Best Cameras for Astrophotography 2023 (Unique Data Analysis)

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We analyzed 685 images shortlisted for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in the past five years to find the Best Cameras for Astrophotography.

In 2023, our top pick is the Sony A7 III:

Our Pick
Sony A7 III

Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

Pros:
  • No.1 Camera in Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022
  • Light Weight, High-Quality
  • 24.2 Megapixel Resolution
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Our results show that this was the most successfully used DSLR or mirrorless camera in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in 2022.

It has all the key attributes you want for landscape astrophotography – a high resolution, full-frame sensor, interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera.

It will be the perfect choice for many given it is cheaper than other top Sony models as well as other top DSLRs from Canon and Nikon, yet our results show that it is a proven performer for astrophotography.

See the image below for an example of what you can achieve with the Sony A7 III:

Chidiya Tapu © Vikas Chander. Taken with a Sony A7 III. Shortlisted in the Skyscapes category of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

Our budget pick is the Canon EOS 6D.

This is an older camera but is overall the top performing of any DSLR or mirrorless camera in five years of the astrophotography competition.

It can be picked up second-hand from various retailers and so can be a real bargain if you are looking for a budget workhorse for astrophotography:

Budget Pick
Canon EOS 6D

Full frame interchangeable-lens DSLR

Pros:
  • Most successfully used camera in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition from 2018 to 2022
  • Bargain to picked up on the used market
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Our upgrade pick is the professional-level Sony A7R IV.

This top-of-the-range Sony mirrorless model boasts an extremely high 61 MP resolution for great detail in images – the “R” in the name refers to “resolution”.

If you want the top-spec option and have the budget, then this may be the pick for you:

Upgrade Pick
Sony A7R IV

Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

Pros:
  • Huge 61 megapixel resolution
  • Sony's top spec mirrorless model
  • Proven astrophotography performance
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Finally, our alternative pick is the Nikon Z6 II.

Nikon is overall the most successful camera brand in the astrophotography competition as photographers have moved over from some of their great DSLRs of the past and increasingly taken up the newer mirrorless models like the Z6 and Z7.

Some photographers regard the menu system with Nikon (and Canon) cameras to be more intuitive than with Sony and prefer to stick with models from these brands.

The Z6 II is the tweaked upgrade to the Z6 that fixed a number of annoyances that people had with the original. It is the lower resolution option compared to the Z7 / Z7 II but comes at a more affordable price (and is in the same ballpark as the Sony A7 III).

Alternative Pick
Nikon Z6 II

Full frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

Pros:
  • Great new mirrorless from Nikon
  • Proven astrophotography performance
  • Mid-range price
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Read to see the full results of our data analysis and for more details on each of our key recommendations above.


Why You Should Trust Us

We are an independent astrophotography-focused publication that conducts objective research to make product recommendations.

For this review we have conducted a unique analysis to see what cameras were used to take nearly 700 of the best astrophotography images in the world in the past five years.


Best Camera for Astrophotography: Data Analysis

We analyzed all 685 images shortlisted for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition for the past five years (2018 to 2022) to see what cameras were used.

Of these 685 images, 335 were taken with DSLR or mirrorless cameras and that forms the basis of our results here.

Overall, from five years of data, the older DSLRs from Canon and Nikon are the most successfully used models, with the Canon EOS 6D out front:

Top ten DSLR or mirrorless cameras used in images shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018-2022

You can see a quick comparison of the key characteristics of these cameras here:

CameraTypeSensorResolution
Canon EOS 6DDSLRFull-Frame20.2 MP
Canon EOS 5D Mark IVDSLRFull-Frame30.4 MP
Nikon D750DSLRFull-Frame24.3 MP
Nikon D850DSLRFull-Frame45.7 MP
Nikon D810ADSLRFull-Frame36.3 MP
Sony A7 IIIMirrorlessFull-Frame24.2 MP
Sony A7R IIIMirrorlessFull-Frame42.4 MP
Nikon D810DSLRFull-Frame36.3 MP
Sony A7R IIMirrorlessFull-Frame42.4 MP
Canon EOS 5D Mark IIIDSLRFull-Frame22.3 MP

However, when we look at the more recent data for just 2022, we see that Sony models are out front and that the mirrorless Nikon models are being more frequently used:

Top DSLR or mirrorless cameras used in images shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

You can see a quick comparison of these cameras here:

