Best Low Light Video Camera For Fast Autofocus

 Regardless of any situation, the best cameras tend to be low-light ones when it comes to reliability.

The best low-light video camera allows you to record 4K video in the dark and barely any light conditions. Some even feature infrared night vision.

With various choices on the market, it's essential to think about what you'd like to shoot and preferrable also think long term. This can help you decide on which of the best low-light cameras would be ideal.

We reviewed the top low-light video cameras and outlined features to consider when buying them.

Which camera is best for low light videography?

What Is A Low Light Video Camera?

This refers to a camera that can capture low light videos and photos while retaining acceptable values across the various image quality factors.

We reviewed the best low-light video cameras that can capture the highest quality videos with fast autofocus.

Which camera is best for low light videography?

Best Low Light Video Cameras

1. Sony a7 III

Sale
Sony a7 III (ILCEM3K/B) Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens...
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed Advanced 24.2MP Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-frame Image Sensor
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage
  • In the box: SEL2870 lens, Lens hood, Lens cap, Lens rear cap, Rechargeable Battery (NP-FZ100), AC Adapter (AC-UUD12), Shoulder strap, Body...

The Sony a7 III Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera is powerful and dynamic. It's the best low-light video camera for events and sports videography.

The Sony A7 III has dual grain architecture, which helps the sensor become more resistive to light at a pixel level.

The AF responds instantly with the benefits of high tracking performance even with an A-mount lens with an adaptor. In addition, the mirrorless camera can capture up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking.

It also keeps an excellent level of sharpness in your photos with its high-performing JPEG noise reduction.

Pros

  • Captures amazing high ISO shots
  • Has great low-light performance
  • The autofocus covers the whole frame entirely
  • Features a large battery
  • Features in-body stabilization

Cons

  • Touchscreen limitations - It can only be used for focusing
  • The camera only has one UHS -2 slot
  • The menu system can be hard to navigate

2. Sony Alpha 7S III

Sale
Sony a7 III (ILCEM3K/B) Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens...
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed Advanced 24.2MP Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-frame Image Sensor
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage
  • In the box: SEL2870 lens, Lens hood, Lens cap, Lens rear cap, Rechargeable Battery (NP-FZ100), AC Adapter (AC-UUD12), Shoulder strap, Body...

The Sony A7S III is considered to be the best low-light video camera out there. There's a good reason for that. Not only has Sony carved a niche for itself, but they're renowned for their low-light capabilities.

The Sony A7S retains the relatively low resolution of its predecessors, but fewer pixels meaning bigger pixels, giving the A7S III a massive advantage over other cameras. Not only does it possess an impressively wide ISO range from 40 to 409,600, but it maintains excellent video quality throughout that range. Hence, the camera can shoot at night with only the faintest of light to aid it, such as street lights or the moon.

Though it has a resolution of 12 MP, when combined with the camera's full-frame sensor, you can produce high-quality low-light videos with the ISO range.

The full-frame camera provides 16-bit RAW video and slow-motion 120fps at 4K resolution or 240fps at 1080p. This is aided by an upgraded menu system and a fully articulating LCD screen.

They are all paired with Sony's broad lineup of both first and third-party lenses.

The third-party lens manufacturer support appeals to budget-minded photographers, as manufacturers such as Tamron and Sigma design lenses that provide professional quality at a fraction of the cost of those produced by Sony, Canon, and Nikon.

Pros

  • An improved menu system that's well customized
  • Fast autofocus
  • Offers a fantastic dynamic range

Cons

  • Low resolution
  •  Only records XAVC

3. Canon DSLR Camera EOS 90D

Sale
Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] with Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DIGIC 8...
  • High image quality with 32.5 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 10 fps with no time Lag during ovf shooting
  • 4K UHD 30P/ Full HD 120P video
  • 45-Point All Cross-type AF System supports up to 27 points with an F/8 metering
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam, or do the same using a...

The Canon EOS 90D boasts speed, power and convenience. It's the best low-light video camera for amateurs and professionals.

The DSLR camera features a 32.5 mp CMOS sensor that captures high-quality images. Its also designed for high-speed continuous shooting of up to 10 fps with no lag. In addition, the Canon camera captures crisp low light videography and features Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The camera has a wide ISO range (100 to 25000), and you can record HD and Ultra HD videos at any time of the day. You can also record footage at 4K 30p quality, allowing you to keep your memories vivid and colorful.

