Are you currently looking for the best camera for night photography? Look no further because this guide got you covered!
There’s no doubt that night photography is a thrilling genre. The outcomes are often stunning, but the patience and approach it takes to set up and post-process often turn many photographers off. So, you see, the answer to making awesome night photography.
Our team has picked the five best night cameras and narrowed down everything you need to learn about them below.
Our Top Camera for Night Photography Reviews
As a night photographer, you need to understand better that full-frame cameras or wide-angle lenses offer better picture quality. Further, selecting the perfect camera for night photography depends on your unique shooting style and the price range.
Below we listed the top five of our favorites to help you get started and a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you make the best decision.
Best Camera for Night Photography Overall: Canon EOS 5D
The Canon EOS 5D is an excellent all-around full-frame DSLR camera for night photography. It’s perfect for shooting a broad spectrum of photography genres that include but are not limited to low light photography.
Did you know this camera is run by a 30.4 megapixels CMOS full-frame sensor and DIGIC 6+ image processor? While talking about the low light features of this full-frame camera, it’s worth mentioning that the older 5D Mark III wasn’t up to the same standards.
It’s often advised that the 5D Mark IV is ISO invariant. However, that’s far from the truth. You see, the 5D Mark IV is a great camera in many different ways. It’s the best camera to use for shooting night photography. We also highly suggest it as the best DSLR camera for night photography.
Its sensor is also perfect for creating high-quality, detailed photos with less luminous noise at great sensitivities. It does not fail to perform in any circumstance, be it landscape or sports photography.
- Great sensor performance
- Advanced AF system
- Different connectivity choices
- Limited 4K video options
- New 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting in nearly any light, with ISO range 100-32000; expandable up to 50-102400 (equivalent ISO).
- 4K Motion JPEG video (DCI cinema-type 4096 x 2160) at 30p or 24p; in- camera still frame grab of 4K 8.8-Megapixel images; multiple video options include Full HD up to 60p, and HD up to 120p.
- Superb Dual Pixel CMOS AF for responsive and smooth AF during video or live view shooting; LCD monitor has a full touchscreen interface, including selection of AF area.
- Excellent performance - up to 7.0 fps continuous shooting speed with high-performance DIGIC 6+ Image Processor for improved speed and excellent image quality.
- Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam, or do the same using a clean HDMI output.
Best Camera for Night Photography for the Money: Pentax K-1
The Pentax K-1 is an older model of camera. However, this device has a few amazing features that make it highly relevant among the cameras included in this list and one of the best cameras for night photography, even in 2021.
You see, the camera’s native ISO range is 100-819200. Auto-focusing on the camera is run by the SAFOX 12 AF mechanism and comprises thirty-three focus points—twenty-five of which are considered cross-type. The camera can also meter down to -3EV.
On top of that, the auto-focusing performance of this camera in low-light conditions is slow. That’s because of the number of AF points, and the camera in single-shot AF mode is more likely to hunt for focus for a while before nailing it.
Moreover, autofocusing through the continuous auto-mechanism system is a better option than setting the camera to single-point autofocus. Hence, we found other concerns with its AF system. For instance, the coverage area of the AF sensor is relatively low. It covers the only 1/7th of the frame, and everything is clustered towards the middle.
- Full frame camera
- Excellent ISO sensitivity range
- It has built-in modes that are suitable for night photography
- We found fewer compatible lenses accessible
- 36 MP AA filter less shake reduction sensor with APS C crop mode for compatibility with Pentax k mount lenses
- Hand Held Pixel Shift Resolution that allows 4 images to be complied into an superior image with increased color rendition and sharpness
- Engine Accelerometer for reduced image noise, faster focusing and increased image sharpness
- Magnesium Alloy, Weather Resistant body for every demanding situation
- Astro tracer extended exposure mode with reduced star trails
Best Cheap Camera for Night Photography: Nikon Z6
Nikon Z6 did not strive to break any records regarding sporting a sophisticated design and boasts rather a practical look. The big, comfortable handgrip of this camera makes it simple to use the compact device. Nonetheless, the size does not make it less robust. That’s because the magnesium alloy build and weather seal guarantees the camera can endure any harsh circumstances.
