Shooting fast-paced sports such as car races is harder than it looks. You just don’t have to point and shoot but also need proper training and of course, a good camera to take amazing shots. Therefore, we are going to discuss the best video camera for shooting sports to record breathtaking videos of your favorite sports in our guide.
The latest smartphones make it a breeze to record sports videos. However, you need a proper camera to record beautiful and professional-looking videos of sports events. Professional sports recording cameras can cost you thousands of dollars. You need not worry though because camera manufacturers have finally recognized the needs of novice or amateur sports photographers and are now releasing affordable video cameras to cover different kinds of sports events.
The advancements in technology and fierce competition between the brands have also resulted in decreasing camera prices. Therefore, you no longer need to worry about your tight budget. You can easily find a good video camera for sports regardless of your budget.
Review of the 10 Best Video Cameras for Sports
The following are the ultimate cameras to shoot sports videos.
|Image||Model Name||ISO||Burst Rate||Video Resolution||Check Price|
Sony Alpha a6600
Panasonic Lumix S5
Sony Alpha a6400
AKASO V50 Elite
DJI Osmo Pocket
Panasonic Lumix G9
Canon EOS R5
1. Sony Alpha a6600: Best Mirrorless Camera for Shooting Sports
First of all, we have the mirrorless Sony Alpha a6600 camera on our list. It is an APS-C camera with UHD 4K and Full HD 1080 and 30fps and 120fps respectively. There is no recording limit as well. You can shoot as long as the capacity of your memory card permits.
The camera comes with a flip touchscreen as well as some extra space for a customizable button adjacent to the menu screen. Therefore, you can easily shoot in the most awkward of places. The camera has classic control dials and a pronounced grip, characteristic of older Sony cameras. The user interface is also very simple.
What makes Sony Alpha a6600 a great sports camera is its 11fps continuous shooting speed, allowing you to easily capture even the smallest of moments. Similarly, the camera has 24.2 megapixels Exmore sensor with a front end LSI.
It boasts the world’s fastest autofocus system at 0.02 seconds. The autofocus can track the racing cars or players running across the field in real-time. Similarly, the wide 425 phase and 425 contrast-detection AF further improves the tracking performance.
The ISO range of 100 – 32000 is extendable to 50 – 102400. The ISO in combination with 5-axis image stabilization performs extremely well in low light. Good low-light performance and fast autofocus are essential requirements for taking videos of all kinds of sports.
In terms of battery, the camera has a larger grip to accommodate a bigger and more powerful 2280 mAh battery. The battery can last a full day of shooting while in-camera charging further extends its life.
The Sony Alpha a6600 is a terrific sports camera thanks to its fast autofocus, excellent low light performance, long battery life, and a host of other features.
2. Panasonic Lumix S5: Best Full-Frame Camera for Shooting Sports
One of the latest full-frame cameras from Panasonic, the Lumix S5 inherits all the superb traits that made its predecessor, the Panasonic GH5 such a great camera for shooting videos and capturing sports.
The S5 has much better video and slow-motion features than equally priced Sony a7iii. For example, the S5 offers more frame rates required to capture beautiful slow-motion videos. It can capture extraordinary Full HD 1080P at 180 fps for super-slow-motion videos. Similarly, the 4K videos at 60fps in 10-bit are hard to beat.
The camera captures seriously stunning stills and videos at an impressive 96MP high-resolution mode. It has a very high dynamic range with Dual Native ISO to reduce noise in high sensitivity.
The improved dual autofocus detects heads as well as faces, eyes, and bodies. It easily and precisely detects and focuses on fast-moving objects. It is still no match for the Depth from Defocus autofocus system from Sony. However, it is good enough for most sports videographers. On top of that, the 5-axis Dual image stabilization is one of the best on the offer.
Another great feature of the camera is the extremely bright and clear fully articulating touchscreen. The body is also dust and splash resistant and therefore, you can use the camera for water and outdoor sports.
The full-frame camera offers better performance in low-light. You can also have more flexibility when it comes to cropping.
