Filming and photo shooting in low light conditions can be rather challenging, to say the least, so it’s wise to be aware of the five best cameras for low light photography. The list below are medium priced cameras for low light conditions and well worth a look.
Canon 5D Mark IV
Always one of the most popular professional grade digital cameras, the Canon 5D Mark IV is a real workhorse of a platform and is well regarded by professional photographers the world over because of its ability to take stunning photographs in almost any lighting condition.
While this particular platform may not have any skyhigh ISO capabilities that some of the other options on the market today have, its ability to produce HD and razor-sharp photos in any lighting condition – particularly in low light conditions – makes it one of the very best cameras for lowlight photography in specific.
Combine that with its very affordable price tag and you’re looking at a special camera body here that will make amateur and professional photographers very, very happy.
The Canon 5D Mark IV is engineered around a 30.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that is going to pull in a ridiculous amount of light, even in situations where you may think it’s impossible to pull off a reasonably crisp or accurate photo just because of how dark the situation really is to your naked eye. On top of that, a DIGIC 6+ image processor makes sure that each image is stabilized, as clear as can be, and can be further edited (thanks to shooting in RAW) so that you can make the most of your photos in the post.
Dual pixel RAW capabilities.
As we highlighted above, the ISO capabilities of the Canon 5D Mark IV really aren’t that special (at least compared to some of the more advanced, more modern, or more expensive options available on the market today) but with the ability to shoot with dual pixel RAW formats you won’t have to worry about those issues quite as much. Increased ISO capabilities are part and parcel of this special feature.
Autofocusing capabilities work wonder in low light situations.
The Canon 5D Mark IV features a 61 point high-density reticular AF mechanism that also utilizes a 41 cross-type AF point system, providing you with unparalleled autofocusing solutions that can really help you when you are shooting in low light conditions. This is a game-changing feature that really helps to make the Canon 5D Mark IV such a special platform for those that know they are going to be spending a lot of time shooting photos in less than ideal lighting conditions for shooting at night in particular.
All in all, you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy to sleep on everything that the Canon 5D Mark IV brings to the table. This is a perennial work camera, perfect for amateurs and professionals alike (even if it acts as a secondary camera), and has an affordable price tag that allows you to sleep easy at night knowing that you might not use it every time you go to shoot but only break it out in low light conditions.
Initially released back in 2014, there are some people that are going to blanch a little bit about spending almost $2000 on a camera using three-year-old (almost 4-year-old) technology – but those people are crazy!
A full frame system shooting in the FX format, the Nikon D750 is a top-tier DSLR camera capable of shooting in stunning high definition – not only still images in almost any lighting condition imaginable, but is also capable of shooting full 1080p HD video as well. This is a professional favorite and for good reason!
The variable angle LCD, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to shoot in full RAW format gives you the opportunity to have complete and total control over every aspect of your photo shoots and your photo sets. You’ll be able to use the variable angle LCD as a viewfinder and also use it as a touchscreen user interface to control most aspects of your shots (though physical keys are also available across the board), and Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to shoot your RAW files over to your postprocessing station without having to deal with any cords or cables that could get in the way.
The sensor on the Nikon D750 is top-tier.
The image sensor that you’re going to get out of the Nikon D750 is an amazing piece of technology, complete with 3-D Color Matrix Metering and 91,000 pixel RGB technology built right in. This sensor is oversized, allowing you to capture light even in ridiculously low light situations – and that’s why so many professionals turn to this camera when they want something to get the job done right when conditions aren’t ideal.
The sensor is a 24.3 megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, but it’s also been paired with a new image processing technology that produces faster frame rates, lower levels of noise, and a super wide ISO range of between 12,800. Even also expand the ISO range all the way up to 51,200 all while getting full HD images and videos out of this DSLR.
If you’re looking for a great professional grade camera to help you take amazing photographs in lowlight situations without breaking your bank account into tiny little pieces, the Nikon D750 is a serious contender.
Sony A7S II
While the two professional grade cameras that we highlighted above were definitely designed with a variety of different photography situations in mind, this option from Sony is one of the few purpose-built lowlight cameras available on the market today that also happens to excel in a variety of other situations – but really stands out when lighting is at a premium.
A full frame miracle is option that is definitely a lot more compact (and a lot easier to control) then the majority of the other options on the market today, a 12.2 megapixel sensor built into this camera is one of the best of the best on the market today – capable of shooting at ISO rating levels of up to 409,600.
This is game-changing technology we are talking about here.
Amazingly, the Sony sensor technology used in this platform has also been used by other top-tier camera brands (licensing the tech directly from the folks at Sony) – and for good reason. This camera is known to be one of the few cameras that can lock in its autofocus in almost complete and total darkness just because of how much light can be captured with this oversized sensor.
Make no mistake about it, however. This camera will definitely get the job done in full light situations as well. It’s capable of shooting in full RAW without any compression, can shoot in lower levels of ISO to control noise, and has maybe one of the very best autofocusing technology configurations on the market today. This makes this camera perfect for amateurs as well as professionals, especially if they are looking for a camera that isn’t super heavy or ridiculously oversized.
