The SAFOX 11 27-point AF sensor helps photographers get a quick lock into their subjects for still imaging. When shooting at max speeds of 7 fps, this feature is crucial. The camera even has a mechanical shutter of 1/6000 second and also an electronic shutter that can reach 1/2400 of a second.
The KP can even record a 1080p video at up to 30 fps. The interval shooting capability can help shooters make a 4K movie. And finally, the magnesium-alloy metal body is weather sealed for harsh conditions, includes built-in WiFi, an LCD monitor, and a .95x optical viewfinder for 100% coverage.
Customers love this camera for its low light capabilities, which is synonymous with the model. You came here for a superior low light camera, and you get one, that’s for sure.
What a fast, precise, DSLR? You’ve come to the right place. This best low light camera, the Nikon D5, boasts a full-frame, FX-format 20.8MP CMOS sensor, EXPEED 5 image processor, and 12 fps continuous shooting rate, full time AF, AE, and a sensitivity range that is expandable, going up to ISO 3280000, and also 4K UDH video (30 fps).
The D5 has a revamped Multi-CAM 20K 153 point AF system. It also incorporates its 99 cross-type sensors for the most precision for tacking moving subjects and low light situations. The camera in particular has dual XQD memory card slots for versatile file handling. There’s also a range of raw file sizes to be selected depending on output needs. This design was made in tandem to handle difficult shooting conditions for the extreme photographer.
The design of the D5 is not for the faint of heart. With its refined handling and physical design, it is sleek as can be. Get clean and clear playback, live view shooting, and an intuitive menu navigation. Constructed from magnesium alloy, the camera is dust and weather sealed for any working environment. Function buttons on the camera body offer vertical and horizontal supports for different shooting orientations.
However, its the low-light capabilities that make customers the most happy with the Nikon D5. Along with the lighting, the autofocus of this camera is unparalleled, making its spot on the best low light cameras justified.
Sony A7 III
The Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera from Sony works in a variety of working environments as well as situations. Get the most refined and improved speed along with its amazing low light performance, making the list on our best low light camera a right choice.
With full-frame 24.2MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image, it pais to create a 10 fps continuous shooting are and wide frame coverage. The Fast Hybrid AF System is revamped, employing 693 combinations pf phase detection points as well as 435 contrast detection aras, allowing for better focus in different lighting scenes. With that, focus is attained on subject effectively.
Get greater image clarity and less noise with the sensitivity of ISO 100-51200 that expands to ISO 50-204800. Record video with better quality of capabilities with UHD 4K video, combining with full width of the full-frame sensor, which minimizes the moireé and alaising.
The five-axis StadyShor INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization effectively minimizes the camera shake by as much as five stops. And finally, the body design has a 3” 922k-dot touchscreen LCD, which is tilting for the best support, no matter the angle.
The 2.36 Tru-Finded OLED EVF has bright and clear monitoring and well as a larger batter to keep as much as 710 shots a charge. The body’s magnesium alloy and weather sealing chassis are also dist and moisture resistant for any kind of shooting condition.
Customers find this Sony A7 III exceptional at everything the one camera can do. ISO shots are better than any 7D. The customization of controls make the camera a valuable tool to own. And the low-light capabilities make the best low light camera a winner in our book.