How to Improve Low-Light Photography With A Mirrorless Camera?

16 minutes read

Improving low-light photography with a mirrorless camera can be achieved by following a few key tips. Firstly, using a fast lens with a wide aperture, such as f/1.8 or f/2.8, will allow more light to enter the camera and improve the overall image quality in low-light conditions.


Additionally, increasing the ISO setting on the camera can help to brighten the image, although this may introduce some noise or graininess to the photo. Experimenting with different ISO levels to find the right balance between brightness and image quality is essential.


Using the camera's built-in image stabilization feature or a tripod can also help to minimize camera shake, resulting in sharper images in low light. Finally, adjusting the white balance settings on the camera can help to correct any color cast that may occur in low-light situations.


By incorporating these techniques into your photography, you can significantly improve your low-light images with a mirrorless camera.

Best Mirrorless Cameras of July 2024

1
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera: Compact APS-C Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Real-Time Eye Auto Focus, 4K Video, Flip Screen & 16-50mm Lens - E Mount Compatible - ILCE-6400L/B, Black

Rating is 5 out of 5

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera: Compact APS-C Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Real-Time Eye Auto Focus, 4K Video, Flip Screen & 16-50mm Lens - E Mount Compatible - ILCE-6400L/B, Black

  • Enhanced subject capture: wide 425 Phase/ 425 contrast detection points over 84 percent of the sensor
  • Fast and accurate: Up to 11Fps continuous shooting at 24.2 MP raw with crisp, clear natural colors
  • Multiple movie functions: Make time lapse movies or slow/quick motion videos without post processing
2
Sony a7 III (ILCEM3K/B) Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 28-70mm Lens with 3-Inch LCD, Black

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Sony a7 III (ILCEM3K/B) Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 28-70mm Lens with 3-Inch LCD, Black

  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage
  • Sensor Type : 35mm full frame (35.6×23.8mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
3
Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera (Black) w/RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens, 24.2 MP, 4K Video, Subject Detection & Tracking, Compact, Smartphone Connection, Content Creator

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera (Black) w/RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens, 24.2 MP, 4K Video, Subject Detection & Tracking, Compact, Smartphone Connection, Content Creator

  • Compact, lightweight RF mount camera with a 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and DIGIC X processor.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II covering up to 100% x 100% area with 651 AF zones with auto subject detection and tracking of people, animals, and vehicles using deep learning technology
  • Continuous shooting with 12 fps with Electronic First Curtain and 15 fps with Electronic Shutter.
4
Sony Alpha ZV-E10 - APS-C Interchangeable Lens Mirrorless Vlog Camera Kit - Black

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Sony Alpha ZV-E10 - APS-C Interchangeable Lens Mirrorless Vlog Camera Kit - Black

  • Large 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor and fast BIONZ X processor
  • 4K Movie oversampled from 6k w/ full pixel readout, no pixel binning
  • Product Showcase Setting transitions focus from face to object
5
Panasonic LUMIX G7KS 4K Mirrorless Camera, 16 Megapixel Digital Camera, 14-42 mm Lens Kit, DMC-G7KS

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Panasonic LUMIX G7KS 4K Mirrorless Camera, 16 Megapixel Digital Camera, 14-42 mm Lens Kit, DMC-G7KS

  • Superb DSLM image quality without the bulk and weight of traditional DSLRs
  • Never miss a photo with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo modes
  • Unwire your creativity with integrated Wi Fi sharing
6
Nikon Z 30 with Wide-Angle Zoom Lens | Our most compact, lightweight mirrorless stills/video camera with 16-50mm zoom lens | Nikon USA Model

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Nikon Z 30 with Wide-Angle Zoom Lens | Our most compact, lightweight mirrorless stills/video camera with 16-50mm zoom lens | Nikon USA Model

  • Designed for creators, vloggers and streamers: Nikon's easy to use Z 30 mirrorless 4K camera with a versatile 16-50mm wide-angle zoom lens
  • Easy live streaming: Plug and play webcam operation, smooth Full HD 60p streaming over USB-C, 4K 30p streaming over HDMI and constant power over USB-C
  • A kit that grows with you: Compatible with Nikon's entire line of exceptional NIKKOR Z lenses, from fast primes to macro lenses, so you can expand your capabilities over time
7
Canon EOS R100 RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 is STM Lens Kit, Mirrorless Camera, RF Mount, 24.1 MP, Continuous Shooting, Eye Detection AF, Full HD Video, 4K, Lightweight, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Content Creation

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Canon EOS R100 RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 is STM Lens Kit, Mirrorless Camera, RF Mount, 24.1 MP, Continuous Shooting, Eye Detection AF, Full HD Video, 4K, Lightweight, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Content Creation

  • Compact, lightweight EOS R series camera with an affordable price
  • Smallest and lightest camera body in the EOS R series1 built for excellent mobility
  • Continuous capture of up to 6.5 shots per second when set to One-Shot AF
8
Fujifilm X-T5 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-80mm Lens Kit - Black

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Fujifilm X-T5 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-80mm Lens Kit - Black

