Do you dream of capturing the dancing hues of the Northern Lights in your camera? If yes, then you need to have the best camera for northern lights photography. If you are an avid photographer, then you know the importance of having the right camera to capture the perfect shot. And when it comes to photographing the Northern Lights, it becomes even more crucial.

But with so many options available in the market, how do you choose the right one? That’s where we come in! In this article, we have curated a list of the 12 best cameras for northern lights photography that cater to all budgets.

In this article, we have covered the best cameras for northern lights photography that range from entry-level to high-end options. We have also included essential features that you need to consider when buying a camera for northern lights photography. From the budget-friendly Canon EOS Rebel T7 to the high-end Sony Alpha A7S III, we have covered it all. So, whether you are a beginner or a professional photographer, this article has got you covered.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the world of the 12 best cameras for northern lights photography.

Northern-Lights-Photography

 

12 Best Cameras for Northern Lights Photography


Here are the 12 best cameras for northern lights photography:

Budget-Friendly Options

#1. Canon EOS Rebel T7

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi | 24.1 MP CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and Full HD Videos
4,226 Reviews
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi | 24.1 MP CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and Full HD Videos
  • 24.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with is 100–6400 (H: 12800)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology
  • 9-Point AF system and AI Servo AF

Quick Info: An affordable option with a 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and an ISO range of 100-6400.

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an excellent entry-level camera for anyone looking to capture the Northern Lights on a budget. It features a 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and an ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded up to 12800. The camera also has a built-in feature guide that makes it easy for beginners to learn how to use it.

One of the main advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is its affordability. It’s an excellent option for those who don’t want to spend too much money on a camera but still want to capture the Northern Lights’ beauty. The camera is also lightweight and easy to carry, making it perfect for outdoor photography.

However, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 does have its limitations. Its autofocus system is not as advanced as some other cameras on this list, which can make it challenging to capture fast-moving subjects. And, the camera does not featurea touchscreen display, which may be inconvenient for some users.

Choose one of the best SD cards for the Canon Rebel T7: 7 Best SD Cards for Canon Rebel t7 (Filmmaker’s Top Picks).

#2. Nikon D3500

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Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black
  • A DSLR that's as easy to use as a point and shoot camera
  • Compact, comfortable design that's great for travel and special events
  • Image sensor that's 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones for sharper,...

Quick Info: Another budget-friendly option with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and an ISO range of 100-25600.

The Nikon D3500 is a great budget-friendly option for anyone looking to capture the Northern Lights. It has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and an ISO range of 100-25600, which can be expanded up to 51200. The camera is also lightweight and easy to carry, making it perfect for outdoor photography.

The best thing about the Nikon D3500 is its ease of use. The camera has a Guide Mode that makes it easy for beginners to learn how to use it. Additionally, it has a long battery life, which is essential when photographing the Northern Lights, as it may take several hours to capture the perfect shot.

But, like many other cameras, the Nikon D3500 does have a few drawbacks. It does not have a touchscreen display, which may be inconvenient for some users. Additionally, the camera’s autofocus system is not as advanced as some other cameras on this list, which can make it challenging to capture fast-moving subjects.

#3. Sony Alpha A6000

SPECIAL SALE
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
  • Advanced 24.2MP back Illuminated 35 millimeter full frame image sensor
  • ISO 100 25600 (expandable to 51200). Lens compatibility: Sony E mount lenses
  • Hybrid AF with 179 point focal plane phase detection and 25 contrast detect points

Quick Info: A mirrorless camera with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor and an ISO range of 100-25600.

The Sony Alpha A6000 is a mirrorless camera with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor and an ISO range of 100-25600, which can be expanded up to 51200. It also has a fast autofocus system and can shoot at up to 11 frames per second, making it an excellent option for capturing the Northern Lights.

What’s really great about the Sony Alpha A6000 is its compact size and lightweight design, making it easy to carry around. It also has a fast autofocus system, which can make it easier to capture fast-moving subjects, such as the Northern Lights. Additionally, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, making it easy to transfer photos to your smartphone or tablet.

That said, the Sony Alpha A6000 does have a few drawbacks. The camera’s battery life is not as long as some of the other cameras on this list, so it may be necessary to bring extra batteries when photographing the Northern Lights. Also, the camera does not have a touchscreen display, which may be inconvenient for some users.

Discover the best SD card for you camera in the article below: 7 Best SD Cards for Sony A6000 Video.

