Best Cameras For Low Light & Night Photography 2017

Sony A7R II

Best Overall!

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42.40 Megapixels
Max ISO: 102400
Astonishingly great high ISO performance

Pentax K-1

Best Value For Money!

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36.2 Megapixels
Max ISO: 204800
Fast autofocus with great low-light capabilities

Canon EOS-1D X Mk II

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20 Megapixels
Max ISO: 409600
Excellent autofocus system

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II

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42.40 Megapixels
Max ISO: 25600
Superb image quality

Canon 5D Mark IV

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30.4 Megapixels
Max ISO: 102400
Advanced autofocus

Nikon D5

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21 megapixels
Max ISO: 3280000
Excellent ISO sensitivity and quality


Best overall: Sony A7R II

Best value for money: Pentax K-1


Sony A7R II


The Sony A7R II features a full-frame sensor, and offers image quality similar to a few of the best DSLRs.

The A7R II is lighter and smaller than most, although not all, DSLRs, but if you add full-frame lenses it gets a lot heavier. It’s worth considering as an alternative to the more expensive DSLRs.

This Sony comes with an excellent quiet mode that really is quiet, and makes this a top pick for anyone people who wants to shoot without being seen or heard.

  • Resolution: 42.40 Megapixels
  • Sensor size: 35mm
  • Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
  • Native ISO: 100 – 25,600
  • Extended ISO: 50 – 102,400
  • Shutter: 1/8000 – 30 seconds
  • Measurements: 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in.
  • Weight: 22.6 ounces (640 g)

Outstanding image quality; Really high resolution; Astonishingly great high ISO performance; Rapid autofocus; Streamlined, comfy body with a great deal of customization possibility; Bright, clear and roomy viewfinder; Tipping LCD screen; Five-axis stabilization; Intuitive Wifi / NFC

Pentax K-1

The Pentax K-1 is Pentax’s long-awaited full-frame Digital SLR. Compatible with all Pentax K-mount lenses, the K1 has a 36-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with the ISO range of ISO100 to ISO204800, and Pentax FA as well as other full-frame lenses are supported.

  • 36.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor (35.9 x 24 mm)
  • Good Low Light ISO
  • Fast autofocus with great low-light capabilities
  • Sensor Shift High Resolution Mode
  • Large 3.2″ Screen
  • 1080/30p video
  • Built in GPS
  • 33-point AF system
  • Face Detection Focusing
  • Built-in WiFi
  • 1/200 second flash sync speed
  • 4.4 fps continuous shooting
  • 2 Storage Slots
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Long Battery Life (760 shots)
  • 14-bit Raw record (DNG or PEF)

Canon EOS-1D X Mk II

The EOS 1D X Mk II has a completely new sensor, but it offers just a small increase in resolution on the first 1D X’s, from 18.1 million effective pixels to 20.2 million. That will appear quite low in comparison to 5DS R and the 50 million pixels of Canon’s 5DS, but the 1D X Mk II is about speed and low light shooting.

Having fewer pixels to the exact same size detector means each photoreceptor is bigger, and to absorb more light.

  • Sensor type CMOS
  • Weight (inc. batteries) 1530 grams (3.37 pounds / 53.97 ounces)
  • Good control layout
  • 20 megapixels
  • 4K record at 60fps
  • Joint LCD Repaired
  • Excellent autofocus system
  • Maximum resolution 5472 x 3648
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 second
  • Lens mount Canon EF
  • GPS Built in
  • Format MPEG4, H.264, Motion JPEG
  • ISO Auto, 100-51200 (enlarges to 50-409600)
  • Dimensions 158 x 168 x 83 mm (6.22 x 6.61 x 3.27″)
  • Display size 3.2″
  • USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/second)
  • Sensor size Total frame (36 x 24 millimeters)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II

The Sony RX1R II has streamlined size, full-frame sensor and image quality that is breathtaking. The image quality, at high and low ISOs, is equally as wonderful, perhaps more so, thanks to the large resolution.

