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13 Best Cameras for Sports

If you’re a sports enthusiast, it’s time to look for the best cameras for sport photography. Without the right equipment, sports photography can be frustrating! That’s because you might get nothing but blurry photos. Worse, some might be empty because the athlete has moved out of the frame. This is why you need the right camera. The best cameras for sports aren’t all about the most megapixels! A good sports camera has to be fast and accurate, able to keep up with the subjects that move at speeds and unpredictably. Today, we’ll show you some of our favorites so you can get one that suits you best! Are you looking for the best action camera for water sports? We have them too! Here are our picks!

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Canon EOS R5

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Kicking off this list is the Canon EOS R5, one of the best cameras for sport photography. If you’re a professional photographer, you’ll love this camera. The 45 MP sensor can capture images of the highest quality. Meanwhile, the autofocus system has incredible subject tracking. It comes with head, face, and eye recognition, perfect for sports photography.

Named one of the best cameras for sports, it has two burst function options. The mechanical shutter boasts a continuous shooting rate of 12 fps, while the electronic one has a speed of 20 fps. Both are more than enough for capturing great action on the court. Want to record videos, too? Perfect! That’s because this camera has 8K video capabilities!

Pros

  • 45 MP sensor for high-quality images
  • Amazing autofocus system
  • Two burst options
  • 8K video capabilities
  • Dual memory card slots

Cons

  • Not for beginners

GoPro HERO9 Black

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The GoPro HERO9 Black is named the best action camera for water sports by some people. With a 20 MP stills capability and a 5K video shooting, the resolution of this action camera is unmatched. While the 5K video shooting might be overkill for some, it allows 14.7 MP grabs from video, which is extremely good!

On top of that, this action camera also has a bigger 2.27-inch display than the older Hero8. Meanwhile, the super-smooth Hypersmooth 3.0 video stabilization allows you to take blur-free videos! Want to record mesmerizing time-lapse scene? You can always rely on TimeWarp 3.0! Better yet, this model comes with a free travel case!

Pros

  • Free travel case
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 for smooth videos
  • TimeWarp 3.0
  • Waterproof
  • 20 MP photos with SuperPhoto

Cons

  • Bigger than other GoPros

Nikon Z 7II FX

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The first Nikon camera on this list is the Nikon Z 7II FX. This compact camera comes with a full-frame CMOS sensor with an image resolution of 45.7 MP, providing you with superb details. Meanwhile, the dual EXPEED 6 image processors allow you to shoot continuously at 10 fps, up to 50 frames. Sounds impressive, right?

Since it’s one of the best cameras for sports, low-light conditions are never a problem. With an ISO range from 64 to 25,600, this camera allows you to capture vibrant images when the light is against you. Meanwhile, the 493-point phase-detection autofocus system is to die for. No matter how fast the football or rugby player is, you can capture amazing pictures with a crisp and clear focus.

Pros

  • 45.7 MP sensor for superb details
  • Can shoot continuously at 10 fps, up to 50 frames
  • Captures vibrant images
  • 493-point phase-detection autofocus system
  • Performs well in low-light conditions

Cons

  • On the pricier side

Sony A9 II Mirrorless Camera

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Up next is the Sony A9 II Mirrorless Camera, one of the best cameras for sports for several reasons. This model has 693 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection autofocus points, making it a beast. With its eye and face autofocus, you can easily stick to your subject and maintain strong focus throughout, even when they’re moving at speeds.

For the best cameras for sport photography, fast-paced action is a must. However, that requires fast shutter speeds. Thankfully, this mirrorless camera can push its electronic shutter up to speeds of 1/32,000. Since it can capture many images of the action in motion, you can easily select the best images from the lot.

Pros

  • Fast autofocus
  • Amazing subject recognition
  • Voice memo function
  • Amazing image stabilization for blur-free photos
  • Wi-Fi capabilities

Cons

  • Pricey

DJI Action 2

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For sports photographers who also love to vlog, the DJI Action 2 is a must-have. Coming as a tiny 39x39mm square camera, this best action camera for water sports puts even more choice in your hands! This camera can be operated alone or attached to other units, offering more connectivity, battery life, and a front-facing screen.

