What specs a low light video camera should have to record great videos at night?
If you want to shoot clear videos without much visible noise in spite of poor light, look through these low light video cameras that show great performance and are affordable for all budgets.
Using such cameras, you can record 4K video in dark and unfavorable lighting conditions; some even have infrared night vision features. If you plan to work late at night or in a dark environment, make sure to get the best video camera for low light.
Today you can buy a professional yet budget video camera for about $1000. It’s extremely easy to find plenty of modern video cameras capable of recording high-quality footage. But you can’t use all these popular cameras if you work in poor lighting conditions. Look through the list of 10 best low light video cameras that can record videos without distracting noise, preserving rich colors, and balanced mid-tones.
If your recorded video calls for editing, address professionals who will perform color grading, remove noise, add beautiful transitions, audio, and more. You can send them all types of footage – wedding, home, corporate videos, drone footage, content for blogs, etc. Experts will make them look stunning, adhering to your unique style.
Video Capture Resolution: 4K | Optical Zoom: 12x | Image Capture Speed: 60fps | Screen Size: 3.5 inches | Weight: 2.06 pounds
This low light camera is ideal for night-time recording. 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 4K top-speed. This is one of the best 4K cameras.
This low light video cam is strikingly small (if perfectly fits an average-sized palm) while being powerful enough to record memorable videos. It is demanded among users because of its high resolution, 1-inch sensor, Fast Hybrid AF, and Instant HDR2. While shooting videos, you can alter focus and control to instantly adapt to changing conditions.
What’s more, this device is capable of tracking fast-moving objects, which makes it a reliable assistant whenever you need to record a sports event, your pets or children at play. Such features as 4K face detection and object tracking will make your experience totally enjoyable.
Video Capture Resolution: 1080p | Optical Zoom: 3.05x | Image Capture Speed: 5fps | Screen Size: 3.2 inches | Weight: 1.02 pounds
This is a top-notch DSLR for video, which combines the power of multimedia imaging with versatile wireless technology. The ISO ranges from 100 to 25600, so you can work in different lighting conditions. The sensor & processor combo allows for continuous shooting up to 5 fps, which is perfect for tracking moving objects.
Full HD 1080p video recording is possible at up to 60fps, and you can also create time-lapses right in the camera. The Bluetooth mode allows sharing your videos using a special app. As for the battery, it can work really long.
Another remarkable advantage is the minimal Screen Size of the camera due to the plastic construction, which 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.
Video Capture Resolution: 4K, 1080p | Optical Zoom: 20x | Image Capture Speed: 60fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Weight: 1.25 pounds
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. The built-in processor ensures stabilization of images and attempts to eliminate ghosting and flare. You will get amazing results in spite of low light.
The tonal degradation and color rendering are spotless. Looking for the best low light video camera, you should give this model a detailed study. It is bound to amaze you with 4K resolution, a pack of features and a mobile-friendly design, meaning you can conveniently work on the go.
Video Capture Resolution: 2160p | Optical Zoom: 1x | Image Capture Speed: 60fps | Screen Size: 3.2 inches | Weight: 1.45 pounds
Being the сheapest 4K сamera, the LIMIX GH5S still has a rugged housing and can withstand heavy use in the field. The splash and dust resistant design makes the camera suitable for work in all conditions.
The interchangeable lens camera system is indispensable for professional 4K video production. The 10.2-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor and significantly higher ISO than in other devices provide an ultra-wide dynamic range. Thanks to Dual Native ISO, you can record ultra-sensitive movies with impressively low noise.
Panasonic's LUMIX Image app allows you to remotely release the shutter and start/stop video recording via Bluetooth 4.2 (Low Energy). Once the shooting is over, it automatically switches to a fast 5GHz Wi-Fi connection (IEEE802.11ac) to transfer JPEG and RAW files to your mobile device.
To get the most out of this low light video cam, you should attach Panasonic Lumix 42.5mm f/1.7 to it. This is one of the advanced Panasonic lenses you can currently find. This lens is easy to control and manage.
Video Capture Resolution: 2160p | Optical Zoom: 1x | Image Capture Speed: 60fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Weight: 1.35 pounds
This Sony camera stands out among the range of devices with its remarkable sensitivity and Fast Hybrid AF. It is equipped with a brand-new 12.1MP backside-lit full-frame sensor that guarantees 2x readout speed for sharp low-light frames up to ISO 409,600. Moreover, it offers a 15+ stops dynamic range and 3x reduction in a rolling shutter.
This mirrorless camera for video 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, e.g., Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G, which is a great lens for night photography.