The Panasonic Lumix S5 offers delivers excellent value for money and performs better than Sony a7iii in many aspects. It is definitely one of the best video cameras for sports.
3. Sony a7iii: Best Camera for Silent Shooting
Sony a7iii has been extremely popular among videographers for its amazing set of features. It features an advanced 24.2 megapixels BSI full-frame sensor with 1.8/x readout speed. The back-illuminated sensor also features a front-end LSI as well as the latest BIONX X image processor. The results are high-quality images and videos.
Sony a7iii is a brilliant sports camera due to features like 14-bit uncompressed RAW images and 15 stop dynamic range. Similarly, ISO 50-204800 coupled with 5-axis image stabilization delivers great results in low light conditions. The IBIS also offers a 5-step shutter speed advantage using various algorithms and gyro sensors. The IBIS compensates for 5 types of camera shakes in total.
You can also use the Eye autofocus with AF-C mode for accurate, effective, and fast tracking performance when taking images. The camera also maintains the optimum focus of the fast-moving objects, essential for sports videography.
You can shoot silently at up to 10fps continuous shooting speed. While silence is not important while shooting sports, it is critical for various situations such as taking images of wildlife. The camera allows 40 uncompressed RAW images, 89 compressed RAW images, and 177 JPEG in a continuous burst.
The camera also has long battery life. It can approximately take 610 shots in the viewfinder and 710 shots in Live View in a single charge.
All in all, the Sony a7iii packs high-speed performance and outstanding image capability in a small and compact body.
4. Sony Alpha a6400: Cheaper Alternative to Sony a6600
Sony Alpha a6400 is another best video camera for filming sports and other action from Sony. It has features are similar to both a6400 and a7iii but for a considerably low price. However, two major shortcomings of the camera are lack of built-in images stabilization and comparatively short battery life.
The Sony a6400 features the Sony NP-FW50 battery that roughly gives you one hour of continuous shooting in 4K. The NP-FV100 installed in a6600, on the other hand, allows a couple of hours of continuous shooting. You can live with the shorter battery life but for professionals, a long battery helps them better concentrate on shooting the game.
Apart from the two downsides, the Sony a6400 is a terrific camera. The image quality it delivers is the same as the more expensive a6600 because both the cameras use the same sensor. Similarly, the autofocus of the a6400 is incredible featuring the classic 425 contrast-detection and 425 phase-detection points.
A6400 also enables you to focus on specific players thanks to the improved real-time autofocus tracking while recording videos.
Once again, the Sony a6400 has similar frame rates as a6600 and a7iii for both 4K (30fps) and 1080P (120fps) video resolutions. However, it has no limit on video recording time unlike a7iii with 30 minutes limit.
Sony a6400 can become the best video camera for shooting sports if you don’t mind using a tripod and switching batteries after every hour.
5. AKASO V50 Elite: Best Video Camera for Shooting Sports on a Budget
If you are looking for a budget action camera, you should consider the AKASO V50 Elite. It is normally 1/8 times cheaper than its more famous counterpart, the GoPro Hero8. Therefore, you are going to get the same set of features for a considerably low price.
AKASO V50 Elite is the best sports video camera on a budget. It offers better video quality and higher frame rates than GoPro Hero9, a much more expensive camera. It can shoot in 1080P at 120fps, 2K at 60fps, and 4K at 30 and 60fps. Moreover, you can record super slow-motion videos at 720P at 240fps to highlight interesting or epic sports moments.
It is a complete photography bundle including a waterproof case, a couple of batteries, and different kinds of mounts. It is a tiny and powerful action camera with a 2-inch touchscreen with IPS, making it quite easy to control the camera. You can also control it through voice commands like “Action Photo”, and “Action Start Video”.
Despite being cheap, the camera has superb built-in advanced Electronic Image Stabilization. Therefore, you can record smooth and steady videos of fast-moving objects such as a skier jumping from the mountain. However, image stabilization does not work when you select certain video resolutions.