Mid-Range Options

#4. Canon EOS 90D

Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] with Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DIGIC 8 Image Processor, 4K Video, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and 3.0 Inch Vari-Angle Touch LCD Screen, [Body Only], Black
933 Reviews
Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] with Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DIGIC 8 Image Processor, 4K Video, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and 3.0 Inch Vari-Angle Touch LCD Screen, [Body Only], Black
  • High image quality with 32.5 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 10 fps with no time Lag during ovf shooting
  • 4K UHD 30P/ Full HD 120P video

Quick Info: A mid-range option with a 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor, an ISO range of 100-25600, and weather-sealed body.

The Canon EOS 90D is a versatile mid-range DSLR camera with a 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor, which produces highly detailed images. This camera offers an impressive range of features that make it a great choice for photographers looking to capture stunning images of the Northern Lights.

One of the standout features of the Canon EOS 90D is its fast and accurate autofocus system, which makes it easier to capture the Northern Lights’ fast-moving colors. Additionally, the camera’s weather-sealed body allows it to withstand extreme weather conditions, making it ideal for outdoor photography.

Despite these strengths, there are a few areas where the Canon EOS 90D falls short. It is relatively bulky and heavy compared to some of the other cameras on this list, making it less portable. Additionally, it does not have in-body image stabilization, which can be a drawback when shooting in low light conditions.

Pick up one of the best SD cards for canon cameras: Canon Cameras SD Cards (Top 10 Picks).

#5. Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 Digital DSLR Camera Body - Black
707 Reviews
Nikon D7500 Digital DSLR Camera Body - Black
  • Excel in low light with ISO 100-51200 extendable up to ISO 1640000 (equivalent)
  • 20.9 MP DX-format sensor EXPEED 5
  • 51-point AF system will track your subject, lock onto it, and keep it in focus

Quick Info: A mid-range DSLR with a 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor, an ISO range of 100-51200, and a tilting touchscreen display.

The Nikon D7500 is a powerful mid-range DSLR camera that excels at capturing stunning images of the Northern Lights. Its 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor and ISO range of 100-51200 produce high-quality images, even in low light conditions. Furthermore, its lightweight design and ergonomic grip make it easy to handle and use in the field.

An essential feature of the Nikon D7500 is its fast and accurate autofocus system, making it a breeze to capture the Northern Lights’ fast-changing colors. Moreover, its tilting touchscreen display allows photographers to shoot from unique angles, offering a range of creative options.

While it does not have a full-frame sensor like some of the other cameras on this list, the Nikon D7500 makes up for this with its high-quality image output and lightweight design. However, it does not have in-body image stabilization, which may prove challenging when shooting in low light conditions.

#6. Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) - Black
733 Reviews
Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) - Black
  • New 26.1MP X Trans CMOS 4 sensor with X Processor 4 image processing engine
  • 4K movie recording internal SD card 4K/60P 4: 2: 0 10bit recording and the first...
  • 2.16M phase detection pixels across entire frame and low light phase detection limits...

Quick Info: A mirrorless camera with a 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, an ISO range of 160-12800, and a weather-sealed body.

The Fujifilm X-T3 is a mid-range mirrorless camera that offers excellent image quality and advanced features for capturing the Northern Lights. With its 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and ISO range of 160-12800, it can produce sharp and detailed images even in low light conditions. What’s more, the camera has a fast and accurate autofocus system, making it easy to capture the Northern Lights’ fast-changing colors.

One of the unique features of the Fujifilm X-T3 is its film simulation modes, which can give your photos a distinct look and feel. Additionally, the camera has a robust build quality, making it durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.

While the Fujifilm X-T3 is a great camera for capturing the Northern Lights, it may not be the most budget-friendly option on this list. Also, its menu system can be complex and challenging to navigate for some users.

Find the best lenses for your camera in the following article: 7 Top Video Lenses for Fujifilm X Mount.

#7. Canon EOS R

Canon EOS R, Vlogging and Content Creator Camera 4K UHD, Digital Single-Lens Non-Reflex AF/AE, 0.76 Magnification, OLED Color Electronic Viewfinder, CMOS Sensor, Mirrorless, Full-Frame (Body Only)
  • FULL-FRAME CMOS SENSOR & DIGIC 8 30.3 MP IMAGE PROCESSOR: Ensures crisp photos and...
  • DUAL PIXEL CMOS AF: Features an impressive 5,655 manually selectable AF points** and...
  • RF MOUNT COMPATIBLE: The EOS R camera is designed to work effortlessly with RF...

Quick Info: A full-frame mirrorless camera with a 30.3-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-40000, and a weather-sealed body.

The Canon EOS R is a fantastic camera that offers excellent features for capturing the stunning Northern Lights. The camera’s full-frame sensor and impressive ISO range produce high-quality images with exceptional clarity and detail, even in low light conditions. Additionally, the camera’s fast and accurate autofocus system is a great feature for capturing the Northern Lights.

