If you are a photographer or take part in casual photography, then chances are you’re familiar with the challenges of taking decent photographs in low light.
It can be quite frustrating to see the same camera that takes awesome photos in daylight fails to produce adequate results during low light.
If you want your low light photographs to be just as amazing, you’re going to need special cameras with brighter lenses and larger sensors alongside your skills.
Nikon has a number of excellent cameras that perform well under low light. We are going to find the best low light Nikon camera for you by reviewing some of the brand’s first-grade products.
Let’s jump right in!
Reviews of the Best Low Light Nikon Camera
For low light photography, you need cameras with the most advanced digital camera technology as well as powerful components. We have here is a list of the best Nikon cameras made for remarkable low light performance, which were carefully selected by the experts.
1. Nikon D750 Camera
Our top pick is Nikon’s D750, which is favored by many skilled photographers for its diverse features. It is also Nikon’s one of the lightest models, making it extremely easy to carry.
This camera is a 24-megapixel full-frame DSLR, which allows the capture of photos in great detail. Its full-frame feature is designed to help you to get wider frames and provide a shallow depth of field.
The powerful 51-autofocus system of this ingenious device combined with 15-cross sensors makes it extremely capable of taking high quality low light photos. You will marvel at its ability to capture absolutely gorgeous photos during midnight or any low light situation.
Feel free to take it out to shoot under the bright sun, during rain, or even snow because it is durable enough to take beautiful pictures in any weather condition. Besides, you’ll enjoy its excellent battery life.
Boasting a shooting speed of 6.5 fps at high resolution, this one is capable of taking awesome still images of actions, moving cars, or any fast-moving scenes in high definition. There is a superior tracking ability, which just adds to its capability. It also offers convenient noise control with its ISO up to 12,800.
The video recording capability of this photography gadget is top-notch as well as it can shoot Full HD 1080P videos at 24, 30, and 60 frame rate per second. You can use it for casual shooting or even filmmaking.
It features a convenient 3.2inch Vari-Angle LCD that allows you to tilt it so you can move it around during photography sessions to see what you’re shooting live. The low light performance of this camera is comparable to more expensive cameras. Its ability to capture fast-moving scenes is praiseworthy.
The matrix metering of this device can often provide poor results. AA filter is comparatively weak, which can be a problem for some.
2. Nikon D850 Camera
Nikon D850 needs little introduction in the world of photography as it has earned quite some reputation through its excellent photo capturing abilities and features.
This one is another full-frame DSLR camera, which is equipped with a hefty 46-megapixel camera. Get ready to be amazed by its extraordinary resolution.
The innovative use of backside-illuminated CMOS sensors increases the efficiency of low light performance thanks to its amplified light gathering ability. With this camera, you’ll be taking incredible images with great details, even in low light areas.
One special feature that makes this a favorite among photography enthusiasts is its autofocus system, which is the same as Nikon’s much pricier flagship D5 camera.
The 153-point autofocus system combined with the EXPEED 5, Nikon’s very own image processor, makes the product extremely capable in capturing moving objects without losing focus at all. With this perfect low light point and shoot camera guaranteed fast autofocus even in near darkness.
This camera is one of the fastest shooting cameras as it is armed with 7fps continuous shooting, which can be expanded to 9 fps with an extra battery grip.
The ISO range of this gadget is sure to impress any photographer as it can go up to 102,400. You will notice lesser noise in higher ISOs.
Offering 4k video capturing ability at up to 30fps, this one is perfect for casual video shooting and filmmaking.
This photography tool has quite a sturdy build with comfortable grips, so you have little to worry about its durability. It is made to be your photography companion for a while!
You’ll be taking marvelous photos in noticeably greater details with this device. The touch controls on the LCD screen provides extra convenience. It has a much brighter screen compared to other Nikon products.
The AF system is excellent and fast, making it perfect for low light point and shoot. This camera actually shares the same components of Nikon’s D5.
Every flaws and mistake in the photos are noticeable. The camera requires high-quality lenses to reach its full potential.