You can capture blur-free images and videos thanks to its RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady image stabilization. Furthermore, the DJI’s Mimo app makes control via your phone a breeze! Built to last, this action camera is drop-proof, dustproof, and waterproof at depths of up to 10 meters! With everything it offers, this camera is truly worth purchasing.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Drop-proof and dustproof
  • RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady image stabilization for blur-free photos
  • Compact
  • Front-facing screen

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is one of Canon’s best cameras for sports. Featuring a CMOS sensor, the image quality produced by this model will surpass any crop sensors out there. The 30.4 MP sensor gives you amazing quality and allows you to crop images precisely. This way, you can concentrate on your focus. Plus, the focal length of the camera is also hard to beat.

The seven fps continuous shooting of this camera is nothing short of impressive. Another important feature worth mentioning is the 61-point autofocus system, which is amazing for keeping those fast-moving subjects in crisp focus. Wi-Fi comes as standard, making this camera a superb option for sports photographers working in the press.

Pros

  • 30.4 MP sensor for amazing image quality
  • 7 fps continuous shooting
  • 61-point autofocus system for keeping fast-moving subjects in focus
  • Wi-Fi capabilities
  • Good performance in low-light conditions

Cons

  • The battery isn’t the best

GoPro HERO10 Black

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If what you want is the best action camera for water sports, this is the one! Take the GoPro HERO10 Black; it can produce sharp images pleasing to the eyes. Thanks to the all-new GP2 processor, this camera now has a speedy user interface and amazing frame rates. The image stabilization is also one of the best!

What’s more, this best action camera for water sports come with an 8x slo-mo at 2.7K, allowing you to pause videos and grab 15.8 MP still photos from 5.3K videos! Better yet, even in low-light conditions, this camera is capable of taking images with fine detail and stunning contrast. And thanks to its Wi-Fi capabilities, you can easily transfer images to your phone.

Pros

  • Fast user interface
  • Hydrophobic lens coating
  • Wi-Fi capabilities
  • Performs well in low-light conditions
  • Compact

Cons

  • Not compatible with older batteries

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera

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Built explicitly for sports photography, the Nikon D500 DSLR Camera is a must-have! This model is fast, reliable, and comes with many features that’ll wow sports photographers. With a 20.9 MP sensor resolution and impressive 10 fps burst speed, you can take sharp and clear photos without any problem! Meanwhile, the burst capture can reach up to 200 frames before buffering.

As one of the best cameras for sports, this camera also has a tilting touchscreen and 153 points of autofocus that work pretty well in low-light conditions. Meanwhile, the wide ISO range means indoor and nighttime sports will never be an issue. Another big plus is the Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing you to send your images to your gadget and save some space on your memory card.

Pros

  • 20.9 MP sensor for clearer images
  • Impressive 10 fps burst speed
  • The burst capture can reach up to 200 frames before buffering
  • Works well in low-light conditions
  • Wi-Fi capabilities

Cons

  • The included memory card is too small for some

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera

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Our list of the best cameras for sports won’t be the same without the Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera. This compact and sleek camera features an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 4+ image processor that work together to give you the best image quality with very little noise. There’s also the 9-point autofocus system with phase-detection, which is capable of providing you with a high degree of focusing accuracy. No more blurry images!

Similar to some of the best cameras for sport photography, this model comes with built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to pair it with your smartphone or tablet easily. One of the best things about this camera is that it can produce clear and high-quality images even in low-light conditions. Pretty impressive, right?

Pros

  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 4+ image processor for better video quality
  • 9-point autofocus system with phase-detection for better focusing accuracy
  • Works well in low-light conditions
  • Comes with a feature guide

Cons

  • No mic input

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 Mark II

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You might think the OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 Mark II is an odd choice. However, we think it’s worth considering if you’re looking for the best cameras for sport photography, mostly because of its Micro Four Thirds sensor. Any lens you use with this camera has a double focal length, letting you get up close and personal at a distance.