The camera becomes waterproof up to 40 meters when you wrap it in the waterproof case. It has a built-in Wi-Fi connection and a wireless remote control, allowing convenient controlling in situations like biking, hiking, bungee jumping, and more.
AKASO V50 Elite is the ideal choice if you want to take stunning sports images and record videos but don’t have the means to buy more expensive actions cameras.
6. DJI Osmo Pocket: Cheapest Sports Camera with Built-in Image Stabilization
DJI Osmo Pocket is a tiny camera that offers the full benefits of built-in image stabilization and 4K video resolution.
It is a lightweight and compact camera that you can easily carry in your pocket. Besides, the built-in gimbal stabilization eliminates the need of carrying a tripod or other accessories. The handling is extremely secure and comfortable because of the sweatproof, no-slip grip.
The camera has a 1-inch touchscreen for easy operation. However, it is too sensitive to operate in hard conditions, and therefore, we recommend using a case. The 12 megapixels camera has a fairly wide 80° field of view, enabling you to capture sports still and videos from different angles.
The sensor combines with image stabilization to produce images of the highest quality, somewhat akin to that of top smartphone cameras. Similarly, the combination of f/2.0 aperture, 1000mbs max bitrate, and 1.2/3-inch sensor results in spectacular footage.
As for video resolution, the camera records in Full HD 1080P and 4K videos at 60fps. Similarly, a wide selection of effects and modes further improve the video quality. For example, you can create a wonderful moving effect using the motion timelapse mode.
The face tracking mode of the camera is second to none. It tracks your face and keeps it in the frame by turning the camera by 180°. It has medium battery life at 140 minutes of recording for 1080P.
The camera has several connectivity options including USB ports. Therefore, you can effortlessly share your files.
DJI Osmo Pocket is the camera for if you are looking for a cheap alternative with 4K resolution and built-in image stabilization. Available for just under $200, it ticks all the right boxes for new and professional sports videographers alike.
7. Fujifilm X-T4: Best Sports Video Camera from Fujifilm
Fujifilm X-T4 is a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor. It significantly improves on its predecessor, the highly popular X-T3 in many aspects. For example, it offers a longer battery life and the addition of IBIS has made it a complete camera for videography.
The camera delivers some of the highest frames rates in the industry. For example, it can record 4K videos at a whopping 60fps in 10-bit 4:2:0. Most Sony cameras, on the other hand, has 8-bit video depth.
Similarly, the 1080P videos have a frame rate of impressive 240fps. Even the cameras like Sony a7iii, a6600, and Fujifilm X-T3 record 1080P at 120fps. It also has the highest second highest burst rate of 15fps on our list, making it a great camera for taking sports stills in quick succession.
The camera boasts the classic Fujifilm ergonomic design. It has numerous dials and buttons you can customize in different ways. As a result, it is relatively easier to find the button or setting you need to select while shooting without digging into the menu.
Just like all Fujifilm cameras, X-T4 also has the classic film simulation mode including film stock like Eterna, Velvia, and Provia. Therefore, you don’t need video editing software to achieve some unique and beautiful effects.
Some of the other notable features of the camera are a 3-inch vari angle touchscreen, a fast and robust mechanical shutter, and 5-axis built-in image stabilization. All these features combine to make Fujifilm X-T4 one of the top sports video cameras.
8. Panasonic Lumix G9: One of the Top Cameras for Shooting Sports
Panasonic Lumix G9 is one of the most successful Micro Four Thirds cameras on the market. It was primarily designed for photography but that changed after a firmware update in 2019.
The firmware has made G9 a video powerhouse featuring the same video capabilities as the extremely popular GH5. Now, it can record in 4K at both 30fps and 60fps. Similarly, the Full HD 1080P at 180fps allows the creation of super-slow footage with the utmost ease.
G9 also features improved autofocus as it is a new model. The camera retains all of the original photography capabilities it is known for even after the upgrade. Not to mention, it offers an ergonomic design for videography which is a strong characteristic of all Panasonic cameras.