The image stabilization technology “baked right in” to the Sony A7S II is exceptional, too. A five-axis image stabilization platform provides 4 ½ different stops of shake compensation, allowing you to really maximize the overall quality and stability of the images that you are capturing in lowlight situations. This is especially important taking lowlight portraitures, and something that a lot of other top-tier cameras struggle with – while costing you almost twice as much as the Sony A7S II would right out of the box.
All in all, there’s a lot to love with when it comes to the Sony A7S II. Add in the fact that it is a mirror list solution that cuts down on size and weight while still offering you complete and total control over each and every individual shot you take – and maybe the best camera sensor bar none (low light or otherwise) – and you are looking at a real winner here.
While right out of the box, the Fujifilm X-T2 looks a lot like its predecessor – and not nearly as feature-rich as some of the other DSLR options on the market today – you would be making a huge mistake to fall into the trap of thinking that this camera is anything less than one of the best professional grade options (particularly when it comes to lowlight situation photography).
The build quality of the Fujifilm X-T2 is exceptional, the way that all Fujifilm cameras really have been over the past few decades. This is a tank in every respect, overbuilt and utilizing the highest and construction materials throughout to provide you with a safe, stable, and durable platform in a full frame camera that you can trust and rely on.
Sure, it’s going to be a little heavy (particularly if you aren’t using a tripod or a bipod to help you set up shots), but that extra weight adds a lot of stability to your photos that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
A dream for shooting in lowlight situations, the sensor included with the Fujifilm X-T2 ranks right up there amongst the very best options are available. It may fall a little bit short of the technology that Sony is putting out, but all the same, you are going to be amazed at the quality of the HD shots that can be taken with the Fujifilm X-T2 for sure.
Top-tier sensor paired with the game-changing image processor.
The Fujifilm X-T2 features a 24.3 megapixel Ex-Trans CMOS sensor III that is paired with a brand-new X-Processor Pro, a lightning-fast image processor that guarantees you’re able to enjoy almost instant shutter control, extreme startup time, a shooting interval of 0.17 seconds, and phase detection AF and motion predictive AF that allows for some of the sharpest and clearest continuous shooting of action seems – all the way up to eight frames per second.
You can use the booster grip to shoot that rate of control up to 11 frames per second really take things to the next level, all while you are shooting in ridiculously low light situations.
Top features to look for in a professional grade DSLR as well.
The beautiful 0.48 inch 2.36 million.O LED viewfinder is going to provide you with a crystal clear image of what you are about to shoot and capture, with accurate color representation and the ability to magnify the image in your viewfinder to take things to the next level.
Automatic brightness adjustment features, the ability to shoot in full 4K video as well as full high-definition video, and an intelligently designed control scheme that gives you complete and total control over every aspect of your image captured – even before you go to post – is nothing short of exceptional.
At the end of the day, the Fujifilm X-T2 has everything that you could be looking for in a lowlight camera and then some. This may not be quite as often recommended as options from Canon or Nikon or new contenders from Sony, but Fujifilm continues to knock it right out of the park.
Perfectly situated in the “prosumer” level of cameras – not quite a professional grade camera but certainly not an amateur level camera, either – everything that the Panasonic GH5 brings to the table is exceptionally well done (particularly the lowlight shooting capabilities of this camera) at a price tag that isn’t ever going to break your bank account.
A compact mirror list camera, this isn’t a full framed DSLR by any stretch of the imagination and that is actually one of its biggest selling points. You don’t have to worry about an oversized or ridiculously heavy full frame camera wearing you out on a long day of shooting, and you also don’t have to worry about that oversized monstrosity causing you to get into uncomfortable positions to get the shot that you are looking for.
Instead, you’ll be able to depend on this amazing piece of tech to produce stunning high-definition videos and photographs – shooting in full 4K – regardless of the lowlight situations that you may find yourself in. This is all because of the top-tier image sensor and image processor included in this camera, as well as the five-axis image stabilization tech that is such a big part of everything that Panasonic GH5 has to offer.
Ruggedly designed and with a very intelligent control scheme, you’ll be able to quickly and effortlessly get the hang of using the Panasonic GH5 without ever feeling like you aren’t able to control every aspect of your shots. This can all be done postprocessing because you’re able to shoot in full RAW when you are shooting still images – even in lowlight situations – you’ll be able to really go to town on your photos in post to knock it out of the park.
The 20.3 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor is a bit of a game changer when it comes to mirror list technology, producing excellent detail and giving you the opportunity to capture more stars in the night sky then you would have been able to see with the naked eye. This really goes to show just how impressive the lowlight capture technology of the Panasonic GH5 is.
While you may not ever be able to rival the extreme resolution or the “shoot in total dark” capabilities of full framed cameras, the fact that you’re able to get this kind of performance out of a top-tier sensor like this in a compact mirror list camera that isn’t exactly “professional grade” is nothing short of exceptional and something that those not looking to spend an arm and a leg on a new camera should be looking into more closely.
All things considered, there’s a lot to fall in with when it comes to the Panasonic GH5. The technology is advanced, the price tag is just right, and the fact that it utilizes mirror list solutions rather than traditional DSLR technology guarantees that you are on the cutting edge of photography and will be for years and years to come.
At such an affordable price point, it really doesn’t get much better than this option from Panasonic!