Are you struggling to find the best point and shoot camera for low light? Worry not because our guide reviews some of the best point and shoot devices you can use to capture stunning low light images.
Point and shoot cameras help beginners make an easy transition from smartphones to a proper camera. They are mostly lightweight, basic, and cheap cameras primarily targeting new photographers or people with a limited budget. Therefore, you cannot expect them to have advanced features and functions such as high ISOs to take excellent photos in the dark. Still, some of them offer great value for money besides some terrific features, enabling you to start your career on the right note.
Best Point and Shoot Cameras for Low Light
You can capture amazing stills with excellent clarity and sharpness using the following point and shoot cameras. Our experts have chosen these cameras based on their performance in areas like ISO, autofocus, image stabilization, burst rate, and megapixels, etc.
Here is the brief overview of all the cameras on our list.
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Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Nikon Coolpix A10
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 RII
Canon PowerShot ELPH 180
Olympus Tough TG-6
So, let us start our reviews without any further ado.
1. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II: Best Point and Shoot Camera for Low Light
The Canon G7X series has been quite popular among YouTubers and content creators for a long time now. What makes Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II a great camera for low light is its ISO range of 125-12800. Similarly, the large 1-inch 20.1 megapixels sensor combines with the DIGIC 7 image processor to create high-quality images and videos in all light conditions.
The TTL autofocus is not only fast but also reduces blurs. It excels while taking wide-angle shots that have an aperture value of f/1.8. Such a wide aperture further improves the quality of low light images. However, it has an aperture rating of f/2.8 when zoomed in. You can also shift to manual focus for even better results.
The continuous shooting speed of 8fps is highly impressive, allowing you to capture images without wasting any time. The 180°and 45° up and down tilting 3-inch touchscreen makes it easy for you to take photos from different angles.
You can share your files with others and on select social media platforms using the built-in Wi-Fi. Beginners would also love the highest video resolution of 1080P.
The major drawback of the camera is the small battery. It simply cannot support everything this camera is capable of. Therefore, it is better to buy a spare battery for this camera.
All in all, Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II is a beast of a camera. It has everything a point and shoot camera can offer.
2. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 4K camera: Point and Shoot Camera with Fastest Autofocus
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 4K is a bridge camera, costing you around $800. It is a little bit more expensive than other cameras on our list but worth its price. It can help you take your image and video quality to the next level with convenience.
First of all, it offers 4K video resolution, making it a great choice for videographers. Apart from realistic footages, it allows you to extract 8MP 4K images from the videos as well.
The special feature of the camera is built-in image stabilization, necessary to enhance the quality of low light shots as well as remove camera shakes and shivers.
Images exude tremendous sharpness and natural warmth thanks to the large 1-inch 20.1 megapixels CMOS sensor. The high sensitivity sensor allows a rich amount of light to enter the camera. The ultimate result is minimum noise at high ISOs or in low light. Similarly, it also creates a beautiful bokeh effect, separating your subject from the background. Overall, the images are stunning in all conditions.
The 16x optical zoom and 25mm wide-angle lens bring the action close to you besides capturing spectacular wide-angle shots. The lightning-fast autofocus with Panasonic’s DFD Focus technology is 275% faster than regular autofocuses.
Some of the other outstanding features of the camera include macro photography to 3cm, remote control through Wi-Fi, in-camera creative controls, and multiple accessories.
The camera is slightly more expensive than comparable models but one of the best low light digital cameras in the world. You cannot go wrong with this irrespective of your requirements and photography style.
3. Nikon Coolpix A10: Best Cheap Point and Shoot Camera
You must also consider Nikon Coolpix A10 if you want to capture superb images in low light. The biggest feature of the camera is its low price. It is available for just over $100 but still packs a lot of punch and features.
The 16.1 megapixels CCD sensor and 720P video resolution seem on the lower side but sufficient for a beginner. The 5X optical zoom delivers beautiful close-ups.
The camera has a fantastic Auto mode that automatically picks the best settings for your shots. It doesn’t have image stabilization but Vibration Reduction (VR) technology will keep your images clear and sharp by offsetting camera movements.
You can start recording movies just by pushing the dedicated movie button. The built-in microphone further improves the audio quality. The 2.7-inch LCD enables you to perfectly frame your shots.
Of course, such a cheap camera does have some shortcomings. For instance, it struggles to take good photos of moving objects or people.
In general, Nikon Coolpix A10 is an ideal choice for people looking to enjoy good quality at incredibly low price.
4. Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera: Best Low Light Point and Shoot Camera for Videos
Available for more than $1000, Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema falls in the middle of the price spectrum. Made of carbon fiber composite, it is a very lightweight, compact, and small camera that can easily fit in your pocket.
The camera is especially great for videography courtesy of 4K DKI video resolution and 4 built-in microphones. It also has 6K models but they will cost you extra money. Blackmagic even claims that you can make movies that ‘look’ similar to Hollywood movies.