3. Nikon Z6 Camera
The next camera on the list is Nikon Z6. This is one of the best low light performing cameras in the market. Being a mirrorless camera, this one is smaller and lighter. It comes with comfortable handgrips to prevent fatigue in long-time handling. Besides, the overall build quality is quite similar to Nikon’s flagship products.
Offering 4k recording at 30 fps and 1080p recording at 60 and 120 fps, the videography of this device is top-notch. The video quality is amazing, thanks to the camera’s high resolution. You’ll have nothing to complain about its video recording performance.
For handheld video-shooting, this camera has in-build stabilization to keep your videos steady. Although it is not perfect, it does the job adequately. The continuous autofocus provides impressive results.
This is a full-frame DSLR camera featuring 24-megapixel resolution that captures beautiful images in low light with little to no pixel binning. You will be able to capture really sharp photos with vibrant colors under normal circumstances using this tool.
The special eye detection AF system included with this device is extremely effective in capturing portraits and other shots make it a top choice for low light mirrorless camera in 2019 and 2020.
This gadget features a strong light-gathering potential that allows photographers to take photos in extremely high ISO settings, up to 51,200! It increases low light performance as well.
11-fps speed shooting of this photography tool allows photographers to capture moving objects without losing focus. The touchscreen LCD monitor provides easy controls. Being compact in design, you will have fun handling it thanks to its comfortable grips. It features in-body stabilization to improve handheld shooting.
It features only one memory card slot. The screen isn’t flexible enough, only tilts a little.
4. Nikon D5 Camera
Nikon’s D5 is the manufacturer’s flagship device engineered with the best components. This beast of a camera has a very sturdy build, weights more than your average DSLRs, and quite expensive in price.
Don’t be intimidated by its build because besides making it extremely durable, the size allows the device to withhold its high-grade components and excellent features.
This one is a fantastic sports camera, capable of taking shots at 14 frames per second. That’s incredibly fast!
The best feature of this camera is its magnificent autofocus system, which still remains incomparable. With the 153-point AF system incorporated with the 99 cross-type sensors, the camera is able to focus on any object super-fast with unmatched accuracy even in dimly lit rooms or places.
This wondrous photography tool boasts traceability with spectacular precision, capable of tracking the smallest of objects even in their high-speed motions. You’ll receive impressive results even in near darkness.
Featuring a wide native ISO range from 100 to 102,400, this photography instrument is a blessing for low light performances. You’ll notice much fewer noises in darkness and higher ISOs.
Thanks to the device’s 20.8-megapixel resolution combined with Nikon’s EXPEED 5 processor, you’ll be taking pictures in exquisite details, awesome textures, and really vivid colors. Whether there is darkness or light, you’ll be capturing the best versions of the photos with this fantastic camera!
Besides taking still images, this gadget allows you to take stunning 4K UHD videos at 30 fps, making it a great choice for filmmakers.
It features a top-notch AF system with extreme accuracy and unmatched capability. The camera takes photos really fast, at the rate of 14 fps. The resolution and the details of the photos are absolutely amazing. It shows outstanding low light performance.
It doesn’t feature Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, even though it is one of the most expensive cameras to date. The live view of The AF system can sometimes feel pretty slow.
4. Nikon D7500 Camera
Take your photography to the next level with Nikon 7500, which guarantees flagship performance while remaining at the affordable range. It is considered to be the best Nikon DX camera for low light.
Equipped with the same 20.9MP sensors and EXPEED 5 processor as the pricier flagship D500 camera, this one comes with amazing dynamic range. You will be able to capture photos with fantastic sharpness and tonality even when there is a lack of light.
Although the resolution appears to be lower, it’ll still provide finer results than most of the other cameras. It is, in fact, one of the best APS-C cameras in the market to date. You’ll be recording 4K UHD videos with zero inconveniences using this product.
The focus system of this device is relatively fast, with 51 focus points and 15 cross-type sensors, which offer faster detective in lower lights. Although it might not give you the upper hand over other cameras of this price range, it will still provide satisfactory results.
Thanks to the inclusion of Nikon’s innovative image processor, you’ll be able to do RAW shooting at 8 frames per second up to 50 shots. That’s quite fast for a camera of this caliber.