The remarkable feature of this low light camera is the opportunity of recording videos with outstanding sensitivity. The device uses very big pixels and 12.1MP resolution, so it captures all the available light. As a result, videos have minimal noise and are really detailed.
You shouldn’t worry about overheating, even using the camera for many hours. You will enjoy the possibility to film good videos both in low or decent lighting. It’s can fully satisfy the needs of a documentary film shooter.
Video Capture Resolution: 4K | Optical Zoom: 20x | Image Capture Speed: 60fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Weight: 0.88 pounds
Among good low light video cameras, 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 camcorder will grasp all details whether you’re shooting indoors or busy nightscapes.
Don’t forget to buy a video tripod to record high-quality low light videos even with a cheap camera. 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 footage.
Video Capture Resolution: 2160p | Optical Zoom: 1x | Image Capture Speed: 7fps | Screen Size: 3.2 inches | Weight: 1.8 pounds
This is not only a great 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 cam a somewhat bulkier body.
When paired with Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS, the device amazes with detailed footage. This lens is sharp throughout its zoom range, has image stabilization, quick and precise autofocus.
You can also use the EOS 5D Mark IV as a time-lapse camera. It 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 32,000, which fits night shooting even better when you can control the exposure yourself.
Video Capture Resolution: 1080p | Optical Zoom: 4.2x | Image Capture Speed: 8fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Weight: 1 pounds
This is an affordable point and shoot camera that gives out the exceptional quality of footage in dimly-lit surroundings. It has a 20.1MP sensor and a processor that accurately detects and follows an object. This low light video cam will produce sharp and clean footage thanks to the well-designed optical image stabilizer.
If you are on the lookout for a vlogging camera, you can also try this pocket-friendly device. You will surely like the crisp footage it produces.
The embedded AF system includes mosaic autofocus and manual focus, which is very convenient. Using the integrated Wi-Fi, you can quickly share your video on social networks and other websites. Thanks to the continuous shooting at up to 8 frames per second, you can capture incredible images with virtually no time wasted.
Video Capture Resolution: 1080p | Optical Zoom: 12x | Image Capture Speed: 60fps | Screen Size: 3.5 inches | Weight: 4 pounds
This camera comes with a unique back-lit 1.0-type Exmor R CMOS sensor that delivers high resolution and fantastic low-light performance, as well as greater control over DoF. With an installed 20-megapixels sensor, the camera records high-resolution footage in really low 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 in handy.
This good low light video camera 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.
Video Capture Resolution: 1080p | Optical Zoom: 1x | Image Capture Speed: 7fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Weight: 1.4 pounds
It has a maximum resolution of 1080p at 60 FPS and can take sharp and clear footage. Though this can’t quite match the 4K that the best low light video camera can produce, this option is still amazing.
The CMOS sensor is of impressive 24.2-megapixels (APS-C) so you will shoot great videos at night and capture objects in motion. Capturing a detailed shot is a breeze thanks to a 45-point wide-angle cross-type AF system. The EOS 80D shoots at up to 7.0 fps during burst shooting, making it ideal for capturing fast-moving objects.
There is 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 you need 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.
You can also use a lens Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM together with this device for clear shots. Great variant for indoor shooting thanks to the fast shooting speed.
Sony FDRAX700/BOUR CHOICE
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Canon G7 X Mark IIHDMI-CEC
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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.
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, getting the 4K will pay back in handfuls.
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 may even actually surpass the framing sensor (APS-C) or a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera in these specific conditions.
You need a bright lens. Such lenses reduce focusing depth in order to capture more light for a sensor. Thus, light-reactive lenses help improve video quality.
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.
Higher ISO values typically result in the appearance 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. DSLRs, instead, rely on wider apertures. The lower-level point-and-shoot and mirrorless types can’t afford either.
Both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can work well in low light. In this case, sensor size is more important than camera format - larger sensors allow capturing more light. So, it doesn't matter whether you use mirrorless vs DLSR cameras for shooting in poor light; pay attention to the type of sensor.
The best low light video camera has a large sensor and aperture. Use fast shutter speeds to control blur and lower ISO settings to control noise in scarce lighting. When shooting in low light, a faster shutter speed is always important as it helps prevent blur caused by camera shake.
If you want the absolute best image, no matter the cost, then a full frame camera is your best bet. Although it is more expensive, it provides better low light performance. In case you can’t afford to spend such a sum, start by using the cheapest full frame camera.
The lower the ISO, the sharper the image. If you raise ISO, there will appear more noise (graininess) in photos. For low light shooting, try setting ISO to 800 and adjust accordingly.
Activate the AF instead of the live view mode. Try opening the aperture on your lens to let in more light, thus, increasing exposure. Another handy method is to use a tripod if your camera doesn’t have an anti-shake function.