Do you enjoy gazing at the stars on a calm summer night? Do you love a full moon night so much that you stay up looking at it the whole night? Nights can be very beautiful, and sometimes we want to capture some moments forever. We look around at the night lights and wonder if the sky and the city will ever look this beautiful again. That is why we take photos to capture the moments forever.
You obviously will want a camera that captures your favorite scene in its truest form and colors. Therefore, you need to get a camera that is very well suited for night photography. This article will walk you through all the possible choices.
- 1 Best Camera For Night Photography
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 Things to Consider Before Buying Night Photography Camera in 2020
Best Camera For Night Photography
1. Nikon D810 FX-format – Best Camera For Night Photography
The Nikon D810 is the most suitable camera for night photography. If you are hiking or you are on a trip in the mountains and want to capture some beautiful nightlife photos, then you definitely need to take the Nikon D810 along as it is meant for events like this. It has a tough (880g) metal body that protects it from harsh conditions, and it is not so delicate that it will break on your hike.
It has a 36.3 MP resolution, which means that it is full H.D. (1080p) cinematic quality. The H.D. quality makes it perfect for night photography and videography.
The ISO can be adjusted to be between 64-12,800. A higher ISO is used for situations of low light. As the ISO of the Nikon D810 is somewhat expanded and ranges up to 12,800, this means that it is the ideal camera for night photography. The ISO 6412,800 is also expandable up to 51,200.
The Nikon D810 comes with a 30% faster EXPEED processor, which allows it to autofocus more quickly. The quick autofocus is crucial for moving objects. If you are trying to take a picture of moving clouds or cars at night, the 30% EXPEED processor allows you to autofocus in seconds.
The Nikon D810 also supports sRAW format or small resolution RAW which allows you to store a lot of images in your memory card but at a smaller image size. It also has a damper shutter mechanism, a shutter speed of 1/8000 to 30 seconds. This makes it quiet and will not scare off any animals that you are trying to photograph.
The Nikon D810 also has a higher battery life allowing you to take up to 1200 shots. It can include up to 9999 images in timelapse, enabling you to make beautiful long time-lapses of the night sky. The autofocus system is Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX with Group Area A.F., and you can also turn the face detection analysis on and off! It also encompasses a detachable flash and Electronic Front Curtain Shutter.
However, an optical low pass filter is absent in this camera, which may lead to blurry and unclear images. Even though the sharpness of this camera is divine, it may not be the case in low-light areas where ISO is increased to a maximum. Also, the camera is more massive than other Nikon models and can be a hassle to carry.
2. Sony A7R III
The Sony a7r III is second in the list of best camera for night photography. It is characterized by a 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor and improved circuitry as compared to its previous versions and a faster BIONZ X image processor. So clearly, the Sony 7R III is a camera giving outstanding image quality as well as superb performance. It is capable of operating smoothly and consistently to provide a well-balanced result in low light.
The Sony A7R III has expanded ISO, which is between ISO 100-32,000, with 100 being the base ISO. Higher ISO sensitivity is essential because you may need to use higher ISO for low lighting at night. The Sony A7R III has an autofocus system that is Hybrid A.F. (phase-detection A.F. / contrast-detection A.F.), allowing you to focus more quickly on moving objects even in very dim light.
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This camera also has improved hue accuracy and skin tones and also has high buffer depths. The speed burst is upto ten fps, which is reasonably high and very low shutter lag. Apart from this, it has excellent battery life, a new A.F. joystick and AF On button, Dual SD card slots, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port, and even a Pixel-Shift resolution mode!
An intuitive LCD touch screen is present, and a 500K-cycle low vibration shutter mechanism.
As for the cons, there is no built-in flash in the Sony a7r III, which can be needed for night photography. There is an inbuilt HDR mode in the camera for better quality images, but this may result in the vision being blurred if even the slightest movement is detected. The size of the camera is small and may feel like a hassle when lenses are attached to it, but extensions are available to allow you to have a better grip on it.
Another remarkable candidate in the domain of night photography is the Panasonic Lumix GH-5, which includes a 20.3MP Digital Live MOS sensor and the all-new Venus Engine processor allowing the Panasonic Lumix GH5 to have much better image processing. To minimize blurred images due to movements and shaking, the Panasonic Lumix comes with a built-in 5-axis sensor stabilizer, which can activate Dual I.S. 2 (by pairing with other lenses) and dramatically reduce the effects of shaking! It has excellent dynamic Range, more effective ISO noise reduction, deep focus, and very low shutter lag.
