10 Best Camera for Astrophotography 2022 – Reviews & Guide

Astrophotography is a specialized field of photography that requires both a very specific type of camera and a bit more patience than your average landscape or street photography. The entire process from beginning to end takes considerably longer with astrophotography, so you’ll be spending much more time taking photographs than you would on your average adventure in the great outdoors.

There are many cameras today that are capable of capturing images of the night sky. A DSLR or mirrorless camera with a wide-angle lens is generally preferred by most astrophotographers because of the wide field of view (FOV) and large sensor size. However, in this post, we’ll be looking at Astro-specific cameras to help you find the right one for your astrophotography needs.

So what makes a camera suitable for astrophotography? For one thing, it should be able to provide long exposure times, so as to gather enough light from faraway subjects like galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters.

It should also be able to produce deep blacks and good dynamic range so that subtle details in faint objects can be captured accurately.

Another feature that’s useful for Astro imaging is the ability to take photos with a very low ISO setting. This helps avoid image noise and makes it easier to process the RAW files later on during post-processing.

It’s hard to beat the night sky for drama, mystery, and beauty. From twinkling stars and glowing nebulae to distant galaxies, there’s a whole universe waiting to be discovered.

Astrophotography can be a challenging undertaking, though, especially if you’re just starting out. Unlike commercial photography, where the available light is both bright and predictable, astrophotography takes place in a pitch-black environment. And rather than using a tripod to hold a camera steady over seconds or minutes, astrophotographers typically employ mounts that track the motion of stars across the sky over hours.

For best results, you’ll need far more gear than even an enthusiast photographer might have on hand. Plus, you’ll need to learn some techniques that are fairly foreign to typical photography. You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to gear and technique, however — this is where we come in.

What is better for astrophotography mirrorless or DSLR?

Both mirrorless and DSLRs are good at astrophotography, but mirrorless systems do have a few advantages. The main one is that mirrorless cameras use the same sensor for both the viewfinder and the image, so you get a brighter image in the viewfinder, which is more convenient for framing and focusing on stars.

Another advantage of mirrorless cameras is that their lenses tend to be lighter and smaller than comparable DSLR lenses. If you’re using a wide-angle lens, this isn’t a big deal, but it can make a difference with longer lenses or if you want to bring along some accessories.

Are mirrorless cameras any good for astrophotography?

Astrophotography and mirrorless cameras are a match made in heaven.

But, let’s be clear about this. When I say astrophotography with mirrorless cameras, I’m not talking about photographing the moon. A good DSLR will do just as well here. I’m also not talking about deep space imaging using CCD or CMOS sensors. You can get good results with a DSLR camera here too, but the smaller sensors won’t perform as well as a dedicated CCD or CMOS sensor (unless you have a budget of around $15K to buy a new dedicated CMOS sensor).

What I am talking about is using mirrorless cameras for Milky Way photography, or to photograph planets like Venus and Mars, or even the International Space Station (ISS) as it passes overhead.

1. Canon EOS Ra Astrophotography Mirrorless Camera

Product Dimensions 3.3 x 5.3 x 3.9 inches
Item Weight 3.05 pounds
Item model number 4180C002
Batteries 1 Lithium-ion battery

Canon’s EOS Ra is a mirrorless camera designed specifically for astrophotography. It features a modified infrared filter for enhanced night sky recording and an apt 30.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor to realize notable image quality, a broad sensitivity range from ISO 100-40000, to suit working in a variety of lighting conditions, and fast shooting rates up to 4 fps for working with moving subjects.

Benefitting both stills and video recording, the sensor’s design also facilitates Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which uses phase-detection focusing for quick, accurate, and smooth performance to suit both stills and video use. When shooting movies, users also benefit from 4K video recording at 30 or 24 fps frame rates, along with Full HD 1080p60 and 720p120 shooting rates for slow motion capture.

Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC allows you to pair mobile devices with the camera to wirelessly transfer files for sharing your photos and movies online. Bluetooth is also featured to establish a constant connection between the two devices for remote control from mobile devices as well as wireless file transfer.

2. Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera


Product Dimensions 5 x 3.87 x 3 inches
Item Weight 1.45 pounds
Item model number ILCE7RM3/B
Batteries 1 Lithium-ion battery

The Sony a7R III Mirrorless Digital Camera is a versatile camera that can be used for both photos and videos. The a7R III features a 42.4MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor with gapless on-chip lens design, a front end LSI, and an updated BIONZ X image processing engine that delivers high resolution and fast performance with low noise.

