Do you want to want to make the beautiful night sky a forever memory? If yes, night sky photography is for you. It is also known as Astrophotography and the cameras used for capturing the amazing moments of the night sky are known as Astrophotography cameras.
People capture the night sky sometimes because of a specific celestial event and sometimes just because of the mesmerizing effect created by the moon and stars. Whatever be the reason, you always require a night sky camera to seize those beautiful moments.
Best Camera For Night Sky Photography In 2023
A common belief is that only astronomy enthusiasts and photographers can best describe the beautiful night sky. It is somewhat wrong. Today, with the availability of advanced cameras, anyone interested in photography can give life to awe-inspiring moments of the night.
There are many cameras in the market made particularly for astrophotography but finding the best one is not possible for everyone. Realizing this, we decided to analyze such cameras and review the best ones for you. If you would like to research on your own, then also you are at the right place because we have included a buyer’s guide and some frequently asked questions in the end.
Comparison Table Of Top 9 Camera For Night Sky Photography
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV|
* 1.8 (pounds)
* 3 x 5.9 x 4.6 (inches)
|Canon EOS-1DX||* Camera|
* 10.6 (pounds)
* 7.7 x 9.4 x 8
|Celestron NexStar 8||* Telescope|
* 55.4 (pounds)
* 42 x 25 x 13
|PANASONIC LUMIX FZ300||* Camera|
* 1.52 (pounds)
* 4.6 x 5.2 x 3.6
|Vixen Optics 35505||* Star Tracker|
* 1.6 (pounds)
* 5.9 x 2.3 x 3.7
|Celestron – NexStar 130SLT||* Telescope|
* 17.99 (pounds)
* 28 x 12 x 8
|Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80||* Camera|
* 1.36 (pounds)
* 5.12 x 3.7 x 4.69
|VariMax Pro-Series||* Camera Adapter|
* 1.15 (pounds)
* 4 x 6 x 4
|Sony DSCHX80/B||* Camera|
* 1.05 (pounds)
* 6.2 x 5 x 2.8
Our 9 Picks Of Camera For Night Sky Photography
Photography experts are very picky with their materials so we’ve consulted some professionals that helped us to make a top 9 list of cameras and other required accessories. From this list, you’ll be able to decide which is the best camera for night sky photography that you need.
1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Best Canon Camera For Night Sky Photography
Founded in 1937, Canon has been a tool for professional photography for a very long time. It is almost impossible to not talk about Canon when the topic is about cameras. As Canon has been provided top-notch cameras for a long time, the brand is loved by many professional photographers.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is our top pick when it comes to the best camera for night sky photography. It is even safe to say that this is the best canon camera for Astrophotography. It is a full frame Digital SLR camera with many great features that can assist you with capturing the beautiful stars and the moon.
With its 30.4 megapixels full-frame sensor, it promises to offer great quality pictures. The camera also offers a wide range of ISO for Astrophotography. The ISO range of EOS 5D Mark IV is 100 – 32,00.
It has a 61-point AF system with 41 cross-type which works great in dark. As we know, focus is very important for night sky photography when you are about to take pictures of stars. Best camera to shoot stars needs to have good autofocus that can allow it to make the smallest of stars well-visible.
- 4 MP full-frame sensor.
- ISO 100 – 32000 allows great quality for night sky photography.
- Wireless connectivity feature for easy control from distance.
- Built-in GPS which automatically tracks position and adds a tag to the photo.
- 7 fps continuous shooting.
- Improved weather resistance feature.
- 4k recording requires a lot of storage space.
- No tilt screen.
Overall, this EOS 5D Mark IV can be a very good camera for taking pictures of stars and the whole night sky. It is recommended by our experts and it is also a good gateway to photography if you are new.
2. Canon EOS-1DX Mark II – Best Digital Camera For Night Sky Photography
Canon EOS-1DX Mark II has very high quality features and is a great tool for professional photography. If you want to spend good money on quality purchase, this is the second best option after Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.
The pictures taken by Canon EOS-1DX Mark II are very detailed. Whether you are taking photos in the daytime or at night, the images remain high definition. This is great for night sky photography when you are taking pictures in a moonless night with a telescope adapter.
Why we choose this camera for night sky photography? There’s a lot of reason for that. It has a 20.2 MP full-frame CMOS sensor. It helps to increase the camera’s performance even in low light situations.
With a wide ISO range of ISO 100 – 51200, it adds to the night sky photography feature. For wide lunar picture, this is a very good feature.
As auto focus is very essential for Astrophotography, this camera offers 61-point AF points. Auto focus lets you have clear photos of stars and every star will be perfectly visible.
It also has outstanding viewfinder, built-in GPS, wireless file transmission system, and high frame rate for giving a good service to photographers.
- 14 fps continuous shooting feature.
- 61-point AF system for quality night sky photography.
