Best Low Light Cameras of 2020 – Complete Review

Are you looking for a worthy upgrade to your previous camera that works in every light condition?

If so, you have landed in the right place.

This guide will help you decide which model you should purchase for the best low light performance, distinguishing each model with function and specific needs. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Low Light Cameras

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Nikon D850 FX-Format

  • High levels of sharpness
  • Very good battery performance
  • Tilting touchscreen LCD screen
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Nikon D5

  • Quality rechargeable battery
  • Enhanced low light performance
  • Ideal for security and surveillance
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Nikon D7500 DX-Format

  • Best for the Money
  • Spectacular image quality
  • Features built-in Wi-Fi
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Panasonic Lumix FZ80

  • Best Low Light Video Camera
  • Comes with LCD screen
  • Equipped with USB charging
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Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

  • Best Low Light Point and Shoot Camera
  • Better low-light capture
  • Comes with integrated smartphone Wi-Fi
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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

  • Best Low Light DSLR Camera
  • Equipped with LCD monitor
  • Performs well even in low-light
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Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

  • Best Low Light Compact Camera
  • Very attractive appearance
  • Slim and lightweight
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Fujifilm X-T3

  • Best Low Light Mirrorless Camera
  • Better low-light phase detection
  • Robust and durable body
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GoPro HERO 7 Black

  • Best Low Light Action Camera
  • Enhanced noise reduction
  • Very good video stabilization
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Canon PowerShot SX530

  • Best Low Light Canon Camera
  • Comes with Wi-Fi capability
  • 16.0 Megapixel sensor
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What Makes a Camera Great in Low Light?

In order to figure out which camera model to purchase for great low light performance, you must consider the following key aspects. All these features are very important if you want the best output from your camera. These will guide you on making a better decision:

Size of Sensor

A full-frame sensor will allow more light to be captured in the image, which will allow you to shoot a crisp, clear image. It refines the image and brightens the colors as well, which is perfect for low light conditions.  

Image Stabilization

This feature allows the image to be stabilized so that there is a minimum chance of your image turning out to be blurry. It is an excellent feature to have if you’re looking for clearer shots in low light conditions. 

Noise Reduction

This is a feature that is used to smooth out any grain that exists in the photos so that they don’t look blurry or distorted. If you want cleaner, crispier photos, then you need to get a camera that has this feature embedded in it. 

Quick Take - Best Low Light Cameras

Before we dive into our review, here are the best low light cameras:

  1. Nikon D850 FX-Format
  2. ​​Nikon D5
  3. Nikon D7500 DX-Format

Review of the Best Low Light Cameras

Now that you have gone over what actually makes a good low light performing camera, let’s dive into the reviews of some of the best ones available on the market. Have a look:

Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

PROS

  • Allows video shooting in 4k
  • Has a very sturdy and durable design and build
  • Comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi system
  • Equipped with full AF capabilities which is sophisticated
  • Features superfast viewfinder auto-focus that comes with a silent shooting system

CONS

  • Does not have in-built flash
  • Not equipped with AF in Live view
  •  SnapBridge in this camera needs enhancement

What Recent Buyers Report

According to buyers, this is one of the best cameras for low-light photography, as it is packed with incredible features. The screen is super bright, and the auto-focus works precisely at a fast speed. The clarity in the photos is phenomenal, and so is the performance of the camera.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is one of Nikon’s best cameras, as it is designed with high-tech features. It comes with Nikon’s BSI (Back-side illuminator) full-frame sensor, which captures more light for low light conditions. This system also allows for more detailed and crisp image quality.  

Who Will Use This Most

This camera will satisfy any photographer, but it is more suited for photography enthusiasts and professionals. This is because it has a lot of features that may be hard to understand for a beginner or novice. It is excellent for night time wedding photography and landscapes. 

Bottom Line

The Nikon D850 is equipped with some of the most world-class features that you will find in a DSLR. It adds up to one of the most special cameras for professionals. You will find that this camera will meet all your expectations for exceptional image quality, each time.

Runner-up:
Nikon D5

Nikon D5 DSLR 20.8 MP Point & Shoot Digital Camera, Dual XQD Slots - Black

PROS

  • Shoots at 12 frames per second
  • Wide ISO range of 100 to 102400
  • Comes with 20.8 megapixels CMOS sensor
  • Speedy and accurate focusing and shutter speed
  • High-tech auto-focus system for near darkness performance

CONS

  • Price is very steep
  • It is very heavy
  • Button placement is new and confusing

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report that this camera has a high resolution, enhanced auto-focus capabilities, and an increase in the dynamic range, which ensures a stellar performance. It has a quiet shutter and an excellent grip, which allows you to take pictures seamlessly without any problem.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like that this camera allows you to take pictures in low-light, and has an outstanding auto-focus system that helps you capture scenes at any time of the day. It also comes with enhanced video features such as vibrant images and clear sound, and can also produce time-lapses. It also has an incredible ISO range.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a remarkable full-frame camera for high-end photography enthusiasts and is packed with pro-level amenities and powerful performance. So, the target market for the Nikon D5 full-frame camera is experienced and professional photographers, for whom all the advanced features are designed for. 