It is a great choice for someone who is used to shooting auto ISO or prioritize aperture a lot because of its new metering system. The exact same one is used in D500.
Another appreciable feature of this gadget is its brilliant touchscreen LCD monitor, which is extremely flexible so you can move it around as you want.
Moreover, the innovative ergonomics of this camera helps you to forget that you’re using a camera and lets you focus more on the photography subjects, thanks to the great placement of button controls and their smoothness.
Besides, it has a rugged design with comfortable grips along with weather sealing to make it usable in any weather condition.
It features a flagship quality sensor designed to give first-rate performances. Also, there is an excellent high ISO performance. Its capability of capturing awesome low light photographs definitely deserves a lot of praise. The ability to shoot at 8 fps makes it a decent choice.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are built-in features of this tool for added convenience.
The autofocus system could be better at this price range. It only supports one SD card slot, which can be a nuisance for professional photographers. The resolution is comparatively lower, as well.
Best Low Light Nikon Camera Buying Guide
The combination of certain features like high ISO, great AF system, powerful sensors, etc. makes a camera perform well in lower lights. Even with all these features, you’ll receive different types of results from different cameras. Therefore, there are some things you must consider before buying your low light gadget.
Cameras featuring first-rate autofocus systems with high focus points and powerful cross sensors are excellent in taking pictures in poor lighting. They provide the ability to continue focusing in near dark scenes. The higher the focus points, the better the low light performance will be.
The camera’s ability to control noise is extremely important. As the ISO increases, so does the noise. So, it’d be wise to pick a camera that features lesser noises in higher ISOs. Noise control can influence the sensors and aperture values. The best low light cameras feature wider aperture and larger sensors.
Size of the Sensor
The size of the sensor greatly affects the low light performance of a camera. In fact, larger sizes provide better results than smaller ones. So, in this case, size does matter! You should always go for full-frame cameras as they are usually equipped with larger sensors.
Most cameras require decent lenses to reach their full potential. Bright lenses are made to perform well under low lights, so you’d want to go for those. Their shallow depth of field enables more lights to enter into the camera. The aperture value of lenses adds to the low light performance, so this is something you should consider.
The good stabilization system ensures that your images remain stable in the event of movements while recording or capturing still images.
Your images would be free from blurred areas, and it’ll provide sharper images. This is exactly why this technology is important for decent low light performance. So, go for cameras that feature an improved stabilization system.
ISO determines the amount of light the sensor of a camera is able to capture. Therefore, higher ISO values will provide much better results in lower lights. This also lets you capture moving photos. However, higher ISO might cause more noise. So, you should go for one that produces fewer noises in higher ISOs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I use automated mode or manual mode?
Ans: This is actually a matter of personal choice. If you are a professional who knows all the controls, all the features perfectly, you’d prefer the manual mode as it provides more freedom. The automated mode is made to help and guide beginner photographers.
Q: What’s the CMOS sensor?
Ans: It is actually an electric chip, which transforms photons into electrons for the digital processing of images. CMOS has a variety of uses other than being an excellent component for digital cameras.
Q: Is it okay to set ISO to as high as possible?
Ans: Although higher ISO means the camera becomes capable of capturing more lights, it still isn’t advisable. That’s because, with the increase of ISO, the noise level is also increased. You’d probably left with photographs with unacceptable noises if you do that.
Q: What does AF refer to?
Ans: AF simply stands for ‘Auto Focus.’ This feature gives the cameras the ability to automatically focus on subjects.
Q: What makes a camera suitable for low light?
Ans: Actually, for a camera to be suitable for low light performance, it requires the existence of a number of features. The high value of ISO, powerful sensors, shutter speeds, larger lenses, etc. are needed for a camera to perform adequately under low light.
Hopefully, you’ve found your perfect camera for low light performance from our carefully prepared best low light Nikon camera reviews.
If you’re still struggling to make a decision, we would suggest you give Nikon D750 a shot. The superb features of this camera allow it to perform exceedingly well under darker conditions. However, you won’t be disappointed with any of these cameras. Have fun capturing amazing low light photography!