Recording, photographing, and cameras don’t seem unfamiliar to us. Nowadays, these things or actions might be involved in our life anytime. Whether you go out with your family or go out on a field trip in school, you will need to take pictures and record videos. However, there are more and more conditions when we want to record videos in the dark. But it’s tough to have high-quality videos taken only with your phone. So that’s why we have today’s topic: Low-light camcorders and video cameras here to discuss. Let’s figure out how to choose the best camcorder for low light easily.
In challenging conditions like in pure darkness, low-light cameras are the only way to take great 4K videos. Most of these cameras can easily capture the things you want to record in the dark; some even have infrared night vision available.
Having a suitable low-light camera can help you in a lot of situations. If you are camping with your friends and want to picture people under the stars, a phone will not be that helpful. With a low-light camera, that’s a completely different story. Now, the problem is how to find a great low-light camera that’s suitable for me? What different features and elements do we need to look at to choose the best camera possible.
What features to consider when choosing a low-light video camera?
It’s important to consider the different essential features of low-light camcorders since I’m sure you don’t want to purchase the wrong one with bad quality. Selecting a low-quality one will really be a waste of your own money and will affect your mood. So it’s essential to look at the several features listed below in order to find the Best Low-Light Video Cameras suitable for you. Keep reading and find out more.
Sensor Size of the Best Low-Light Video Camera
The first thing we need to consider is the size of your sensor. This one is pretty straightforward since the sensor is what captures the light through the lens. This means the sensor is what makes the light it sees and transfers it into the image you will understand. The larger the sensor of that low-light camera, the more light it’s capable of capturing. Basically, a low-light camcorder with a large sensor will provide better performance in dark conditions. Since the more light the camera captures, the better the image quality is, no matter under what condition.
ISO Range of the Best Low-Light Video Camera
The next feature we will look at is the ISO range, which is an important one. The ISO always plays an essential role in a low-light camera. The less the light available for you to see, the higher the ISO you want to increase. This is why low-light cameras need a lot more ISO than normal cameras. The increase in ISO allows the image that the camera captures to be brighter, effectively solving the problem of a dark condition.
Lenses of the Best Low-Light Video Camera
The last thing you need to consider is Lenses. Lenses are a significant feature when coming to the best low-light camcorders. When used with the wrong lens, even the best of the best low-light cameras will not perform well. So it’s rather important when choosing a lens.
The larger the aperture of your lens, the more light it will let in the sensor. So choosing a lens with a low aperture will lead to better performance of your low-light camera.
Four Best Low-Light Video Cameras & Camcorders
After looking at the features we need to consider while picking a low-light camera, you might be able to look for one on your own. However, if you want some suggestions on some really great low-light cameras, below are the four best low-light cameras that will surely be helpful and useful. Continue reading and find out more details about them.
Sony A7S III – Great Overall
The first Best Low-Light Video Camera that stands out is Sony A7S III, which is a fantastic low-light camera that is well known for its overall performance. In its name A7S, the letter “S” stands for sensitivity, so we can assume that Sony A7S III will perform greatly with its sensitivity.
Similar to its predecessors, Sony A7S III also has a rather low resolution. However, with fewer pixels, the low-light camcorder remains with bigger and larger pixels. This is one of the main reasons why the A7S III dominates many other cameras of its kind and brings huge advantages to its users. Starting at 40 and ending with 409,600, A7S III possess an incredibly wide range of ISO. Besides that, this fantastic camera provides high video quality within the unbelievable range as well. With these traits, Sony A7S III is able to perform well during the night. Even if there is only some faint light to aid it, such as the moon or street lights, this incredible camera will still give you the best pictures and videos you can get.
Besides its wide range and excellent performance, Sony A7S III also has the sensitivity that can compete with the Hollywood cinema camcorders. As a start, this low-light camcorder can bring 16-bt RAW videos, which is a great start already if compared to many other cameras. Other than that, Sony A7S III may also give the users 120 fps slow motions that are at 4K resolution; in addition, 240fps slow motion at 1080p may also be created by this incredible camera. Furthermore, the menu system that’s revamped and the fully articulated LCD screen is all paired up with Sony’s lineup of third and first-party lenses. With the support of a third-party lens, the Sony A7S III appeals to be very, very attractive to budget-minded photographers. Besides, numerous manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron bring up lenses that provide incredible, professional quality.
Overall, Sony A7S III has a very wide range from 40 to 409,600, which still provides high quality in this wide range. Moreover, its sensitivity can compete with some of the cinema cameras from Hollywood, which is awesome for those who want to have a try. Overall, this product is fantastic overall. No matter where you look at it, it will always surprise you with its incredible quality and factors. That’s why this camera deserves to be one of the best low-light camcorder/cameras available.
