10 Best Cameras for Astrophotography – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

A lot of people these days love to take photos of the sky, especially at night. Unlike other forms of photography, you will need the patience to get the best results in astrophotography. You’ll need to leave your lens open from seconds to minutes depending on your setting. To give you the best results, you also need a camera that performs well in low-light situations. The best camera for astrophotography can be subjective and relative to your budget, requirements, and even your preference. To give you enough options, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best choices in the market today.

What is the Overall Best Camera for Astrophotography?

1. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

We believe that the best camera for astrophotography is the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. It comes in as a top choice for pros and for those who are serious about their photography hobby. Canon-EOS-6D-Mark-II The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a camera that you can use for different conditions. Unlike other cameras that will stall in hot and cold conditions, it has a working temperature that ranges from 0°C to 40°C. It has a 45-point all cross-type AF system that can locate subjects with ease. As far as its sensor is concerned, you get a 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor paired with the DIGIC 7 Image Processor. You’d notice that the colors are lively and vibrant. You will also get great results regardless if you are using low ISO or a bit high. It has an ISO range of 100-40000. But for the best results for your astrophotography, you’d want to stick to the lowest ISO possible to get minimal noise possible. It has been designed with a vari angle touch screen 3.0 inch LCD that can get you to tweak what you want on your setting easily. Pros
  • Easy to focus
  • Good ISO range
  • Vibrant colors
  • Durable design
  • Heavy

2. Nikon D3500 DX-Format DSLR

If you are looking to get the best budget camera for astrophotography, then you might want to check the Nikon D3500 DX-Format DSLR. Nikon D3500 DX-Format DSLR It’s a decent camera that can be enjoyed not only by novice photographers but even by people who simply want to invest in a backup camera. The Nikon D3500 is still used by pros despite being categorized as an entry-level camera. It has a 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor paired with an EPEED 4 image processor that gives stunning results. It performs well in low ISO making it a great choice for those who are looking to do astrophotography. You can also transfer images via Bluetooth. If you are going to use the lowest ISO in your astrophotography, you’d notice sharp images with vibrant colors making it the best pick for many. However, we don’t suggest that you tweak your ISO up considering the noise that it produces at the higher ISO limit. Under normal situations, this camera is also handy as it is easy to use given that it is designed for novice photographers. It also has 11 autofocus points spread across the frame. And for those who are looking for a camera for their VLOG, this also comes in handy. What’s not to like? For one, the battery drains fast. Also, you don’t get a dedicated ISO button that makes it easier to tweak the ISO as you shoot. But overall, it is the best budget camera for astrophotography given the results and construction. Pros
  • Perfect for novice photographers
  • Decent quality of photos
  • Great performance at low ISO
  • No dedicated button for ISO

3. Canon EOS 90D

The Canon EOS 90D is a great option for both photographers and videographers. It comes with powerful specs that can produce superb photos and videos. Canon EOS 90D The 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor along with its 45-point all cross-type AF makes it a favorite not only by those who shoot in low-light conditions but even by other types of photographers. As for taking videos, it can capture 4K videos with no crop. Plus, you can transfer your files wirelessly either via Bluetooth or WiFi. The controls are also easy to understand especially when you mix the touchscreen LCD. It is a contender for the best camera for astrophotography considering these specs that we’ve mentioned. Pros
  • Can take 4K videos
  • Can transfer via WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Powerful sensor
  • Great for low-light conditions

4. Pentax KP 24.32 Ultra-Compact Weatherproof DSLR

The Pentax KP is often overlooked by many photographers. However, if you are going to look closer, you will notice that this is a great camera that you should seriously consider if you are into astrophotography. Pentax KP 24.32 Ultra-Compact Weatherproof DSLR For starters, let’s take a closer look at its strong points. One, it comes with a decent 24MP APS-C image sensor coupled with a 27-point AF system. It also has a weather-sealed design that makes it appropriate for the outdoors in case you are the type who deals with unpredictable weather when doing astrophotography. If you are seriously considering astrophotography as a hobby, this is a camera that wouldn’t disappoint. Many overlook this camera as the best camera for astrophotography simply because Pentax is not that popular compared to other brands such as Nikon and Canon. But if you want to be transparent about the Pentax KP, the worst thing about it is the short battery life. You’d need an extra battery especially when you need to always use bulb mode when shooting astrophotography. Pros
  • Weather-sealed design
  • With image stabilization feature
  • Powerful sensor
  • Short battery life

5. Nikon D7500 20.9MP DSLR Camera

The Nikon D7500 is a camera that comes in handy for several situations. It has a decent ISO range, a powerful 20.9MP sensor, and a tilting LCD that comes with touchscreen functionality. Nikon D7500 20.9MP DSLR Camera When it comes to its AF system, you get a 51-point AF system that can track subjects well under most situations. However, if you are going to use it for astrophotography, you will realize just how good this camera is in low-light situations. You can use the bulb mode for long exposures and get spectacular results especially when you use the lowest ISO. It also doesn’t disappoint under ordinary circumstances when you need to take photos of human and animal subjects and even landscapes in the morning. Some would even consider it as their best bet for the best camera for astrophotography. The only small downside to its design is the single-card slot design plus the touchscreen functionality that tends to lag. Pros
  • Great for both low-light and daytime scenarios
  • Powerful sensor producing vibrant photos
  • Superb ISO range
  • Touchscreen lags a bit
  • Single card slot

6. Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

The Nikon D750 might be a good pick if you are trying to cut the cost of your astrophotography hobby. Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body You can stick with this “older” DSLR and still get great results. With a 24.3 MP CMOS image sensor and an EXPEED 4 image sensor, you still get decent results. Even in today’s standard, it remains a notch higher than other cameras as long as photography is concerned. When it was released in 2014, many professional photographers loved it considering its weather-sealed design, lightweight construction, and powerful specs that can take full HD videos and superb photos. It also comes with a tilting LCD making it easy to manipulate the camera in awkward angles when doing astrophotography. Though it’s a relatively old DSLR, you can still consider it as one of the best choices for astrophotography, if not, the best camera for astrophotography. If you’ve used the D800, some of our testers consider the D750 to produce softer results, which could be a deal-breaker for some users. Pros
  • Great ISO range
  • A superb sensor that produces vibrant colors
  • Lightweight and weather-sealed
  • Not as sharp as D800
  • Some photographers find the results a bit soft

7. Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

A lot of people are into mirrorless cameras because of their practical lightweight design. But is it all there is to it? The Sony A7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera proves that there’s so much more to these cameras. It comes in with a powerful 42.4MP full-frame sensor that can take 4K videos as well. Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera It can also connect to your smartphone via WIFI and NFC using the app. One reason why it is preferred by professional photographers is because of its performance in different scenarios. If you are into astrophotography, this mirrorless full-frame camera won’t disappoint. It even has a 5-axis in-body stabilization that helps keep the camera withstand small shakes from winds or even your shaky hands in case you don’t have a tripod. There are a few design flaws though that you will have to reconsider in case you are seriously looking for the best camera for astrophotography. For starters, it doesn’t have a touch screen for its menus which is unusual for a relatively new camera. Next, it only comes with a single slot SD card drive. Though for some, these things are forgivable, the worst for us is the fact that the battery doesn’t last long.
  • With 5-axis in-body stabilization
  • Powerful sensor
  • Lightweight design
  • Transfers files via WiFi
  • Battery life

8. Sony a7 III (ILCE M3K/B) Full-frame Mirrorless

Sony A7 III is an entry-level full-frame camera that can come in handy as a good astrophotography gear. Sony lifted the A7 III from the A9 model. Sony a7 III (ILCEM3K-B) Full-frame Mirrorless Despite being a mellowed-down version of the A9, it is still a top contender for the best camera for astrophotography. For one, it has a decent 24.2MP BSI full-frame image sensor coupled with a superb ISO range. It has an ISO range of 50 to 204,800 giving you the flexibility you need when shooting in the dark. Plus, if you are also planning to use the camera for other situations other than astrophotography, it is still a good deal. It has a 693 phase-detection AF system making it easy to track your subject. One thing that you might not like is the fact that it doesn’t have a true vari-angle LCD. Pros
  • Shoots in 4K
  • Good tracking
  • LCD tilts a bit
  • Powerful sensor
  • Doesn’t have a true vari-angle LCD

9. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

If you’ve tried using DSLRs for your astrophotography sessions, you’d find the Canon EOS M50 Mark II as a breath of fresh air. It’s a lightweight pick compared to other Canon and non-Canon DSLRs. However, it does pack a punch. It is a favorite not only by photographers but also by vloggers thanks to its 4K video capability. It comes with a flip screen, not to mention, superb autofocus. The resolution of its sensor is at 24MP which is not exactly the most impressive, it can get the job done when it comes to astrophotography. Unfortunately, it comes with a few drawbacks such as having no in-body stabilization. Even if you are going to use a tripod, you’d still want something that can give you steady shots. Pros
  • Favorite by vloggers with its 4k videos
  • Lightweight
  • With flip-screen
  • No in-body stabilization

10. Pentax K-70 Weather-Sealed DSLR

The Pentax K-70 is another DSLR typically overlooked by a lot of photographers including serious hobbyists. Pentax K-70 Weather-Sealed DSLR If you are the type of photographer looking for the best bang for your buck, perhaps, this could be a good choice for you. It comes with a 24 MP APS C AA filterless CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 204800. It is a weather-resistant camera that also comes with a shake reduction feature that can come in handy if it’s a bit windy outside. And also, it can transfer your files via WiFi and app. Though it produces low noise even in its mid-ISO range, it comes with a few things that you might not like. Some complained about the durability of the camera. There were a lot of users who reported issues appearing after months of regular use.
  • High-quality shots
  • Transfers files via WiFi
  • With shake resistant feature
  • Durability issue

Final Remarks

Astrophotography can be fun. However, you will need the right camera to get the job done. It’s important to find a camera that performs well in low-light conditions. And if you are overwhelmed by the choices, might as well check both the pros and cons to see which one fits your preference and your budget.

Leave a Comment