- Detailed picture in any type of lighting condition.
- 2 MP full-frame CMOS sensor offers good pictures at night.
- ISO range 100 – 51200 provides a lot of options.
- Magnesium alloy body is fully weather sealed.
- Touch screen features are limited.
- A little weaker battery than some other Canon models.
With great features for night sky photography, Canon EOS-1DX Mark II is the second camera in our list. It is used by many professionals and can a good start for newbies.
Read Also: Best Low Light Point and Shoot Camera
3. Celestron NexStar 8 – Best Telescope for Night Sky Photography
When we bring up night sky photography, it is fully related to astronomy. And a telescope is an essential tool for astronomy. Telescope lets you to take close up shots of the planets of our solar system like Mars, Saturn’s ring, etc. This is why we have included a very good telescope which is Celestron Nexstar 8.
Professional Astrophotography requires good quality telescopes and the results are very different from picture without telescopes. Nexstar telescopes are used by many people as a great astronomy tool.
The Celestron Nexstar 8 is a fully computerized telescope with high-end user-friendly features for new astronomers. It can locate nearly 40,000 celestial objects that allows newbies to use it easily.
You can have easy control with this telescope by the use of its LCD screen and many control features near your hand. It is made with high quality materials for durability and Celestron team is more than happy to help you with every necessary information as we have gathered from many users.
To make the proper usage of this tool, the brand offers a great software which is made for Astrophotography and astronomy. Overall, it provides all you need in one package.
- Fully computerized operating system.
- Has the ability to locate nearly 40,000 objects.
- Easy control with the help of LCD screen.
- 81x zooming is very essential for Astrophotography.
- 8-inch aperture allows more light and makes the view clearer.
- Suitable for new Astrophotography enthusiasts.
- Difficulties while making adjustments.
- Can be difficult to carry all at once.
If you are really passionate about Astrophotography, we highly recommend you to get a telescope to make your experience better. This telescope is generally used by professional astronomers and can be a great start for your Astrophotography career.
Read Also: Best GPS With Backup Camera Review
4. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ300 – Best Camera for Star Photography
Panasonic LUMIX cameras are well-known in the photography field. Even though, it is not as professional as Canon or Nikon still, used by many professionals for having a good number of features in a small price.
LUMIX FZ300 is a great tool for night sky photography and with the usage of extra tools, its ability can reach the stars. The 24x zoom feature will allow you to take high quality sky pictures without using extra equipment.
It has an aperture of f/2.8 and we all know how big of an impact aperture can have in Astrophotography since it needs to be very accurate for taking great pictures.
To have a still image, shake-free feature is necessary. For that, LUMIX FZ300 has a 5-axis correction technology that enables it to correct the lens even in a shaky environment. So it will allow easy shots of the sky even if the tripod you’re using is bad.
It also has a good auto focus feature for taking clear pictures of the night sky. Being dust and splash proof, it is surely a durable piece. And the wireless feature lets you control it easily with your phone.
- 24x zoom and can be improved by attaching lens.
- f/2.8 aperture is great for night sky photography.
- 5-axis correction technology for clear images.
- Splash and dustproof feature.
- DFD auto focus for making the object of the picture clear.
- Wireless feature for easy control.
- The auto focus takes some time.
- The menu has a lot of modes that makes it hard to remember.
If you are having a lower budget that won’t allow you to buy Nikon or Canon, you can purchase Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 as it provides all the essential needs for night sky photography. As it has been used to take many great shots of the night sky by buyers.
Read Also: Best Low Light Mirrorless Camera
5. Vixen Optics 35505 – Best Star Tracker for Night Sky Photography
Vixen Optics provide top-notch products when it comes to star trackers. You might ask, why we have included a star tracker in the list of the best camera for night sky photography? The answer is simple. Star tracker allows you to take high quality still of stars and milky way. It a tool used by many professionals which forces us to include a star tracker in our review.
Vixen Optics star tracker can be a great tool for night sky photography with is extraordinary features to track night sky objects very easily. You can mount your camera with this star tracker and take good pictures of night sky objects.
You can put up to 7 pounds weight on this star tracker which is great compared to other brands of the same tool. Even if you don’t have any of the experience in Astrophotography, you can still capture mesmerizing views with the assistance of this tool.
It provides easy control and the controls can be learned very easily. The product has a stunning design which makes it look very beautiful but we care more about the functions it can provide.
What it does, is giving long exposure to your camera and makes the picture better with the utilization of this ability. It is usable in both northern and southern hemisphere.
- Can be attached with any digital camera weighing 7 lbs.
- Simple set up for ease of usage.
- Has a good battery life.
- The design is smooth and good looking.
- Gives a long exposure time for better photos.
- Not waterproof.