The images also have dazzling colors and accurate skin tones because of the excellent low light performance, RAW format, and high dynamic range.
The larger 5-inch LCD makes it easier for you to take the shots. The camera also supports MFT or EF lens mounts as well as external USB recording, an SD card, and CFast media.
The two main limitations of the camera are lack of image stabilization and low battery life. Blackmagic could have done better considering it is not an inexpensive camera.
Summing up, Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema is a wonderful choice for filmography but it also offers highly detailed, sharp images with accurate colors. The smallest point and shoot camera on our list can offer much more than its size suggests.
5. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS: Best Canon Point and Shoot Camera
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is an outstanding compact camera from Canon. It has a host of marvelous features making it an ideal camera for a variety of uses.
For example, it has 40x optical zoom that is highly impressive for such a small body. Therefore, it is the camera for you if you like to bring the action closer to you. It has a focal length equivalent to 24-960mm when used on full-frame cameras.
The high continuous shooting speed of 10fps makes it a very fast camera. Similarly, the 180° tilting touchscreen is a boon for photographers as well.
The larger ½.3-inch sensor and the exceptionally advanced DIGIC 8 image sensor result in excellent images even in low light. The built-in image stabilization also removes noise at high ISOs as well as blurs from photos. The autofocus performance of the camera is pretty good as well.
SX740 HS shoots in 4K and therefore, you can use it to shoot quality vlogs. However, you can buy an even cheaper version with Full HD video quality only.
The camera does not shoot in RAW and the touchscreen is a bit limiting. But – it is a superb camera for the price, especially for features like 40X optical zoom, image stabilization, and 4K videos.
6. Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II: Best Budget Point and Shoot Camera for Professional Use
Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II is the best compact camera for professional use. It has a sophisticated design, minimalist and traditional look, and streamlined controls. Therefore, it is extremely easy to use as well.
Don’t be fooled by its dinky body because it hides a giant of a camera underneath it. It incorporates a larger 1-inch 20.1 megapixels sensor besides a powerful lens with a focal length equivalent to 28-84mm. The f/2 maximum aperture at 28mm is not only respectable but also ensures beautiful low light images.
The DIGIC 7 image processor reduces noise at high ISOs. Besides, it improves detection and tracking of the subjects. The continuous shooting speed of 8.2fps is not the fastest but good enough for capturing action without missing anything.
The camera doesn’t have a viewfinder but the touchscreen keeps the physical controls to the minimum. The Auto mode as well as photo presets to improve your images, a monochrome mode, and an excellent portrait mode are some of its other features.
The glaring omission in our opinion is 4K. Even some inferior cameras offer 4K video resolution these days.
To sum up, G9X Mark II is a neat little camera with impressive image quality. It is a beautiful camera with nice specs and features.
7. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III: Best Point and Shoot for Low Light
We have already discussed why Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II is such a good camera for low light. Its newer version, the G7X Mark III is even better when it comes to taking images in dim places. It is currently one of the best compact cameras, second only to the Sony ZV-1.
Both G7X Mark II and Mark III have 20.1 megapixels sensors. But – the latter has uncropped 4K video that is also its greatest feature. Similarly, the input for an external microphone makes it a perfect option for vlogging. The ability to live stream to YouTube means it is a more popular camera among vloggers than Sony ZV-1.
It is a lightweight and small camera but still has image stabilization for steady and sharp images even at low light.
G7X Mark III also excels in low light because of ISO 125-25600 coupled with highly advanced DIGIC 8 image processor.
The USB charging option allows you to charge the camera while traveling, a feature you would need if you shoot a lot of 4K videos.
Two areas where G7X Mark III cannot compete with Sony ZV-1 are the autofocus and touchscreen. Sony ZV-1 has both eye and contrast-detection whereas G7X Mark III only has contrast detection. Its touchscreen is also more limiting as compared to ZV-1.
However, G7X Mark is considerably cheaper than Sony ZV-1 and that is why it is on our list. Belonging to a prestigious camera series, the travel-friendly camera can meet most of your shooting requirements.
8. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 RII: Best Point and Shoot Camera 35mm
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 RII has been around for a while but still, it is a great choice for taking shots in the low light. It is a very expensive camera but worth every penny because of its amazing set of features and functions.
For example, it has a massive 42 megapixels sensor, offering clear, sharp, and crisp images. The 35mm F2.0 ZEISS Sonar T lens further enhances the image quality. The high ISO range of 100-25600 also results in good low light images.
The extremely fast autofocus with 399 plane phase-detection points tracks the moving objects in a jiffy. Therefore, the images are always sharp and incredibly detailed.
The high price means you enjoy a lot of advanced features, unheard of in a compact camera. Apart from excellent image resolution and fast autofocus, it has a retractable electronic viewfinder, showing you exactly what you want to capture. Similarly, the 3-inch touchscreen offers a different perspective besides making it easy to capture the ground or the crowds.
The camera also shoots in compressed and uncompressed RAW. The connectivity options include Wi-Fi and NFC.