The downside of having G9 is the lack of phase-detection and contrast-detection autofocus even though the autofocus is quite fast and accurate. Similarly, you can only record 4K videos at 60fps and 30fps for 10 and 30 minutes respectively. The 20fps continuous shooting speed is also quite impressive.
However, the camera captures sharp images with a high dynamic range using a 20.3 megapixels sensor with no low pass filter. The best in class 5-axis image stabilization eliminates blurs by correcting all the lenses.
Lumix G9 also has a rugged freeze and splashproof design. The two SD cards slots, a USB 3.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio port also come in handy while shooting and transferring images and videos.
9. GoPro Hero9 Black: Best Action Camera for Sports Photography
The GoPro series of action cameras need no introduction and GoPro Hero9 is the jewel in the crown. It is the best video camera for shooting sports if you want an action camera for the task.
The camera is remarkably portable and easily mounts any compatible action cam mount. It is one of the very few cameras with 5K video resolution. However, it records in many different resolutions including 5K at 30fps, 4K at 60fps, and 1080P at 240fps that is great for recording smooth super-slow videos.
Hero9’s image quality is average compared to mirrorless or DSLR cameras. It also lacks an effective zoom because it is still an action camera. However, it easily outshines other action cameras when it comes to image and video quality. It can also adjust the field of view to a more linear view from a wide-angle fisheye view. The camera is waterproof up to 33 feet as well.
The camera has a comparatively narrow fixed aperture and small sensor because of which it struggles in low light conditions. There is only one connectivity option in a single USB-C port as well.
One of the most important features of the camera is HyperSmooth 3.0 image stabilization. It does a fantastic job of eliminating camera shakes both in 4K and 1080P recording. Similarly, it automatically levels the horizon for you that is a pretty nice feature.
Hero9 also has improved battery life and a detachable lens. Therefore, you can replace the lens any time you want. It shots 3 to 30 shots per second depending on light conditions.
All in all, GoPro Hero9 is the best camera for shooting sports video as far as action cameras go.
10. Canon EOS R5: Best Canon Camera for Sports Video
Canon EOS R5 is the best video camera for shooting sports in our opinion. It is one of the most advanced cameras you can buy at the moment for almost any purpose including sports. But – you must be wondering why it occupies the last position on our list. It is because R5 is also one of the most expensive cameras on the market and not everyone can afford it.
The camera has 8K video resolution, making it a behemoth of the camera for shooting sports. Similarly, the 45 megapixels camera couple with DIGIC X image process and ISO range of 100-51200 (expandable to 102400) produces images of the highest quality even in very dark places. The DIGIC X processor also reduces noise and enhances details with efficiency and high details.
R5 has a whopping 5940 points Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus that tracks each moment of the game within a blink of an eye. It also covers 100% of the area with 1053 autofocus areas. It has deep learning algorithms to learn the behaviors of its subjects and track them automatically. The AF is available for all video modes, resulting in breathtaking clear videos.
The intelligent autofocus detects head, face, and eye for humans and face, body, and eyes for animals.
R5 has a continuous shooting speed of 20fps for electronic and 12fps for a mechanical shutter. You need this type of speed to capture every moment of the game.
Apart from 8K, the camera also captures beautiful 4K videos at 120fps. The movies capture all the details and actions. It is also possible to shoot in 4K and 8K videos in 10-bit 4:2:2 for rich and accurate colors.
The brilliant 5-axis image stabilization offers 8 stops of shake correction for steady and smooth images. The body is robust and reliable with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity options.
Some of the other outstanding features of the camera include a simple menu, an intuitive control panel, and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder.
In short, Canon EOS R5 is the only camera you would ever need in your life if you can pay almost $500 for it.
Best Video Cameras for Different Sports
I felt it necessary to write cameras about individual sports. You need specific camera features and performances depending on the sports you want to capture since every sport is different. But – I cannot cover every single sport on the planet and therefore, you have to be content with the sport played in similar conditions if you don’t find your game below. For example, camera features should be very similar for American Football and soccer.
