Sensitive, real-time optical magnetometry with nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond relies on accurate imaging of small (≪10−2), fractional fluorescence changes across the diamond sample. We discuss the limitations on magnetic field sensitivity resulting from the limited number of photoelectrons that a camera can record in a given time. Several types of camera sensors are analyzed, and the smallest measurable magnetic field change is estimated for each type. We show that most common sensors are of a limited use in such applications, while certain highly specific cameras allow achieving nanotesla-level sensitivity in 1 s of a combined exposure. Finally, we demonstrate the results obtained with a lock-in camera that paves the way for real-time, wide-field magnetometry at the nanotesla level and with a micrometer resolution.