12 Best Video Cameras for Shooting Sports in 2021 – Reviewed
Sports shooting is considered to be one of the most delicate and overwhelming traits in videography. Although if you are shooting sports videos for private use, normal mobile cameras are more than handy options for a good quality sports video.
But as far as professional-quality footage is concerned, you have to dig through for a more professional setup that can deliver something worthy enough to be published online.
Talking about professional videography setup, that thing generally costs 70k-80k apiece, and again that investment is way ahead of a normal person’s budget limit.
- 12 Best Video Cameras for Shooting Sports in 2021 – Reviewed
- BUYERS GUIDE
- Our Recommendation
And honestly speaking most of us are not going to shoot for the leading TV channels of America so investing that much money to shoot for a YouTube channel or blogs is not a good idea in the first place.
So what to do then? Don’t worry we are not out of choices by any means, thanks to a humongous tech industry that produces thousands of new and advanced cameras every year.
Like any other tech industry, camera technology is improving day by day and we are in for a lot of choices to satisfy our needs.
You can find plenty of versatile camera options for every type of sports shooting, whether it’ll be slow-paced or fast-paced, indoor or outdoor, day sport or night sport, you can get what you want.
Although the options are there, to choose the best video camera for shooting sports is not that simple a job as it appears to be.
Because sports shooting is a tricky thing, and shooting a certain kind of sports video requires a particular type of camera.
And that’s where we’ve done the much-needed research to be able to put together some of the best video cameras for shooting sports in this article.
These cameras are picked by our product experts considering different needs and budgets so buckle your seats up and get along with us to glance at some of the best video cameras for sports shooting.
- 4k and 1080p video resolution
- 24.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor
- 4D autofocus system
- Advanced real-time eye AF
- 180° adaptable touchscreen LCD
- 425 phase and contrast detection points
- Multiple movie shooting functions
- Rechargeable battery
By far the leader of the world’s camera market as far as mirrorless cameras are concerned, one of the most reputed tech companies in the world, Sony needs no introduction whatsoever.
Equipped with Sony’s most prestigious APS-C sensor, a6400 is undoubtedly one of the most valuable mirrorless cameras ever produced by Sony.
One of the best things about the Sony a6400 mirrorless camera is its ability to shoot 4k videos at 30p and that too without any time limitation.
Its ultra-fast autofocus system helps in shooting fast-paced sporting events and that’s basically the reason why we have included this high-end Sony camera in the list.
Although the image and video quality is at par with some of the more lucrative cameras in the world, the things which it lacks are its not-so-good battery timing and poor image stabilization as compared to other highly expensive mirrorless cameras.
With almost the same 4k and 1080 frame rates as Sony a6600, a6400 is a great gadget to have in your videography arsenal if you are not bothered by changing batteries during the shoot and planning to use a tripod.
- 4k videos at 60fps in 10 bit
- 1080p videos at 180fps in 10 bit
- Built-in image stabilization system
- 24.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor
- Double SD card slots
- 96-megapixel high-resolution JPEG pictures
- Autofocus system powered by AI technology
- Dust and Splash resistant camera body
A brand new addition to the Panasonic family, LUMIX S5 is gaining popularity day by day among sports videographers. The image and video quality of LUMIX S5 are at par with some of the extensively high-priced video cameras in the market.
Known for its slow-motion video capabilities, S5 provides additional frame rate options that can be handy if you prefer shooting slow-motion sports videos.
Equipped with the most advanced autofocus system ever produced by Panasonic, way better than what you get in Panasonic G9 or GH5. Having said that, Panasonic’s autofocus system still not at par with Sony.
So keep that in mind before making a decision. Although Panasonic needs to improve in the AF system bigtime to compete with the big fishes of the market, the video specs of the LUMIX S5 are by far the best you can get at that price tag.
The ability to shoot 4k videos at 60fps in 10 bit and 1080p videos at 180fps is what makes LUMIX S5 one of the best video cameras for shooting sports. Not only that the built-in image stabilization system of S5 is one of the best IBIS systems you could ever imagine.
- 20.8 megapixel FX-format CMOS image sensor
- ISO 100-102400, expendable to ISO 3280000
- Built-in autofocus system with 153 focus points
- 4k video resolution
- Expert 5 processor
- 3.2-inch touch LCD screen
Nikon is one of the few tech companies giving Sony a run for their money. D5 is Nikon’s one of the best models to date, with a high-end autofocus system and subject tracking performance.