Bottom Line

It can’t get better than Nikon D5. The innovative features and the remarkable resolution makes it hard to resist, which is why this is one of the best low light cameras ever made by Nikon. So, if you’re into continuous shooting and 4K photography, you will love this model.  

Best for the Money:
Nikon D7500 DX-Format

Nikon D7500 DX-format Digital SLR Body

PROS

  • Shoots videos in 4k
  • Amazing auto-focusing system 
  • Shoots up to 8 frames per second
  • Rugged and sturdy design and build
  • Uses stellar metering to capture subjects

CONS

  • Rear screen resolution is low
  • 4k videos may show up as cropped
  • Noise reduction and sharpening may be too high

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this camera loved the fact that it has excellent ISO performance. A greater ISO typically results in amazing low-light shots, which is exactly what this model is capable of. The touchscreen of this model is very responsive, and the fine-tune feature for AF is also very useful. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

What we like about this is that it is a very creative and highly functional camera. It comes with a 4K video facility, which renders rich and clear Ultra HD videos. The grip is also very comfortable, and the camera is weather-sealed to ensure the highest performance in extreme weather conditions as well. 

Who Will Use This Most

This flagship performing high-end camera can be used for all sorts of photography. Because of its exceptional auto-focus system, it is great for nature and wildlife photography as it can capture moving objects without blurring the images. It is also great for shooting videos in 4K. 

Bottom Line

If you are on the hunt for a camera that has 4K capabilities and is packed with an array of stunning features, then this Nikon D7500 is the model for you. With its impeccable image quality and high-end performance, this is the best camera you can find for the money. 

Best Low Light Video Camera:
Panasonic Lumix FZ80

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, Power O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)

PROS

  • Wi-Fi capability included
  • Sharp and high-quality EVF
  • Touch LCD for better viewing
  • Precise and speedy auto-focus
  • 10 frames per second raw shots

CONS

  • Raw buffer is limited
  • No eye sensor for EVF
  • LCD is fixed in the rear

What Recent Buyers Report

Reports suggest that this camera is a fun and unique device that is excellent for point and shooting. It renders beautiful and clear images of high quality for an unbelievable price, which is quite impressive. The zoom and auto-focus are also very precise and fast, and it can capture amazing images in low-light conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a long-zoom camera that comes with a 20mm wide-angle and 60x zoom to capture the most stunning images. It has impressive low light performance as well, and the unique ‘Post Focus’ feature in Panasonic allows you to choose your focus points in the image after it is taken.

Who Will Use This Most

According to us, this is a great camera for professional photographers who want a high-quality and high-performing 4K camera for videos. It has a comfortable grip and a resolution viewfinder as well, and it works brilliantly in low light conditions. It is also a great camera for travelers to use, as it is lightweight.

Bottom Line

Overall, if you want the highest quality 4k videos, then the FZ80 is the camera for you. With its stunning clarity and impressive features, this is one camera that will definitely not disappoint you. It is also very budget-friendly and is a great pick for any type of photography.

Best Low Light Point and Shoot Camera:
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera, 16X LEICA DC Vario-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Lens, 21.1 Megapixels, 1 Inch High Sensitivity Sensor, DMC-FZ1000 (USA BLACK)

PROS

  • Lumix DFD with focus technology
  • Lens stabilizer included in the camera
  • Remote Wi-Fi shooting with easy share
  • 4K video and photo shooting capability
  • Big sensor for clearer and more precise details

CONS

  • Zoom ring is limited
  • Lack of touchscreen facility
  • Creative control cannot be used in creative panorama 

What Recent Buyers Report

According to reviews, this is a very impressive camera that takes tack sharp images. It comes with a great sensor that takes amazing shots with a high ISO and less noise reduction. It is able to capture the brightest images and with great zoom features. A pop-up flash feature is also available, which is excellent. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera is packed with a lot of amazing features, such as 4K video capturing. It also comes with a light speed auto-focus, which shoots images precisely and clearly. The 5-axis correction also detects the five types of camera movement for more versatility and greater stability. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are interested in macro photography, then this would be the perfect camera for you. It is also great for taking pictures of the sunset and landscapes. You can also capture moving objects because of its super-fast auto-focus system and a great sensor with higher ISO. 

Bottom Line

Those looking for a camera that renders beautiful bokeh and stunning images with crystal-clear clarity will find that this is the one for you. It also captures lovely images in low-lighting and has 4K video abilities. The noise reduction is also ​lower, and it is able to take bright and high-quality images.

