The best low light cameras are the ones that have a wide dynamic range and can shoot in dark environments. Here is a list of the top 10 best low-light video cameras for your next project.
The best low light 4k video camera is a camera that has been released in recent years. It has become the standard for low light cameras.
Take a look at our list of the best low-light video cameras if you want a dependable camera that can be used in a variety of scenarios.
Let’s start with a table that shows our top picks, then we’ll compare them and provide advice on how to choose the best one for your needs.
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Our Top 3 Selections
What Characterizes a Low-Light Video Camera?
There are a few factors to keep in mind if you want to understand why these cameras are so excellent in low light.
These ideas are a little difficult for newcomers to grasp, but they are important to know if you intend to deal with cameras in any capacity.
To comprehend precisely what you’re purchasing and make the best choice, you need grasp the following concepts:
1. Sensor Dimensions
The camera’s sensor collects light and converts it into a picture.
This idea is straightforward:
The bigger the sensor, the more light can be captured by the camera.
As a result, bigger sensors function better in low-light situations. They catch more light, so picture quality isn’t as readily harmed.
There are a few common sensor sizes, and they’re very simple to remember.
From the largest to the smallest:
Micro Four Thirds > APS-C > Full-frame
Camcorders and tiny cameras are available in sizes smaller than these. They’re the worst when it comes to recording in low light.
If you want something that works well in low light, steer away from camcorders and small cameras.
As a result, you’ll only find cameras with the three common sensor sizes listed above.
Because these sensors are used in mirrorless and DSLR cameras, we’ll be discussing them here.
If you’re just concerned with low-light recording, there aren’t many significant distinctions between the two kinds.
Keep in mind that mirrorless cameras are often lighter than DSLRs.
It goes without saying that the bigger the sensor, the more costly the camera is—-in most cases.
2. Aperture of the lens
The lens aperture is the second most significant factor in determining how well a camera performs in low light.
The greater the aperture, the more light will be let into the sensor by the lens.
The camera will open its lens for a brief time in order to take a picture. The aperture refers to the size of the opening.
Before snapping a photo, you may adjust the aperture manually in your camera’s settings.
Each lens, however, has a maximum aperture. You’ll need lenses with a large—-also known as fast—- aperture.
The f/number is the unit of measurement for aperture.
When purchasing a lens, you’ll see a number such as f/1.5. This is the widest aperture. The bigger the aperture, the lower the number.
[CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)] KoeppiK [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
The quickest lenses available at a reasonable price are about f/1.8, f/1.5, or even lower. For low-light photography, they are highly recommended.
3. ISO Levels
There is a maximum ISO range for each camera. This is the maximum sensitivity of the sensor to light.
When there isn’t enough light to take a picture, all cameras will raise their ISO to compensate.
If there isn’t enough light, the camera raises the ISO to create a picture.
This, however, comes at a price. The lower the ISO, the poorer the quality of the picture produced.
When you use a high ISO, you’ll notice that the camera begins to display tiny grains and dots, as seen in the picture below:
Noise in a photograph shot at a high ISO
A camera with a big sensor will not need to raise its ISO as often. As a result, large sensor cameras are ideal for low-light situations.
That’s why we utilize lighting: we want to lower the sensor’s ISO so we can get a clear picture without sacrificing quality.
Increasing the ISO of a camera has a different effect on the picture quality depending on the sensor quality.
As a result, this is an additional factor to consider when purchasing a low-light camera.
It is, however, the least essential aspect to consider. The first thing you should do is make sure you can catch more light without needing to raise ISO.
This is going to be your last option. As a result, it’s preferable to focus on a big sensor camera and a fast lens initially.
What kind of lens should I get?
This is a difficult issue to answer since I don’t know what you want to accomplish with your camera.
It will also be determined if you purchase a full-frame, APS-C, or Micro 4/3 camera.
This is so complicated that I’ve written a whole article on it.
If you want a fast refresher, here’s everything you need to know:
- If you want to use your camera for a variety of purposes, invest in one of the camera’s zoomable lenses.
- If you’re utilizing full-frame, buy a 24mm if you want anything for vlogging.
- If you’re using an APS-C camera, go with a 15mm lens, and for Micro 4/3, go with a 12mm lens.
In the end, it will come down to your lens preferences, so if you don’t know much about lenses, the zoomable kit lens that comes with the cameras will suffice.
With this kind of lens, you may experiment with various focal lengths until you discover one that you like for your work, and then buy a prime lens that isn’t zoomable around that focal length for better quality and illumination.
