Best Low Light Video Camera

Best Low Light Video Camera

What specs does the best low light video camera should have to record high-quality videos at night? If you want to take clear videos without much visible noise in spite of poor light, look through these 10 low light video cameras that show great performance and are affordable for all budgets.

best low light video camera

Top 10 Best Low Light Video Cameras

best low light video camera

Today you can buy a professional but budget video camera that produces perfect results for about $1000. It’s extremely easy to find plenty of modern video cameras that let you film qualitative footage. But you can’t use all these popular cameras in case of bad light. Look though these 10 best low light video cameras which specs are perfect for recording videos without distracting noise.


1. Sony Handycam FDR-AX53

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Pros+
  • Nice choice for beginners
  • Reasonable price
  • The camera records 4k videos and livestreams
Cons-
  • You won’t be satisfied with the battery life
  • Lack of hard drive feature
 

This model can compete with the best low light camcorders. No matter if you are a Sony fan, or you usually use equipment from other brands, it’s worth to try. First of all, this camera is the most recent of all 4K compact models from Sony. Balanced Optical Steady Shot is one of the finest technologies of the manufacturer. The resolution of final videos is perfect, while the camera is still compact and easy to use.

  • View more about low light cameras that you can use for taking amazing night and steel wool photos.

This camcorder is recommended for those who need a well-rounded technical camera that allows making excellent video content in any lighting conditions. Pay attention to its up-to-date features, such as a top-speed 1080p 120 fps recording mode and built-in microphone. It’s the best low light camcorder for recording high-quality slow-motion videos.


2. Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 best low light video camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Minimal weight and ergonomic design
  • At high ISO values, digital noise is low
  • Upgraded dynamic range
  • Battery life is really good
Cons-
  • Disappointing Live View continuous autofocus
 

It’s the best camera for night video with quite a reasonable price. It has an 11-point focus system and can record HD videos. Bluetooth mode allows sharing your videos using a special app. As for the battery, it can work really long.

  • View more if you want to buy a DSLR camera for video. Recommended 4K DSLR cameras for filmmaking and recording YouTube videos.

Another remarkable advantage is the minimal weight of the camera due to the plastic construction, that will be suitable for travel lovers. It’s one of the best low light video cameras for amateurs who want to improve their videography skills.

Recommended camera lens:

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G

The newest version of the Nikon's finest NIKKOR lenses works perfectly with the low light cameras. It’s FX-format ultra-fast wide-angle lens. You can shoot both interiors and events, landscapes and night videos.

 

3. Canon VIXIA HF G40

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Pros+
  • Perfect shooting in poor light
  • Many accessories in the kit
  • Wi-Fi connection is quick and easy
Cons-
  • You can’t film 4k videos
  • The absence of NFC
 

It has 20x zoom and allows shooting perfect full HD videos. The results will be really detailed thanks to an HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor. This feature was improved to meet the high standards of professional videography in poor lighting conditions. Although the model has rich functionality, it’s compact and convenient for everyday use.

The lens displays can be adjusted according to your needs. Other important features are the electronic viewfinder and the OLED screen. The built-in processor ensures stabilization of images and attempts to eliminate ghosting and flare. You will get worthy results in spite of low light. The tonal degradation and color rendering are spotless.


4. Panasonic Lumix GH4

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Pros+
  • Excellent OLED Display
  • Dynamic range is fantastic in comparison with competitors
  • The autofocus works quickly
  • Dial locking mode
Cons-
  • The lack of image stabilization
  • Tracking autofocus is poor
 

The good low light video camera should be able to film 4k video content. This camera’s resolution is 16 megapixels. Although it is known for other important features, this model allows recording excellent videos in poor light. The advanced noise reduction capability is among its main benefits.

  • If you have an unlimited budget, look through these cheap 4k cameras for recording amazing videos and photographs without much noise.

You should pay attention to the Micro 4/3 lens mount that provides a wide choice of additional equipment. Aside from nice flexibility, you will enjoy the opportunity to crop down or stabilize the received video footage. With its low price and features, it’s a strong competitor for the title of the best low light video camera.

Recommended camera lens:

Panasonic Lumix 42.5mm f/1.7

This small telephoto lens was designed for the Micro Four Thirds system. Shooting with the maximum aperture, you will enjoy an impressive sharpness. This lens is easy to control and get used to.

