Best Camera for Astrophotography

The best cameras for astrophotography must have a fast shutter speed, wide ISO range, and large sensor size. With these factors in mind, I determined the top five products below. Keep reading to find out why these features matter to you.

When I think about night sky photography, I imagine that it is tricky to do due to the lack of light that enters the camera’s sensor.

And when you plan to take photos of the distant cosmos, I feel like the feat is even harder to achieve.

You will need an advanced camera that allows the shutter to open for at least 30 seconds.

You also need to invest in an excellent low-light camera with a wide dynamic range to retain as much detail as possible.

Fortunately, you can find photography gear that can capture stunning photos of the deep sky objects.

Astrophotography is no longer reserved for astronomers and scientists, owing to the latest deep sky imaging technology.

You can now shoot celestial events and distant planets without problem.

With these in mind, I have researched the top products on the market and rounded up the best astrophotography cameras today.

These cameras offer a universe of possibilities and prove the sky’s the limit in astrophotography. 

So without further ado, let’s get on with the article!

Things to Look for in a Camera for Astrophotography

Before we list the best astrophotography cameras, we wanted to discuss the factors to consider when buying one. 

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed controls the amount of light coming in the sensor.

Most types of photography require a quicker shutter to capture fast-paced action.

But this is not the case in astrophotography. It needs the shutter to remain open to capture all the light from distant celestial bodies.

Thus, you need to buy a camera with a wide shutter speed range for long-exposure time. Look for photography gear that can shoot as long as 30 seconds. Better yet, get one with bulb mode. This setting allows you to hold the shutter open for more than 30 seconds. It can ultimately help in photographing deep sky objects and star trails with relative ease.


ISO values determine the light sensitivity of the camera sensor.

The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera is to light. Thus, it allows you to pick up the faint glow from the distant cosmos easily.

You must buy a camera with a wide ISO range to increase the sensor’s sensitivity.

But you should also consider its ISO invariance to ensure low noise in your photos, even if you crank up the ISO value. Always remember that a high ISO setting is not the best because it can introduce grain in your photos, ultimately affecting image quality.

Sensor Size

There are different camera sensor sizes available.

In general, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have either full-frame or crop (APS-C) sensors.

A full-frame sensor is equivalent to the size of a standard 35mm film. It captures more light and offers a higher ISO range. Thus, a full-frame camera is usually best for astrophotography.

Meanwhile, a crop sensor is about 2.5 times smaller than a full-frame sensor. While it allows you to zoom in on objects, it captures a lesser amount of light compared to a full-frame DSLR body. Such a small image sensor size can prove to be problematic with astrophotography.

In general, look for larger camera sensors to help you capture images of the Solar System, Milky Way, and other celestial bodies.

Sensor Type

Besides sensor size, you must also consider the type of sensor in a camera.

There is no need to worry when it comes to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Regardless of their sensor types, you can capture photos of the planets and stars without problem.

But if you want to take photos of very distant stars in the Milky Way, consider using a dedicated astrophotography camera with a CMOS or CCD sensor.

A complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor captures images in greyscale. Thus, it needs a minimum of three separate filters (R, G, B) to shoot in color. These filters are more sensitive to light, suitable for astrophotography.

Meanwhile, a charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor needs an accompanying telescope for your camera. It allows long exposures and reduces noise on your images. Thus, it is also perfect for astrophotography.

That said, CCD and CMOS sensor cameras can be pretty expensive due to the filters and other accessories needed. They also require dedicated computer software to operate.

So make sure to consider the pros and cons before buying an astrophotography camera.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range refers to the ratio of tones that a camera can capture.

A higher dynamic range can retain more details in the shadows and highlights of your photos. Thus, it results in clear and sharp images, even when shooting in low-light.

So if you want the best astrophotography performance, look for a camera with a higher dynamic range.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

  • Form Factor: DSLR
  • Effective Still Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Special Feature: BIONZ X Image Processor and Front-End LSI
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Form Factor: DSLR
  • Effective Still Resolution: 26.2 MP
  • Special Feature: Lightweight
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  • Form Factor: DSLR, Compact
  • Effective Still Resolution: 24.1 MP
  • Special Feature: Image-stabilization
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  • Form Factor: Compact
  • Effective Still Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Special Feature: Alcohol-Free
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  • Form Factor: Compact
  • Effective Still Resolution: 1.2 MP
  • Item Weight: 100 Grams
View On Amazon →Read Our Review

5 Best Cameras For Astrophotography

With these buying factors in mind, we combed through many pages of customer reviews on Amazon to determine the best cameras for astrophotography.