Nikon D5 DSLR camera is what you need in an intense and fast-paced game of soccer and believe me or not you won’t be disappointed with the footage you’ll get. Nikon D5 has a fairly large body consists of double-hand grips that make it easier to shoot in multiple positions.
You can access almost every feature of your Nikon D5 DSLR camera with a bunch of different buttons and control dials available on the camera body. Two sub screens provide some additional setting options and shooting info.
Nikon brings about some of the most amazing lens variety to accommodate higher expectations and demands. Also, you can use a wide range of third-party lenses for an incredible sports photography experience.
- 24.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor
- 4k and 1080p video recording
- Sony E lens
- 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system
- Manual & autofocus system
- Real-time tracking
- External mic & headphone jack
- Lithium battery
A6600 is a more updated and high-end version of a6400, equipped with the same APS-C sensor, Sony alpha a6600 provides much better video and image quality than the previous version.
You will get a 4k UHD video recording at 30fps and 1080p video resolution at 120fps. The best thing about this camera is its unlimited video recording time with 4k resolution so the only thing that could stop you from recording lengthy videos is the capacity of your SD card.
Equipped with a pretty good battery, Sony alpha a6600 provides a much longer work time than that of a6400. The blank space for an extra custom button, a flip and touch screen LCD counts for an easy shooting experience in intense and fast-paced games.
The easiness of operation of a6600 is second to none, not only with the general weather-sealed alloy body but also with an additional lens where some other mirrorless cameras could easily become unbalanced and shaky. Sony Alpha a6600 has a high-performance viewfinder and a good enough screen size to make up for a great video shoot.
- 20.2 megapixel APS-C image sensor
- 3 inch 1440kk dot touch screen LCD
- Built in AF system with 65 detection points
- 10 fps in continuous shooting
- ISO 100-16000
- DIGIC 6 image processor
- Intelligent viewfinder II
- Remote control jack
Canon’s a bit pricey but we can’t make a list of the best video cameras for shooting sports without having a Canon’s camera in it. 1DX is undoubtedly the best camera series canon has ever produced.
Used by professionals and pro sports videographers, Canon EOS 7D Mark II is equipped with an unbeatable combination of the advanced DIGIC 6 image processor and a high-performance 20.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor to ensure super amazing footage of your favorite sport.
Canon is no longer a newbie in this industry and their engineers know how to design super amazing and user-friendly camera bodies to accommodate not only pros but even the newbies.
Now you can track everything even in the most intense situations with the dual pixel CMOS autofocus system of Canon 7D Mark II.
You won’t miss a thing no matter whether you are shooting flat or downhill, Canon 7D Mark II is the ultimate solution to your sports shooting problems.
With the frame rate as good as 10 frames per second in continuous shooting, the crystal clear footage is no longer a dream with your Canon 7D Mark II.
Although you won’t get the inbuilt image stabilization feature with 7D Mark II, it’s supported by some of the most high-end lenses that provide a wide range of top-notch zooms that comes with image stabilization.
- 25.3-megapixel image sensor
- Sony E lens mount
- 5 axis built-in image stabilization system
- ISO range up to 51200
- 4D focus with 693 phase and contrast detection points
- 2359000 dot OLED EVF
- BIONZ X image processor
- 10 fps in continuous shooting
- NPFZ100 rechargeable battery
Sony never ceases to amaze us with its high-end camera technology and here is one more example from its wide range of state-of-the-art camera models.
Sony a7 III stands further ahead from a6400 and a6600 in terms of advancement in technology and some extra features. Equipped with a full-frame image sensor that is 2.5 times bigger than the previous models and delivers somewhat better depth and performance in low light conditions.
The incredible and improved ISO range of 100-51200 speaks itself for its great performance. The autofocus system is equipped with 693 contrast and phase-detection points as compared to a meager 425 on the Sony a6600.
With a coverage rate of 93% per frame, Sony a7 III is a tailor-made option to have for fast-paced sports shooting. The 5-axis image stabilization system counts for better and smooth footage even in the most intense situations.
Although this camera is great in every sense, the 30 min video recording limit is where Sony has let us down a bit. But all in all, a great camera with some amazing and thing end features, Sony a7 III is definitely a go-to option for pro sports shooters as the price tag is on a higher side.