The continuous shooting speed of 5fps is disappointing though. You expect such an expensive camera to have at least a 10fps burst rate.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 RII is the best point and shoot camera for low light in terms of image quality. However, it is a very costly camera and not everybody can afford it.
9. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180: Simplest Point and Shoot Camera to Use
At first glance, Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 looks like a basic camera with nothing special to offer. However, it is a nifty little camera with features like 8X zoom, image stabilization, and DIGIC 4 image processor.
The 20 megapixels CCD sensor is quite impressive for a 150 dollars camera. It combines with DIGIC 4 image processor to deliver stunning image quality.
The camera offers a higher zoom than most cameras in this price range. The 8x zoom starts from 24mm that is a very useful wide range.
The ISO range of 100-1600 is on the lower side, no doubt, but it still can create reasonably clear and sharp images in low light. The optical image stabilization also plays its part to reduce noise at all ISOs.
The maximum video resolution is 720P which is what you expect from a cheap camera. However, it has an auto intelligent mode that examines the predefined shooting conditions to automatically adjust the settings.
ELPH 180 has a 5-inch rear LCD but its resolution is quite low.
Canon PowerShot ELPH wins no prizes for specs and features. However, it does everything you expect with this type of money. It is the camera for you if you are looking for a cheap and simple point and shoot.
10. Olympus Tough TG-6: Best Low Light Compact Camera for Adventure
Olympus Tough TG-6 should be your choice if you are looking for a waterproof point and shoot for low light and adventure photography. It is an extremely sturdy but simple to use camera.
TG-6 has a small sensor but it generally takes beautiful images. It can even shoot at 4K that is hard to beat at this price.
The aperture is f/2 at the wide. Such a high aperture is ideal for taking low light shots. However, the aperture decreases to f/4.5 at full zoom. The 25-100mm focal length means it can take stunning landscape and telephoto shots as well.
The camera is waterproof up to 33 meters or more than 100 feet. It also has interesting features to take clear and sharp close-ups underwater such as Macro and Microscope modes.
One of the best features of TG-6 is the burst rate of a whopping 20fps, making it one of the fastest point and shoots cameras on the market. Similarly, it can also shoot in RAW format.
It is the best option for families with kids because of its robust construction and ability to receive a lot of bashing.
Olympus Tough TG-6 is the best point and shoot camera for low light with excellent waterproofing if you love to adventure and like water sports.
How to Buy the Best Point and Shoot Camera for Low Light?
You need to take many factors into account while buying a point shoot camera for low light photography.
ISO means how sensitive your camera is to light. The higher the ISO, the more light will enter the camera and the better will be the images taken in the low light. Almost all the cameras have a sort of ISO range. But higher ISOs also create a problem that is digital noise. Cheaper cameras produce noise at all ISOs except the base one. However, it becomes apparent only at very high ISOs in the case of best point and shoot camera for low light.
A large sensor can decrease the digital noise at high ISOs. Therefore, cameras with bigger sensors offer better image quality in low light compared to cameras with smaller sensors. Point and shoot cameras in general have small sensors because of their small weight and size. However, you can find some point and shoots with incredibly large sensors, especially those made in recent years.
Aperture refers to the opening size of the diaphragm. The larger the opening of the diaphragm, the greater will be the amount of light entering the sensor. The wider apertures are practically useful in the case of cameras with low ISOs. Once again cheaper points and shoots will have small apertures compared to expensive ones.
Image stabilization can also help you reduce noise at higher ISOs besides keeping the images steady. You should ideally look for a point and shoot camera with a high ISO range, image stabilization, larger sensor, and high maximum aperture. However, a camera incorporating all these features can be pretty expensive.
Finally, you should also look for a camera with the capability to shoot in RAW. As compared to JPEGs that are compressed files and may lack key details, RAW files hold more information. Therefore, they can be more beneficial in low light because they allow you to keep details like shadows. More importantly, they don’t increase digital noise. They can become the difference between good photos and stunning photos.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What makes a camera good in low light?
A camera needs to have certain features to excel in low light. These features include wide aperture, high ISO range, large sensor, ability to shoot in RAW, and built-in image stabilization.
2. What is the best point and shoot camera?
The following are the best point and shoot cameras.
- Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
- Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
- Nikon Coolpix A10
- Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema
- Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
- Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II
- Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 RII
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 180
- Olympus Tough TG-6
3. Is Low ISO better?
You can get technically better photos devoid of digital noise at low ISOs. The images will also have better contrast and colors. Low ISO also allows slow shutter speed in low light. But – to use low ISO, you must also have as much light as possible. High ISOs are better if you have little to no light to work with.
Concluding our guide to the best point and shoot camera for low light, we must say that all the cameras on our list offer outstanding image quality in all light conditions. They are lightweight and cheap (with a couple of exceptions) but still offer plenty of features to improve your photography skills before you move on to a DSLR or a mirrorless camera.