What Features Make a Good Low Light Camera?
Some cameras, like those we list below, do an excellent job accounting for low light situations with their automatic and built-in presets. However, nearly any digital camera can take a decent low light photo if it allows you, the photographer, at least some manual control.
Sometimes your camera's automatic light metering will overcompensate or misread low light situations, and in this case being able to use manual or semi-automatic settings is a lifesaver. The primary low light solution is to adjust ISO upwards. In the old days of film, this would require swapping out an entire roll — isn't it great that in the digital age we can adjust it with the flick of a button? In low light, try a high ISO of 1000 or more. Your images will have more noise in them, but that's the price you pay, and in some cases isn't undesirable.
Additionally, many digital cameras allow you to set priorities in semi-manual mode, allowing aperture or shutter speed to be manually set by you while the camera still does the rest of the calculations. Use aperture priority in low light shooting to open up the lens with the lowest f-stop you can, preferably 1.8 or lower.
In sum, look for a camera with manual and semi-automatic settings that will allow you to adjust ISO, aperture settings and shutter speed in order to have the most control over low light with inexpensive digital cameras.