The Canon EOS 90D is an adaptable and reliable camera for demanding shoots. Moreover, it's the best low light camera for those particular about camera performance.

Pros

  • Offers 4K ultra HD video
  • Great Battery Life
  • Pretty accurate autofocus

Cons

  • It's expensive
  • Only has one memory card slot

 4. Panasonic 4K Cinema-Like Video Camera Camcorder

Sale
Panasonic 4K Cinema-Like Video Camera Camcorder HC-WXF991K, 20X LEICA...
  • Ultra sharp 4K ultra HD recording, plus in camera editing for 1080p displays
  • Electronic Viewfinder EVF emulates a semi Professional recording experience; Dedicated HDR button enables quick mode changes; Exclusive high...
  • Leica Decoma Lens optical 20x zoom, 5 axis hybrid optical image stabilization; Image sensor 1/2.3 inch BSI MOS sensor; Total pixels 18.91...
  • Built in Twin Camera, plus Wi Fi mobile features add multi camera scene picture in picture recording; Digital Zoom 60x / 1500x (The maximum...
  • 4K cinema in camera editing and effects (Dolly zoom, slow/quick motion, 4K Post cropping, stabilization and zoom)

The Panasonic HC-WXF991 model is easily one of the best low-light camcorders on the market for video enthusiasts.

The low-light camcorder features unique night vision, which makes it reliable for low-light videography. It also gives you flexibility when shooting in pitch-black areas. The camera features 0 and 1 lux for shooting in entirely dark areas and 2 lux for recording in dim light conditions.

Lastly, the Panasonic camcorder features a Built-in Twin Camera, Wi Fi mobile features that add multi camera scene pictures in picture recording; Digital Zoom 60x / 1500x (The maximum value of zoom magnification can be set in 2 patterns). It also has LEICA Dicomar Lens and 4K ultra-high-definition recording.

Pros

  • Image sensor gets more detail and produces better low/dim light videos
  • Smooth and crisp zoom

Cons

  • It's quite bulky
  • The menu is tricky to navigate

5. Panasonic LUMIX G85 4K Digital Camera

Sale
Panasonic LUMIX G85 4K Digital Camera, 12-60mm Power O.I.S. Lens, 16...
  • Fine Detail Performance: 16 megapixel micro four thirds sensor with no low pass filter resulting in a near 10 percent boost in fine detail...
  • Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera: With 12 60 millimeter lens, Shoot lighter and faster with the modern hybrid photography performance...
  • Class Leading Dual Image Stabilization: In body 5 axis dual image stabilization works in both photo and motion picture recording including...
  • Live Viewfinder and Flip LCD Display: Integrated eye level OLED live viewfinder (2360K dots) and rear touch Enabled 3 inch LCD Display...
  • 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive Lumix 4K photo and 4K Post Focus allows you to record...

The Panasonic Lumix is a mirrorless camera that boasts reliable versatility.

The camera features a 16-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor with no low pass filter. In addition, it has a 12 60 millimeter lens that lets you shoot lighter and faster.

The ISO range is between 200 and 25600, letting you film videos and take pictures with superb clarity. It doesn't let you down when it comes to speed. In addition, it features in-body image stabilization that's dual 5 axis and works in both photo and motion recording.

The Panasonic camera can shoot up to 40fps at UHD 4K quality when equipped with an electronic shutter. It also comes with a post focus feature, meaning you can adjust the focus in a photo even after taking it.

The LUMIX G85 is the best low-light video camera for both videographers and still shooters.

Pros

  • Great image stabilization
  • Superior Build Quality
  • Can reliably and quickly focus under low/dim light

Cons

  • Features a slight crop on the 4K recording

Features To Consider When Buying Best Low Video Camera

a) Type of Lens

Most low-light cameras have interchangeable lenses. This makes choosing the right lens that can gather the most light vital. How much light a lens gather is determined by its aperture. Generally, lower numbers are better.

The bigger/wider the aperture, the more light the lens will permit to enter the sensor. The aperture can be controlled manually in your camera's settings before taking a picture. However, each lens has a maximum aperture. Thus when searching for the ideal low light video cameras, you'll want lenses that allow a large, also known as a fast aperture.

The measure used for the aperture is referred to as the f/number.