One of the things that stand out with the Canon EOS R is its electronic viewfinder, which offers a crystal-clear and detailed view of your subject, even in low light conditions. The camera’s vari-angle touchscreen display is also incredibly helpful for capturing the Northern Lights from different angles and positions.

On the downside, the Canon EOS R is a relatively expensive camera, which may make it less accessible to some photographers. Additionally, its battery life is not as long-lasting as some of the other cameras on this list.

High-End Options

#8. Sony Alpha A7 III

Sony a7 III (ILCEM3K/B) Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 28-70mm Lens with 3-Inch LCD, Black
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed Advanced 24.2MP...
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking

Quick Info: A full-frame mirrorless camera with a 24.2-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-51200, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.

The Sony Alpha A7 III is a wonderful camera that is perfect for capturing the beauty of the Northern Lights. Its full-frame sensor and impressive ISO range produce stunning images with remarkable clarity and detail, even in low light conditions. The camera’s fast autofocus system and 10 frames per second continuous shooting are great features for shooting the Northern Lights.

One of the things that make the Sony Alpha A7 III stand out is its five-axis in-body image stabilization, which helps to stabilize the camera when shooting in low light conditions. What’s more, the camera’s tilting touchscreen display is incredibly useful for shooting from various angles and positions, giving photographers a range of creative options.

However, the Sony Alpha A7 III is an expensive camera, which may make it less accessible to some photographers. Additionally, the lack of a fully articulating touchscreen display could be a negative for those who need to shoot from different angles and positions.

Discover the best SD cards for your camera: Sony a7 III SD Card Speed Recommendation for 4k Videos.

#9. Nikon Z6

Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Body
189 Reviews
Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Body
  • Large, full frame Z mount for Revolutionary optical performance
  • Nikon-designed 24. 5MP backside illuminated image sensor
  • 273-Point on-sensor Phase detect AF system

Quick Info: A full-frame mirrorless camera with a 24.5-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-51200, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.

The Nikon Z6 is an excellent mirrorless camera for capturing the stunning Northern Lights. With its 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor and ISO range of 100-51200, it produces high-quality images with impressive detail and clarity, even in low light conditions. The fast and accurate autofocus system and 12 frames per second continuous shooting make this camera easy to capture the Northern Lights’ rapidly changing hues.

What makes the Nikon Z6 a great choice for Northern Lights photography is its in-body image stabilization, which helps to stabilize the camera when shooting in low light conditions. The camera’s large and bright electronic viewfinder also provides a clear and detailed view of your subject, even in the darkest of conditions.

On the downside, the Nikon Z6 is a pricey camera, which may make it less accessible to some photographers. Additionally, its battery life is not as long-lasting as some of the other cameras on this list.

#10. Sony Alpha A7R IV

Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera w/High Resolution 61MP Sensor, up to 10FPS with Continuous AF/AE Tracking
329 Reviews
Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera w/High Resolution 61MP Sensor, up to 10FPS with Continuous AF/AE Tracking
  • World’s first 61MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R sensor
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 102,400
  • Up to 10fps continuous shooting at 61MP with AE/AF tracking

Quick Info: A high-end full-frame mirrorless camera with a 61.0-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-32000, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.

The Sony Alpha A7R IV is a fantastic camera that is perfect for capturing the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Its high-resolution full-frame sensor and impressive ISO range produce stunning images with exceptional detail and clarity, even in low light conditions. And, the camera’s fast autofocus system and 10 frames per second continuous shooting are great features for capturing the Northern Lights.

One of the things that make the Sony Alpha A7R IV stand out is its in-body image stabilization, which helps to stabilize the camera when shooting in low light conditions. The camera’s tilting touchscreen display is also incredibly useful for shooting at different angles and positions, giving photographers a range of creative options.

But, the Sony Alpha A7R IV may feel a bit too expensive to many. Additionally, its battery life is not as long-lasting as some of the other cameras on this list, which could be a consideration for those who plan to shoot for extended periods.

#11. Nikon D850

Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body w/ AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED Lens
740 Reviews
Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body w/ AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED Lens
  • 1 of Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • 1 of Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Lens shipped separately

Quick Info: A high-end DSLR with a 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor, an ISO range of 64-25600, and 4K video recording capabilities.

The Nikon D850 is a powerful and versatile camera that is well-suited for capturing the awe-inspiring Northern Lights. With its impressive full-frame sensor and wide ISO range, the camera can capture stunning images with exceptional clarity and detail even in low light conditions. Moreover, the camera’s advanced autofocus system and high-speed continuous shooting mode allow photographers to capture the Northern Lights’ vibrant and dynamic colors with ease.