The 42.4MP full-frame Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor with back-illuminated design is the same one used in the Sony Alpha 7R III, except that it’s optimized for video capture rather than stills performance. This allows you to capture 4K resolution video using the full width of the sensor without pixel binning or line skipping for higher image quality than typical 4K cameras.

In addition to high quality 4K resolution footage, the camera supports capturing HD footage at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, allowing you to record slow motion video with 2x, 5x, and 10x slow down capabilities. It also supports S-Log2/3 profiles as well as Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) which provides an instant HDR workflow.

3. Canon DSLR EOS 90D Camera


Product Dimensions 3 x 5.5 x 4.1 inches
Item Weight 1.32 pounds
Item model number 3616C017
Batteries 1 Lithium-ion battery

There’s nothing quite like taking a picture with a Canon DSLR. Experience the art of photography as you shoot impressive landscapes, create unique portraits, and capture precious moments. The EOS 90D camera from Canon is made for those who want to take their passion for photography to the next level.

The EOS 90D 32.5 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor provides the power and performance needed to capture beautiful images no matter where your adventure takes you. Whether you’re shooting a stunning sunset or recording fantastic video footage of an exciting trip, the EOS 90D captures it all in high-resolution detail!

Built-in creative filters add artistic flair to any photo, while the optical viewfinder shows 100% of the field of view, so you can see exactly what your lens captures in real time.

Featuring a 45-point all cross-type AF system* and 4K UHD 30p video plus HDR Movie Mode, this powerful and versatile DSLR camera gives users the freedom to express their creativity through incredible stills and stunning 4K movies even in difficult lighting situations.

4. Nikon D500 Digital SLR Camera


Product Dimensions 5.8 x 4.6 x 3.2 inches
Item Weight 1.9 pounds
Item model number 1559
Batteries 1 Lithium Metal battery

The D500 is ready to go wherever your passion leads you, capturing everything with stunning clarity, speed and resolution. From busy, low-light cityscapes to thrilling wildlife scenes and fast action shots, the D500 is the ideal companion to your wanderlust.

The D500 features the same 20.9 MP DX format sensor found in the D5, Nikon’s flagship FX format camera. With an ISO range of 100 51,200 (expandable up to 1,640 00), image quality and sharpness are paramount. The RGB sensor with nearly 2x the density of its predecessor also features a group area AF mode that uses 5 sensors for improved low light focus acquisition.

The EXPEED 5 image processing engine combined with NIKKOR optics produce high resolution images while reducing noise and improving signal to noise ratio by approximately 30% over its predecessor.

The 3.2″ 2359K dot tilting touchscreen LCD monitor allows you to shoot at a variety of angles while delivering an intuitive tool for live view shooting, playback and menu navigation.

4K/UHD video recording is also possible using either a DX crop or the entire width of the full frame sensor. Additional video features include Power Aperture control for smooth iris transitions and auto ISO.

5. Canon EOS Rebel T100 DSLR Camera


Package Dimensions 7.48 x 6.93 x 6.54 inches
Item Weight 1.83 pounds
Item model number 4000d
Batteries 1 Lithium-ion battery

Capture the moment in stunning stills and Full HD movies – even in difficult light – using a large 18 Megapixel APS-C sensor and DIGIC 4+. An optical viewfinder lets you see exactly what the lens sees, so you can shoot quickly, in total confidentiality. Take control with Scene Intelligent Auto or explore your creativity with add-on lenses (not included).

The EOS 4000D is easy to use – ideal if you’re new to DSLR photography. Creative Auto mode gives you freedom to experiment while the camera handles the settings, while Scene Intelligent Auto detects your subject and picks the perfect settings for you. You can also see how your settings will affect the image before you take the shot with Live View on the 6.8 cm (2.7″) LCD screen.

Take selfies and unique angles using Remote Shooting from a compatible smartphone or tablet (via Camera Connect app). Plus, have fun with Creative filters like Fish-eye Effect and Toy Camera Effect, which you can apply to both stills and movies.

6. Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera


Capture the best of everyday moments with this powerful and compact Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera kit. The 24.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 Image Processor is ideal for capturing high-quality images and videos and offering convenient features like Auto Lighting Optimizer to enhance light and color in your photos.

The EOS M50 camera’s large 3.0″ vari-angle touchscreen LCD has a flexible tilt range ideal for high angle and low angle shooting, and reviewing your photos. Perfect for vloggers, the EOS M50 camera supports UHD 4K video recording at 23.98p in addition to Full HD 1080p, plus a host of features that enhance quality, including 4K Frame Grab for stills pulled from 4K footage and a Time-Lapse movie function that automatically compiles stills into a shortened video file.

