Best DSLR For Low Light Conditions

Some digital SLRs are more suited for low light performance than others. If you commonly find yourself shooting in low or dim light, here are some digital SLRs that are best suited for low light.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

EOS 3000D / Rebel T100 DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm Zoom Lens + SanDisk 64GB Memory Card + Full Size Tripod + Case + 58mm Filter KIt + Model Electronics Cloth (Renewed)
  • EOS Rebel T100 / 3000D Digital Camera (International Model) 18.0MP APS-C CMOS Sensor,DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, Full HD 1080p Video Recording
  • Creating distinctive stories with digital camera quality photos and Full HD movies is easier than you think with the 18 Megapixel EOS 3000D.
  • EF-S 18-55mm Lens - EF-S-Mount Lens/APS-C Format, 28.8-88mm (35mm Equivalent) ,Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/38 ,One Aspherical Element
  • Just frame and shoot for great results with Scene Intelligent Auto. Enjoy guided Live View shooting with Creative Auto mode.

If you want one of the best performing digital cameras in low light, there’s no better option in our eyes than the Mark II 5D… of course you’re going have to pay big bucks for it (around $2000) , but you won’t be cheated out of your money, that’s for sure.

The EOS 5D Mark II is Canon’s upgrade from the Canon EOS 5D, that is quite a creature to look at. It’s sleek, sturdy and definitely feels and looks like a $2000 camera.

I’ve been shooting with the 5D Mark II for a year or so with a couple of different lenses. It produces amazing photos, and even at an extremely high ISO of 6400, you won’t notice a lot of noise. It’s not until you hit 12,800 that you see some noticeable noise. This huge ISO range and performance bodes well for night photography.

Shooting video is just as amazing with the Mark II, even in low light. It has HD video recording capabilities, which is incredibly convenient.

What’s great about it:
– Huge ISO range
– Great HD video
– Outstanding, amazing image quality

What’s not so great:
– Very expensive

Summary: If you’re a professional that shoots in low light often, the EOS 5D Mark II is the optimal camera for you. We think Canon produced a winner here.

Nikon D90

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi | 24.1 MP CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and Full HD Videos
  • 24.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with is 100–6400 (H: 12800)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology
  • 9-Point AF system and AI Servo AF
  • Optical Viewfinder with approx 95% viewing coverage
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into a high-quality webcam. Compatible Lenses- Canon EF Lenses (including EF-S lenses, excluding EF-M lenses)

If the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is too expensive for your tastes (we don’t blame ya!) there’s other less expensive options for low light photography.

We’re huge fans of the D90, and think it performs very well under low light conditions (and obviously bright light conditions). The D90 has the same on chip noise reduction as the D300, and it definitely showed when we took some pictures in low light.

We took some photos in all the ISO levels. In the low ISO levels, the photos looked flawless. When we reach an ISO of 3200, the photos still looked pretty good. All the colors looked accurate, and well saturated.

The performance of the D90 is top of the class. It takes just .2 seconds from power up to shoot. The shutter lag is just .4 seconds in bright conditions, and .9 seconds in situations that are more difficult to focus. Shot to shot time is just .48 seconds or so. Overall, you can’t find a better performing camera in this price range than the D90.

What’s great about it:
– Excellent top of the class performance
– Excellent photo quality
– Sturdy durable body
– Has video capture

What’s not so great:
– Poor HDMI

Summary: If you can’t afford more expensive DSLRs, you can’t complain with the D90. It packs tremendous performance, great image quality and some cool features like video capture. It performed remarkably well in low ISO, and produced good enough images at ISO 3200. If you’re into night photography, the D90 should be more then satisfactory camera.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi

USED Canon EOS Digital Rebel T2i Digital w/18-55mm IS II Lens
  • 18.0-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor; DIGIC 4 image processor for high image quality and speed
  • Kit includes 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800) for shooting from bright to dim light; enhanced 63-zone, Dual-layer metering system
  • Improved EOS Movie mode with manual exposure control and expanded recording 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
  • Wide 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor; dedicated Live View/Movie shooting button

We were pleased with the performance of the XTi in low conditions. In fact we did a rigorous test to see how well the XTi performed under low light.