These products have a wide shutter speed and ISO range for taking photos of the night sky.

Read on to learn our top picks!

Sony a7 III – Best Astrophotography Camera Overall

Sony a7 III ILCE7M3 Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera

The Sony a7 III is a game-changer in astrophotography.

It features a full-frame CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 50-51,200, which can expand to 204,800. 

Paired with a 15-stop dynamic range, the a7 III takes low-light performance to the next level. It is even compatible with various camera lenses to offer the best image quality.

This mirrorless camera also includes Bright Monitoring. It allows you to adjust the composition when shooting in dark conditions.

As for the build, it is relatively light for a full-frame camera at only 650 grams. There is also a three-inch tilting touchscreen that is handy for deep sky imaging.

What’s more, it offers Bluetooth and WiFi connection. This feature enables you to control the camera via a remote or your phone for convenience.

However, several users have encountered issues with the camera’s shutter.

That said, most customer reviews were positive. Astrophotographers praised the camera’s low-light capabilities and wide dynamic range.

With all these factors in mind, we chose the Sony a7 III as the overall best astrophotography camera. It is also one of the leading full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market.

But if you are looking for a full-frame DSLR camera, consider the next product instead.


  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Maximum Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
  • Sensor Size: Full-Frame
  • Sensor Type: CMOS Sensor
  • Weight: 23.04 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5 x 3.88 x 3 inches

Canon EOS 6D Mark II – Best High-End DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II boasts a 26.2 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that picks up more light than crop cameras.

Together with the DIGIC 7 Image Processor, the 6D Mark III captures stunning photos of the cosmos.

This full-frame camera also offers an ISO range of 100-40,000, which is expandable to 102,400. This value is lower than the Sony a7 III, but the camera still delivers amazing low-light performance for reliable deep sky imaging.

Moreover, this DSLR camera includes a 3-inch fully articulating touchscreen. This live-view display makes it easier to frame the shot, even when pointing at the night sky.

There is also WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth connection for shooting astronomical objects with ease.

These features come at a price, though. The 6D Mark II with kit lens can often be found for under $2,300.

A few customers also noted that the camera offers less dynamic range. It results in a loss of detail in the shadows and highlights.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a full-frame camera for astrophotography, it is hard to go wrong with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. It is one of the best Canon cameras on the market today.


  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Maximum Resolution: 26.2 megapixels
  • Sensor Size: Full-Frame
  • Sensor Type: CMOS Sensor
  • Weight: 27.04 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.9 x 5.7 x 4.4 inches

Canon EOS Rebel T7 – Best Budget DSLR Camera

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera

For those who are on a tight budget, consider the Canon EOS Rebel T7.

It has a smaller APS-C sensor with an ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expendable to 25,600. This entry-level DSLR might not seem much, but it still delivers great photos of the night sky and solar system.

This is all thanks to the 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor. These capture rich details and vibrant colors of the cosmos.

The Rebel T7 also includes an articulating 3-inch touchscreen for convenience when capturing deep sky targets.

Furthermore, this canon DSLR is considerably light at only 475 grams. Plus, there is a textured rubber grip for a more comfortable and solid handhold.

However, a few users mentioned that the camera takes some time to focus on a subject.

Upon further research, we found out that focus locks in at around 0.1-second in bright light. But performance slows down to about 0.6-second in low-light conditions.

The Canon Rebel T7 might not offer the highest quality astrophotos, but it is still a capable camera that meets your basic needs. It is among the most affordable Canon DSLR bodies today.


  • Type: DSLR Camera
  • Maximum Resolution: 24.1 megapixels
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Sensor Type: CMOS Sensor
  • Weight: 16.64 ounces
  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 5.1 x 4 inches

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 – Best Astrophotography Camera for Beginners

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is a 24.2 megapixel DSLR camera with a CMOS APS-C sized sensor.