One of the most notable features of the Nikon D850 is its remarkable image quality, which is a result of its high-resolution full-frame sensor. This makes it an excellent choice for photographers who are looking to capture the subtle nuances and intricacies of the Northern Lights. Additionally, the camera’s intuitive controls and ergonomic design make it comfortable and easy to use for extended periods, allowing photographers to focus on capturing the perfect shot.

However, the Nikon D850 is a larger and heavier camera than some of its competitors, which could be a consideration for photographers who value portability and convenience. Furthermore, its price point may be a limiting factor for those who are working within a tight budget.

#12. Sony Alpha A7S III

Sony Alpha a7S III Full Frame Mirrorless Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Body (Black) - Bundle with Sony Tough 160 GB CFexpress Type A Memory Card
  • SONY ALPHA A7S III CAMERA BUNDLE INCLUDES: Alpha a7S III Camera | Battery | Charger |...
  • REVOLUTIONARY SENSOR AND PROCESSOR: Sony Alpha a7S III's 12.1MP sensor and BIONZ XR...
  • CINEMATIC VIDEO MASTERY: Elevate filmmaking with UHD 4K 120p recording, 10-bit 4:2:2...

Quick Info: Our Top Pick! A high-end full-frame mirrorless camera with a 12.1-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 80-102400, and 4K video recording capabilities.

The Sony Alpha A7S III is an exceptional camera that is well-suited for capturing the stunning Northern Lights. With its impressive low light capabilities and advanced features, this mirrorless camera can produce stunning images with exceptional clarity and detail, even in the darkest conditions. The camera’s fast autofocus system and high-speed continuous shooting mode make it easy to capture the Northern Lights’ dynamic and ever-changing colors.

Sony-Alpha-A7S-III

One of the standout features of the Sony Alpha A7S III is its exceptional low light performance, which is made possible by its high ISO range and advanced image processing capabilities. This makes it an ideal choice for photographers who want to capture the subtle colors and delicate details of the Northern Lights. Moreover, the camera’s comfortable grip and intuitive controls make it easy to use for extended periods, allowing photographers to focus on capturing the perfect shot.

However, the Sony Alpha A7S III is a high-end camera that comes with a relatively high price tag, which may not be suitable for all photographers. Additionally, its lower megapixel count may not be ideal for those who need high-resolution images. Nevertheless, its exceptional low light capabilities and advanced features make it a top-performing camera for capturing the beauty of the Northern Lights.

 

Camera for Northern Lights Photography – Features To Look For


Here are some essential features to look for when buying a camera for northern lights photography:

  1. Sensor Size: A camera with a large sensor size can capture more light, making it easier to capture the Northern Lights’ vibrant colors.
  2. ISO Range: A camera with a wide ISO range can capture images in low light conditions without compromising the image quality.
  3. Lens: A wide-angle lens with a low aperture (f-stop) can capture more light and produce a shallow depth of field, making the Northern Lights appear more prominent.
  4. Image Stabilization: As you will be capturing images in low light conditions, having image stabilization in your camera or lens can prevent camera shake and produce sharper images.
  5. Battery Life: When photographing the Northern Lights, you may spend several hours outdoors. A camera with a longer battery life can ensure that you don’t run out of power in the middle of a shoot.
  6. Weather Sealing: Northern Lights photography often involves shooting in extreme weather conditions. A camera with weather sealing can protect it from rain, snow, and dust.
  7. Manual Controls: To have complete control over your camera settings, look for a camera with manual controls for exposure, shutter speed, and aperture.

By considering these essential features when buying a camera for northern lights photography, you can ensure that you capture stunning images of this natural phenomenon.

Northern Lights Photography

 

 Our Favorite Camera for Northern Lights Photography


After reviewing some of the best cameras for capturing the stunning Northern Lights, we have come to the conclusion that the Sony Alpha A7S III is our favorite. Its exceptional low light performance, advanced features, and comfortable design make it a top-performing camera for capturing the beauty of this natural wonder.

However, for those who are on a tight budget, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an excellent choice. Its impressive image quality, ease of use, and affordability make it a great option for photographers who want to capture the Northern Lights without breaking the bank.

Overall, whether you choose the Sony Alpha A7S III or the Canon EOS Rebel T7, you can’t go wrong with any of the cameras on this list. Each camera has its strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

More cameras for night photography: 12 Best Cameras for Night Photography (Top Affordable Picks).

 

 

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I hope this guide helped you know all about the best cameras for northern lights photography. 🙂

 

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