On top of that, it comes with a burst function of 60 frames per second, which is incredibly impressive and faster than many other best cameras for sports on the market. Another reason why we think it deserves a spot on this list is because of its size and 20.4 MP sensor size. If you’re looking for a smaller camera for sports photography, this one is worth trying.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact body
  • Double focal length
  • Produces sharp images
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The battery life isn’t the best

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera

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The Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera isn’t the newest compared to other best cameras for sport photography. However, it still has many features that allow you to capture amazing photos. A full-frame lens on this camera can get you 1.6x closer to the subject, making it one of the best cameras for sports.

Meanwhile, its 20.9 MP is more than enough for producing photos with superb resolution and detail. Not to mention, it also allows you to crop your image, so you can have a more pleasing frame without sacrificing quality. We also love the 65-point autofocus system, which keeps your subject in focus as they move. However, our favorite thing is its burst mode. It can capture 10 frames per second in crisp focus!

Pros

  • 10fps burst speed
  • Produces sharp images
  • Keeps subjects in focus as they move
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not the most modern option

Sony A7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

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Another great option for those searching for the best cameras for sports is the Sony A7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera. This model boasts a 42 MP mirrorless sensor, giving you awesome image resolution that’s far more than you’ll find on a DSLR camera. Featuring the BIONZ X image processor, this camera also allows you to take five frames per second.

Furthermore, this camera has 399-point phase-detection autofocus. It’s highly accurate, fast, and one of the best focusing systems out there. For those who tend to forget their tripod, fret not! That’s because this camera has a 5-axis image stabilization system, allowing you to take crystal-clear images easily.

Pros

  • 399-point phase-detection autofocus
  • 42MP mirrorless sensor for better image resolution
  • BIONZ X image processor allows you to take five frames per second
  • 5-axis image stabilization system
  • Performs well in low-light conditions

Cons

  • A tad pricey

Nikon COOLPIX P950

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The Nikon COOLPIX P950 is more than just a camera with a gigantic zoom lens. If you’re the type that loves watching football or any other sports and wants to zoom in so far that you can see the player’s follicles, this is the camera to get! With 83x optical zoom, this camera is a beast. Even better, it’s a little bit cheaper than some of the best cameras for sports out there!

Thanks to this awesome product, you can bring even the most distant subjects within easy reach. Better yet, it features a super useful Vibration Reduction system that prevents blurry images. We also love the sheer size of the camera, making it feel extra secure in the hand. Though nothing special, the low light image quality is more than enough for most people.

Pros

  • 83x optical zoom
  • Vibration Reduction system
  • Reasonable price
  • Feels secure in the hand
  • Performs well in low light conditions

Cons

  • Sharpness issues at telephoto

How To Choose The Best Cameras for Sports

Unlike choosing the best wireless cameras for home security, there are certain things that you need to consider when choosing the best cameras for sports. Here are some of the most important things to consider!

Lens selection

This is arguably the most important factor when shopping for the best cameras for sports. What good is a camera if you can only mount a limited number of lenses on it? So, always consider the overall strength of the camera system.

Autofocus system

Of course, your camera has to have an advanced phase-detection autofocus system that’s reliable for fast-action photography. Apart from being fast and accurate, it has to be capable of producing consistently great photos in different environments.

Sensor resolution

Some sports photographers prefer low-resolution cameras so they can have cleaner images. However, it’s worth noting that some also like the ability to crop images aggressively, which requires higher MP!

FPS and camera buffer

When it comes to sports photography, higher FPS is always better. However, that’s not enough if your camera can’t shoot continuously for more than a few seconds before its buffer runs out. So, make sure your camera has a large enough buffer size.

What kind of camera do I need for sports photography?

You’ll need the best cameras for sports that are fast, accurate, and can keep up with the athletes that move at speeds and sometimes unpredictably. The ones on this list are worth buying!

How many megapixels do you need for sports photography?

It all depends on your preferences. But normally, 20.9 MP is more than enough for sports photography as it can produce great resolution and detailed images.

Do sports photographers use mirrorless cameras?

Yes, some photographers do. But what’s most important isn’t whether they use a mirrorless or DSLR camera, but whether or not the camera’s performance is good enough for fast-moving objects.

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