CameraTypeSensorResolution
Sony A7 IIIMirrorlessFull-Frame24.2 MP
Sony A7R IIIMirrorlessFull-Frame42.4 MP
Nikon D850DSLRFull-Frame45.7 MP
Nikon Z6MirrorlessFull-Frame24.5 MP
Canon EOS 5D Mark IVDSLRFull-Frame30.4 MP
Nikon D7500DSLRAPS-C20.9 MP
Sony A1MirrorlessFull-Frame50.1 MP
Canon EOS RMirrorlessFull-Frame30.3 MP
Nikon D5600DSLRAPS-C24.2 MP
Nikon D810DSLRFull-Frame36.3 MP
Nikon D810ADSLRFull-Frame36.3 MP
Nikon Z6 IIMirrorlessFull-Frame24.5 MP
Sony A7R IVMirrorlessFull-Frame61 MP

We can also see how the use of mirrorless cameras has increased over the five years in relation to DSLRs in the competition:

DSLR vs mirrorless cameras in images shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018-2022

If we look at how the three major manufacturers compare, we see that Canon was previously dominant in the competition but the use of their models has decreased year-on-year, whereas the use of Sony models has increased notably in 2022:

Images taken with Sony, Nikon or Canon cameras shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018-2022

Our data shows that the previous dominance of Canon was largely due to the popularity of models like the Canon EOS 6D and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

As these cameras have aged it seems as though astrophotographers have moved over to Sony or Nikon mirrorless cameras, rather than more recent Canon models.

Overall though, Nikon has had the top spot for most used cameras for the last three years running.

This reflects how the older Nikon DSLR models like the D750D850, and D810 were very popular and have been complemented by the popularity of the mirrorless Z6 / Z6 II and Z7 / Z7 II models in recent years.

Camera models from other brands like Pentax, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, and Olympus are very rarely used in images shortlisted in the competition.

This is not to say that you cannot do astrophotography with these cameras, just that – based on this evidence – the majority of astrophotographers prefer to used Sony, Nikon and Canon cameras.


What makes a great astrophotography camera?

There are two common traits to virtually all of the cameras that are being used successfully for astrophotography:

  1. They are interchangeable lens mirrorless or DSLR cameras. As opposed to compact or bridge cameras.
  2. They have full-frame sensors. As opposed to APS-C (crop) sensors, or others like medium and four-thirds.

1. They are interchangeable lens cameras

The cameras used with success in the competition are virtually all interchangeable lens cameras.

This means that they are cameras that can have separate lenses fitted to them, as opposed to bridge or compact cameras that have built-in lenses.

This is important as:

  1. These cameras are more versatile in allowing different lenses to be used, and
  2. Allow much greater manual control of the settings when capturing images. This is important for astrophotography as you will be using the manual mode to choose settings like aperture, exposure time, and ISO.

2. They have full-frame sensors

The vast majority of cameras used for astrophotography in the competition are full-frame models:

Sensor size of DSLR and mirrorless cameras used in images shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018-2022

(This is even higher if you look at just landscape astrophotography images where is it 91% full frame vs 8% APS-C (the above results include some planetary and deep sky images)).

Every single one of the top ten cameras used in the competition in the past five years is a full-frame camera.

Full-frame sensor cameras will generally perform much better than crop sensor (APS-C) cameras for astrophotography because:

  1. Full-frame cameras work better when using high ISO settings which are needed to compensate for low-light imaging. Images from APS-C cameras will suffer from greater “noise” – which is a sort of graining on the image.
  2. The full frame gives you a wider field of view. This is particularly important for landscape astrophotography where you typically want to capture a wide expanse of the sky. APS-C cameras literally “crop” what is captured in the image and effectively reduce the width of the lens you are using. For example, using a 14mm lens on an APS-C camera will give it an effective width of 21mm in your image, which is much narrower.

Full-frame cameras are more expensive than APS-C cameras, but it is possibly the key characteristic you should look for.

The only contrast to this is that APS-C cameras can be better for use with a telescope to photograph the planets and deep sky objects. This is because the narrow field of view can actually help you crop closer to smaller objects in the night sky. However, we are focused here on the best models for landscape astrophotography.

We will now examine the top cameras that we recommend and explore the pros and cons of each.


Sony A7 III

Best Camera for Astrophotography

Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Body Only,Base Configuration,Black

The Sony A7 III is our overall top pick as the best camera for astrophotography in 2023.

It was the most successfully used model of any mirrorless or DSLR in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in 2022.

