Shooting sports is one of the more trickier topics to tackle in video production. That’s because there’s no singular solid recommendation that fits all needs. So what is the best video camera for sports?
More so than other needs, the camera that’ll get the job done for what you need depends on several factors.
For instance, the sport you want to film plays a large role. Is it a sport that requires static filming like Tennis or dynamic filming like Baseball?
Also, does the sports event take place outdoors or indoors? Each one requires a different type of equipment. It’s also important to consider whether you’ll be filming in a stationary position or actively follow the event.
There are a camera and equipment dedicated to each. If all of this seems overwhelming, don’t worry.
In this guide, we’ll discuss all the things you need to consider and then recommend the best cameras to accommodate your needs. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll know exactly what you want and where to get it.
Best Video Camera For Sports – The Cameras
Let’s jump into the list and start off with the GoPro Hero 8.
Like we said before if you need to follow the action or be a participant. You’ll need a GoPro camera. You can strap it on your head and start filming without worrying about holding the camera or keeping it in focus.
The GoPro Hero 8 is perhaps the best GoPro camera out there. For one, you can film in 4K which is important.
It gives you smooth footage thanks to the hypersmooth 2.0 feature included in the camera. In terms of audio, the camera is equipped with a wind-resistant mic to make sure you get a clear audio recording as well.
This is also a resilient camera since it’s twice as shockproof as the previous model.
So if you film extreme videos or need a good GoPro for B-roll filming this is the one. It’s commonly used by a lot of youtubers as well. If you’re a youtuber this a tested and tried one for you.
If you’re filming outdoor sports a camcorder will probably be the best tool for the job. The Canon VIXIA HF R800 excels in this aspect.
Not only is it a great camcorder for outdoor shooting at 1080p resolution it also has amazing zoom features. Zoom comes in handy when shooting sports from a distance.
For instance, you’re shooting a golf game. You’ll need to follow the ball and zoom on it when it drops. That’s why the Canon is the best choice as it comes with 32x Zoom. If that’s not enough you can access the advanced zoom which reaches up to 57x.
The cherry on top of the cake here is that you don’t sacrifice image quality at all. It can record around 2 hours at maximum HD.
Another Pro of this camcorder, if you need any more, is that it is low cost. So, if you’re on a budget and this is the type of use you need, look no further.
Called the Panasonic Lumix G80 outside the US, this is an excellent Mirrorless Camera for filming sports events with small objects.
Beware though, Mirrorless Cameras can only film for 30 minutes at a time. So be sure to stay close to the camera to hit the record button every half hour. Despite this shortcoming, the Panasonic Lumix G85 has a plethora of great features.
For one, you can shoot video in 4K. It also has 5-axis stabilization to ensure you get smooth footage if you’re following a small object with your lens. You don’t need to worry about losing focus either since this camera features very good autofocus.
If you’re on the lookout for a mirrorless camera to film sports, you can hardly find better than this one. Stabilization is the name of the game.
Nikon’s offering is perfect for all your dynamic filming needs. This affordable DSLR is suitable for filming sports like basketball and football.
It’ll only record at 1080p though and don’t forget that, like Mirrorless cameras, you only get 30 minutes of footage at a time.
Still, the camera is very easy to use and handle which makes it perfect for beginners. It also has decent autofocus and the ability to change lenses in case you want to experiment.
If you’re looking to get your first DSLR you needn’t look further especially if you want to film a wide variety of sports.
DSLRs are generally not a bad choice at all for that matter. Nikon is one of the top leading companies in this regard. So if you get their products you’ll be in safe hands.
If none of these fine choices scratch your itch maybe our last one will. This little technological wonder is the DJI Osmo Pocket, a handheld camera that is pocket size.
Despite being no bigger than a candy bar, it boasts some impressive features. For one, you get 4K video resolution.
Another wonderful thing is the 3 axis stabilization gimbal built into it. If you know what gimbals do, you know that means smooth as butter footage.
Keep in mind, however, that it’s not as stable as a GoPro nor does it record audio all that well.
So if you care about either thing look elsewhere. However, if the features of this little camera sound sweet to you, you know you gotta get it.
What to consider before buying a video camera for sports
Obviously, your budget will largely dictate what you can and can’t get. If you have a high budget, you can get some impressive hardware that’ll give you impeccable quality. If you’re on a low budget, you don’t need to worry.
The marketplace is flooded with all types of cameras for different budgets, so you’ll get exactly what you need within reasonable pricing. One thing you don’t need to question is the quality of the footage.
Don’t go for anything under 1080p. Anything less wouldn’t cut it nowadays where 4K is becoming more and more popular and available at decent prices. Perhaps the most important thing to consider, however, is the type of sports you want to film.
Sports that only require stationary filming are the easiest to handle. All you need is a camera from our picks and a solid tripod and you’re all set. Baseball, Tennis, Football, Soccer, etc.
Other Sport Considerations
There are also some other sports that require more participation on your part. These are usually sports where there is a lot of movement. Basketball and volleyball fall within this category.
We recommend using a DSLR camera for these types of sports. Another thing we mentioned earlier was the location.
If the sports event is held indoors, you can use a DSLR.
If it’s outdoors a camcorder designed for light sensitivity is your best bet. A few more things to consider, If the sports features a small object like a golf ball or a hockey disc we recommend a Mirrorless camera to capture all the details.
If you’re filming an extreme sport like snowboarding and you’re following the action or participating in a GoPro camera is the only thing that’ll get the job done.
Lastly, if the sports event is water-related you’ll want a waterproof camera. Just in case. You don’t want your precious camera to be splashed and ruined by water.
Do you need any accessories?
Well, it depends on you. Of course, if you want to film a basketball game in stationary mode you’ll need a tripod to set the camera on.
If you carry the camera around a lot, you might need a protective case. Those aren’t usually expensive and can be found at reasonable prices if you look hard enough.
Action cameras like GoPro require mounts. Although the GoPro camera we listed has one built-in. So that’s a plus for you.
If your budget allows it, you can get extra lenses or microphones that vary in price and quality. All in all, it just depends on what you need and what the job requires.
Best Video Camera for Sports – Wrapping Up
There’s a wide variety of cameras for all different uses for any type of sports event you got. Just keep in mind that you need to know what sport you’re filming and what’s the type of camera that goes best with it.
Hopefully, through this guide, you’ll have learned what you need to look for and what you need to stay away from. If these selections don’t do it for you.
No problem as long as you know what type of cameras to look for. Through some searching on the net, you’ll find exactly what you need.
The market is greatly competitive so you’ll find what you want at a reasonable price.
Gone are the days when we needed to rent video cameras because they were so expensive. You can thank smartphones for that. So go out, get the camera you need and get to work.