Best Video Camera for Sports

This guide will break down the best sports video cameras on the market for people who like to record games or live events.

After ample testing of the different cameras, I found the Sony Alpha A6600 to be the best overall for those who want to capture active subjects or athletic games.

I’ve spent a lot of my life capturing and recording with numerous devices. I have also spent years playing sports. That combined knowledge, mixed with in-depth research, allowed me to pick the best sports video cameras and convey why they are so great.

The Alpha A6600 is a well-rounded camera for those who need to record sports. It comes with a tough body if you want to shoot outdoors, and has the ability to track in low light situations. Everything is easy to use and the general interface allows you to shoot in numerous ways.

That being said, there are a few other excellent models that do the same thing. Below, I will look at some of the best sports video cameras money can buy and break down what each one is good at, as well as the traits that make them special.

Quick Summary

Top Choices for the Best Video Camera for Sports

Every item outlined in this guide is a great way to capture sports. These models enable you to capture movement without losing any quality. They have strong shells and good battery life too.

1. Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key Features: Strong alloy construction. Easy to operate. Weather-sealed body. Doesn’t have any unbalance. Reliable tracking.
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Optical Zoom: 0x

The best overall video camera for those who want to capture sports is the Sony Alpha A6600. This model is a mirrorless camera that utilizes UHD 4k at 30fps. 

There’s also absolutely no recording limit, which means the only restriction you have is your memory card capacity. That’s extremely useful for those who need to record a long event or full match.

This camera also works well for outdoor sports because of the weather-sealed alloy body. The extra custom button and flip touch screen enable you to get a range of different angles as well. 

There are a few low points, notably how the autofocus can struggle in low-light situations and the 8-bit recording. In addition, you’re going to see some rolling shutter issues. However, those are small complaints compared to the slew of stellar features.

2. Sony Alpha 7C Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

  • Best for: Premium users with a high budget.
  • Key Features: No 4K recording limit. Great low-light shooting. Small, lightweight build. Long-lasting battery. Back-illuminated 35mm full-frame image sensor. 
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Optical Zoom: 1x

If you want a high-quality recording camera for sports, it’s hard to do better than the Alpha 7C. This model comes with just about everything you would ever need to capture a live event, including crisp resolution and some of the best low-light performance on the market. 

This model will likely be a bit bulky for some people. However, the entire design is easy to use and the color is amazing. Just know that you’re paying for quality with this device. 

The camera is top-of-the-line in many ways, but that also means it runs a high price. It’s solid and fun to use, but is only for people who are serious about their footage.

3. DJI Pocket 2

  • Best for: Portability
  • Key Features: Lightweight. Motorized stabilization reduces shake. Good for low-light situations. Extremely compact and easy to maneuver. Shoots in 4k video.  
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Screen Size: 1 inch
  • Optical Zoom: 8x

If compact is what you want, the DJI Pocket 2 is a great way to go. Only weighing in at around 4 ounces, you’ll never struggle to hold this for extended periods of time. That then works with the 140 minute record time to ensure you can shoot sports for as long as you want.

The biggest draw of this model is the 3-axis gimbal stabilization system. You’re not going to experience any shake with this model, which is a boon when you’re moving around trying to get the best possible angle at a game or event. 

There are also four DJI Matrix Stereo speakers with Audio Zoom to ensure you’ll be able to hear all parts of the game. The 1/1.7-inch sensor captures 4k video and the 20mm f/1.8 lens gives your shots a wide, cinematic look.

The biggest drawback here is also the biggest pro, and that’s size. The Pocket 2 is great for those who want something that’s portable, but the lighter design does make it a bit more susceptible to wear and tear.

You want to be a bit more careful with this than you would with something like a GoPro or even your smartphone in a tough case.

4. Olympus TG-4 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera

  • Best for: Tough conditions
  • Key Features: Extremely durable. Crush, shock, freeze, and waterproof. Shoots 1080P HD video and comes with 4X wide-angle optical zoom. High-speed lens and RAW capture.
  • Weight: 8.6 ounces 
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Optical Zoom: 4x

If you routinely shoot outdoor or extreme sports played in tough conditions, the Olympus TG-4 is the model for you. This incredibly durable device can do a little bit of everything. It’s crush proof up to 220 pounds, shockproof, freeze proof, and waterproof down to 50 feet.

However, the camera is more than its shell. It also has a 4X wide-angle optical zoom, Wi-Fi functionality, and 1080P HD video. It utilizes RAW capture, meaning it won’t compress clips and make them lose quality. The lens is reliable and the built-in Wi-Fi is quite nice in a modern world.

This camera isn’t necessarily going to have all the bells and whistles of more premium options. In fact, the interface and additional features are both pretty basic. If you can get over that, however, you get a solid model that lets you capture sports both inside and out in the elements.

5. Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera

  • Best for: Budget users
  • Key Features: Bright, receptive LCD touchscreen. Super Range optical image stabilizer greatly reduces camera shake. 57x advanced zoom and high-resolution HD CMOS image sensor.
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Screen Size: 3 inches
  • Optical Zoom: 32x

The VIXIA HF R800 is a reliable solid pick for anyone looking to capture sports. Not only does this have a nice 3-inch LCD touch panel screen, it also provides you with advanced zoom as well as a clean HDMI output.

It makes my list mainly due to the Super Range optical image stabilizer. That feature actively corrects camera shake, allowing you to work with a handheld device and not have any issues if you need to move around. The high-resolution HD CMOS Image Sensor is beautiful too.

If there’s one drawback to this model is that it’s not quite as new and modern as some other choices. It has a more traditional look, and while the zoom is great, you might see some stabilization issues once you get up past 8x. Anything less than that is fine, however.

Best Video Camera for Sports: What to Look For

This section breaks down key traits you should pay attention to when getting a good sports video camera.

Battery Life

When recording sports, you want to ensure you’re able to get all of the action. If your device only lasts a few minutes or doesn’t have what it takes to stay on through an entire event, you’re going to miss key parts.

Always search for a video camera with a long battery life, or one that charges up quickly and comes with additional power banks.

Lighting

Anytime you’re recording, you need to think about light. While it would be nice to always have the best background glow, that’s simply not reality. Especially if you’re recording sports. 

Remember, almost all indoor events are dimly lit, and there are also many outdoor events that take place at night. To get around that, you want a camera that does well in low-light situations.

Note that both mirrorless cameras and DSLR’s come with larger sensors. That makes them especially good in both above situations. They typically do run a bit more than other camera types, but nothing will give you the same results when things get dim.

Accessories

Something that’s important to consider when choosing a video camera for sports is any potential accessories the model might use. While the above items do a good job on their own, they each can be upgraded in various ways. 

A lightweight tripod is good for single-spot shooting, while a gimbal can cut down on unwanted shakiness. Depending on where you’re shooting, or what sport you want to capture, you may also want to look into a good screen protector or case.

My Verdict

Overall, there’s no better video camera for sports than the Sony A6600. The model has everything you need for clear shooting, and it’s versatile enough to shoot both inside a gym and out on the field. 

The tough materials and weather-sealed let you get outside in rough weather without any issues and the tracking works exceptionally well. It’s also light, comes with no recording limit, and will capture every play, shot, or move in crystal clear resolution.

Leave a Comment