Here is an example of one of the images used with this camera shortlisted in the competition:

Ladder to the Stars © Mihail Minkov. Taken with a Sony A7 III. Shortlisted in the Skyscapes category of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022.

It is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera that lends itself perfectly to landscape astrophotography and comes in a mid-range price bracket, and so is much more affordable than some of the higher-spec mirrorless and DSLR models that rival it.

It carries the advantages of mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs:

  1. It is smaller and lighter, and
  2. The live view through the eyepiece (viewfinder) gives a more accurate impression of the image you will be shooting in the dark. This allows you to adjust your settings accordingly before taking the image, rather than shooting and then seeing what you end up with.

It has a resolution of 24.2 MP, which is lower than some of the other models but this can be an advantage for astrophotography (and other low-light photography) as a lower pixel count can reduce the amount of noise in images.

From our case study series, astrophotographers Ivan Slade and Talman Madsen use Sony mirrorless cameras for amazing results in photographing the stars and Milky Way – they say:

“for astro the dynamic range is insanely good” – Ivan Slade

“the Sony Camera system has the best dynamic range I’ve ever used allowing me to really push my files in post-processing” – Talman Madsen

Overall, this is a perfect option if you want an up-to-date camera in the mid-range price bracket that you know can deliver spectacular astrophotography results.

Key specifications

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Type: Full-frame
  • Sensor Size: 24.2 MP
  • ISO Range: 50-204,800
  • Weight: 1.44 lbs

Canon EOS 6D

Best Budget Camera for Astrophotography

Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) - Wi-Fi Enabled - International Version (No Warranty)

Our budget pick is the Canon EOS 6D.

It is the most successfully used camera overall in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in the past five years.

The results from our findings show that this camera can really deliver despite being relatively old. It is a great option if you don’t want to spend too much and are looking for a second camera specifically to dabble in astrophotography at night.

It was released in 2012 and you can only buy it used now, but you should be able to pick up a good model for relatively cheap.

It is a full-frame DSLR with a 20.2 Megapixel sensor and an ISO range of up to 102,000.

We have examples on this site that show what pictures can be taken with this camera – see our case studies with Ivan Slade and Leonardo Orazi. These results speak for themselves and this is a great astrophotography camera.

Prominent astrophotographer Alyn Wallace produced a video based on our findings to talk a bit more about the Canon EOS 6D (and other cameras):

Overall, this is a great pick if you have a lower budget and/or just want a second camera dedicated to taking out at night and shooting the stars.

Key specifications

  • Camera Type: DSLR
  • Sensor Type: Full-frame
  • Sensor Size: 20.2 MP
  • ISO Range: 100-102400
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs

Canon EOS 6D vs 6D Mark II

One thing to note is that there is a Canon EOS 6D, and a Canon EOS 6D Mark II.

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a more recent model (released in 2017) and an update on the original 6D with some slight modifications (like a flip screen). It is also a full-frame DSLR but with a bigger (26.2 megapixel) sensor.

Both models are great for astrophotography. If you are happy with a used model and want the budget option then find a second-hand 6D, if you just prefer owning a new camera then go for a 6D Mark II.

Sony A7R IV

Upgrade Pick – Best Professional Camera for Astrophotography

Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera w/High Resolution 61MP Sensor, up to 10FPS with Continuous AF/AE Tracking

Our upgrade pick for the best camera for astrophotography is the Sony A7R IV.

Our findings show that the older model version of this camera – the A7R III – is the second most successfully used camera in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in 2022, behind just the lower-spec (and cheaper) Sony A7 III.

See an example image here:

The Night Highway © Filip Hrebenda. Taken with a Sony A7R III. Highly Commended in the Skyscapes category of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022.

We are recommending it here as the professional-level option as it is extremely high-spec and the most recent model in the A7R range.

The “R” in the name refers to “resolution” as it boasts 61 megapixels. This high resolution means that you can achieve greater detail in your astrophotography images.

This can be a great asset if you want to brand from landscape astrophotography into deep sky imaging with a telescope as it enables you to shoot widefield but then crop into specific targets like galaxies and nebulae without losing detail.

Overall, this is a great option if you want the best-of-the-best in 2023.

Key specifications

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Type: Full-frame
  • Sensor Size: 61 MP
  • ISO Range: 100-32,000 (expandable to 50-102,400)
  • Weight: 1.46 lbs

Nikon Z6 II

Alternative Pick – Best Camera for Astrophotography

Nikon Z 6II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body Black

Our alternative pick is the Nikon Z6 II.

Our findings show that Nikon has been the most successful camera brand in the astrophotography competition over the past five years.