Superb image quality; Exceptionally high resolution; Astonishingly great high ISO performance; Exceptional dynamic range; Helpful variable low-pass filter; Rapid stage-find AF; Builtin EVF.

  • Measurements: 4.5 x 2.6 x 2.8 in.
  • Native ISO: 100 – 25,600
  • Producer: Sony
  • Contains batteries
  • Shutter: 1/4000 – 30 seconds
  • Weight: 17.9 oz (507 grams)
  • Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
  • Lengthy ISO: 50 – 102,400
  • (113 x 65 x 72 mm)
  • Maximum Aperture: 2.0
  • Resolution: 42.40 Megapixels
  • (35mm eq.)
  • Lens: Non-Zoom
  • (35.9mm x 24.0mm)
  • Sensor size: 35mm

Canon 5D Mark IV

It comes with a 30.4MP CMOS sensor and uses the Digic 6 central processing unit. It has Dual Pixel autofocus, 4K video capture, an updated AF system, a touchscreen, and GPS.

The 5D Mark IV has a magnesium alloy body, also in addition, it features a welcome amount of weatherproofing for protection against wetness and dust.

  • 150,000-pixel RGB IR metering Sensor
  • 61-point AF system
  • WiFi w/ NFC GPS
  • magnesium alloy body
  • DCI 4K 30/24p video using Motion JPEG 4K Framework Catch
  • ISO 100-32000 (expandable to 102400)
  • 3.2″ touchscreen
  • Double Pixel AF (sensitive to -4EV)
  • infrared port
  • 7 fps continuous shooting
  • 30.4MP CMOS full-frame sensor

Nikon D5

The Nikon D5 sports a 20.8 million pixel FX-format (full-frame or 35mm) CMOS sensor. There are sensors with substantially higher pixel counts on the marketplace (Nikon’s own D810 has 36 million), but higher resolution will probably be harmful to low light photography.

Nikon’s DSLR is a fantastic performer provided that you do not need to shoot 4K video clips longer than three minutes.

While a maximum setting of ISO3,280,000 might sound impressive, the actual reason for this enormous increase in sensitivity is the work that Nikon has done to enhance image quality and noise control at the more commonly used settings, those within the native range of ISO100-102,400.

  • Sensor type CMOS
  • Measurements 160 x 159 x 92 mm (6.3 x 6.26 x 3.62″)
  • Lens mount Nikon F
  • USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/second)
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 second
  • Format MPEG 4, H.264
  • Display size 3.2″
  • Sensor size Total frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
  • display dots 2,359,000
  • ISO Auto, 100-102400 (expandable to 50-3280000)
  • Joint LCD Repaired
  • Maximum resolution 5588 x 3712
  • Storage types double XQD or Double CompactFlash
  • Focal length mult. 1×
  • 21 megapixels
  • Weight (inc. batteries) 1415 grams


How to choose a camera for night pictures?

If you don’t enjoy carrying around a tripod and you’re out at night, the best bet for you would be to get mirrorless camera or a more recent dSLR. These cameras have considerably larger sensors than most point and shoots.

In general, you are going to be needing a camera with low f/stop value, high ISO, a big CMOS sensor and low shutter speed (and some way to keep the camera stable, like a tripod).

F-Stop: This is a measurement of the size of the lens opening (aperture). Bigger openings let in more light, which is good for night photos. The larger the f-stop number, the smaller the aperture.

ISO: The ISO number is a measurement of sensitivity to light. Higher numbers mean it lets more light in. It also tends to make the picture more grainy or noisy.

Sensor Size: The bigger the sensor, and the less the pixels, the more light each pixel exposed to. So, a full-frame camera is best. The bigger sensor means bigger pixels, which means better light capture.

Newness: A newer camera with all exactly the same specs will probably outperform an old one, because newer sensors keep getting better at reducing noise levels in low light.