The best camera for filming football games would have built-in image stabilization and a telephoto zoom lens since football has a large playing field. Similarly, ISO range depends on what time of the day or where the match is being played. ISO doesn’t hold much importance anyway because Football matches are usually played in well-lit indoor stadiums, under floodlights, and or in the daytime.
We recommend having a mirrorless camera with a reliable zoom and IBIS to zoom in and out of the action. Similarly, a bridge camera with flexible zoom will do the job just fine as well. The camera should have good autofocus because you often have to focus on one player as well.
Camera Choices for Football
- Sony RX10 IV is a great camera for recording games in the day.
- Fujifilm X-T4, Sony a6400, Sony a6600, Panasonic S5, and Sony a7iii are ideal for night recording.
You would remain stationary during most of the match while your camera does all the work for you. Once again, a bridge camera with flexible focal length or a mirrorless camera with a reliable zoom and IBIS will come in handy if you want to zoom in and out of the action.
Camera Choices for Baseball
- Any Panasonic, Sony, and Fujifilm camera will do for daytime games
- Fujifilm X-T4, Sony a6400, Sony a6600, Panasonic S5, and Sony a7iii are good choices for night recording.
The camera must offer good low-light performance because most of the baseball games are played indoors. Similarly, fast autofocus and high continuous shooting speed are also crucial.
Camera Choices for Basketball
- Consider Sony a7iii, Sony a6400, and Sony a6600 for the best autofocus
- Fujifilm X-T4 is the way to go if you are looking for excellent low light performance coupled with high-quality video features such as 4K at 60fps.
The playing conditions for soccer are almost similar to that of football. You can play it under daylight and floodlights or indoors as well as outdoors. The time of the day will determine the importance of low light performance.
Once again, a bridge camera with flexible focal length or a mirrorless camera with a reliable zoom and IBIS will come in handy if you want to zoom in and out of the action.
The autofocus is also important because soccer is also a relatively fast game. Fast and quick autofocus will help you track a specific player easily.
Camera Choices for Soccer
- Sony RX10 IV is the best video camera to record soccer games in the day
- Fujifilm X-T4, Sony a6400, Sony a6600, Panasonic S5, and Sony a7iii are good choices for night recording.
You mostly have to walk with the player across the course. Similarly, you would shoot the player and ball from different angles and distances. You might just be a few or hundreds of yards away depending on what the player is doing. Therefore, you need a camera with good image stabilization and reliable zoom.
Similarly, the photography setup must be light and compact since you have to walk a lot. The low-light performance does not matter much because golf is mostly played during the day. The autofocus is also not that important because the player remains stationary relative to your position during the swing.
Camera Choice for Golf
- Sony RX10 IV is the best all-around solution for golf
The best video camera for shooting sports for hockey should have good low-light performance as the sports is played both indoors and outdoors. It is also a very fast game and you would mostly sit very close to the action. Therefore, a camera with fast autofocus and good autofocus tracking is the key to taking beautiful pictures.
Camera Choices for Hockey
- Sony a6400, Sony a6600, and Sony a7iii are the best options for good low-light and autofocus performance.
- Fujifilm X-T4 is best for low-light performance and high video resolution such as 4K at 60fps.
You need a camera with good low-light capabilities because it is mostly an indoor game. Similarly, the zoom and autofocus performance are not as important because you sit close to the action and the game is not as fast as football or basketball. However, reliable autofocus tracking is always required.
Camera Choices for Volleyball
- Sony a6400, Sony a6600, and Sony a7iii are the best options for good low-light and autofocus performance.
- Fujifilm X-T4 or Panasonic S5 is best for low-light performance and high video resolution such as 4K at 60fps.
You can play tennis both indoors and outdoors as well during the day or night. Therefore, whether or not you require good low light performance depends on the time of the day. You would also sit very close to the court during most of the match. Similarly, photographers mostly focus on a specific player or take wide-angle shots of the entire court. You also have to zoom in and out of the action frequently, making it necessary to have a good wide-angle camera with variable focal length.
Good autofocus and autofocus tracking will also help you a lot while focusing on a certain player because he or she can be very unpredictable at times.
