The 5 Best Compact Cameras for Low Light Photography in 2020

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.

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

1. Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F Black Digital Compact Camera

What’s not to love about the Fujifilm X100F compact camera? It has an incredible 24MP APS-C sensor which, when combined with the bright 35mm f/2.0 fixed lens, will deliver superb results in low light. 

This camera has amazing noise performance for low light shooting from ISO200 right the way through to ISO6400 and beyond (the maximum range is ISO51200). 

The ISO speed dial on top of the camera makes it incredibly easy to change these settings. 

Plus it looks gorgeous. What more can we say?

Shop the Fujifilm X100F today. 

2. Sony RX100 Mark VI

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 VI Digital Compact Camera

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

Equipped with 4K video recording capabilities and a fast frame rate, this camera is sure to capture clean, crisp video even at dusk. The Sony RX100 VII adds on a microphone port too. 

The RX100 VI produces amazing quality images in low light, thanks to its one-inch image sensor, 0.03-second autofocus, and 20.1 MP resolution. This is complimented with a powerful f/2.8-4.5 24-200mm zoom lens and 5-axis image stabilisation you rarely see in compact cameras. 

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.

Shop the Sony Cybershot RX100 VI 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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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!

If you’re after more advice about low light photography, we have plenty of other resources on the Camera House blog. To start, learn about the best action cameras for low light photography today!


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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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