 

5. Sony A7SII

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Pros+
  • Filming 4K videos
  • 5-axis image stabilization called SteadyShot
  • You can choose from many various lenses
Cons-
  • The rear LCD screen works poorly
  • The build quality isn’t good enough
 

Known as the best low light video camera, this device is capable of stabilizing shots even if you use a lens without image stabilization. It’s also important when you take advantage of adapters or additional lenses. The remarkable feature of this low light camera is the opportunity of recording videos with outstanding sensitivity. The device uses very big pixels and 12.8MP resolution, so it captures all the available light. As a result, the videos have minimal image noise and are really detailed.

  • View more to understand why mirrorless video cameras are better than DSLRs or camcorders for shooting at night or low light.

You shouldn’t worry about overheating, even using the camera for many hours. You will enjoy the ability to film good videos both in low or decent lighting. It’s a perfectly appropriate device for the purposes of a documentary film shooter.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G

Having built-in Optical SteadyShot, this lens minimalizes camera shake. It’s very useful for shooting close-ups in bad light. This lens was created for providing better telephoto zooming and nice quality at the same time.

 

6. Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770

Panasonic full hd camcorder hc-v770 best low light video camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Good value
  • Simple manual settings with a control dial
  • You can record videos in Full HD
  • Integrated Wi-Fi
Cons-
  • Small sensor compared to a DSLR
  • No 4K mode
  • Slow touchscreen performance
 

Among the best low light camcorders, this is the most affordable one producing great footage for that money. It has a 20x optical zoom and an embedded image stabilizer. It also has a backlight (BSI) sensor that is responsible for noise-reduction in dim filming conditions. This low light camcorder will grasp all details whether you’re filming indoors or busy shooting nightscapes.

If you reject tripods, the stabilizer of this low light camcorder uses its five-axis mechanism perfectly to lessen shaking and blurring. Its connection to a smartphone will open new possibilities for you. The phone can serve as a remote control or temporarily turn it into a nanny-cam. The same feature is very useful for downloading or sharing the footage.


7. Canon 5D Mark III

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Pros+
  • Quick autofocus
  • Wonderful high ISO performance
  • Great 1080p video recording
  • Slots for 2 cards
  • Optimized controls
Cons-
  • Focus lags behind in Live View and Video modes
  • High price
  • No movie crop mode
 

This is not only the best DSLR for low light video but generally the most demanded full frame camera. For the amazing footage quality and a large selection of compatible lenses you can even forgive this low light video camera a somewhat bulkier body. Especially if you use it for recording brief videos in the same high-end RAW format.

  • Like recording low light videos and night urban photographs? Look through my list of recommended time-lapse cameras for any budget.

This low light DSLR offers single autofocus (no full-time AF though), control audio levels and monitor audio with the possibility to record from an internal or external microphone, timecode support and compression in interframe or intraframe mode. Certainly, the main advantage is the noise suppression algorithm. You see a reasonably clear picture even at such high rates as ISO 12,800, which fits night shooting even better when you can control the exposure yourself.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS

If you’re hunting for one walk-around lens for travel and portraits with a reasonable price-tag, consider this model. This lens is sharp throughout its zoom range, has image stabilization, quick and precise autofocus.

 

8. Canon G7 X Mark II

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Pros+
  • Full HD video
  • Lifelike color rendering
  • Small size and weight
  • Rotatable sensor display
  • Remote control
Cons-
  • No 4K video recording
  • Low battery life
 

This is another cheap low light camera that gives out exceptional quality of footage in dimly-lit surroundings being a point and shoot camera. Its sensor is 20.1MP and the processor allows high precision in detecting and following the object. This low light video camera will produce sharp and clean footage thanks to the well-designed optical image stabilizer.

  • If you’re looking for a good video camera for your YouTube channel, look through these vlogging cameras that are affordable and produce amazing video footage.

No 4K is certainly its drawback but you can still shoot 60 fps Full HD. Surely some low light video cameras provide better quality, but this little device has other benefits to offer.


