Best Camera for Northern Lights Photography in 2024

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Choosing the best camera for Northern Lights photography isn’t an easy task.

After shooting the Northern Lights for years with different cameras and testing new models, I can tell you that, in a nutshell, these are the best cameras to photograph the Northern Lights:

1. Sony A7SIII
2. Nikon Z6II
3. Canon EOS R6
4. Sony A7IV
5. Sony A7RV
6. Nikon Z7II
7. Canon EOS R5
8. Pentax K-1 Mark II

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 NORTHERN LIGHTS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Besides having a good camera, using the best Northern Lights camera settings is key to capturing the elusive Aurora Borealis. Also, remember that lenses are as important as cameras in night photography, so I strongly recommend using your camera with one of the best lenses for Northern Lights photography.

Best Northern Lights camera

Having a good camera for Northern Lights is key to take the best images

The top choices in this list of the best cameras for the Northern Lights only includes Full-Frame cameras since these are the best to photograph the Northern Lights with less digital noise and more quality.

Nonetheless, in this article, you’ll find a full list of the best cameras to take pictures of the Northern Lights according to your goals and budget. I’ve included APS-C cameras, Micro 4/3, compact cameras, and the best Northern Lights cameras on a budget.

Ready to find the best camera for Northern Lights photography?

Note: I haven’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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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

This Sony model is designed for low-light photography and video. On this particular model, you can set an impressive ISO range of 80-102400, which is crucial for the challenging conditions of shooting the Aurora. This is not only the best mirrorless camera for Northern Lights photography but also one of the best cameras for filming the Northern Lights and for shooting 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 is the best Nikon camera for Northern Lights photography. The low-light performance and high dynamic range of this camera can take your Aurora images to the next level. This is also a superb camera in terms of battery life and weather sealing, which is essential for the long and cold nights under the Northern Lights.

 

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 Northern Lights 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 low light. This full-frame camera features a 24 mpx. sensor with great low-light performance and dynamic range. If you are a beginner in chasing Auroras, 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..

 

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 new Sony A7IV is one of the best quality-price Full-Frame cameras for Northern Lights in 2024. Compared to the previous A7III model, this includes a higher number of megapixels, 33, but without increasing the digital noise when shooting at high ISOs. This is an ideal option as a first Full-Frame camera or for photographers transitioning from DSLR to mirrorless. Besides Aurora photography, it’s also a good camera for Milky Way and other Astro purposes.

 

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

TThis is one of the best Sony cameras for Northern Lights photography. The A7RV is all you need to take high-resolution Aurora images, and it’s also a fantastic camera for general landscape photography. This camera was released in 2022 and it has quickly become one of the best options in its price range. It’s an outstanding camera for night photography, and if you use the right Northern Lights settings, you can take otherworldly images of the “green lady”.

 

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 Northern Lights. It offers a huge dynamic range and an impressing noise to signal ratio. It’s also ideal for other genres like landscape, especially if you are looking for a high performance camera and big prints. 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

This is one of the best Canon cameras for Northern Lights photography. This model is especially recommended if you also shoot other genres like landscape or wildlife since it’s a more well-rounded camera compared to the previous Canon EOS RA. It’s not a cheap camera and the lens options are still very limited, but the low-light capabilities of this model are enormous.

 

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