When buying a lens, you'll notice a number like f/15. That's the maximum aperture. The lower the number, the bigger/wider the aperture.

The fastest and affordable lenses are usually around f/1.8, f/1.5 or lower. They are best suited for low-light shooting. If looking for brighter lenses than F/1.8, they are likely to be bigger and heavier. The lenses also tend to be more expensive.

b) Understanding ISO Range

Cameras feature a maximum ISO range which refers t how sensitive to light the sensor can become.

When needed, all cameras increase their ISO - usually when there isn't enough light to capture an image.

The drawback is that the higher the ISO, the lower the image quality. In high ISOs, you'll notice the camera showing tiny grains and dots.

When a camera has a large sensor, it doesn't need to increase its ISO as often, so big sensor cameras are the most suitable low-light video cameras.

Lighting is also used to decrease the ISO of the sensor, allowing for the capturing of a clean image without losing quality.

Depending on the quality of the camera's sensor, an increase in ISO can affect the quality of the image. That's why it's essential to understand the ISO range when searching for the best low-light video cameras.

c) Sensor Quality

Sensors play a key role in detecting light and enabling you to perceive important parameters like color, range, and depth. So it's essentially a crucial part of the camera.

Ideally, when searching for the right low-light video cameras, you want those with an adequate sensor size that can detect and pick up more detail. This allows for better video features and higher video quality.

Hence, one should always pick the best low video camera with a higher quality sensor to enjoy premium video quality and refined images.

d) Resolution

Resolution counts in both image and video quality. High-resolution videos are more pleasing to the eye and capture the moments better. In addition, they allow you to zoom in without worries of distortion.

Generally, if capturing high-resolution 4K footage, you only need 12 megapixels. By sacrificing sensor resolution, you get bigger pixels which mean greater sensitivity for shooting in dark conditions with reduced noise.

Some high-resolution cameras can do an excellent job in low light, but a larger sensor with fewer pixels will generally do better in dimmer light.

e) Compatibility

This is an essential feature that is often ignored while searching for the best low-light video camera. It's important ot remember that your video footage will have to be stored somewhere at some point.

Compatibility refers to the camera or HD camcorder being operated by a Mac or Windows user. It increases convenience and lets you get the best of your video camera. It also prevents you from changing OS frequently just for a photo shoot.

Other cameras also include Wi-Fi compatibility. Though not mandatory, it does help in the exchange of photos.

Some cameras can be remotely controlled using apps from your smartphone. For instance, if you are mounting your camera on a tripod and shooting landscape and dim-light street scenes, this can be incredibly useful to avoid camera shake and save you spending money on a remote release.

f) Does it Meet Your Immediate and Future Needs?

It's essential to think about why you're buying the best low-light video camera in the first place. It could be that you're a content creator, or it's for work. Nevertheless, when searching for the perfect low-light video cameras, thinking about how it meets your needs can help you decide which one would be best.

For instance, if you are into habitual photography or capturing video footage from meetings or gatherings, you may not need a low-light camera with 4K resolution. Instead, a simple HD video footage camera may suffice.

On the other hand, you may need a more advanced camera for professional projects involving advanced video editing and superior video quality. Hence, it is up to you to decide your specifications and requirements.

g) Image Stabilization

Having the right low-light video cameras with in-body stabilization will come in handy if you want to shoot handheld or at slow shutter speeds. This allows you to capture sharp and crisp shots in darker conditions.

Some cameras rely on stabilization coming from the lens, while others use both camera and lens stabilization in tandem for awe-inspiring results. Optical image stabilization tends to be the most common form of stabilization. This type of image sensor detects the movements of the camera. As soon as it sees movement, it ensures that the optical elements move in the lens or the camera. This aids in correcting the movement as well.

Generally, optical and digital stabilization works well. It's worth noting that the quality of the image stabilization depends on the quality of the camera.

h) AF Performance

If photographing non-static subjects is a crucial consideration when searching for the ideal low-light video camera. You'll need to think about factors like the type of autofocus system, how many AF points there are and how sensitive the points are. It's worth checking reviews to see how the others found the performance in dim light conditions.

i) Noise Control

Usually, higher ISO values increase noise. Noise control elevates the impact of a larger sensor or, in some cases, wider aperture. It's the full-frame cameras that tend to use larger sensors. DSLR cameras feature wider apertures. The lower-level point-and-shoot and mirrorless types can't afford either.

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