7 Compact Cameras for Stunning Low Light Photography in 2017

Taking photos at night can be fun and the photos you produce could be the best shots you’ll ever get of a location. Whether you’re in the city trying to capture light trails or in the outback trying to capture the Milky Way in all its glory, you’ll need a good camera.

Of course, the better sensor your camera has, the better quality your night time shots will be. But you can still achieve some amazing low light photographs with the following compact cameras.

City at night

Best Features for Low Light Digital Cameras

For compact cameras that take great low light shots, you’ll want to look at ISO performance, the size of the sensor and whether the camera can shoot in RAW.

The ISO settings on your camera are used to adjust the sensor’s sensitivity. The higher your ISO setting goes, the less likely it is you’ll need a flash or additional artificial lighting.

Be careful though. High ISO settings can produce grainy photos. To correct this, go for a camera with a larger sensor. A larger sensor usually means the camera has more megapixels, which can translate to lower image noise and a higher dynamic range.

girl with lamp at night

Finally, shooting in RAW means the photo can be saved unprocessed, giving you the option to experiment and tweak the image yourself using a post-production program.

With that out the way, here is our pick of seven of the best compact cameras for low light photography:

Ricoh GR II

ricoh gr ii

The Ricoh GR II has a maximum ISO range of 1078 and a 16.2 megapixel sensor. That gives you the ability to capture high-resolution night images with reduced noise.

It is also NFC and Wi-Fi enabled and has a GR remote application so you can easily tweak your settings using your smartphone.

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 IV

sony cybershot dsc rx100 iv

The Cybershot RX100 Mark IV is perfect for travel because it’s small and packs a punch. It has a fast zoom lens which allows for super-speed shooting while offering images without distortion.

You’ll be able to take fast-paced images in low light conditions up to an ISO of 562.

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II


canon powershot g9 x mark ii


The G9 X Mark II is a beauty, weighing just 206 grams, but still managing to capture excellent shots.

Its large 1.0-type CMOS sensor and remote shooting capabilities make it the perfect option for low light photography. The f/2.0 lens also delivers sharp shots, regardless of the quality of natural light.

But it’s the DiG!C 7 image processor that ensures the G9 X Mark II will deliver perfectly clear shots even in low light.

Panasonic DMC-LX100

panasonic dmc lx100

The Panasonic LX100 has a large Micro Four Thirds sensor worthy of much more complex cameras. Its fast lens also makes it superb for low light photography.

The LX100’s low light autofocusing system ensures you’ll be able to capture high-quality photos at night, with a maximum ISO of 553.

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 V

sony cybershot dsc-rx100 v

The RX100 V produces amazing quality images in low light, thanks to its 1.0-type CMOS image sensor, 0.05-second autofocus, and 20.1 MP resolution.

It can also shoot in RAW so you’ll have more options when editing your photos using a post-production program.

This is a compact little camera, so it’s perfect for those nights out when you don’t want to be weighed down by something too bulky.

Canon PowerShot G3X


canon powershot g3x

The G3 X has a one-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor which means it takes fantastic photos in low light. It has a maximum ISO of 521 and a 25x optical zoom. It also boasts DSLR-worthy levels of manual control, with a compact camera’s ease of use.

Sony Cybershot DSCRX1R II

sony cybershot dscrx1r ii

The DSCRX1R II compact camera may reach (or far exceed) the upper limits of your budget. But you might be tempted by it nonetheless when you discover the beauty of its make.

This point-and-shoot camera has a 42.4 megapixels full-frame sensor, one of the largest of any compact camera on the market. It takes high-quality photos with low noise, thanks to its amazing maximum ISO of 3204.

Finally, this Cybershot has a Bright Monitoring function which slows the shutter speed for live view, allowing an increase in the screen’s brightness so you can do a better job of framing and focusing.

If you’re after more advice about the best equipment for low light photography, don’t hesitate to visit us in-store for further info. Or if you’re ready to browse products, check out our full catalogue online!


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