- Bottom Line
Overall, it can be of great assistance for your night sky photography career as the product offers important features for these types of photography. You can find many great stills on the web taken by the usage of this start tracker. This is why we recommend it for Astrophotography.
6. Celestron – NexStar 130SLT – Provides Great Zooming for Night Sky Photography
This is another telescope that found its place in our review for being one of the most popular telescopes in the astronomy field. By mounting your camera with this telescope, you get high quality zooming which is essential for taking pictures of stars and galaxies far across the sky.
Celestron – NexStar 130SLT is known as a fully computerized star locating telescope. Like the previous one in our list, it can also locate nearly 40,000 stars in the night sky and you can use it with a simple device.
Although most professionals prefer the previous telescope that we have mentioned in our list, this telescope isn’t any less in terms of quality and service. It can locate stars, galaxies and nebulas and can tell you where they are so that you have a great close up look to one of the most wonderful objects of the universe.
It can be easily mounted. The mounting process doesn’t require any extra tools and can be done by self by following easy instructions. It can be carried on field trips and with a clear sky, you can enjoy a great night looking at the beautiful night sky and taking good quality stills.
It is recommended that you take enough batteries with it as it can drain batteries faster. Which is one of the cons of this product.
- Fully computerized mount.
- Can locate celestial.
- No astronomy knowledge is required for using the product.
- Compact and portable.
- Easy mounting feature requires no extra tool.
- Sensitive to vibration and needs to be very still.
- Short battery life.
It is many people’s dream to have a good quality telescope with affordable price. We can safely say that Celestron – NexStar 130SLT can be the tool you need for making your Astrophotography experience better.
7. Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 – Best Cheap Camera for Night Sky Photography
If you are looking for a good quality camera with low price for night sky photography, nothing can beat Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80. It is better than other budget cameras when it comes to high quality pictures.
With its 60x zoom, it is the most unique one in our list when it comes to close up shots. 60x zoom is really a lot that a camera can provide and Lumix DC-FZ80 wears the crown jewel for that. This makes it a great choice for night sky photography and with it you can take very close up shots of the moon any other celestial objects.
It has a unique post focus feature which lets you focus on a point after clicking a picture. To be honest, this feature received mixed reactions from professional photographers as some said it is a hassle. But for us, it was a good experience and that’s why we took it as one of the pros of this product.
It is a lightweight camera which is really a surprise to acknowledge that it can provide 60x zoom with such low weight. It is a proof of technological advancement.
One of the cons of Lumix DC-FZ80 is it is made with some low quality materials. Our guess is that it has been made that way to keep the price tag low.
- Wide range 60x zoom helps in night sky photography.
- Post focus feature lets user to take a quick picture without focus adjustments.
- Good quality touchscreen enables simple control.
- Very lightweight camera.
- Cheaper option comparing to Nikon and Canon.
- New photographer friendly.
- Design is not so good.
- Poor quality materials.
- Viewfinder has minor issues.
For a cheaper option, this camera is very good in quality. Users were surprised by its abilities and that is why we had to include it on our list of research.
8. VariMax Pro-Series – Best Telescope Adapter for Astrophotography
VariMax Pro-Series adapter is a telescope adapter for your camera and is a great tool for night sky photography. With this adapter and your DSLR camera, you can take many great pictures of night sky objects.
Many people use telescope adapters instead of a real telescope as they are very handy and lightweight. You can carry them easily which is very hard when you have a big telescope.
Unlike other telescope adapters, it has one of the largest variable eyepiece projection adapter in production. Many telescope adapters have a problem of having very small eyepiece which doesn’t offer many choices. But with VariMax, you won’t have to face those problems.
You can fit any DSLR of MIL cameras with it by using a T-ring. Unfortunately, the package won’t come with a T-ring and you have to purchase it differently. After purchasing a T-ring, you’ll be able to mount it with your camera and will be able to take those beautiful stars and galaxies in your frame.
This equipment can be used as a replacement for telescopes. Although it won’t provide so many features as telescopes do but it does give essential features that are needed for Astrophotography.
- One of the largest variable eyepiece projection adapter in production.
- Has a good grip.
- Fits any DSLR and MIL camera with appropriate T-ring.
- Can help to get the view of larger things as moon.
- Sturdy and enables good quality pictures.
- T-ring is not included.
When purchasing tools for Astrophotography, it is a good recommendation to have this product beside cameras for close up shots. Users were very impressed with its ability to take close up shots and they recommend it for newer people in the field of astronomy and Astrophotography.
9. Sony DSCHX80/B – Best Point and Shoot Camera for Night Sky Photography
Of course, we have included Sony. It can be weird not to have Sony when we are talking about cameras. In fact, some of Sony’s cameras are very useful tools for night sky photography but we have included only one which in Sony DSCHX80/B.
It is a point and shoot camera and very handy and lightweight as point and shoot cameras are. It provides 30x zoom which is slightly surprising because it is merely a point and shoot camera.
