While many people capture sports on video each and every day through replay, highlights, and TV, doing it yourself is no simple task. Keeping track of the different players, moving action, and the ball all at once can be quite overwhelming. If you want to do it, you need a camera made to handle the motion.
A good sports video camera needs to be able to record fast-paced action in different lighting environments. It also must be durable, wieldy, and come with a strong battery. The following models do all of that and more.
- If you’re looking for a video camera that works in different conditions, the Sony Alpha A6600 is the one for you. This model is ergonomic, has a great battery, and works wonderfully in low light.
- The Panasonic GH5 is a versatile device that works great both in and outdoors. The camera is durable and one of the most stable options on the market.
- If you’re looking for a budget option, the Canon VIXIA HF R700 is a great model. This lightweight camera is compact, but has excellent zoom and shoots well outdoors.
Who Should Get This?
The following cameras are great for people who need to capture action. That includes sports, but also any situation with a lot of moving parts. It doesn’t matter if you want to record bike riding, a big game, or track running, the devices listed below will give you great results time and time again. As they have great stability, they are also extremely nice in situations where you need to move around quite a bit.
Best Video Camera for Sports: What to Consider?
Anytime you’re recording live action, you need to make sure your camera will stay on the entire time. Though you’re typically going to charge your device before taking it out, you don’t want to be left out in the cold just because you forget. A long-lasting battery, especially one that doesn’t lose its charge while resting, is vital if you want to record a long sporting event.
Sports don’t always happen in the best conditions. Some events take place at night, while others might be in shrouded or outdoor areas. As such, lighting won’t always be on your side. If you plan to record sports, you need a camera that can focus on moving people in dark or bright environments. Get one that stays clear when it’s both dark and bright.
As mentioned, sports require a lot of moving. Not only do the players run around a lot, but you may also need to move as well. If you’re recording from the stands or seats this won’t apply. However, if you want to capture shots from the sideline or at a more dynamic angle, you’re going to move with the athletes. For that reason, you want a stable video camera that will cut down on shakiness at all times.
Best Video Camera for Sports: Our Picks
When it comes to sports cameras, few capture motion as well as the Sony Alpha A6600. This sturdy model not only comes in a wide range of lens sizes and styles, it also utilizes 5-axis in-body image stabilization to ensure that you’re always capturing footage in the exact way you want. It is also incredibly ergonomic as a result of the large, chunky grip. That addition makes it easy to maneuver and always gets you the shots you want.
This device is incredibly easy to operate, and it lasts quite a while too. The 2280 mAh battery will run for hours, which works perfectly with the unlimited recording time so you don’t have to stop shooting until the action’s over. There is even real-time AF tracking as well as a flip touch screen for when you need to get specific shots.
What We Like:
- Many lens options
- Strong battery
- Easy to handle
- Real-Time AF tracking
- 5-axis in body image stabilization
- Works well in low-light conditions
- No recording time limit
What We Don’t Like:
- Records in 8-bit
- Could have better depth of field
If you’re looking for a camera that can do a bit of everything, you want the Panasonic GH5. This model utilizes a 5-axis dual image stabilization that corrects all attached lenses, as well as a special flip touch screen for bright, outside conditions. The screen even fully articulates, which makes it easy to shoot at any angle.
Another reason this makes the list is the ergonomic design. The Panasonic GH5 is equipped with a range of customizable buttons as well as a joystick to help you control the functions quickly and efficiently. Add on the dual media card slots, which give you the ability to backup your footage, as well as the strong stability and you have a solid camera for all sports.
What We Like:
- Sharp resolution
- 4K video capture
- 5 axis dual image stabilization
- 3.5-millimeter audio port
- Dust, splash, and freeze proof
- Great outdoors
- Flip touch screen
- Dual image stabilization
- Shoots great at any angle
What We Don’t Like:
- Not as good in low light
The Canon VIXIA HF R700 is one of the best video cameras for sports thanks to its incredible stabilization. Where most cameras bounce around and prevent you from properly focusing on the action, this model comes with a SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer that holds up no matter how fast you move. It is also lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to carry around as you record.
Adding to that, the VIXIA HF R700 comes with one of the best zoom options on the market. That makes it a good choice for photographers who have to sit far away from the field. The full HD video looks great, and the entire device is easy to operate thanks to the simple user interface and 3-inch capacitive LCD touch panel. Anyone, no matter how well they know technology, can use this to great effect.
What We Like:
- Great zoom function
- SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer
- Full HD video
- Removable SD memory card
- LCD touch panel for increased functionality
- Easy to operate
What We Don’t Like:
- Could be better in low light
- Not the best sound quality
Useful Tips and Information
As touched on above, stability is incredibly important when recording sports. You never want your shots to look shaky or out of focus. Luckily, this video outlines a wide range of great tips that will give you smooth recordings.
Owning a good sports video camera does not make you an amazing photographer. It takes work and a bit of know-how. If you’re looking to improve, it is best to follow along with the tips outlined here.
A well-made video camera is a good way to bring your sports recordings to life. While every camera will let you capture footage, very few will allow you to capture high-quality footage that’s also sharp and stable. The models in this guide have every feature you need when recording. No matter what type of sport you want to capture, it’s hard to do better.
What video camera do you use to record sports? Are there any we missed? Let us know below.
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.