What are the best video cameras for sports?
The recent phones have rather good cameras capable of recording decent footage. However, they are still far from what the best video camera for sports can capture.
So, if you want something more professional-looking, there is no chance of getting away with just a phone. Those who have tried filming rapid motion on a camera know enough to criticize the capabilities of ‘point-and-shoot’ devices. TV-level footage will require specific gear for shooting.
Luckily, high-quality cameras no longer cost an arm and a leg and there are affordable options for covering sports. Those are going to be considered below so take a look if you’re interested. Among those seven devices might be the perfect one for your needs.
Such a complicated object to film requires extra care in selecting the appropriate device for doing it. Certainly, your decision will mostly be influenced by the budget and the need for accessories.
However, there are differences in methods of filming different kinds of sport and this has to be additionally considered while choosing the optimal sports camcorder. Examine the models below and find the necessary details in descriptions.
Type: Mirrorless | Filter size: N/A | Resolution: 20.3-21.8 MP | Lens: Leica Vario-Elmarit | Viewfinder: OLED Live View Finder (3,680k dots) | Screen type: Live MOS Sensor | Electronic shutter speed: 1/32,000-1s
⊕ Capacious battery
⊕ Best image quality in MFT
⊕ Fast autofocus
⊕ Dual SD card slots with UHS-II
⊕ High video recording resolution
⊖ No NFC
⊖ Continuous shooting stops after 50 shots
The particular model has earned the title of the best system camera among those equipped with a matrix of up to APS-C.
From top-notch picture quality and blazing-fast speeds to high-quality chassis and numerous additions such as the top information display and the swivel touchscreen, there is no room for criticism. Only on close examination you can find some imperfections in the white balance setting, which sometimes tilts too much towards the blue.
This best video camera for sports has great ergonomics, convenient controls, a reliable viewfinder, and superb recording capabilities. So far, this is the most potent device of this manufacturer, and checking out the specks, you will see why.
Starting with the superb visuals it produces and finishing with all the advanced settings or modes, like 60fps shooting, it is a stunning device for recording fast-paced activities.
Type: Action camera | Filter size: N/A | Resolution: 12 MP | Lens: Three Aspherical Layers | Maximum aperture: f/2.8 | Screen type: 1-Chip 1/2.3" CMOS | Electronic shutter speed: 120-1/8000s
⊕ Good stabilization even when it's dark
⊕ 4K 60 FPS
⊕ Remote control via mobile application
⊕ Moisture protection
⊕ Can charge and record simultaneously
⊖ No GPS
⊖ No Micro-HDMI
DJI Osmo Action is a smart alternative to GoPro and Sony cameras. It can be used for a wide range of tasks, including extreme videos and vlogs for social networks.
It offers a high quality of shooting with stabilization, two displays, good battery life, a water-resistant housing. The cost is lower than that of any competing video camera for filming sports. The disadvantages include the lack of a GPS module.
In the end, the debut of this device turned out to be very effective and it immediately established itself as a strong competitor to the GoPro Hero 7.
The visuals are well-stabilized, the front display is super practical, and intuitive controls are a pleasant surprise. The image quality is at quite a high level but deeper detalization would be a welcome improvement.
Type: Professional camcorder | Filter size: 62mm | Resolution: 8.29 MP | Lens: Leica Dicomar | Viewfinder: 0.24-inch Wide EVF (about 1,560,000 dots) | Screen type: 1/2.5-INCH MOS SENSOR | Electronic shutter speed: 1/1-1/30s
⊕ SDI output
⊕ Great autofocus mechanism
⊖ Poor battery life
⊖ Doesn’t handle insufficient light well
This is a great video camera for soccer and other types of sports aimed at cameraman, who prefers to work solo. You get 3G-SDI support which lets you save footage to an external 1080p 60p/50p recorder and a convenient detachable Handle Unit.
This one is supported by the HC ROP tablet app and can be controlled with seven other cameras simultaneously through it. Thus, the wireless connection gives you control over the different recorders and their lenses, bypassing the need to install switchers and re-encoding signals. Alternatively, you can hook a wired controller to your camera and manipulate it that way.
It is hard to get a portable model like this one to shoot 60p UHD supplied with an impressive bundle of professional features. The resolution allows you to benefit from the large frame and crop your video to an HD closeup. Plus, this device is great for direct streaming that can transmit matches to your viewers in real-time.
Type: Consumer camcorder | Filter size: 62 mm | Resolution: 12-14.2 MP | Lens: ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar® T* | Maximum aperture: f/2.8 - f/4.5 | Screen type: 1-Chip 1" CMOS | Electronic shutter speed: 1/8-1/10000s
⊕ A huge number of picture settings
⊕ Ability to change parameters while recording
⊕ High-speed shooting
⊕ High-capacity battery
⊕ Supplied with a traditional infrared remote control
⊖ Suboptimal for professional users
This lightweight camera conceals great components that work together to produce stunning 4K visuals and help you quickly find and lock on your subject. Being a somewhat simpler video camera for sports, it still provides many professional features.
The only major drawback of the reviewed camera is obvious: it lacks the ability to record ""smooth"" 4K content. The cost of the camera cannot be called affordable for an amateur.