Photographers used to favor some of the great DSLRs like the D750, D850, and D810, but now they are more frequently using models from Nikon’s newer mirrorless range.

Whilst Sony dominates the mirrorless market some photographers find the menu system unintuitive compared to Canon or Nikon and there was a problem related to astrophotography with Sony cameras in the past labeled the “star eater” issue, however, this has been resolved.

There is also brand loyalty/familiarity and many will prefer to go for the newer Nikon mirrorless options and they are proving popular with astrophotographers.

Nikon came out with the Z6 and Z7 in 2018, but then updated them both in 2020 with the Mark II versions to fix a number of practical issues that people had with the first iterations.

The Z6 and Z6 II have the same sensor but among the upgrades there are two features that are particularly good for astrophotography:

  1. The Z6 II allows you to take long exposures of up to 15 minutes without using an external intervalometer, whereas the original Z6 has this capped at 30 seconds, which is quite limiting for long-exposure photography in low light.
  2. When you turn the Z6 II off and back on again it remembers your last focus settings. This is great if you are using it mostly for astrophotography and want to be able to pick up where you left off on a previous night.

Therefore it is worth going for the Z6 II if you have the budget, but you can save some money by going for the older version and living without the above tweaks (the first point is remedied by using an intervalometer).

Stacks and Stones © Derek Horlock. Taken with a Nikon Z6 II camera. Shortlisted in the People & Space category of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022.

The Z7 / Z7 II is actually the higher resolution option with 45.7 MP versus 25.4 MP for the Z6 / Z6 II, but it is substantially more expensive.

Therefore we recommend the Z6 II as a great option that falls within more peoples’ budgets, whilst the Z7 II is the upgrade option.

Key specifications

  • Camera Type: DSLR
  • Sensor Type: Full-frame
  • Sensor Size: 24.3 MP
  • ISO Range: 100-12,800, expandable to 51,200
  • Weight: 1.36 lbs

Frequently asked questions about cameras for astrophotography

Are DSLR or mirrorless cameras better for astrophotography?

Neither mirrorless nor DSLRs are inherently better for astrophotography but mirrorless models are becoming increasingly popular.

Our data shows that mirrorless cameras are increasingly used compared to DSLRs every year in images shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year and overtook them in 2022:

DSLR vs mirrorless cameras used for shortlisted images for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018-2022

DSLRs have been the most popular camera type for photographers in the past decade or so, but mirrorless cameras are growing in popularity.

Previously, mirrorless cameras were more expensive but technological advances have been bringing down their prices in recent years.

Mirrorless cameras do not have an optical mirror like a DSLR (hence the name) and tend to be smaller and lighter. They feature an electronic viewfinder that displays what the camera image sensor sees, which can be a real bonus when composing shots and focusing on objects in the night sky. Like DSLRs, mirrorless cameras can be used with interchangeable lenses.

On the other hand, DSLRs often have better autofocus capabilities, better battery life, and work with a larger range of lenses.

The quick answer is that neither DSLR nor mirrorless is “better” for astrophotography. There are great DSLRs but they are now being rivaled in both performance and price by mirrorless cameras.

You can read more on this here: DSLR vs Mirrorless Cameras for Astrophotography.

Are Full-Frame or APS-C sensor cameras better for astrophotography?

Full-Frame cameras are best for astrophotography.

From our research, we found out that 85% of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year finalists’ photos were taken with full-frame cameras:

Sensor size of DSLR and mirrorless cameras used in images shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018-2022

As discussed above, full-frame cameras are generally better for astrophotography due to better performance in low-light conditions compared to crop sensor (APS-C) cameras.

In particular, they work better when using high ISO settings. In comparison at similar ISO levels, images from APS-C cameras will suffer from greater “noise”, which is a sort of graining on the image.

The full frame also gives you a wider field of view which is essential for landscape astrophotography when capturing a wide expanse of the sky in your images.

You can read a more in-depth analysis of this in our article, Full Frame vs APS-C: What’s Best for Astrophotography?

What’s the best budget camera for astrophotography?

A used Canon EOS 6D is our recommendation as the best budget camera for astrophotography.

If you don’t want a used camera, or just not one that is as old as this, then another option is to go for older versions of the top full-frame models, like the Sony A7 or Sony A7 II.

In our opinion, this is better than getting a new APS-C sensor camera just because it is cheaper.

What’s the best DSLR camera for astrophotography?