- 4k videos at 30fps and 60 fps
- 1080p video resolution at 180 fps
- 4-way menu controls
- 0.83 x OLED viewfinder
- 20.3-megapixel image sensor
- 80-megapixel raw image
- 3” LCD screen
- 5 axis image stabilization system
- Telephoto lens
Panasonic LUMIX G9 was more of a photography camera until it was updated back in 2019 and now it’s one of the most sought-after video cameras in the market.
After being remodeled to support videography, LUMIX G9 is now capable to record 4k videos at 30fps in 10 bit. You can also find flexible frame rates as good as 60fps with 4k and 180fps with 1080p with your Panasonic LUMIX G9.
The best part with G9 is that you can also get all the previous photography dynamics with the updated version too. And because it is an advanced version, the autofocus system is way better than the previous models.
The traditional video-friendly ergonomic design of Panasonic helps in getting smooth video footage even in the most drastic circumstances.
Although the autofocus system is great, it still doesn’t match the autofocus system of high-end Sony cameras. Overall performance-wise, LUMIX G9 is still a very good option to have for sports shoots.
- 12 megapixel 1 chip CMOS image sensor
- Digital image stabilization system
- Multiple frame rates with 3840×2160p video resolution
- ISO 100-6400
- Focal length 15.1mm- 24.4mm
- Time wrap 2.0
- Night lapse videos
- Live streaming in 1080p
- 4k video recording at 2160p
GoPro cameras are specifically designed to accommodate videography and probably some of the best video cameras you’ll ever find in the market are from GoPro. Hero8 is considered to be the best video camera GoPro has produced to date.
With a GoPro camera, you don’t have to worry about keeping the camera in focus or even holding it; you can even strap it on your head and record smooth and clear footage on the go.
Hero8 will all its GoPro advantages is capable of recording 4k videos, which is very important in today’s age. Its advanced hyper smooth feature gives crystal clear and smooth footage every single time.
The best thing about Hero8 is that it’s equipped with a smart wind-resistant mic that provides explicit audio recording as well. Its shockproof ability makes it the most resilient and hardcore camera available in the market.
- 32.5-megapixel image sensor
- Canon EF-M lens
- 5 axis digital image stabilization system
- Electronic EVF-DC2 viewfinder
- Continuous shooting at 14fps
- DIGIC 8 image processor
- 4k video recording at 30p
- Full HD video at 129p
Canon EOS M6 Mark II is a mini version of traditional canon cameras in terms of the size of the camera body. But in terms of specs and performances, this mini camera doesn’t even an inch short of some of the high-end Canon Cameras.
EOS M6 Mark II comes with an improved handgrip to secure it while shooting in intense situations. Although it doesn’t have a built-in viewfinder, you can always make up for it by connecting your camera with your smartphone. The control panel has never been that user-friendly as in the Canon’s EOS M6 Mark II with a 1.04m dot LCD screen as well as a bunch of accessible buttons.
The ultra-fast autofocus system comes with a whopping 5481 points that provide a smooth and accurate autofocus every single time. You can shoot high resolutions videos at a whopping shooting speed of 14fps which makes EOS M6 Mark II is a great option to have for fast-paced sports videography.
10. Fujifilm X-T4
- X trans CMOS 4 sensor
- 5 axis 6.5 stop image stabilization system
- Fully HD video at 240 fps
- 4k videos at 60 fps
- 26.1 million pixels
- SD card slots
- 16 film simulation modes
A revamped and improved version of X-T3, X-T4 comes with an APS-C image sensor and is structured upon the best features of previous models as well as includes some new and advanced features to take your shooting experience to the next level.
Like every other Fujifilm camera, X-T4 brings with it some exceptional frame rates to intensify your footage. You can shoot 4k videos at an awesome frame rate of 60fps in 10 bit which is even greater than the 8 bits of Sony cameras.
Also, it offers an even impressive frame rate with 1080p resolution videos of 240fps which is two times better than that of the Sony a6600, a6400, and a7 III.
With all these features, you will get the traditional Fujifilm design incorporates a bunch of customizable buttons and dials which makes life easier for a newbie to control things while shooting.
The most amazing and famous thing about X-T4 is its 16 different film simulation modes that count for some amazing and unique footage without using any of the post video editing software.