Helpful features such as the EVF with Touch & Drag AF lets you shoot through the EVF using Touch AF to select focus points while looking through it, while still being able to see shooting information on screen. With built-in Bluetooth technology and Wi-Fi, the EOS M50 is easy to share media on social networks or stream to other devices.

7. Nikon D850 Digital SLR Camera


Product Dimensions 5.8 x 3.1 x 4.9 inches
Item Weight 2.02 pounds
Item model number 1585
Batteries 1 Lithium-ion battery

The Nikon D850. The next generation of high-resolution photography.

Nikon has combined the advantages of a lightweight, agile FX-format camera with the advantages of an ultra-high-resolution 45.7 megapixels backside illumination CMOS image sensor. The result is a multimedia DSLR that brings your vision to life with stunning image quality, 4K Ultra HD video recording capabilities and much more!

For those who find inspiration everywhere, who switch between stills and video without missing a beat, who want the look only a full-frame D-SLR can achieve and who love sharing their shots, the D850 is the tool to unleash your artistry.

With remarkable advancements across the board —stunning resolution, an autofocus system re-invented for the age of 4K video, an extra-wide ISO range of 64–25600, shoot 7 fps at full resolution or up to 9 fps with the optional MB-D18 Multi Battery Power Pack and EN-EL 18b battery installed or shoot up to 30 fps in Live View mode with no viewfinder blackout — all within a compact and rugged design. With superb NIKKOR optics available, images are crisp and high contrast even at unrealistically high ISO settings.

8. Sony Alpha 7 Mirrorless Camera


Product Dimensions 5 x 2.36 x 3.78 inches
Item Weight 1.32 pounds
Item model number ILCE7M2/B
Batteries 1 Lithium-ion battery

The Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera provides the speed and resolution you need for photographing fast action and for capturing breathtaking detail. This full-frame model features a 24.3MP sensor and can shoot full HD 1080p video.

The Sony a7 is equipped with a 24.3MP full-frame sensor that allows for extremely high resolution images. The Exmor CMOS sensor combines with the BIONZ X image processor to produce high resolution, low noise photographs with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 25600.

The camera has a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines phase detection and contrast detection AF methods to provide quick focus in any situation.

To help photographers take advantage of natural light, the Sony a7 has an ISO range of 50 to 25600, which can be expanded to ISO 50 to 102400.

Full HD 1080p video recording is supported at 24/60 fps in multiple formats including AVCHD and XAVC S, as well as uncompressed clean HDMI out, with full pixel readout of the entire sensor width without line skipping or pixel binning. The camera can record up to 50 Mbps when using the XAVC S codec and also supports S-Log2 gamma for increased dynamic range in post production workflows.

9. Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera


Product Dimensions 3.09 x 5.47 x 4.14 inches
Item Weight 1.4 pounds
Item model number 1263C004
Batteries 1 Lithium-ion battery

Canon Digital SLR Camera Body [EOS 80D] with 24.2 Megapixel (APS-C) CMOS Sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF – Black

The EOS 80D camera features an impressive 45-point all cross-type AF system* that provides high-speed, highly precise AF in virtually any kind of light. Thanks to the intelligent viewfinder, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and brilliant image quality, the EOS 80D is the perfect multimedia DSLR camera.

Canon’s innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF enables you to shoot video like a camcorder with smooth, fast and accurate autofocus, as well as stunning stills. With a flexible 1.04 million dot vari-angle LCD monitor for Live View operation and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for easy sharing and control, the EOS 80D is the ideal creative companion.

10. Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera


Product Dimensions 5.87 x 3.07 x 4.41 inches
Item Weight 2.01 pounds
Item model number 9128B002
Batteries Lithium Metal battery

The EOS 6D Mark II camera is ideal for budding photographers looking to step up their game. This full-frame DSLR camera has a powerful 26.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 7 Image Processor to help ensure detailed, vibrant photos and videos even in difficult lighting situations.

Its optical viewfinder helps you capture the action as it happens, while the 3.0-inch Vari-angle Touch Screen LCD makes it easy to take creative photos from any angle. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity mean you can easily share your favorite memories with friends and family as well.

The EOS 6D Mark II also gives you the option of recording in full HD at 60p for smooth capture of fast moving subjects, or in 4K time-lapse movie mode to show the passage of time over several hours or days. It features a 45 point all cross type AF system so you can quickly acquire focus no matter where your subject is in the frame and the Dual Pixel CMOS AF with phase detection helps deliver fast, accurate autofocus when shooting video or taking advantage of Canon’s amazing Dual Pixel RAW files (the latter with a Software Upgrade). With a maximum ISO sensitivity of ISO 40000 (expandable to 102400).