DSLR vs Compact Point and Shoot

Streamlined, point and shoot digital cameras are really so little and simple to pop in a pocket that you just may wonder: What Is the point of changing to a DSLR?

Two important reasons — versatility and image quality.

Not only can you make use of a number of different lenses with your DSLR, but you may also take great advantage of the significant amount of accessories available (including flashguns, battery grips, etc.). A DSLR is made from higher quality parts, plus it has a much greater amount of controls.

The DSLR actually comes into its own in low light conditions, or at night, while a compact might have the ability to hold its own in brilliant day against a DSLR. It’s possible for you to shoot in low light, shoot at sundown and dawn, get fast moving items, and pick your depth of field.

The important consideration to comprehend, however, is that a complete frame camera is going to have the same sensor size as a 35mm strip of film. The image sensor of a cropped frame camera is a good deal smaller.

This really is not an issue for lots of folks, although most of the more affordable cameras will be cropped frame.

Tips for Taking Night Pictures

Using the correct techniques and having the proper gear should boost your low light photography results. Something which may seem to be dull during the day can get a whole new fascinating appearance at night.

Try these suggestions for shooting night pictures successfully:

  1. Try a tripod. Shooting nighttime pictures demands a slower shutter speed to let more light to make it to the image sensor, meaning camera shake is a greater chance during the nighttime, which results in blurry pictures. A tripod is going to keep the camera steady at all times.
  2. No tripod? Boost the speed. When shooting in automatic mode, the camera chooses the shutter speed for you, also it is going to pick a speed that is slow should you not have a tripod accessible for nighttime photography, which may be an issue. Nevertheless, you might be able to manually raise it without losing too much when it comes to accessible light reaching the image sensor, the shutter speed a bit, which might reduce blurriness in your pictures.
  3. Make use of a remote shutter. To further minimize the possibility of camera shake leaving you with a nighttime picture that’s not as sharp as you’d enjoy, use the tripod along with your camera’s timer to shoot pictures or a remote shutter. When using a slow shutter speed pressing the shutter button can lead to a little movement together with the camera that can leave the nighttime pictures with a little blur.
  4. Steady yourself. In the event you have to hold the camera when shooting nighttime pictures, brace yourself against a wall or doorframe to maintain your body as constant as possible, minimizing the possibility of camera shake. Additionally, hold the camera close to your own body, rather than at arm’s length, to steady yourself.
  5. Utilize a steady surface. In place of holding the camera, try setting the camera on a sturdy surface, like the very top of a wall or a table, when shooting night pictures. A tripod is the most suitable choice, but, a tough surface can function nicely, also, should you not have a tripod.
  6. Provide your own light. You may use them to improve your low light photography for those who have outside lights accessible. Your target can be highlighted by a bright, focused light beam as an example, during the nighttime in an interesting manner. Closeup pictures likely will function better when you are providing outside lighting.
  7. Play with settings. In spite of the very best techniques and gear, low light photography can be a hit and miss scenario. To raise your odds of getting the correct effect, shoot a lot of pictures of every subject, using a number of settings.
  8. Use what is available. Shooting night pictures may give you some exceptional expressions and light angles, thus take advantage of those. As an example, shooting at a steep upward angle can make appearances that are fascinating. Or, shoot nighttime pictures around water, giving you amazing effects and some fascinating expressions.
  9. Long shutter times. With night pictures — particularly with pictures of a cityscape — is selecting a shutter speed that is way too quickly, one common error photographers make. Leaving open the shutter for 10, 20, or even 30 seconds can make a cityscape picture that is very interesting. Nevertheless, a tripod is a must for this sort of picture.
  10. Make use of the blur. When shooting at a subject that is fixed during the nighttime, use a longer shutter time and enable the things which are moving about your subject. This technique will enable your subject to stand out since it’ll be in sharp focus, when compared with the remainder of the picture.


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