The 5 Best Compact Cameras for Low Light Photography

There’s a particular joy in photographing subjects in low light conditions with using flash. Many photographers love the challenge of finding natural light sources to create stunning effects. 

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. 

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best compact cameras for low light photography. But first, let’s explore some of the main features a camera needs to work well in low light.

City at night

The key features of the best compact cameras for low light photography

The best compact cameras for low light shooting tend to offer several key features, including powerful sensors, high ISO ranges, RAW capability, and quality lenses. 

The ISO settings on your camera are used to adjust the sensor’s sensitivity to light. 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.

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.

The best cameras for low light and night time photography

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

  • Fujifilm X-T30
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 VII Digital
  • Sony RX1R Mark II
  • Canon Powershot G1X Mark III
  • Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

1. Fujifilm X-T30

What’s not to love about the Fujifilm X-T30 compact camera?  Equipped with a high-speed processor and a powerful lens, it delivers crystal clear and vivid image and video quality. X-T30 is a versatile camera from Fujifilm, featuring advanced moving subject tracking technology.

Top Reasons We Think You Will Love The Fujifilm X-T30:

  • Ergonomic and compact build with prominent physical controls that are easily accessible.
  • Advanced technology lens equipped with a high-speed processor, which ensures faster image processing and quick overall camera performance.
  • The CMOS sensor closely replicates the organic nature of images and videos, giving you high-quality and sharp output.
  • A high-Speed processor means you get instant ultra high-quality images in low light without having to do much post-processing.
  • Excellent value for money

Plus it looks gorgeous. What more can we say?

Shop the Fujifilm X-T30 Today

2. Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 VII Digital

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 VI Digital Compact Camera

We’re big fans of the Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 VII Digital model. The Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 VII Digital offers superb image quality and is arguably the best compact camera for low light video recording. 

Powered by the same BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI as the Alpha 9, the RX100 VII offers focus and burst performance unmatched by any compact camera. Paired with a deep buffer range and refined user interface, the RX100 VII redefines the limits of compact camera photography.

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.

Top Three Reasons We Think You Will Love The Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 VII Digital:

  • Excellent zoom performance: A 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 Carl Zeiss zoom lens gives the RX100 VII a zoom range equivalent to a full professional mirrorless kit.
  • Attention to Detail: The RX100 VII has received a host of refinements to the interface, with a simplified, more intuitive menu structure, enhanced touch screen controls and advanced button customisation options for total control
  • Compact and powerful: there are a lot of features packed into this compact camera making it the perfect low light photography companion.

Shop the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII today.

3. Sony RX1R Mark II

sony cybershot rx1r ii body

A solid contender for the best low light compact camera award, the Sony RX1R II boasts some impressive features.

An epic full-frame 42.4MP image sensor guarantees unparalleled low light capabilities and ensures a powerful dynamic range. You heard that right: A full-frame sensor in a compact camera!

With an ISO range of 100-25600, it also has incredible performance even at the higher limits of the range. 

Very little can compete with a full-frame sensor, though you will be paying for the incredible quality – the cost of a Sony RX1R II is on par with many pro-level DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. 

Top Three Reasons We Think You Will Love The Sony RX1R II:

  • Extraordinary full-frame imaging capability into an incredibly compact form.
  • Amazing 40 megapixels allows crisp images in all light conditions
  • Bright Monitoring function 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.

Shop the Sony RX1R II today.

4. Canon Powershot G1X Mark III

canon powershot g1x mark iii

With a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a broad ISO range of 100 to 25600, the Canon Powershot G1X III is made for low light situations. 

The impressive image sensor reduces overall noise in your images, as well as creating brilliant contrast and colour accuracy. 

The G1X III also comes with optical image stabilisation too, helping reduce the need for a tripod in certain low light situations. 

Top Three Reasons We Think You Will Love The Canon Powershot G1X Mark III:

  • A 24-72mm lens lets you capture regular, zoomed in and wide photos powered by a Dual Sensing.
  • Optical Image Stabilizer system.
  • Get up to 200 shots with every battery charge (according to CIPA standard testing) Bluetooth wireless connectivity lets you capture pictures remotely using a smartphone.

Shop the Canon Powershot G1X III today. 

5. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II compact camera

With the Canon G5X II, you’re bound to get high-quality images in low light scenarios thanks to its short and fast 24-120mm zoom lens which offers wide apertures.

With RAW image capabilities, a 20.1MP one-inch sensor, and a native ISO range of 125 to 12800, along with a range of DSLR-worthy manual controls, this is a fantastic camera low light photography. 

It also comes with 4K video recording, making it perfect if you’re wanting to experiment with low light videos. 

Top Three Reasons We Think You Will Love The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II:

  • The PowerShot G5 X MII’s 3.0” LCD touch panel tilts up 180˚ and enables you to shoot from a variety of unique angles.
  • The pop-up electronic viewfinder is ideal for photographers wanting to keep their eye on the scene.
  • Features exceptional speed of a DIGIC 8 processor, all packaged into a beautifully compact body.

Shop the Canon PowerShot G5 X II today.

Buy the best compact camera and accessories for low light photography

Camera House stocks a range of compact cameras and lighting accessories designed to help you improve your low light photography. Check out our full catalogue online!

Shop online or visit a Camera House store to discover the perfect camera for your low light photography project whether it is portraits, landscape or wildlife.

Discover more that just cameras at Camera House!

If you’re after more advice about low light photography, we have plenty of other resources on the Camera House blog. Elevate your photography with tips, hints, product reviews and more with the Camera House YouTube channel.

Discover more articles below:

The Best Low Light Action Cameras

Improve Your Low Light Photography without the Flash

The Best Camera Equipment for Night Photography

How to Photograph Lightning During the Day & Night

Beginner Camera Lighting Tips


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1 comment

  • Calator says:

    7 Compact Cameras for Low Light Photography –
    Awesome! Its actually amazing article, I have got much clear idea regarding from this piece of writing.-

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