- 4k videos at 30fps
- 1080p videos at 60fps
- Beautiful slim design
- ISO range up to 51200
- 20.9-megapixel image sensor
- 153 autofocus points
- 10 fps shooting speed
- 3.2” touch screen LCD
If you like the features of the Canon 6D Mark 2 but Canon is not your brand, Nikon D500 is almost the most thing with some minor changes.
Although both models are almost the same, Nikon D500 is capable of shooting 4k videos at 30fps and 1080p videos at 60fps unlike the Canon 6D Mark 2.
Focusing and viewing the footage becomes easy now with your D500’s tilting touchscreen LCD. Although the LCD screen provides a fair amount of tilt to accommodate focusing the footage, it is not good enough for vloggers who generally hold the camera in more unusual positions.
12. DJI Osmo Pocket
- 4k video at 60fps
- 12-megapixel image sensor
- 1” screen
- 3 axis gimbal stabilization
- Single-handed compact design
- Multifunctional connectivity port
- Several mounting frames
- 1500 may battery
- Remote control support
A more modern video camera in terms of technology, innovation and design, the DJI Osmo Pocket camera is a compact but perfect video camera option for shooting sports.
Perfectly designed to shoot intense sports, it is placed on a handheld gimbal stabilizer which eliminates even the minor camera shakes to provide smooth and clear footage.
One of the few cameras with the best gimbal stabilization, DJI Osmo Pocket incorporates an even larger image sensor than the best camera phones in the market.
The part where it clearly stands out is its ability to shoot 4k videos at 60fps. You can also watch what you are filming live on a 1” screen to make your adjustments while filming.
While the review part of the beat video cameras for shooting sports is done, let’s just quickly discuss some important traits that you need to consider before buying one of these cameras to begin your sports videography experience.
While we are talking about video cameras, of course, the most important thing to consider before buying a camera for videography is the quality of the video.
Although 1080p has been the standard for video cameras for a long time, the rise of the 4k has pushed 1080p backward. In today’s age, if you are considering buying a video camera, the ability to record 4k videos must be your priority.
Shooting sports is different from the conventional form of videography. While you can always change the footage by retaking the whole scene in a preplanned video shoot, there is only a single chance to shoot a precise video in sports.
That’s why you can’t afford to have a blurring effect in the footage. And to avoid that to happen, your camera not only needs to have a built-in autofocus system but it must be equipped with the most precise and strong autofocus system so that you can have the best and clear footage every single time.
The size of the sensor has a considerable effect on the footage you get, so you must prioritize the sensor size before buying a video camera for shooting sports.
Generally, full-frame sensors are considered to be the standard for all digital cameras but that’s not the case in the cinematic world. In filmmaking, the super 35mm is the standard sensor size for a very long time and it’s the best too for videography.
A high-quality LCD screen is a must-have feature in a video camera because it allows you to see what you are recording in real-time. While some screens are fixed on the backside, the best ones can be adjusted to accommodate odd camera angles.
Zooms & Lens
Some cameras are designed to accommodate only a certain type of lenses while some of them are compatible with a wide range of lenses. So it is important to check the compatibility of your camera before making a purchase.
On the other hand, if you are planning to shoot far from the action, choose a camera with enormous zoon capabilities or one which is compatible with a lens with a significant zoom.
Which type of camera is good for shooting sorts?
Although you can use both mirrorless and DSLR camera for shooting sports, the thing which matters is the performance of the camera while shooting fast-paced action sports.
Which shooting mode is ideal for sports videography?
While shooting mode basically depends on the shooting style of the individual, the best mode for sports videography is aperture priority mode that is good for lighting conditions so that you won’t miss a moment while changing settings during an intense game.
Are GoPro cameras ideal for sports?
GoPro cameras are designed to withstand rough conditions and in sports videography, you generally face the same intense fast-paced action. So by that logic, the answer is yes, GoPro cameras are ideal for sports.
What is the standard frame rate for a video?
The standard frame rate in which a movie or TV show is recorded and displayed is 24fps.
Sports shooting is a serious business, even if you are an amateur there is always a chance that you would become a part of an elite camera team if your work is good. And for that, you must own good videography gear.
While all these 12 picks are the best alternatives one way or the other, the one camera that stands out for our product expert team is Sony a7 III because of its exceptional autofocus and teaching system.
While that’s what we thought, the decision to buy a camera is yours. So choose wisely and buy the best video camera for shooting sports from these best picks and get yourself going.