First off, like most Canon DSLRs, the Rebel XTi uses a pop up flash as an aid in low light conditions. If you want the benefits of an AF assist, but don’t want flash, just simply let your camera lock focus and lower da flash.

We took a handful of photos in dim light, and then in a lighter condition (to compare) , all at ISO of 800 and dual RAW and JPEG. We were pretty pleased with how the images turned out afterwards. If you don’t use the AF-assist the photos still turn out pretty well (of course they’re better if you use it). After taking a bunch of photos, it’s clear that the Canon EOS Rebel XTi preserves the highlights incredibly well.

The performance ofthe XTi is great – shot to shot speeds is fast, and there’s hardly any shutter lag.

Though you can probably get even better performance and image quality with Canon’s newer models, the XTi really performs well in night compared to some of their other newer models, in our experience.

If you do decide to go with the XTi we recommend pairing it with the EF 50 mm f/1.8 II lense, or the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM for the best possible low light performance.

What’s great about it:
– Relatively light and compact
– Fast performance
– User friendly layout

What’s not so great:
– Kit Lens is slow
– Spot metering is not present

Summary: If you’re planning to shoot a lot of photos in night (think astrophotography), the XTi is perfect for you.

Nikon D40

FeiyuTech SCORP-C Camera Stabilizer Gimbal for DSLR and Mirrorless Camera, Camera Handheld Gimbal 3-Axis, 5.5lbs Payload, for Sony α7Ⅳ A6300/A6400 A7S3 a9/a7 for Canon 5D3/80D for Nikon D7500/Z5/Z6 II
  • FeiyuTech SCORP-C F2C comatible with mainstream mirrorless and DSLR camera & lens combos. Like SONY α7Ⅳ/a9/a9II/a7R4/a7R3/a7M3/a7M2/a7M3/a7S/a6600//a6500/a6400/a6300/a6100.Panasonic GH5S/GH4/G9/S5. Canon 5D3/5D4/5DS R/6D/6D2/80D/90D/M50,M6 Mark, Nikon D750/Z5/Z6/Z6 II/Z7/Z50. Fujifilm X-T3/X-T4/ X-T30.
  • 【INNOVATIVE DESIGN】 Integrated hanging handle:Whether shooting upright or underslung, get complete control of the lens from whichever angle you are filming Tilted handle holding:Extremely comfortable to hold thanks to beveled edges; smooth rounded ergonomics to perfectly fit your hand Set it down anywhere:No tripod required, the gimbal is complete with an integral folding aileron bracket
  • 【CONSIDERATE DESIGN】Easier installation and leveling 1:Three-axis motor lock,without unwanted movement 2:Five-way center of gravity adjustment 3:Center of gravity memory slider 4: Arca Quick Release Plate
  • 【POWERFUL KEY, EASILY SWITCH & 2500mah Efficient Battery】Switch to the new professional mode to unlock even more features. 10-13 Hour maximum runtime with fast charging support 18W fast charging enables an extra 30 minutes runtime in just 5 minutes
  • 【COMPLEXSHOTS,EASILY ACHIEVED】 1:AB Trajectory Memory :Memorize trajectory position, one key to achieve the set movement. 2:Flash Mode :Three-Axis fast follow, easily capture any movement. 3:Panoramic Photography,Time-lapse Photography,Space Mode (Three-Axis Follow),Vertical-shooting Mode

The D40 from Nikon is another camera that performed well in low light conditions, thanks to their noise reduction routine for high ISO levels. We really noticed it when we reached an ISO level of 1600. With most cameras, you start to see noise with long exposures, and a decrease in color saturation. Not so with the D40.

What’s great about it:
– Feels great and compact
– Great for newbies
– Good noise reduction in high ISO

What’s not so great:
– Kit lens is slow
– Just 6 megapixels

Summary: The Nikon D40 may not be for the professional, but if you’re an amateur or making the transition from point and shoots to DSLRs, the D40 is a terrific option that performed better than average in low light.

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