Remember that this camera is mirrorless the same low noise level, which can be seen in a 24-megapixel full-frame model. So you could store all details of your photos from the shadows if it was not taken at high ISO. You see, the ISO-invariant sensor done well with dark, underexposed darks, normal for nightscapes.
This camera performs great than its descendant, Nikon D810, in the burst shooting aspect with a 12fps speed, while the diffident buffer is enough for most photographers.
The brand did not disappoint us with Nikon Z6. The best part here is that it features everything an enthusiast likes, from decent image stabilization to a clear viewfinder and great image quality.
- Great EVF
- Refined handling
- It features an awesome image stabilization system
- There’s a limited range of lens
- Not enough buffer depth
- Large, full frame Z mount for Revolutionary optical performance
- Nikon-designed 24. 5MP backside illuminated image sensor
- 273-Point on-sensor Phase detect AF system
- Up to 12 fps; 4K Ultra-HD video; 6K time-lapse; 1080P/120Fps slow motion
- Compatible with NIKKOR Z lenses, over 360 F-mount NIKKOR lenses
Best Professional Camera for Night Photography: Nikon D810
The Nikon D810 camera for night photography, according to Nikon, is one of the best DSLRs to date, and we could not find any reason to refute their claim.
The camera’s design is quite the same as its predecessor, along with other small changes for improved control. It boasts a pronounced ergonomic front grip and back grip for better handling. Further, the added button at the back lets users access other key settings such as Live view mode, bracketing, and active D-lighting.
Even at night, this camera is versatile and flexible in nature. You can personalize the same setting based on your preferences or tastes. Have we mentioned that this camera is a great choice for Astro-landscape imaging? Nonetheless, it lacks most of the filters for wavelengths such as infrared.
That enables you to receive more vivid colors and reds in the night sky. Still, that makes photos of more common things like landscapes look a bit off. Overall, it would be a great option for you if you’re planning to do professional high-resolution deep space tracking.
- Excellent battery life
- It runs smooth and is quite
- Simple to personalize
- Even though the camera is a great performer, it looks a bit heavy and bulky
- 36.3 MP FX format CMOS sensor without an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF)
- 30 percent faster Expeed 4 image processing engine. Shutter speed: 1/8000 to 30 sec
- 51point AF system and 3D color matrix metering III with a 91,000 pixel RGB sensor
- ISO 6412,800 expandable to 51,200
- Featuring a new raw small size option, which produces 16MP images with much smaller file sizes
Best Feature-Loaded Camera for Night Photography: Sony a7 III
The Sony a7 III is the most well-rounded camera for night photography on our list. This camera promises to be one of the best values in the full-frame mirrorless market, along with a shockingly high-end set of specs for its price.
This camera’s processing engine and sensor allow for an overall sensitivity range of ISO 50-204,800. That implies that this camera for night photography must perform well in low light. Moreover, the 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization of Sony is on hand. To make it short, that indicates lowered image noise and improved image process. Hence, you can rest easy that all your photos have a better chance of turning out as arranged.
Similar obstacles to poor light conditions in night sky photography can create unwelcomed blur far more typical. Image processing like that makes things more manageable. Photographers often use a tripod when taking photos of the night sky.
For any other photography activities, Sony A7 III’s 5-axis stabilization system will go a very long way in keeping all your shots shake-free. Amazing, right?
- Great price
- Awesome autofocus system
- Great 24mp full-frame sensor
- Complicated menu
- Tilting instead of vari–angle screen
- Advanced 24.2MP BSI full frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed.Aspect Ratio - 3:2, Headphone Terminal : Yes (3.5 mm Stereo minijack), Mic Terminal : Yes (3.5 mm Stereo minijack). Brightness Control (Viewfinder) : Auto/Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2).