This camera also includes a speedier and a relatively more accurate DFD autofocus system that can lock its focus in only 0.05 seconds. Some essential features which deem the Panasonic Lumix GH5 an optimum camera for night photography include Multi Pixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing, which dramatically increase sharpness and detailing, allowing you to get better quality images. These features are very beneficial during night photography or under low light conditions permitting the production of clear, crisp images at any state of lighting. The ISO sensitivity goes up to 25600, which is excellent for low light.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 also has significant noise reduction and gives more flexible 3D color controls. It also allows you to take 6k and 4k photos. The burst mode takes multiple images simultaneously, and then you can select the best one among them.
This camera encompasses 225-Area Advanced Depth-From-Defocus AF System, which allows it to precisely detect the distance between the camera and the subject and adjust its autofocus accordingly in an instant. This dramatically enhances focusing power and gives a much more unambiguous indication as to where the camera has to focus. Furthermore, for low light night photography, there is a starlight feature which takes the A.F. performance down to -4E.V.
However, this camera does not include an inbuilt flash and high-resolution composite mode.
The autofocus, noise reduction, and starlight feature are essential features to have in a camera that is meant for night photography, and these make the Panasonic Lumix GH5 perfect for night photography.
4. Nikon D750
The Nikon D750 is a camera that will give you high-quality images paired with a fantastic ISO performance. This camera has an outstanding dynamic range even at low ISOs giving much lesser noise than that which usually occurs at low ISO levels. The colors were vivid and accurate at low ISO. It is perfect for night photography due to this fantastic ISO performance.
The D-lighting system helps you get better quality images even with tricky lighting. The Nikon D750 also has an inbuilt flash that works exceptionally well. It has a first-rate 51-point A.F. system, which works well in low light (rated down to -3 E.V.).
The Nikon D750 comes with 4:2:2 8-bit uncompressed HDMI output with a simultaneous internal recording (4:2:0 compressed) and also a power Aperture for smooth, step-less aperture changes. It has a 24.3-megapixel full-frame sensor paired with an EXPEED processor to significantly reduce processing time and give clear, crisp images.
You can also say that the Nikon D750 is a fast camera with a High burst rate slightly exceeding the 6.5 fps rate, which is quite impressive for a high-resolution full-frame DSLR.
When tested, the Nikon D750 showed remarkable autofocus in a variety of lighting conditions. However, the Buffer size when shooting 14-bit RAW files could be better, and the camera is also relatively slow A.F. in Live View mode.
The remarkable autofocus and ISO performance allow you to take amazing images at night with the Nikon D750 minimizing as much noise as possible.
When it comes to mirrorless cameras, Sony is by far the best option. The Sony Alpha 7 sii, in this category, is the best thing that hit the market for capturing pictures in low-light. See, the entire game in photography is the ability to control light by manually changing ISO, Shutter Speed, and Focal Length.
On that account, this particular model offers a lot of variation in ISO as well as Shutter Speed that you would not find in any other cameras that fall in this category. It also has several other features such as 5-point Stabilization that is used to assist the user in capturing sharp images.
To capture pictures in low-light, the ISO and Shutter Speed have to be increased for better image quality and clarity. So, one downside of Sony ALPHA 7 S ii is that it offers a minimum shutter speed of 30 seconds, which means sit will take 30 seconds for the shutter to close and capture the scene.
However, it more than makes up for it with the increased ISO variation quality due to which the ISO can be increased to a maximum value of 102400. While it is necessary to increase the ISO value for low light photography, this is done the cost of increasing the image noise. As such, we need to keep ISO as high as it can go without bringing too much noise into the image.
This particular camera tackles this problem in another way as it offers the owner noise reduction settings that can be altered to snap a clearer picture. Another fantastic feature that can be seen in this camera is the full-frame sensor, which makes sure that the colors in the background are captured accurately in low-light.
For reduced speeds, if the camera moves very slightly, this camera itself can make sure the picture doesn’t blur, which is a fantastic feature to have in a camera for low light photography. With all these features, it’s impressive how this camera is comparatively cheaper than the others in its category, with a price tag of $1,299 on Amazon. All in all, the camera is worth the dollars spent.
The 5point Stabilization and the increased ISO variation deem the Sony Alpha 7 is an ideal fit for night photography. In comparison to the Sony Alpha 7 sii, other cameras that are good for low-light photography often have a crop body sensor. The 5-point stabilization feature also assists the photographer while capturing pictures at reduced shutter speed by allowing the photographer to keep the camera stable.
