If you’re looking for the best low light video camera to shoot at dawn, dusk, or rooms with low lighting, the choices available to you can be overwhelming. If you aren’t able to light your shot for practical reasons, you need a good low light video camera or camcorder. So what are the best low light video cameras? We tested and read through numerous video camera reviews to compile our guide to the top eight best low light video cameras below.
8 Best Low Light Cameras - Overview
We have included a buyer’s guide that outlines how we compiled our list and what factors you should consider when purchasing your low light video camera.
The Canon XA11 is our runner-up best overall pick because it delivers professional high quality video in a compact and lightweight body. It is great for handheld shooting with its detachable (and very comfortable!) handle. Whether you’re looking to make professional films, commercials, or documentaries, this camera has all the features you’ll need.
The XA11 records in Full HD in both the MP4 and AVCHD formats, and files can be stored directly to memory cards housed in the dual SDXC card slots. There is a 3-inch OLED touch screen that is responsive and does not lag. It provides up to 600% dynamic range, and will excel under any lighting conditions and especially lowlight setting. It also has a 20X optical zoom lens.
This is a great professional camera even for those with no prior knowledge of video cameras. The reliable touch screen with all its attached features is easy to pick up, play with, and learn thanks to the intuitive interface. We are confident that this camcorder will give you professional high-quality videos even in low lighting. It provides great quality in a small body. This is a great professional camera even for those with no prior knowledge of video cameras. The reliable touch screen with all its attached features is easy to pick up, play with, and learn thanks to the intuitive interface. We are confident that this camcorder will give you professional high-quality videos even in low lighting. It provides great quality in a small body.
- Works well in low-light conditions
- Great for shooting on the move
- Compact body with comfortable handle
- Multi-camera live streaming – wirelessly connect up to 10 devices
- Slightly small display
If you’d like a mirrorless camera for low light, the Fujifilm X-T2 is your best option. This camera is compact and lightweight so you can easily carry it with you anywhere. There is a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor that reduces false colors and improves image quality. The X Processor Pro engine lowers noise and gives you better color, even in low light. The AF performance has significant focusing improvement and the contrast detection AF excels in low light conditions.
There are at least 60 points of weather sealing and it is freeze resistant to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The OLED viewfinder is high precision. Additionally, the X-T2 gives you Full 4K 3840×2160 shooting.
This is a great low light mirrorless camera that will give you excellent images and videos in any lighting condition.
- Compact and easy to carry
- Image quality is great in low light
- Battery life is rather short
If you’d like a mirrorless camera that can shoot well in low light but you don’t want to spend $1000+, this PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a good choice for you. It features a high-performance 1.0-inch 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that captures impressive images even in low light settings. The image processor has improved autofocus tracking and superb image clarity even when shooting with a high ISO.
The camera controls are well laid-out and intuitive. The touch screen is fantastic and has many settings. There is also Wi-Fi connectivity.
This particular package comes with a tripod, memory card, and several other accessories, giving you good value for your money.
The low light shooting in this Canon is fantastic. You will be able to capture images in near black settings. At this price point, it’s hard to find a better quality camera that performs like this Canon PowerShot.
- Gives good quality images and videos in low lights
- Light and compact
- Well priced
- Battery life isn’t amazing but should last a day of shooting. Buy an extra battery
The Sony Handycam records high definition 1920×1080 24p/60p video and 9.2 megapixel still images. You can get a clear digital image in all lighting conditions, and get very close to your images with the 30x optical zoom plus the 60x clear image digital zoom. It comes with a LED spotlight mount that really helps in low light conditions.
This value pack comes with 11 products – the Sony Handycam, 64GB MicroSD card, spare battery, battery charger, LED video light, hard case, travel tripod, cleaning kit, card reader and card reader case, and LCD screen protector. You have absolutely everything you need to start filming right away.
The LED mount that comes in the kit lets you take great photos and videos even in low light. This is the choice for you if you want a value pack of starter essentials to start shooting immediately. This Sony bundle is the best camcorder for Youtube beginner package deal because it is truly well-priced without sacrificing quality.