It also boasts a DIGIC 7 Image Processor that ensures brilliant detail and dynamic color.

Moreover, it includes a fast and accurate Dual Pixel AF with phase detection. This feature allows you to focus on distant planets and stars with ease.

The main highlight of the Rebel SL2 is perhaps its ease of use. It has a small body with a user-friendly interface. The buttons and main dial are easily accessible, ideal for beginners.

There are several cons to this DSLR camera, though. 

The Rebel SL2 only has a 9-point autofocus through the optical viewfinder. As such, it does not offer the sharpest images on the market.

And although most customer reviews were positive, some users mentioned that the camera feels “cheap” and plasticky.

Nevertheless, the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is still a great camera for deep sky astrophotography, especially if you are a beginner. For that reason, it deserves a place on our list of the best astrophotography cameras today.


  • Type: DSLR Camera
  • Maximum Resolution: 24.2 Megapixels
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Sensor Type: CMOS Sensor
  • Weight: 16 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 4.8 x 3.6 inches

ZWO ASI120MC-S – Best Dedicated Astro Camera

ZWO ASI120MC-S Astro Camera

If you already know that astrophotography is your niche, consider getting a dedicated astro camera.

The ZWO ASI120MC-S features a 1.2-megapixel color sensor for capturing images of deep-sky objects.

Whether you want to capture the moon, nebulae, galaxies, or even the sun, this camera delivers stunning results.

There is no need for extra color filters, but you may require other accessories to get the best results.

Fortunately, it is compatible with telescope focusers through the T-threaded 1.25-inch nosepiece. 

The ASI120MC-S also allows you to mount the camera on a solid equatorial mount. It can accurately track the motion of the sky for accurate photos.

Despite these benefits, several customers mentioned that the camera is not easy to use.

It draws power from your computer’s USB interface. It also requires you to install software and drivers before using the camera.

Plus, it only supports Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) XP and later. MacOS users would not be able to set the camera settings.

But once you get used to the different controls, the ZWO ASI120MC-S is among the best astrophotography cameras.


  • Type: Dedicated Astrophotography Camera
  • Maximum Resolution: 1.2 megapixels (1280 x 960)
  • Sensor Size: 1/3-inch
  • Sensor Type: CMOS Sensor
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 6 inches

Frequently Asked Questions

How many megapixels do you need for astrophotography?

It will depend on your needs and the size of images you want to print. Always remember that a larger megapixel is not equivalent to better image quality—you have to consider sensor size for that. Instead, it determines how large you can print images and how much you can crop or “zoom in” the frame without losing detail.

In general, a 20-megapixel camera is enough for deep sky imaging. It allows you to print billboard size images of the Milky Way and other celestial bodies, if you ever need something that large.

What is the best cheap camera for astrophotography?

The best camera for those with a tight budget is the Canon EOS Rebel T7. It has an APS-C CMOS sensor with ISO range of 100-12800. It also includes a 9-point AF system, 3-inch tilting LCD screen, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology. All these features are ideal for deep sky astrophotography.

What is a good camera for night sky photography?

If you want to photograph deep sky objects, you want to invest in a camera with a larger sensor and variable ISO settings. You also need to consider how long the exposure time the camera allows and the compatible lenses available. These features will help you capture highly detailed and low-noise images.

All the cameras that we’ve included in this list meet this criteria. Most are also interchangeable-lens cameras, meaning that you can use wide-angle lenses and other lens types.

Is mirrorless or DSLR better for astrophotography?

Both DSLRs and mirrorless systems have the ideal camera technology for deep sky astrophotography. They are neck and neck when it comes to image quality. However, mirrorless models have a slight advantage due to their smaller build. They make handheld low-light photography easier and allow you to attach other bulkier accessories.


There you have it—our top picks for the best cameras for astrophotography.

We chose the Sony a7 III as the overall best due to its exceptional low-light performance. We also love its high dynamic range to ensure beautifully detailed astrophotos. Plus, there is a Bright Monitoring feature that comes in handy when shooting deep sky objects. It allows you to adjust the composition in real-time.

Visit this link to buy the Sony a7 III today!