Camera Choices for Tennis
- Sony RX10 IV is the best all-around solution if you mostly capture the game during the day
- Sony a6400, Sony a6600, Sony a7iii, and Fujifilm X-T4 are perfect for night matches
Skiing, Skydiving, Snowboarding, Surfing, and Other Extreme Sports
Extreme sports are somewhat different from other games and require a different perspective as well. You must go for an action camera if you are capturing the action from the first-person perspective. On the other hand, a camera with excellent in-body image stabilization and a wide zoom range is the way to go if you are want to take images and videos from a third-person point of view. Such a camera will not only keep your images steady but will also enable you to get close to the action.
Camera Choices for Extreme Sports
- GoPro Hero9 action camera is an ideal but premium choice for a first-person perspective
- Akaso V50 Elite is also a good budget choice
How to Buy the Best Video Camera for Recording Sports?
We have already discussed most of the requirements for buying a video camera for covering different sports. However, here is the breakdown of all the features you need in a sports camera.
Good Video Quality
Of course, the first consideration is good video quality. Nowadays, you need to have at least have 4K video in 10-bit 4:2:2 video capability for recording beautiful sports videos. A camera with Full HD 1080P would also do but it should have higher frames rates. Similarly, the camera must also offer good slow-motion video capturing features.
Low Light Performance
Most of the sports are played both during the day and night as well as indoors and outdoors. Low light performance is not important if the match is being played during the day. However, it becomes crucial for taking good shots if you are shooting the game indoors or during the night.
Fast and Efficient Autofocus
Since most of the games are pretty fast, a sports camera must have good and fast autofocus and autofocus tracking. You may not need fast autofocus for games like golf or snooker but it is necessary for superfast games like basketball, soccer, football, and car races, etc.
Continuous Shooting Speed
A high continuous shooting speed or fast burst rate will save the day for you during most sports events. It will help you capture the minutest of details without missing the important moments during the match. The camera you choose should have at least 6-8fps continuous shooting speed.
Games like soccer, football, baseball, cricket, and polo have big playing fields. You often have to remain stationary and at a fair distance from the action during these games as well. Therefore, a camera with a reliable zoom and good focal range is your best bet. It is even better if your camera has an interchangeable lens. It enables you to use a telephone zoom lens, a wide-angle lens, or a Micro Four-Thirds lens depending on how far you are from the action.
Excellent Buffer Depth
Finally, your sports camera should have excellent buffer depth because you have to take so many images in quick succession during the match. Most cameras have good buffer depth for JPEGs but not for RAW. However, expensive cameras like Canon EOS R5 have an unlimited buffer for both formats.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best still camera for shooting sports?
The best still camera for shooting sports would have a long zoom and high burst rate to capture fast action. The best cameras in this regard are Sony Alpha a6000, Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Nikon D810, and Pentax K-311 respectively.
2. Which GoPro is best for filming sports?
GoPro Hero8 has been the best action camera for shooting sports for quite some time. It has HyperSmooth 2.0 image stabilization and 4K video resolution. It also has a wind-resistant mic resulting in excellent audio recording as well.
However, GoPro Hero9 is currently the best GoPro for shooting sports. It has an improved HyperSmooth 3.0 IS and 5K video resolution. Similarly, it has 20 megapixels sensor compared to 12 megapixels of Hero8, longer battery life, and a detachable lens.
3. What is the best fps for sports photography?
It almost entirely depends on the sports you want to shoot. However, you need to have at least 6-8 frames per second for having a realistic chance of covering fast action. Modern mirrorless and DSLR cameras have 10fps or faster frame rates as well.
4. What is the best shutter speed for sports?
You must have a fairly high shutter speed, preferably greater than 1/500. It is even better if you can go higher than 1/1000.
It is a hectic task to record sports events because of their fast pace and sequences. You always have to remain on your toes and look for the minutest of details to make your shot perfect. Your photos and videos will simply lack the punch even if you miss a split-second of the action. Therefore, you need the best video camera for shooting sports to get the sports shots you are looking for.