Review of the Best Low-Light Video Cameras
Sony a7 III camera
Because it packs a full-frame sensor into such a tiny, light chassis, the Sony a7 has become a fan favorite.
It comes in three distinct models: the a7, a7R, and a7S.
The a7 and a7S will be your go-to models for video recording.
However, I’ll highlight the Sony a7 III since it’s the newer—and, in most cases, superior—camera.
If you truly want a camera for severe low light conditions, the Sony a7s II is your best bet.
We’re talking about ISO values of approximately 51200.
Max Yuryev is the author of this article.
The Sony a7 III just outperforms the competition in every way.
Because of the improved phase and contrast detection function, the a7 III’s autofocus is more dependable.
It can also capture images of better quality than other 4k cameras. Because of the incredible new sensor, it can record in 6k and downscale to 4k, resulting in a clearer and better quality picture than most rivals.
The camera also features a 3 hour battery life, two memory slots, and a headphone connection for monitoring your audio.
It also has in-body image stabilization, which is a huge bonus. This offers you additional options when it comes to lenses since you won’t require stabilization to produce smooth footage.
Overall, it’s a fantastic low-light camera with excellent picture quality.
Unfortunately, while having an articulating screen, it does not rotate fully 180 degrees, thus there is no flip screen.
So, if you’re looking for a camera that you can monitor while filming yourself in selfie mode, this isn’t it. It is most likely the most significant disadvantage that causes some individuals to choose a different path.
Read our whole Sony a7 III review.
- Full-frame camera in a small package
- downsampled from 6k to 4k
- 2 SD card slots and a headphone jack
- Stabilization inside the body
- There is no screen that can be flipped out.
- The user interface might be made more user-friendly.
EOS 6D Mark II (Canon)
Not everyone is suited to 4K recording. To edit video without running into difficulties, you’ll need a lot of storage and a powerful machine to manage these files.
Also, if you’re going to post to YouTube, 4k isn’t really necessary.
As a result, there are still options that don’t capture 4k video that you should investigate, particularly if you want to save money while still getting excellent picture quality.
That’s why you need the 6D.
The greatest feature of this camera is that it is a Canon with Canon’s renowned Dual Pixel Autofocus system.
The most frustrating aspect of shooting video with focusing is that most cameras aren’t very good at it.
This includes the Sony a7 III, which has good focusing but isn’t quite as good as Canon’s Dual Pixel.
Most of the time, you can count on this camera to focus on the correct object at the right moment.
You’ll also have a flip-out screen that you can use in selfie mode to film yourself and double-check that everything is in working order.
It has certain drawbacks when compared to the Sony, but it’s also a lot less expensive, and the video quality is still excellent.
It’s bigger, has no headphone port, no in-body stabilization, just one memory slot, and no 4k recording—not to mention the absence of 6k downsampling.
It is, however, less expensive, has better video focusing, a better and easier-to-use UI, and a longer battery life.
Even if they had the money to buy the Sony a7 III, many individuals would still choose the bulkier 6D Mark II.
- Long-lasting battery
- Autofocus is excellent.
- Toggle the screen
- hefty (1.69lb)
- There is no internal stability.
- No 4k
EOS R (Canon EOS)
Canon has released its first full-frame mirrorless camera. We were kept waiting.
For multimedia producers with the means, the camera has become a favorite.
It’s a strong rival for the Sony A7 III, and because of the flip screen, it’s often the favorite.
The color science from Canon, on the other hand, is the primary reason filmmakers adore this camera. Sony cameras are still unable to match Canon’s color reproduction.
Colors are just too true to life, which is particularly apparent when photographing individuals.
Jaron Schneider used the Canon EOS R to capture this image |
However, in terms of the rest of the characteristics, this camera seems to be largely inferior to the Sony A7 III.
The Canon’s 1.7x crop ratio while recording in 4k is the biggest drawback.
This implies that the camera isn’t fully using the full-frame advantage for video, and the resultant picture isn’t as broad.
This also means that if you want to take broad pictures, you’ll need a lens with a wider angle, which is slower and poorer in low light.
So, if you’re looking for a suggestion for vlogging, you’ll need a lens with a focal length of approximately 24mm to obtain a wide enough picture in selfie mode.
In addition, while being a high-end camera, it lacks in-body stabilization.
To capture smooth video, you’ll want to purchase a lens with optical stabilization.
Canon, thankfully, has a decent variety of excellent O.I.S. lenses.
Because of its unbalanced design, this camera has polarized both admirers and detractors.
Depending on your job, it’s either the greatest or the worst camera you can buy.