Best Low Light DSLR Camera:
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens Kit

PROS

  • High ISO capability 
  • Comes equipped with Wi-Fi
  • Comes with a full-frame sensor
  • Touchscreen is active and useful
  • Has dual-pixel auto-focus, which is a game-changer

CONS

  • HDMI is limited to 1080p
  • Subject tracking is not very accurate 
  • Auto-focus optimization takes some time and practice

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a very advanced camera that has a lot of amazing qualities and features. The full-frame 30.4 mega-pixel sensor provides high resolution and crystal-clear clarity for all images. The auto-focus is also very fast and precise, and the ISO range is very high. It also comes with a high functioning LCD touchscreen monitor. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The impressive technology used in this model brings about the brightest colors and crystal clear clarity in all the images. The Canon log feature in it also allows you to record ultra HD quality videos with a dynamic range. The new metering sensor is also very useful and efficient. 

Who Will Use This Most

This camera can be used by professionals who are looking for that extra oomph in their pictures. It can also be used by experienced amateurs, who want to expand their skills and take stellar images. It also provides great value for your money. 

Bottom Line

Everything about this camera is stunning. This is an amazing model if you are willing to go the extra mile to achieve the highest quality camera for 4K video-shooting. The resolution is mind-blowing, and the build is made to last you for a long time, making it a very worthy investment.  

Best Low Light Compact Camera:
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera w/ 1 Inch Sensor and 3inch LCD - Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth Enabled (Silver)

PROS

  • Battery life is very impressive
  • Low light performance is stellar
  • Comes with a large 1-inch sensor
  • Ultra slim and lightweight camera
  • Compact and portable size for traveling

CONS

  • There is no viewfinder
  • Tricky to use for a novice
  • Phone connection is not very user-friendly

What Recent Buyers Report

Users find this to be a very compact and travel-friendly camera that is capable of taking the most impressive photos. It also has a very unique and attractive design and saves battery on your phone. It also comes equipped with a touchscreen panel, which is an added bonus.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This ultra-slim and sleek camera comes with impressive technology to leave you stunned. It also has a fast operation and a very high image quality. The time-lapse movie function is also very useful for capturing sunsets. The resolution is also very life-like and clear. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are an avid traveler and you’re looking for something light to carry around, this is the perfect option for you. You can take pictures at any time of the day because of this model’s stunning low-light performance. You can also purchase this if you’re on a budget. 

Bottom Line

Overall, if you’re looking for a nice, stylish camera that is compact and lightweight, you should definitely check this one out. With its impressive shots and tons of features, you will absolutely love carrying it around wherever you go. It is also incredible at shooting in low light conditions. 

Best Low Light Mirrorless Camera:
Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/XF18-55mm Lens Kit - Black

PROS

  • Low light detection
  • Blackout-free burst shooting
  • Powerful and efficient auto-focus
  • Exceptional 4K video capabilities 
  • Touchscreen panel that tilts 3 ways

CONS

  • Needs a bigger buffer
  • Sensitive to the touch input
  • Lacks in-body image stabilization & weather sealing

What Recent Buyers Report

What’s really great about this camera is that it is a perfect all-rounder. It is very easy to carry around and has one of the best image quality. This is because it is equipped with a back-lit sensor. It also has a very smart face-sensor, which results in speedier auto-focus. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Fujifilm X-T3 is a very impressive camera that has a lot of stunning qualities. These include more accurate and faster auto-focus as well as fast frame rates. It also has an impressive selection of 4K video features and an aesthetically pleasing exterior. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re looking for a camera that packs all the features with a lightweight and stylish design, the Fujifilm X-T3 is one of the best models out there that you can find. It combines efficiency and high performance with a lightweight design to bring you the best low light mirrorless camera. 

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for a mirrorless camera that outshines all the others in the low-light performance category, then choose this one. This model embodies all the features that you will ever need in a mid-range, high-quality camera. It is also very lightweight and portable to use. 

Best Low Light Action Camera:
GoPro HERO 7 Black

GoPro HERO7 Black — Waterproof Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K Ultra HD Video 12MP Photos 720p Live Streaming Stabilization

PROS

  • Rugged and waterproof design
  • Intelligent HDR shooting feature 
  • Stabilized time-lapse feature included
  • Corrects camera shake for more stable images
  • Local tone mapping and noise reduction abilities

CONS

  • Battery life is average
  • No preview while recording in 4k
  • You need to practice as it is not user-friendly for novices

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers state that this is a great action camera that is very useful for extreme sports photography. The stabilization on the time-warp mode is also very impressive, and the hyper smooth mode also works really well. Wi-Fi connectivity is also very seamless, and it is overall a very good point and shoot camera.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This waterproof camera is built for use in the harshest of weather conditions. It is very sturdy and durable and is made with the highest quality components to provide you with excellent performance all around. It has a lot of features such as live-stream, 4k video shooting, and slo-mo videos as well. 