9. Sony HXR-NX100 Full HD NXCAM

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Pros+
  • Function buttons and rings to regulate the recording settings
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Low battery consumption
Cons-
  • No integrated video light
 

Its 'Active Steady Shot' algorithm makes sure your video retains a steady look as you’re shooting on the go. It was supplied with a three-lens ring to perform zoom and focus manually. These rings move independently and that opens creative possibilities. The camera is also spiced-up with a 'double zoom' that often comes handy.

This low light video cam can also relay while recording using dual media slots. It additionally allows independent record control. You will find a selection of 99 profiles plus slow, fast motion, multi-interface shoe. With installed 20-megapixels sensor, the camera records high-resolution footage in really low light which is why I called it the best low light 4K camera.


10. Canon 80D

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Pros+
  • Time-lapse recording
  • Dual Pixel Auto-Focus is better than ever, thanks to more focus points
  • Long-lasting charge
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Remote control
Cons-
  • No autofocus settings
  • Lacks 4K recording
 

It has a maximum resolution of 1080p at 60 FPS. While this can’t quite match the 4K that many video-recording devices can produce, this option is still amazing. This low light video camera takes sharp and clear footage. The CMOS sensor is of impressive 24.2-megapixels (APS-C) so you will shoot great videos at night and capture objects in motion.

A smooth autofocus in Live View mode thanks to the smart dual pixel technology. You will only tap the screen to show it where to focus and that’s all there is to do. It goes stride for stride with the more powerful Canon 6D, being able to focus equally well in low light down to -3 EV.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Great variant for indoor shooting thanks to the fast shooting speed. This 135mm telephoto lens has absolutely automatic focusing settings, though, you may try manual features as well.

 

10 Best Low Light Video Cameras

Image Camera Features  
Sony Handycam FDR-AX53
Sony Handycam FDR-AX53
OUR CHOICE
  • 16 MP
  • 4K
Check PRICE
Nikon D3400
Nikon D3400
FOR BEGINNERS
  • 24 MP
  • Full HD
Check PRICE
Canon VIXIA HF G40
Canon VIXIA HF G40
PROFESSIONAL
  • 12 MP
  • Full HD
Check PRICE
PANASONIC LUMIX GH4
PANASONIC LUMIX GH4
BEST 4K
  • 16 MP
  • 4K
Check PRICE
Sony A7SII
Sony A7SII
BEST FOR NIGHT
  • 12 MP
  • 4K
Check PRICE
Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770
Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770
BUDGET
  • 6 MP
  • Full HD
Check PRICE
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark III
  • 22 MP
  • Full HD
Check PRICE
CANON G7 X MARK II
CANON G7 X MARK II
POINT AND SHOOT
  • 20 MP
  • Full HD
Check PRICE
Sony HXR-NX100 Full HD NXCAM
Sony HXR-NX100 Full HD NXCAM
  • 20 MP
  • Full HD
Check PRICE
Canon 80D
Canon 80D
  • 24.2 MP
  • Full HD
Check PRICE

How to Choose the Best Low Light Video Camera?

In terms of this review, I found 5 crucial features a good low light video camera must have. Find them below together with model recommendations.

1. Quality of Video Image

The first thing to check is the footage resolution. For this purpose, the best low light video camera cannot have less than 720p, but it is even better to opt for 1080p if possible. For those who can afford it certainly getting the 4K will pay back in handfuls.

2. Sensor Size

The cameras catch more light with a full-frame sensor. This capability is especially useful in dim surroundings with few light sources. The full-frame sensor might even actually surpass the framing sensor (APS-C) or a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera in these specific conditions.

3. Lenses

You need a bright lens. These lenses reduce focusing depth in order to capture more light for the sensor. Thus, light-reactive lenses help improving video quality.

4. Image Stabilization System

The best low light video camera can’t perform well enough without a powerful stabilization system that helps you get clear videos without blur. If an unexpected motion has been detected, the camera will instantly move the sensor or the lens to compensate. These systems are targeted at eliminating the strongest impact of camera shaking which typically looks blurry.

5. Noise Control

Higher ISO values typically result in an increase of noise. Noise control increases the impact of a larger sensor or in some cases wider aperture. It is the full-frame cameras that typically use larger sensors. DSLR’s, instead, apply wider apertures. The lower-level point-and-shoot and mirrorless types can’t afford either.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more