Best Camera for Milky Way Photography in 2024

Choosing the best camera for photographing the Milky Way can be overwhelming.

I’ve been testing and comparing different models and, in a nutshell, these are the best digital cameras for Milky Way photography:

1. Sony A7SIII
2. Nikon Z6II
3. Canon EOS R8
4. Sony A7IV
5. Sony A7RV
6. Nikon Z7II
7. Canon EOS R5
8. Nikon Z8

System

MPX

Native ISO

LCD

Price

1. Sony A7SIII

Sony A7SIII

Mirrorless

12

80-102400

Fully articulated

$3500

3. Nikon Z6II

Nikon Z6II

Mirrorless

24,5

100-51200

Tilting

$2000

3. Canon EOS R8

Canon EOS R8

Mirrorless

24

100-102400

Fully articulated

$1499

4. Sony A7IV

Mirrorless

33

100-51200

Fully articulated

$2500

5. Sony A7RV

Sony A7RV

Mirrorless

61

100-32000

Fully articulated

$3900

6. Nikon Z7II

Nikon Z7 II FX

Mirrorless

46

64-25600

Tilting

$3000

7. Canon EOS R5

Canon EOSR5

Mirrorless

45

100-51200

Fully articulated

$3900

8. Nikon Z8

Nikon Z8

Mirrorless

52

64-25600

Tilting

$3999

BEST CAMERAS FOR MILKY WAY PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Besides having a good camera, using the best Milky Way camera settings is key to shooting our galaxy. Also, don’t forget that lenses are as important as cameras in night photography, so I highly recommend pairing your camera with one of the best lenses for Milky Way photography.

Best camera for Milky Way photography

Having a good camera for Milky Way photography is fundamental. Image taken with a Sony A7III

This winning list of the best cameras for Milky Way only includes Full-Frame cameras since these are the best to photograph the Milky Way with more quality and less digital noise.

However, throughout this article, you’ll find a breakdown of the best cameras to take pictures of the Milky Way according to your budget and preferences. I’ve included APS-C cameras, Micro 4/3, compact cameras, and the best Milky Way camera models on a budget.

Ready to find the best camera for Milky Way?

Note: I didn’t split the article into Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras. Check out our guide on that topic if you still don’t know which system is best for you.

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These are the best digital cameras for Milky Way photography:

1. Sony A7S III

Sony A7SIII

  • LENS MOUNT: Sony E
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 12 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 80-102400
  • LCD: Fully articulated

Pros

Cons

The Sony A7S series are specifically designed for low-light video and photography. On the A7S III, you can set an impressive range of ISO 80-102400, opening up a world of possibilities for shooting our galaxy. This is not only the best mirrorless camera for Milky Way photography but also one of the best cameras for Milky Way video and time-lapses.

2. NIKON Z6II

Nikon Z6II

  • LENS MOUNT: Nikon Z
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 24.5 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 100-51200
  • LCD: Tilting

Pros

Cons

This high-end Full-Frame camera is the best Nikon camera for Milky Way photography. This model offers a brilliant performance in terms of high ISO vs. digital noise that will translate into clean Astro images. You can also pair this camera with some of the top Nikon Z Lenses for Milky Way.

3. Canon EOS R8

Canon EOS R8

  • LENS MOUNT: Canon RF
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 24 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 100-102400
  • LCD: Fully articulated

Pros

Cons

The Canon EOS R8 is the best Canon camera for Milky Way thanks to its features, as well as its reduced price point. Last year, the R6 held this position; however, the R8 is more affordable without compromising any of the features that make it great for astrophotography. This full-frame camera features a 24 mpx. sensor with great low-light performance and dynamic range. If you are starting your astrophotography journey, this might be one of the best options in the market. The Canon EOS R8 offers some professional features that will take you time to outgrow, but it still manages to keep the menus very clear, which makes this camera very easy to use.

If you are looking for a camera to astromodify, the Canon EOS R8 is highly recommended by Spencers Camera.

4. SONY A7IV

Sony A7IV

  • LENS MOUNT: Sony E
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 33 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 100-51200
  • LCD: Fully articulated

Pros

Cons

The successor of the renowned Sony A7III is a very versatile camera and one of the best quality-price Full-Frame cameras for Milky Way in 2024. This new model includes an upgrade in the number of megapixels (33), but without compromising the noise when shooting at high ISOs. If you are ready to jump into Full-Frame from a crop-sensor or even a DSLR camera, this will be a very well-rounded camera for all purposes including Astro, and at a reasonable price.

5. Sony A7RV

Sony A7RV

  • LENS MOUNT: Sony E
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 61 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 100-32000
  • LCD: Fully articulated

Pros

Cons

This is one of the best Sony cameras for Milky Way photography. The A7RV is all you need to take high-resolution Milky Way images, and it’s also a superb camera for landscape photography in general. This camera was released in 2022 and it has quickly become one of the best options in its price range. It’s a outstanding camera for night photography, and if you use the right Milky Way settings, you can take otherworldly images of our galaxy.

If budget is not a problem and you’re looking for a high-end/high res. camera, I’d recommend the Sony A1 instead. It’s my current favorite camera for shooting the Milky Way and Astro in general

6. Nikon Z7 II

Nikon Z7II

  • LENS MOUNT: Nikon Z
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 46 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 64-25600
  • LCD: Tilting

Pros

Cons

This is the best high-res. Nikon camera for Milky Way. The huge dynamic range and low-light performance of this model can take your Milky Way images to the next level. This is also a great camera in terms of battery life, weather sealing, and even autofocus in low-light conditions.

If budget is not an issue, I’d go for the new Nikon Z9 instead, which offers more capabilities while maintaining a high number of Mpx.

7. CANON EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

  • LENS MOUNT: Canon RF
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 45 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 100-51200
  • LCD: Fully articulated

Pros

Cons

The current mirrorless flagship of the brand, this is one of the best Canon cameras for Milky Way photography. This model is especially recommended if you also shoot videos, landscapes, and other genres since it’s a more well-rounded camera compared to the previously discussed Canon EOS R6. The price is on the higher end, and there aren’t many lens options compared to Sony & Nikon, but the low-light capabilities of this camera are superb.

8. Nikon Z8

Nikon Z8

  • LENS MOUNT: Nikon Z
  • SENSOR FORMAT: Full-Frame
  • MAX RESOLUTION: 52 mpx.
  • NATIVE ISO: 64-25600
  • LCD: Tilting

Pros

Cons