Who Will Use This Most

We find this to be the perfect camera for your sporty adventures anywhere in the world. Whether you’re skiing, jet skiing, or pursuing any kind of sport, this camera can handle all the harsh conditions. It also comes with GPS so you can track how high or far you go. If you’re an adventurous person, this is the one for you.

Bottom Line

To sum up, if you’re looking for a durable yet lightweight camera that fulfills your photography needs for extreme sports, then this is the one for you. Whether it is night or day, morning, or evening, this model will take stunning and clear shots in every light condition. Overall, it’s one of the best extreme sports cameras. 

Best Low Light Canon Camera:
Canon PowerShot SX530

Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera w/ 50X Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)

PROS

  • Sleek and durable finish and design
  • 16-megapixel high sensitivity sensor
  • Equipped with a Wi-Fi feature built-in
  • 50x optical zooming feature embedded
  • State of the art performance and capabilities

CONS

  • EVF is not included
  • HD video is limited to 1080p
  • Slow to focus when it is zoomed in

What Recent Buyers Report

Users were absolutely floored with the zooming capability of this camera. Not only does it have stellar clarity, but the colors are bright, and the pictures seem life-like. It is an excellent point and shoot camera that is lightweight yet quite powerful.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like that this camera is equipped with a whopping 50x zooming capacity and comes with wireless connectivity as well. It also has a creative shot mode that allows you to explore your artistic skills with regards to editing photos. It is also very sturdy and can be used in harsh conditions. 

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is intended for use for users who want to capture objects with extreme close-ups. It is designed to help you track the subject with more precision and clarity, and is very impressive in low-light conditions. You can take clear shots of the moon with this model.

Bottom Line

All in all, if you’re looking for a high-functioning and impressive low-light camera from Canon, then this is the one to go with. With its impressive features and high-quality finish and aesthetics, you will not be let down with this model. It is also very convenient to use because of the wireless connectivity feature. 

Low Light Photography Tips For Success

Now that you have covered the reviews, let’s go over some tips to make your low light photography skill stand out. Here are a few tricks that you can use to achieve success in low light photography:

Increase ISO

In order to get the perfect picture in low light, crank up the ISO settings in your camera. The higher the ISO is, the more sensitive your camera will be, and the noise will be reduced. This will result in a much brighter and clearer shot.

Slow Shutter Speed

Another feature that you can play around with is the shutter speed. The longer your shutter speed stays open, the more light will pass through it. However, you might want to use a tripod in case your camera does not have an image stabilization feature.

Utilize a Large Aperture

The larger the aperture of your camera is, the more light will come in the sensor. This will allow the picture to have more clarity and brighter colors. In order to do that, make sure the number is low so that you get the highest aperture.

Exposure Compensation

In order to get more light in the image, use the exposure settings of your camera and amp them up to the positive side. This will allow the model to add more light to the image, hence, more clarity. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, you found this guide useful in determining which camera you want to purchase for low-light photography. There are several factors you must take into consideration before purchasing the right camera for this job, so make sure you go over them when making the decision. 

People Also Ask

If you still have some concerns or ambiguities, then you can go over these frequently asked questions. This will help you in clearing out some of the doubts that you may have, and allow you to get a better insight into the type of camera that you will need for photography in low light.

What is Low Light Photography?

Low light photography is when you shoot with a higher ISO than normal but have to choose between high ISO and a blurrier image. This is because shooting with a high ISO requires you to lower your shutter speed, which typically results in a blurry image, especially if your camera doesn’t have image stabilization.

What Are the Best Camera Settings For Shooting in Low Light?

Shoot low light photos in raw mode and manual mode, with a low shutter speed to capture more light, a higher aperture for greater clarity in the image, and high ISO settings so that the sensor can take in more light for a brighter and crisper image. 

Which Aperture is Best For Low Light?

Choose a camera setting that comes with a wide aperture so that more light seeps into the camera sensor for better quality images. A wider aperture setting would be around f/1.4, f/1.8, and f/2.8. This is the most ideal aperture setting you can have for low light photography. 

What Settings to Use For Low Light Photography?

You should shoot your camera using manual mode, with a low shutter speed to capture more light, a higher aperture for greater clarity in the image, and high ISO settings so that the sensor can take in more light for a clearer and more refined photo. 

Is Full Frame Better For Low Light?

Due to the size of the bigger sensor in a full-frame camera, more light is able to be captured by the sensor, which results in more clarity. You need more light in the camera so that it is able to get a clearer shot in low light conditions.