Pro – What I like about this camera
- Top low-light sensitivity
- 16-bit RAW videos
- 4K recording for slow motion
- Support from third-party lens
Con – What I dislike
- Maybe the resolution for photos can be improved
- Still a bit expensive
Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder with WiFi – Best Camera with Night Vision
To be honest, if you are finding the Best Low-Light Video Camera that can really see in pure darkness, then you should look for a camcorder that has the infrared capability (IR). The infrared capabilities are also one of the main reasons why Panasonic HC-WXF991 is on the best low-light video camera list. Panasonic HC-WXF991 not only has infrared capabilities on it but also has the ability to provide excellent quality for the video. Similar to the previous A7S III, this low-light camera is also capable of shooting 4K videos. Moreover, Panasonic HC-WXF991 also features a 20 times optical zoom which has a long range. Additionally, this zoom has the speed of f/1.8 – f/3.6 lens. The zoom allows it to see very far in the dark and take pictures and videos with very specific details included.
However, one thing that you need to keep in your mind is that this low-light camcorder has a 1/2.3 in sensor, which will not perform that well in the case of low-light situations. Even though the problem will be solved with the infrared light involved, but the infrared light in the camera itself is relatively weak. It will be a good decision to prepare an extra infrared light (external) to support the Panasonic HC-WXF991 if you need it to record or take pictures after dark.
Other than its different high-quality features, the Panasonic HC-WXF991 also has some WiFi and connection tricks that are surprisingly cool. And even more, interestingly, there is one individual second camera which is on the display of the flip-out. Having two cameras is really different from only one since the second camera allows you to capture yourself while capturing the subject at the same time. In my opinion, this feature is really cool.
- Awesome 4K footage is available
- 20 times optical zoom
- Interesting design of the viewfinder
- Night vision that’s infrared
- Excellent second camera
- The infrared light within the camcorder itself is relatively weak
- The low-light video’s quality without the aid of infrared light is low
- Rather expensive
Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder – Best Value
Still continuing with Panasonic’s product, the next one in line is the Panasonic HC-V770. Though this low-light camera may not feature the best quality factors, this is the best choice for someone that treats budget importantly.
Everyone wants to save as much money as they could, so wasting money on something you do not need is just stupid. If you don’t need a professional low-light camcorder that has the best performance, then you should really consider this product. Not all situations require you to have a camera with the capability of 4K recording. Choosing the Panasonic HC-V770 instead could be a great decision to make. Although this camera is only capable of shooting at 1080p, it still features a 20 times optical zoom.
Furthermore, whenever you are shooting at any wide angles, the 20x zoom from Panasonic HC-V770 can provide a bright F/1.8 aperture. This might sound a bit messy, but it simply means that this camera can perform greatly in rather dark situations, especially with the support of the stabilization of the optical image. Moreover, as audio is very important in a recorded video, there is a microphone with awesome quality coming with the camera, which provides excellent support for audio which results in an awesome video.
Besides, you will also receive several features related to WiFi and connection. My personal favorite example that the WiFi feature can do is that the users can connect the Panasonic HC-V770 and their phone. After that, they can use their own phone as one completely separate camera; with the aid of the phone, the users of Panasonic HC-V770 can easily have some cool picture-in-picture recording.
One major downside of this camcorder is that the touchscreen is relatively low quality, which is a bit annoying since we need to use the touch screen a lot while taking pictures and recording. However, besides that, the Panasonic HC-V770 offers incredible value overall, considering its abilities and its quality. This camera may not have the best performance, but it still deserves to be one of the Best Low-Light Video Cameras & camcorders considering its price and value.
- Great Microphone with good quality
- Excellent WiFi features that really help you out during recording
- Easy operation
- Incredible value considering its price
- Low video quality, which is a bit disappointing
- The touchscreen’s quality could be a lot better
Panasonic Lumix GH5S Mirrorless Digital Camera – Best Camera with Micro 4/3
Being an interchangeable lens camcorder that’s video-focused, the Panasonic Lumix GH5S is coming with a Micro 4/3 sensor. Similar to Sony A7S, the Micro 4/3 sensor was build with high ISOs and low noise. Besides the sensor, this low-light camcorder also has Dual Native ISOs featured, which will bring the user a very clean image with great looks; furthermore, the image can go up to ISO 6400, which makes this camera more undeniable.
On the other hand, the ISO of this low-light camera is not too high either, which is up to 204,600. The numbers show that the Lumix GH5S is enough if you want a compact and ideal low-light camcorder since the performance is relatively impressive for a small sensor like this. Although the size of this low-light camcorder is rather small and lacks image stabilization inside, it still comes with a steep cost of sensitivity which is impressive.
Moreover, the Panasonic Lumix GH5S is able to shoot 4K up to the rate of 60fps. At the same time, it’s also capable of shooting 1080p up to 240fps as well. This allows the users to take several extraordinary slow motions with this camera.
Overall, the Panasonic Lumix GH5S is an awesome camera that has excellent performance. For such a small sensor, it can still have high sensitivity and the capability of taking slow motion. This is why this camera will be the last one on the list of the Best Low-Light Video Cameras / camcorders.
Pro of this Best Low-Light Video Camera
- Large sensors with high sensitivity
- Dual ISO
- Slow-motion available
Con of this Best Low-Light Video Camera
- For such a small sensor, the price might be a bit high
- There is no internal image stabilization
Conclusion on best low-light video cameras
Ending with Panasonic Lumix GH5S, we are done with the four best low-light camcorders and cameras. Each of them has different highlights that are relatively impressive. Especially the infrared night vision. Every camcorder on the list has great quality, and they will not disappoint you.