Our data shows that the best DSLRs for astrophotography are the:

  1. Canon EOS 6D
  2. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  3. Nikon D750
  4. Nikon D850

What’s the best mirrorless camera for astrophotography?

The best mirrorless cameras for astrophotography are the top recommended cameras in this article, namely:

See the Best Mirrorless Cameras for Astrophotography for more on this.

What’s the best Canon camera for astrophotography?

Using our research and findings we recommend the Canon EOS 6D as the best Canon astrophotography camera.

The alternative to this is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV which is actually the second most successfully used camera in our Astronomy Photographer of the Year results. It is Canon’s premium full-frame DSLR and is a better all-round camera with improved features in areas like video capability. It is generally more expensive than the 6D though.

What’s the best Sony camera for astrophotography?

The best Sony cameras for astrophotography are the Sony A7 III and the Sony A7R IV.

Some prominent astrophotographers (like Alyn Wallace) have recently moved over to using Sony mirrorless models instead of DSLRs as their camera of choice for astronomy imaging.

As outlined above, we recommend the Sony A7 III because it came out as the top-performing camera in our Astronomy Photographer of the Year analysis for 2022.

It’s worth noting that there was previously an astrophotography issue with Sony mirrorless cameras where a firmware update resulted in stars disappearing from images as they were mistaken by the camera as ‘hot pixels’ and deleted.

This was known as the “star eater” issue. However, the problem was resolved in 2018 and should not be a barrier to you considering using a Sony mirrorless camera for astrophotography now.

What’s the best Nikon camera for astrophotography?

The best Nikon cameras for astrophotography are the mirrorless Nikon Z6 II or Nikon Z7 II or the older DSLR Nikon D750, and Nikon D850.

See our article on the Best Nikon for Astrophotography for more detail.

What’s the best Pentax camera for astrophotography?

The best Pentax camera for astrophotography is the Pentax K-1 Mark II.

See our article on the Best Pentax for Astrophotography for more detail.

What’s the best beginner camera for astrophotography?

It depends on your budget but there are a few options for beginners:

  1. If you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera already then start with that. No need to buy something new if you are just experimenting at the start and you can get results with any camera (even a smartphone).
  2. If you want to buy something relatively budget then look at a used Canon EOS 6D or Sony A7 or Sony A7 II.
  3. If cost is not an issue then probably look at one of the models that we have recommended at the top of this article as they are the best overall.

What camera brand is best for astrophotography?

Our data shows that Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras are by far the most successfully used for astrophotography.

See our article Canon vs Nikon vs Sony Astrophotography.

Do megapixels matter for astrophotography?

Yes, but it is not necessarily that this should be higher to be better.

More megapixels can degrade low light performance in cameras although with modern high-resolution cameras like the Sony A7R IV this is not an issue.

Our results show that cameras with a megapixel count of around 25 MP are being used extremely successfully for astrophotography.

See our article, How Many Megapixels Do You Need For Astrophotography?

What are dedicated astronomy cameras?

You can use what are called dedicated astronomy cameras for deep sky and planetary astrophotography. These are also often referred to as CCD cameras or CMOS cameras.

These are webcam-like objects that are attached to telescopes and are controlled via a laptop or similar external device.

Our article here is focussed on DSLR and mirrorless cameras that are best for landscape astrophotography.

If you want to see analysis of the best dedicated astronomy cameras, see these articles:

If you are after quick recommendations, our research indicates that:

What are astro modified cameras?

There is also a further category of DSLR/mirrorless camera, which is one that has been specifically modified for astrophotography – and for photographing deep sky objects in particular.

Essentially, the sensors in regular cameras are not ideal for capturing the light emitted by nebulae and galaxies as they filter out a certain color. What can be done is that the sensor can be altered to improve performance in this area.

There are some models that have had this alteration done already, these are the:

The “a” in both refers to “astrophotography”.

Unfortunately, both of these cameras have been discontinued so can only be bought used and it can be quite hard to find on sale. Click the links above to check availability at any time or see here for more details on these cameras.

Modifying a DSLR for astrophotography

You can also modify a regular DSLR or mirrorless camera for astrophotography – either by yourself at your risk following a video on YouTube, or by using a service like Life Pixel who can do it for you.

Life Pixel

Infrared Conversions, IR Modifications & Photography Tutorials

Check Out Life Pixel

What some keen astrophotographers do is buy a cheap used camera like a Canon EOS 6D and modify it for astrophotography.

It will then solely be used for astro imaging and so you will likely need to have another camera for other photography.