Alot of people would call the Canon EOS 6D the king of night photography due to its fantastic performance in low light conditions. Mainly due to its ability to take images at high ISO levels with minimum noise. This means that when we turn the ISO up to take pictures in low light on the Canon 6D, there is not a lot of noise and grain in the image, and this is one of the best things a night photography camera can offer. (ISO 100-25600 standard)
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Some other features of the Canon 6D are its 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 5+ image processor. Apart from this, the Canon 6D includes a built-in wifi facility and even a GPS!
This camera is relatively affordable and also includes 4.5 fps continuous shooting, ‘Silent’ shutter mode to not scare off wildlife, an 11 point A.F. system, center point cross-type and sensitive to -3 E.V., and a 63 zone iFCL metering system.
The exceptional noise reduction ability of the Canon 6D makes it the king of night photography and an ideal buy for those who want to take excellent night photos on a budget.
Capturing the night skies and night lights can be a joy only, and the only if your camera is cooperating. My recommendations for good cameras for night photography are as follows
- The Nikon D750 has Expanded ISO,36.3MP resolution, EXPEED processor, and sRAW format.
- The Sony A7R III because of its Expanded ISO, High resolution, fantastic autofocus system, and buffer depths.
- The Canon EOS 6D Mark II due to its fantastic noise reduction and excellent results despite higher ISO levels.
We hope this article was helpful, and now you are in a better position to select a good camera for night photography.
Things to Consider Before Buying Night Photography Camera in 2020
Some of the terms associated with cameras can be very confusing, especially if you are a beginner. You want to take a good photo of the starry night but do not know what camera to buy because all the features overwhelm you. Worry not, this buying guide will be your helper in choosing just the right camera to suit your needs. Here are some of the features you should look for.
ISO is one of the key terms that you should know. Whether it is night photography or any other kind of photography, understanding of ISO is critical. The ISO monitors how sensitive the camera is to light. When the camera is more susceptible to light, images can be taken even when light is extremely low. But more sensitive ISO could mean more noise. A higher ISO is very favorable for night time photography. An ISO of 1400 or higher is preferable.
The noise can be reduced by editing. Nowadays, cameras have better noise reduction, though.
Night photography is usually done outside. For this, the ergonomics of the camera are very important i.e., how much it weighs, how easy it is to handle, etc. The size and weight of the camera are essential factors to consider. These factors determine how easily the camera can be handled. If you are going to climb a hill and get a shot of the starry night, you might want a camera that is small and light-weighted to not tire you.
The buttons should all be easily accessible when the camera is in your hands. When you are holding the camera to get a shot, it should feel comfortable. Heavy cameras are a hassle because photography requires a lot of traveling. You can not get good pictures by staying at home all the time. When the camera is heavy, you don’t really feel like carrying it around, and this will hinder all your photography efforts.
When you take a picture, there is one particular object or spot that you want your audience to look at. Autofocus will focus the camera on that particular spot and highlight it. You might want to get a camera with fast autofocus to capture objects in motion.
Cameras with good autofocus will detect the item immediately and focus fast on farther and nearer objects. You should always test the autofocus of the camera before buying it buy, focusing it on objects, and recording the focus time. This becomes particularly important during night photography when the light is low, and the camera has difficulty concentrating.
Most DSLR cameras shoot in both RAW and jpeg format. Raw format captures all the image data that has been recorded by the sensor while the jpeg discards data when it compresses the picture to a smaller size. The RAW format allows you to edit your photos and fix mistakes as the image is taken using all your original settings. You might want to look for a camera with Raw format
Resolution is a term related to sharpness. The more megapixels the camera has, the sharper the image is, and the higher the resolution of the picture. Higher megapixels are required only if you want canvas-sized prints. For night sky photography, higher megapixels are very important since you would like the details of the stars and the clouds prominent. Cameras with a high resolution are preferable, but you will also need to adjust the other camera settings accordingly.
Look for a camera with manual mode as it will allow you to adjust the exposure of your image. You can also select the ISO and aperture yourself. In auto mode, the camera chooses the shutter, aperture, and ISO, but the manual mode gives you more flexibility in this regard.
Other modes include burst, which takes lots of photos at once, and you can select the best one.
7. Ease Of Use
You should check the menu settings and buttons of the camera and see if they are easy to use. The menu should be easy to navigate, and the buttons understandable. Every camera has a different interface but how you can interpret and use them is very important.
As night photography takes place outdoors, the camera must have a strong body to overcome harsh conditions for rough usage.
9. Image stabilization
One of the best things a camera can do is stabilize the image and adjust it for any shakes. It happens so that on several occasions, something is in front of us for a short time, we only manage to take one shot, and when that one shot is blurred due to a slight shake of the hand, it dramatically disappoints us. Therefore, a camera with good image stabilization is necessary for night photography.