  • Offering the ultimate image quality, X-T5 features the class-leading, 40.2-megapixel X-Trans 5 HR CMOS sensor in a compact, lightweight body that maximizes functionality and portability. X-T5’s improved image processing algorithm delivers outstanding results, packed with detail right across the native ISO range, which now extends to ISO 125. The classic X Series design has been retained. Dials predominate, making key functions – including ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation – quick and easy to set, even with the camera switched off. X-T5 offers a new, 1.84 million dot, three-way tilting LCD and powerful in-body image stabilization.
  • Following in the footsteps of X-H2, find the stunning Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode in X-T5, delivering detailed files like never before. The feature utilizes the camera’s IBIS system to precisely shift the sensor, automatically recording 20 separate frames with one press of the shutter release. Resulting files are combined using Pixel Shift Combiner software to quadruple the camera’s resolution and produce a detail-rich, 160-megapixel file. Perfect for commercial applications or digital archiving, it’s also ideal for any static subject where image quality is of primary importance.
9
Canon EOS R8 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera (Body Only), RF Mount, 24.2 MP, 4K Video, DIGIC X Image Processor, Subject Detection & Tracking, Compact, Lightweight, Smartphone Connection, Content Creator

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Canon EOS R8 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera (Body Only), RF Mount, 24.2 MP, 4K Video, DIGIC X Image Processor, Subject Detection & Tracking, Compact, Lightweight, Smartphone Connection, Content Creator

  • Step up to full-frame with Canon’s lightest full-frame RF Mount mirrorless camera featuring a 24.2 million pixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC X Image Processor.
  • An affordable and compact camera with built-in 0.39” 2.36 million dots OLED EVF up to 120 fps refresh rate and 3.0” 1.62 million dots vari-angle LCD touchscreen.
10
Fujifilm X-T50 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens Kit - Charcoal Silver

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

Fujifilm X-T50 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens Kit - Charcoal Silver

  • Dedicated Film Simulation dial offering fast access to 20 Film Simulations (including REALA ACE mode)
  • 40.2-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor
  • Supports all X Series lenses and includes a 1.4x and 2x Digital Teleconverter
  • 6.2K/30P, 4K/60P, FHD/240P, 4:2:2 10-Bit Video


What is the best way to balance ambient light and flash in low-light photography?

One of the best ways to balance ambient light and flash in low-light photography is to use a technique called "dragging the shutter." This involves using a slower shutter speed to allow more ambient light to enter the camera, while using a burst of flash to properly expose the subject.


To do this, start by setting your camera to manual mode and adjust your ISO to a low setting to reduce noise. Then, choose an appropriate aperture based on your desired depth of field. Next, set your shutter speed to a slower setting, such as 1/30 or 1/60, depending on the amount of ambient light available.


Once your settings are dialed in, take a test shot and adjust your flash power as needed to properly expose the subject. Be mindful of the distance and direction of the flash to ensure a natural look and avoid harsh shadows. Experiment with different shutter speeds and flash power levels until you achieve the desired balance between ambient light and flash. Practice and experimentation are key to mastering this technique and achieving stunning low-light photos.


What is the difference between noise reduction and image stabilization for low-light photography?

Noise reduction and image stabilization are two different techniques used in low-light photography to improve the quality of images.

  • Noise reduction: In low-light conditions, images captured by a camera may contain a higher level of digital noise, which can result in grainy or speckled looking images. Noise reduction is a software-based technique that helps to reduce this unwanted noise by processing the image and smoothing out the pixelated areas. This results in a cleaner and more detailed image, particularly in low-light situations.
  • Image stabilization: Image stabilization is a hardware-based technique that helps to reduce blurriness in photos caused by camera shake. In low-light conditions, the camera often needs to use slower shutter speeds to capture enough light, which can make the image more susceptible to blurring if the camera is not held steady. Image stabilization systems built into cameras or lenses help to compensate for this movement, allowing for sharper images even at slower shutter speeds.


In summary, noise reduction helps to improve image quality by reducing digital noise, while image stabilization helps to reduce blurriness caused by camera shake in low-light conditions. Both techniques can be used together to produce high-quality images in challenging lighting situations.


What is the best way to use natural light in low-light photography?

  1. Look for soft, diffused natural light: Try shooting during the golden hours (sunrise or sunset) when the light is soft and golden. This can create a warm and romantic atmosphere in your photos.
  2. Use reflectors: Reflectors can help bounce light back onto your subject and fill in shadows, especially when shooting in low light. You can use a professional reflector or even a white piece of paper or foam board.
  3. Increase your ISO: In low light conditions, you may need to increase your camera's ISO to capture more light. However, be careful not to increase it too much as it can introduce noise in your photos.
  4. Use a tripod: A tripod can help stabilize your camera and prevent any blur from camera shake in low light conditions. This is especially important if you need to use a slower shutter speed to let in more light.
  5. Shoot near windows or doors: If you're shooting indoors, try positioning your subject near a window or door where natural light is coming in. This can create a beautiful soft light that is ideal for low-light photography.
  6. Experiment with different angles: Sometimes changing the angle of your shot can help capture more natural light. Try shooting from different angles and see how the light falls on your subject.
  7. Use a wide aperture: A wide aperture lets in more light, which can be helpful in low-light conditions. Experiment with different apertures to find the right balance between light and depth of field.


Overall, the key to using natural light in low-light photography is to be creative and experiment with different techniques to find what works best for your particular situation.

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