If you want to read more about modifying cameras for astrophotography, see our article on astro modified cameras and how to get one.

How to choose the best astrophotography camera?

Assuming you want to take stunning landscape astrophotography images of the Milky Way above the Earth then you should get a full-frame camera, like one of those recommended in this article.

They are fairly expensive but you can save money by buying used or just getting an older model (i.e. the Sony A7 or A7 II, rather than the A7 III).

Other than the full frame sensor, some great added extras to look for in a camera for astrophotography are:

  1. A tilting screen: This is because you might have to have your camera at weird angles or heights at times and being able to tilt the screen can make it a lot easier to operate the camera.
  2. A screen capable of ‘live-view’: Using a live view screen is one of the best ways to help you get sharply focused on the stars you are shooting.
  3. A light weight: This will reduce the burden if taking on trips and on the payload capacity of your star tracker if using one.
  4. Weather-proofing: For night sky photography you often have to stay out for hours in areas where the weather may be unpredictable. This just might extend the life of your camera and save your shots.

Conclusion: What’s the Best Camera for Astrophotography?

We hope you found this article useful and that it provided something different from other things you may have read on this topic.

The data from astrophotography competitions hopefully helps shed some light on which cameras are being successfully used (and that they are not necessarily the most expensive models).

Overall, we recommend:

  1. The Sony A7 III as the all round camera for astrophotography
  2. The Canon EOS 6D as the best budget camera for astrophotography
  3. The Sony A7R IV as the best professional camera for astrophotography
  4. The Nikon Z6 II as the best alternative option and for those that prefer Nikon

You can see more of the photos used in this article on the Royal Museums Greenwich website. They host the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and host an exhibition of the winning images.

You can also see a wider write-up of our analysis of images in this competition here, covering telescopes and mounts, as well as cameras.

Please let us know in the comment below if you have any questions or comments.

Anthony Robinson founded Skies & Scopes in 2017 and has been practicing and writing obsessively about astrophotography and astronomy ever since. He has written for Amateur Astrophotography and Dark Sky Travels magazines. Skies & Scopes has also been featured in Forbes, Digital Camera World, Peta Pixel, and many other publications.

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15 thoughts on “Best Cameras for Astrophotography 2023 (Unique Data Analysis)”

  1. Please mind the ”star eater” issue with the Sony A7 series which is not solved yet. Many articles available. If it turns out the problem got solved, please let us know then 😉
    Cheers.

    Reply
    • Hi Nicholas, thanks for pointing this out. It is indeed a relevant issue and is still not resolved. We have updated the article now to cover this and will continue to monitor to see if Sony resolve the situation.

      Reply
        • Not really resolved. Sure, newer models are better but Sony has NOT addressed the issue with firmware updates to older models. I personally don’t recommend sony for people who think they might get serious into astro using a wide angle lens on a star tracker. for telephoto work ,star eater isn’t as big of a deal.

          Reply
  2. My suggestion for the least expensive and most versatile astrophotography camera: If you have an older Nikon D3000 or D5000 series, send it to Lifepixel.com and have the low pass filter replaced with one that allows Halpha emissions, so the longer wavelengths in the red part of the spectrum, through. Then get a new model for every day photography. The difference between low pass and Halpha permeable filter is stunning. Sensitivity in the red emission nebula spectral range increases by 5-fold.
    There is no need to have a very complex and feature rich camera body for astrophotography. Essentially all you need is a camera body to which you can connect a remote release that keeps the shutter open for minutes at a time. Autofocus, program automatic, all that is irrelevant. A chip that gives reasonably low noise at 1600 ISO is all that is required.

    Reply
  3. A glaring omission in your review is mention of the Pentax K-1 – arguably the best camera for night photography on the market.

    Reply
  4. Maybe you should change the title to “Best DSLR camera for AP” as imho a dedicated CCD or CMOS camera is far better than a DSLR…

    Reply
  5. The Best Digital Camera for AP, especially Small Objects, is the Samsung NX-mini
    – 4 min. Bulb Exposure at ISO 800 is enough for the faintest Galaxies & Nebulae
    – BSI Sensor is the Sony imx183 with a Top QE of 84% in the Green Channel
    – its IR-cut Filter is very easy to remove, even for a non-specialist

    Reply
  6. Thank you for your article and information! Missing in your list of the best is the Pentax K-3 Mark iii, an excellent DLSR recently released. Please don’t just recommend on frequency of use, so that people don’t even look into using an excellent camera system. Thank you!

    Reply

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