But it’s still a fantastic camera to use if you’re a vlogger, content producer, or interview filmmaker, since I believe that’s where it shines the brightest.
I wouldn’t use it to make an action movie.
- For a full-frame camera, it’s quite light.
- Colors are fantastic.
- Toggle the screen
- The 4k crop factor transforms it into an APS-C camera.
- There is no internal stability.
- No 4k
In 2020, the Sony a6400 is likely to be the finest vlogging camera.
It was the Canon EOS M50 camera only a few weeks ago, but this newer camera addresses one of the Canon’s major flaws.
The a6400 can record in 4k at 30 frames per second without cropping, yet it’s still a reasonably priced camera.
The fresh new focusing mechanism, however, is the greatest upgrade this camera offers. It has the world’s quickest autofocus, according to Sony.
Experts are pleased after many testing. It’s possible that it’s the finest autofocus on the market right now, particularly for video.
This, coupled with the fact that it is a tiny camera that comes equipped with everything you need to capture video and has great quality, making it one of the finest cameras for video recording.
It isn’t in the first place since it isn’t a full-frame camera, which means it isn’t as good in low light.
However, if you’re searching for an APS-C camera, this should be your first choice.
The lack of inbuilt image stabilization is a disadvantage, but there are plenty of Sony lenses with OIS to pick from.
Read our whole Sony a6400 review.
- For a reasonable fee, you can have a high-quality 4K video.
- Autofocus is perhaps the finest on the market.
- Small and light-weight
- Toggle the screen
EOS 90D (Canon)
The Canon EOS 90D is the finest video-capable DSLR at a reasonable price.
It was designed with video in mind, and it offers everything you need (except in-body stabilization) if you don’t want to spend the money on a full-frame camera.
The focusing is quite strong and consistent, and Canon’s superb color science is still evident in this camera.
You may utilize the autofocus for action footage as well, and it will be quite dependable.
It also includes all of the other video capabilities, including a flip screen, microphone, and headphone connection, timelapse, touchscreen, and a battery that lasts for 960 shots, according to CIPA.
It may not be as excellent as a full-frame camera in low light, but as an APS-C camera, it performs well.
If you’re simply searching for a camera to record inside, it’ll more than enough.
Aside from the absence of stabilization, the disadvantage is that it’s a hefty DSLR.
- Toggle the screen
- Excellent, dependable autofocus
- Colors are nice.
- Long-lasting battery
- hefty (1.6 lb)
- There is no picture stabilization.
- There are cameras with 4k resolution that are less expensive.
This camera features the same sensor and CPU as the 80D, but it’s smaller, lighter, and less expensive.
If you’re searching for a DSLR camera to travel with or use for vlogging, this is a fantastic bargain.
This is similar to a toned-down version of the 80D, but with additional benefits.
It features a smaller battery, a slower shutter speed for photography, worse file compression, and a smaller viewfinder than the 80D.
It also has some of the typical flaws of budget cameras: it isn’t weatherproof, lacks a headphone jack, and lacks a top LCD.
For the same picture quality, you get digital image stabilization, a smaller camera, and a lower price.
That’s a very decent compromise, and it deserves a spot on our list as a result.
- Designed specifically for video (stabilization, flip screen, mic jack and hot shoe)
- Dual-pixel autofocus that works
- Light for a DSLR camera (1.19 lb)
- There are no 4k recordings available.
- It is not weatherproof.
- a low battery (600 shots)
LUMIX S1 (Panasonic)
Panasonic has released its first Full-frame mirrorless camera.
We should compare it to the Sony a7 III since it is the only camera on our list that can really compete with it.
So, what makes it more costly than the Sony version?
Because of its Dual I.S. (Intelligent System) technology, which combines in-body stabilization with optical IS from the lens, this model has greater stabilization.
As a result, it’s the most fluid full-frame camera on the list.
This Panasonic outperforms the competition in terms of video picture quality. It can record 4k at 60 frames per second, allowing for 4k slow motion.
When doing so, it crops the image by 1.5x, although it uses the whole sensor for all other capture modes.
The Sony a7 III, on the other hand, uses a 1.2x crop factor when shooting 4k at 30 fps, although it can record at 24/25 without cropping.
Both cameras generate incredible detail by downsampling a 6k picture to 4k. However, many people believe the Panasonic has somewhat superior color science.
In return, the focusing isn’t quite as excellent as the Sony a7 III’s, and the camera is much larger and heavier.
However, the most significant drawback is locating the appropriate lens.
Because the mount is new and there aren’t many choices for mount adaptors, lenses for this camera are currently prohibitively costly.