Most likely, the device will be affordable for those users, who already have considerable experience in video shooting, are really fond of it, and want to raise their level by using fine professional settings, which are abundant in the camera.
Devoted amateurs will be thrilled by all the great functions but realistically, few of them will be of use.
Type: Mirrorless | Filter size: N/A | Resolution: 24.2-25 MP | Lens: Sony E-mount | Viewfinder: 1.0 cm (0.39 type) electronic (color) | Screen type: CMOS | Electronic shutter speed: 1/4000-30s, 1/4000-1/4s
⊕ 5-axis image stabilization
⊕ Continuous automated eye focus
⊕ Capacious battery
⊕ No limit on 4K footage
⊕ Jacks for external mic and headphones
⊖ Perceptible rolling shutter
⊖ More expensive than competitors
This next-generation model has received many noteworthy improvements to its core. The crucial one is the autofocus tracking technology that is the industry flagman at the moment.
The camera also operates on a very powerful battery and benefits from the fine-tuned in-body stabilization. The created visuals are always of superb quality, whether you’re shooting JPEG or RAW images, capturing a 4K video, everything is impeccable. The designers didn’t forget about comfort and provided you with a deeper and more reliable grip.
The uniformly high image quality, full-fledged 4K video shooting, excellent high-speed capabilities (up to 11 frames/s with autofocus!), and powerful autofocus are the hallmark of this video camera for sports events. The autofocus is the pride of Sony developers.
It almost doesn’t require the intervention of a user. Cameras can focus on the eyes of people and animals, on their faces. Additionally, it supports autofocus on people's eyes in video mode (the predecessor could only do faces). Real-time tracking is also great. In addition, the autonomy of this camera supplied by the capacious battery is very good.
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: 22.3 x 14.9 mm | Resolution: 24.1-25.8 MP | Lens: EF-M, EF/EF-S | Viewfinder: 0.39-type 2.36 million dots electronic (color) | Screen type: Canon CMOS | Electronic shutter speed: 1/4000-30s
⊕ Fast work and flexible settings
⊕ Highly detailed visuals
⊕ Controls are clear, easy, and fast
⊕ Rotating LCD
⊖ Relatively high power consumption
⊖ No USB charging support
This model represents a successful update of the manufacturer's line of mirrorless cameras. It operates on an APS-C sensor assisted by a stabilization module for shooting video and can take pictures silently (albeit only in automatic mode).
This is a tool for amateurs, not professionals, but for the number of characteristics, it may well arouse the interest among photography enthusiasts. It has accurate and fast autofocus, a good burst rate of photographing, and advanced video capabilities.
The latter includes the first 4K format introduced in the brand’s mirrorless cameras. It also equips you with an impressive array of wireless options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC). This is a great combination not only for a video camera for basketball games but also for travel photography and other interesting activities.
During continuous shooting, like when creating reportages, it would have been great to operate on a larger internal buffer.
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: 35.6 x 23.8 mm | Resolution: 24.2-25.3 MP | Lens: Sony E-mount | Viewfinder: Electronic 0.5" 2,359,000 Dot | Screen type: LCD | Electronic shutter speed: 1/8000 to 30s
⊕ Capacious battery
⊕ Capturing super-clear 4K
⊕ Headphone/mic jack provided
⊕ Steady autofocus performance
⊖ Insufficient viewfinder resolution
⊖ Hard to spot the AF point
Another great model operates on a 24MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor with the enhancement of a 5-axis stabilizer. This video camera for shooting sports has several features of its bigger brother, the “stacked CMOS” sensor.
These count a 10fps electronic shutter mode and a much-enhanced hybrid AF that is said to perform two times faster. The latter covers 93% of the visible image and combines 425 contrast-detection points with 268 more phase-detection points. You can set it to track the face or even specifically the eyes of your object.
Panasonic Lumix G9Our Choice
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DJI Osmo ActionBudget
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With how fast the phones have progressed recently, people buying the best video camera for sports no longer come in large numbers. However, those also progressed during this time and still have certain advantages unobtainable by phones. A modern camcorder is lightweight, intuitive, and has superb optical zoom capabilities while remaining budget-friendly. You can easily prefer it to a DSLR, the sole reason for the compilation of this list.
These are definitely the next best thing now, something DSLRs used to be until recently. They combine the benefits of an upsize sensor, something compact cameras really lack, with a reasonably small body. This way, they produce a more defined image, especially in poor light. These models are perfect for sports with fine objects like balls that are hard to make out. The only downside is that these cameras only record 30 minutes of footage before they automatically stop, so you need to make sure you press the Rec button again on time.
These are often named after the first brand to blow the market, the universally recognizable GoPros. Any sport that you prefer recording from the sportsman’s point of view will require getting one of these. They are minuscule but rugged, can be fixed on practically anything, and provide great footage of wakeboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, and other active kinds of sports.
The highest tier of videographers works with these monsters that can easily cost several thousand dollars. You perch it on your shoulder, if you even can, and obtain the highest-quality footage. Those that are too bulky to be held will require a reliable tripod. The best camcorder for sports is mostly the instrument of large broadcasters and the astonishing cost prevents it from appearing in the homes of ordinary users.