This Canon model is highly popular AND well-priced. It has a 3.28 Megapixel Full HD CMOS image sensor to catch your images in 1920×1080 resolution. This sensor features extra sensitivity that will capture video with natural light, even in low light. The 3 inch LCD screen is bright and clearly visible, even outdoors in the sun. The screen is fairly responsive and the menu is very intuitive.
There is a SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer that helps to correct camera shake and does a good job of doing this. There’s also a 57x zoom that allows you to take dynamic videos without disrupting any action.
Canon’s high resolution CMOS HD sensor gives you great Full HD videos, even in low light. It also allows users to connect via Wifi to any smartphone, so you can control the device remotely through your phone. There’s an optional NFC feature that lets you use and share your videos quickly via WiFi.
Canons are well known to make some of the best camcorders available, and in this price range, it’s hard to find another video camera that you can use to make professional and high quality videos as well as this one. For all these reasons and more, this is our top choice for the best camcorder for Youtube.
- High sensitivity sensor captures details even in low light
- Image stabilization is great
- No built-in memory
- You’ll need an external mic if you plan to go somewhere noisy
This Panasonic model offers 4k video at 30p, 4K photos, and 4k live crop, which allows you to turn video into photos. Its 20.1 megapixel sensor allows it to work amazingly well in all lighting conditions, as its large sensor allows for brighter photos.
There is a 15x optical zoom as well as a bright aperture that gives you soft background effects. There is a touch enable LCD viewfinder for greater control over your photos and easy viewing.
If you need a good 4K camera that works well in low light, this Panasonic LUMIX is your best bet at a reasonable price point.
- High-quality 4k shooting
- Huge sensor that works well in low lighting
- Good zoom
- There’s no jack for external audio
This SIONYX monocular is perhaps the best night vision camera you can get under $1000. It allows for long range viewing in monochrome or color, and it is water resistant and able to be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
You can use this camera remotely and operate it with the accompanying app on your phone.
If you’re hiking at night, you will simply be astounded at the color quality you are able to capture with this camera.
- Unparalleled night vision capabilities
- GPS and compass within
- The app needs updating and may be buggy at the time of writing
This well-priced camera is perfect if you need a webcam that works well under low lighting. It has a 78 degree wide angle lens and can capture high definition video as well as images at 1080p/30fps.
The best part about this webcam is the touch control white lighting – you can automatically adjust the brightness levels in low lighting without going in software settings.
In addition, the microphone has a dual noise cancelling feature, giving you crystal clear audio.
This is the best option for you if you are looking for a high quality and reliable webcam that will work well in low light.
- Touch control white light setting
- Crystal clear audio and high-quality image
- Doesn’t come with a camera cover
Buyer's Guide - Best Low Light Video Camera
What should you consider when choosing a good low light video camera?
The sensor is really important in determining the quality of the video footage. In the simplest terms, the sensor is a solid-state device that captures the light required to form a digital image. A better sensor means a better image.
Sensors are especially important if you’re filming in low-light setting as a small sensor won’t pick up as much detail and light.
The power of the lens will give you a lot of creative control over the scenes you’re shooting. You will have so much more versatility in capturing things far and wide with a good zoom lens. Alternatively, invest in some good lens that are compatible with your video camera to achieve different looks and feels.
Shaky footage is a dead giveaway of unprofessional filmmaking, unless that’s the aesthetic you are trying to achieve on purpose. All good video cameras have some in-built image stabilization, with some remarkably better than others.
Compatibility to accessories
Don’t buy a good quality video camera and expect that all your accessories will automatically be compatible. While some cameras have universal ports, it’s important to consider what ports your new camera has and what accessories you may need to use the camera to its fullest ability.
Some of the cameras we reviewed have great internal microphone systems. But in general, you want to get some external microphones going to best capture sound. It’s good to look at the camera’s native sound capability as well as the ports it has to connect external mics to.
Hopefully you have enough information to pick the best low light video camera for your specific needs. Please email us if you have any questions, concerns, or would like further recommendations for your specific needs.
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If you liked this, be sure to check out our guide to the best point-and-shoot under $300 and the best camera for filmmaking on a budget.