But, perhaps, by the end of the year, things will have improved.
This camera will be more accessible once additional lenses and adaptors are available, making it a more tough decision than it is today.
- 6k to 4k downsample
- Very good stabilization
- 4K at 60 frames per second
- hefty (1.98lb)
- A limited number of lenses are available.
Canon EOS M50
This is Canon’s offer to vloggers that create YouTube video.
It’s a lightweight APS-C mirrorless camera with all the essentials for video blogging: a flip screen, a hot shoe, and a microphone jack.
The camera can also capture 4k at 24 frames per second, albeit with a 1.6x crop factor.
Because it’s an APS-C camera, the extra crop factor is significant, and for certain individuals who need to shoot wide pictures, such as vloggers, the 4k capability seems more like a marketing ploy.
However, when you consider all of the good characteristics it offers for vloggers, the price makes it acceptable.
However, being a budget camera, it lacks weather sealing and picture stabilization, and the battery life is limited (capable of around 235 shots per charge).
If you can afford it, the Sony a6400 is much superior in terms of 4k recording and focusing.
Aside from that, the M50 is the finest vlogging camera you can have this year.
- Extremely light weight (0.86 lb)
- a reasonable price
- Sensor with DSLR dimensions
- There are many characteristics that are ideal for vlogging.
- a low battery
- 4k recording cropped
Since they contain a micro four thirds sensor, we’ll start with the possibly worst cameras for low light in our list.
Regardless, if you need a low-light camera to film inside, these cameras will suffice.
The Panasonic GH5 is the finest micro four thirds camera for video, and filmmakers who use it on a daily basis don’t seem to mind the sensor size.
It can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second and has one of the finest stabilization systems on the market.
It features a Dual I.S. technology, which enables it to utilize internal stabilization in conjunction with the optical IS of compatible lenses.
I only wish that as vloggers, we could take use of the Dual I.S. 2 by making the camera lighter.
However, the picture in 4K is of excellent quality. It doesn’t have a crop, thus the video is captured using the full sensor.
You may now record in 5k and in a YouTube-friendly format with a slight cut thanks to a recent upgrade. You may do so by switching to Open Gate mode and enabling the 16:9 guidelines.
What’s more, this one has a flip screen as well as everything you’ll need for video capture, including incredible stabilization.
The focusing is arguably its weakest feature. Panasonic has the worst AF system of all the manufacturers, making it less dependable for action photography than other cameras.
But it’s still usable for basic autofocus tasks.
- Exceptional dynamic range
- Designed specifically for video (IS, mic. port, flip screen, hot-shoe)
- Image Stabilization on Both Sides
- recording downsampled from 5k to 4k
- It’s not the greatest for low-light situations (micro four thirds sensor)
- As large and hefty as a DSLR (1.6 lb)
- The autofocus system may be enhanced.
The Panasonic G95 is another vlogger-friendly camera with a lot of video capability and an additional feature that the Gh5 lacks by default: V-log.
This Panasonic V-log is a well-liked log that provides greater Dynamic Range for color grading in post-production. If you want it in the GH5, you’ll have to spend an additional $100 for the firmware download, but it’s already included in the G95.
This one, on the other hand, doesn’t utilize the full sensor for 4k recording, but the crop factor is tiny: just 1.26x.
Naturally, the picture won’t have as much information as the more costly GH5, but it’s a lot lighter and smaller camera.
The camera is a fantastic option, particularly for content producers, since it has all of the video capabilities we demand—flip screen, hot shoe, mic jack, and even Dual stabilization.
Because of its user-friendly design and accessibility, it is also a camera that anybody can use.
The focusing is a drawback, as is the fact that it’s a Micro 4/3 camera.
Panasonic cameras, as previously said, are not the best when it comes to autofocus.
In addition, Micro 4/3 sensors aren’t the greatest in low light, even though most people will find them adequate for casual low-light settings.
- 4k video
- A flip screen, a hot shoe, and a microphone jack are all included.
- Dual I.S.
- Sensor: Micro four thirds
- The autofocus system may be enhanced.
The best video camera for low light concerts is a device that helps you capture high quality photos and videos in low-light environments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which camera is best for low light video?
If you are looking for a camera that is great for low-light video, then the Sony A7R III would be a good choice.
Which camera is best for night videography?
For night videography, the best camera is the one youre most comfortable with. If you have a lot of experience with photography, then its likely that youll be more comfortable using a DSLR or Mirrorless camera.
Is 4K better in low light?
4K has better resolution, but it also uses more light. For low light conditions, you should use HDR10 or lower your brightness to make the image less pixelated.
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