The camera has a 180° tilt screen which allows taking high quality selfies. But we are not talking about selfies. We need to know how good it is when it comes to night sky photography. And from our point of view, it is a cheap option for Astrophotography.
If you are very new and even inexperienced with cameras, this camera can be a gateway for you. But we do not recommend it as a professional tool for night sky photography.
For detailed pictures, it has an 18.2 megapixel backside illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with a BIONZ X image processor. This makes the images very high definition. It is one additional feature for night sky photography.
The 5-axis stabilization lets you take photos without a tripod. It makes the images shake-free and still. Overall, it has many features for Astrophotography.
- Provides 30x zoom feature.
- Very lightweight.
- 180° tilt screen allows good quality selfies.
- Features an 18.2 megapixel backside illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with a BIONZ X image processor.
- Wireless feature to connect with smartphones.
- 5-axis image stabilization for high speed photos.
- The controls are a little hard.
- Has minor issues with storage.
We recommend this to the newbies for making their way into night sky photography or even general photography. Its handy feature makes it very useful and this made it one of the best point and shoot cameras of the present time.
Read Also: Best Wireless Backup Camera for iPhone
Things To Consider When Buying Camera for Night Sky Photography
Astrophotography needs cameras with unique features as night sky photography is very different from usual photography. Of course, it takes skills to be able to capture great shots but one cannot become a professional without trying first.
When you are about to purchase a camera for night sky photography, there are few things to know about cameras which make them useful for night sky photography. We have included some of them below to let you know about these important features.
Professional photographers or people who are slightly familiar with photography know about a camera’s aperture. Aperture is a term used to refer to the opening of the lens’s diaphragm. Through the diaphragm, light passes and camera captures an image.
Now, how does aperture play a role in night sky photography or astrophotography? The answer is quite simple. When the opening of the lens is big in size, it won’t focus on a single thing. Instead, every object on the picture is focused and very clear to see.
When the aperture is greater, that means the opening of the lens is small. This allows the camera to focus on the smallest of things. This is why it is important to know what range of aperture the camera will offer before buying it. It has a great impact in night sky photography.
As you can guess by the name, shutter speed refers to the speed of the closing of the shutter. It affects the picture quality greatly.
High shutter speed will allow a very small amount of light to get into the lens of the camera. When taking a picture of a fast moving object, it is recommended to high higher shutter speed that makes the image very still.
In night sky photography, shutter speed is controlled depending on the object of the picture. Stars are very still so the camera requires a lower amount of shutter speed. While pictures of the moon should be captured with fast shutter.
Slower shutter has the advantage of giving the picture a good ‘blurry’ effect. As a result, you can be creative with it.
There are a good number of equipment other than cameras that are used in Astrophotography. Some of them are compulsory to have if you are looking to have decent pictures of the beautiful stars and night sky wonders.
Some of these extra equipment are stable tripod, lenses for different types of pictures, good quality telescopes, etc.
Read Also: Best Backup Camera With Sensors
Frequently Asked Questions
Astrophotography is many people’s dream but some of them can be very new to this field and might need assistance to get the best camera for night sky photography. We have included top 10 frequently asked questions which might help you if you have some confusions.
- What are the best adapters for night sky photography?
Adapters can replace telescope and can take very close up shots of the moon and planets of our solar system. VariMax Pro-Series adapters are highly recommended for this.
- What is the ISO setting for milky way photography?
You can start with ISO 1600-3200 and as you start to get a hang of it, you can adjust it by yourself.
- What is the recommended shutter speed to capture the moon?
It is recommended to have 1/15 second or faster since the moon moves pretty quickly in the sky comparing to stars.
- What is the best time for night sky photography?
It just takes a clear sky. It is recommended to go for Astrophotography on a moonless night except when you are taking pictures of the moon.
- What is the recommended aperture settings for Astrophotography?
In full moon, f/5.6 is a good setting. Otherwise, it should be f/2.8.
- What should be the shutter speed for taking shots of stars?
20 seconds is fine when capturing stars. But avoid making it any slower.
- Can I use DSLR cameras for Astrophotography?
Yes. With the perfect type of lens, it is very easy.
- Is Astrophotography costly?
Professionals spend a lot to have the perfect shot. Even beginners have to spend a good amount to have the perfect setup.
- What is a star tracker?
Star tracker is a device that measures the position of stars using a camera.
- Why should I use a star tracker?
Star tracker helps to take more detailed pictures and best for milky way photography.
Night sky is one of the most beautiful sceneries that we enjoy in our lives. Photographers capture some of the great moments of night sky with their skills and great optical devices.
It is highly suggested that you buy the best camera for night sky photography that the market can offer you. With many great features of these cameras, you can be the next person with your shots in an astrophotography magazine.
Leave a Reply