What Camera Should I Buy? Use Our Camera Guide To Find The Answer - Low Light Performance Is Key


I Know It's Specialist, But I Really Need A Camera For Low Light Photography 

What Camera Should I Buy? Use Our Camera Guide To Find The Answer - Low Light Performance Is Key: Sony Alpha A7S Mark II


Low Light Camera Positives 

Cameras designed to be great at low light photography have a wide range of uses. Do you want to take photos of the night sky, stars, or night scenes? Or, perhaps you want to capture photos in small, indoor venues where the lighting is poor, or you might want to shoot underwater where the light levels drop dramatically as you descend into the depths of the ocean... In all of these situations, a camera that performs well in low light is what you're going to need.

For low light photography, you need a camera with a large sensor and bright lens (f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8). The latest sensor technology such as BSI CMOS sensors give an advantage here as do cameras that can handle noise well. 

Low-light is also going to lengthen shutter speeds so if you don't want to increase the ISO speed to reduce exposure times, image stabilisation will help, either in the form of lens-based optical image stabilisation (OIS) or sensor-based image stabilisation (and in some cases, you get both). 

If you want to freeze motion, then you'll need a fast shutter speed, a higher ISO setting and the fastest lens you have (or can afford). 

There are a wide range of cameras suitable for low light photography which offer excellent handling, great image quality and a lot of premium features. 

Pros: Good handling/design, Excellent image quality, good ISO ranges, IS, plenty of features


Low Light Camera Negatives

The best low light cameras come at a price with the Sony A7S Mark II, our current favourite low light camera, costing almost £2000 (at the time of writing)! Battery life can be annoying, too and you won't find, what can be described as a 'small' camera that's great for low light imagery. You can, basically, forget your compacts and even though smartphones have improved, they're still not designed for low light photography. 


Low Light Camera Price & Options 

You're going to need a few thousand pounds if you're investing in a camera that's good for low light photography.


Click the links below to find the best low light cameras currently available:


Our Recommendation: Sony Alpha A7S Mark II

What Camera Should I Buy? Use Our Camera Guide To Find The Answer - Low Light Performance Is Key: Sony Alpha A7S Mark II


In our review, we found that noise is very well controlled from the lower ISO settings and, impressively, detail can be found in images up to ISO25600. However, detail drops at ISO51200, as noise increases and colour saturation is reduced. ISO102400 can still produce usable images, particularly if using them on the web, however, the higher ISO settings of 204800 and 409600 are probably best avoided.

There are noise reduction options of Off, Low and Normal, with Normal being the default setting.

When using E mount and A mount lenses with OSS (Optical Steady Shot) image stabilisation the camera will compensate for 3 directions, with 2 compensated with the lens. When using a standard lens without OSS, the sensor will be using for image stabilisation, using the 5-axis sensor stabilisation system.

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duduilie Avatar
1 May 2021 8:47PM
Did Ricoh announce until they update for KP?
Thank you.

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