- 15 stop dynamic range, 14 bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800. Compatible with Sony E mount lenses. Can be connected via Bluetooth with smartphones featuring (as of the date of release)- Android (Android 5.0 or later, Bluetooth 4.0 or later), iOS (Bluetooth 4.0 or later)
- Up to 10fps silent or mechanical shutter with AE/AF tracking. Battery life (Still Images): Approx. 610 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 710 shots (LCD monitor), battery life (Movie, continuous recording): Approx. 200 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 210 min (LCD monitor)
- 693 phase detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93 percent image coverage. Focus sensor: Exmor R CMOS sensor
- In the box: Rechargeable battery (NP FZ100), AC adapter (AC UUD12), shoulder strap, body cap, Accessory shoe cap, Eyepiece cup, Micro USB cable. Metering type: 1200 zone evaluative metering
Features to Consider for the Best Camera for Night Photography
Many photographers realize that night photography or low light shooting can be challenging, and it could be a hassle, especially if you don’t own the perfect type of camera. However, you can easily overcome any issue that comes your way if you are familiar with the features you need to look for in a camera for night photography.
When selecting the ideal camera for night photography, the given resolution is not the only feature you need to keep in mind. So what other aspects impact the quality of your photo?
Thus, let’s find out more about the critical features you need to look for in your night photography camera.
White Balance Adjustability
You need to have a camera with the perfect white balance, especially if you are working in low light conditions. Many of the cameras today have a white balance. However, it is highly suggested to pick one that has an adjustable white balance. That feature will help you shot amazing photos at all times.
Did you know that the camera’s wide aperture is identified by the camera’s lens that comes with it? So if you’re going for a kit, it will help if you pick a camera with a wide aperture lens. That helps you to become confident that you capture some great photos during the night.
One benefit of having this feature is that it offers a flattening effect on your shots and adds a bit of attractiveness to your photo—something that most photographers wanted. Further, a wide aperture also offers you added focusing power. In turn, that can show a big effect on the background.
Not all photographers, particularly newbies, are aware of the significance of ISO. Remember that the ISO levels are connected to sensor sensitivity, and the level is displayed as a range. Also, its range can begin from ISO 50 and reach a million.
Remember that the higher your ISO level, the greater the amount of light sensitivity. Hence, make sure you go for a camera with a high ISO, but you will find some limitations to that, too. Ensure the camera has a good feature of noise cancellation, especially if you want to buy a camera with a high ISO.
Doing so allows you to capture some great shots that are not noisy but clear.
This is one of the crucial factors you need to consider when buying the best camera for night photography. You can’t get usable shots when it’s dark without proper sensors. It will help if you pick a camera with superior quality sensors and those with a decent number of pixels.
That will help you ensure that the camera you have can capture even a small ray of light surrounding it.
When choosing a camera for night photography, make sure you check its ability to lighten the darker parts and shadow of your shot without adding an intolerable level of noise. Remember that the optical dynamic range lies within 10 to 14.8 Evs.
For instance, a scene along with a high dynamic range has bright glares and dark spots. Meanwhile, a scene with a low dynamic range has even light spread out throughout the whole scene, along with the brightest parts of the image not being substantially brighter than the darkest spots.
You have possibly heard that it’s not compulsory to have a full-frame high-end mirror camera to shot amazing night photos. You can just choose a modern camera run by advanced technology. Nevertheless, professional night photographers share the same opinion that this camera enables for capturing wider scenes and making the needed compositions for night photography.
High Slow-Shutter Speed
You might need an exposure time of at least ten seconds or even longer when taking shots of the night sky. On the other hand, a nighttime city photoshoot tends to require the exposure to be set between two to ten seconds. You see, it all depends on the amount of accessibility light and your chosen effect.
Overall, capturing photos at night can pose a series of challenges, but it also provides a chance for photographers to excel in their field. This review on the best camera for night photography and the buyer’s guide is intended to help you pick the perfect camera.
So, what are you waiting for? Select from the best cameras for night photography. Don’t forget that there’s always something for every photographer out there! We wish you the best of luck on your journey.
What are your thoughts about this post? We hope you find this guide informative and educational. Are you ready to get a night photography camera? Share your thoughts to us by leaving your comments down below! Happy shopping.