Best Video Camera for Sports 2019 – Our Top 10 Choices Reviewed

You may not have given it much thought but finding the best camera for sports is not always easy. That’s particularly because different sporting conditions and arenas come with different challenges.

Let’s put this into perspective:

  • If you have to move around a lot to record the activity on the field, you’ need a small, compact but functional lens.
  • If your goal is to capture videos of yourself in the action e.g. when cycling or skiing, your best bet would be to go for a small action cam that can be attached on handlebars or helmet.
  • For field sports e.g. football and soccer, your best bet would be a camera with a built-in zoom or one that can accommodate a long lens.

In that regard, we would like to walk you through some practical camera choices that you can make. Hopefully, in the next few lines, you’ll be able to meet just the perfect camera for your upcoming assignment.

Top Camera for Sports Video Recording – Comparison Chart

While we’ve attempted to achieve a balance of brevity and detail in the next few paragraphs, we understand that some of our readers may not have the time to read the entire article. And that’s why we provided this shorter but equally informative list for your perusal.

Picture
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18-135mm IS STM Digital SLR...
GoPro HERO5 Black - Waterproof Digital Action...
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera Kit with...
Canon XA30 Professional Camcorder
Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR...
Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with Auto...
Product Name
Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18-135mm IS STM Digital SLR...
GoPro HERO5 Black - Waterproof Digital Action...
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera Kit with...
Canon XA30 Professional Camcorder
Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR...
Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with Auto...
Dimensions
5.2 x 3.1 x 3.9 inches
1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches
5.1 x 3.1 x 3.9 inches
4.3 x 7.2 x 3.3 inches
3 x 4.9 x 3.9 inches
4.9 x 3 x 3.9 inches
Weight
6.85 pounds
0.95 pounds
2.79 pounds
1.5 pounds
4.43 pounds
3 pounds
Prime Status
-
-
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18-135mm IS STM Digital SLR...
Product Name
Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18-135mm IS STM Digital SLR...
Dimensions
5.2 x 3.1 x 3.9 inches
Weight
6.85 pounds
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
GoPro HERO5 Black - Waterproof Digital Action...
Product Name
GoPro HERO5 Black - Waterproof Digital Action...
Dimensions
1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches
Weight
0.95 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera Kit with...
Product Name
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera Kit with...
Dimensions
5.1 x 3.1 x 3.9 inches
Weight
2.79 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Canon XA30 Professional Camcorder
Product Name
Canon XA30 Professional Camcorder
Dimensions
4.3 x 7.2 x 3.3 inches
Weight
1.5 pounds
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR...
Product Name
Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR...
Dimensions
3 x 4.9 x 3.9 inches
Weight
4.43 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with Auto...
Product Name
Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with Auto...
Dimensions
4.9 x 3 x 3.9 inches
Weight
3 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price

Best Video Camera for Sports in Review

1. Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR with 18-135mm IS STM lens

If you are interested in an Entry-level Canon DSLR that will deliver you the best videos as well as still images, then the Canon EOS Rebel T5i should be at the top of your list. If you have ever owned the older Canon models of T2i and T3i, then you should be interested in this model.

Product description 

The Canon EOS Rebel T5i has an 18-megapixel resolution, and it uses a DIGIC 5 processor. The 18-35mm IS lens that it uses utilizes the Canon’s STM Stepper Motor technology to ensure that you have a quiet focus action during video capture.

The camera weighs approximately 18.5 ounces, that is without the battery or memory card, and it measures 5.2 by 3.9 by 3.1 inches. The images that it produces will have a maximum size of 5184 by 3456 pixels.

Other features and benefits

To start with, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i has a right grip which is thick and easy to handle. Its top has a 360-degree dial which is easy to read and contains standard settings for manual, automatic, aperture, shutter priority, and program modes.

With this camera, you can rest assured of high-quality images, and this is facilitated by the APS-C sized CMOS image sensor which delivers very sharp images of 18-Megapixels.

 The camera also performs exceptionally well in low light conditions, while the RAW images barely have noise at the Normal ISO settings.

Its optical viewfinder will result in the camera having delightful response time with a high-speed burst mode of 5 fps.

Pros

  • Impressive high-quality build
  • High-speed performance
  • Top-notch images

Cons

  • Poor battery life

2. GoPro Hero5 Black Action Camera

We assume that you have encountered those individuals who are fascinated by extreme sporting adventures such as jumping off buildings and bridges. They usually do so with a camera attached to their head and chances are that the camera is a GoPro camera.

You must have noticed that the footage captured is of the highest quality regardless of the situation.

Product description

The GoPro Hero5 Black has a 2.0-Inch touchscreen and will capture high-quality 12MP still images. It offers 4K video capture, and its UI makes it friendlier and suitable for the beginners in the field. 

The camera includes a rear touchscreen display, a one-button control and a voice activation feature. The video-resolution is at 4K at 30fps while the still images can be taken in timelapse, burst and single modes.

The kit includes several accessories including the waterproof Remo voice-activated shutter remote button and a Quik Key USB-C microSD card reader.

Other features and benefits

The Hero5 Black lacks a plastic casing, and this is positive since not only does the external look improve but the sound quality becomes better while the microphones experience less interference.

The one-press shutter operates quite smoothly, and you will find it very easy to operate. The GoPro mounting system is housed in the svelte plastic frame.

It has built-in Wi-Fi and is easy to use and set up. You can always use the small front screen to check the mode, battery level as well as the memory level of the SD card.

The camera utilizes the Electronic image Stabilization (EIS) for smooth and clear images.

Pros

  • High-quality images
  • Smooth-operating shutter
  • Uses EIS for smooth images

Cons

  • Poorly responsive touchscreen

3. Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Camera Kit

The Canon EOS Rebel T5 was introduced as a replacement of the EOS Rebel T3 which had been released in 2011. You will not get many significant changes in features from the T3, but you will end up with a basic entry-level camera that an amateur would be comfortable to work with.

We can gauge its performance to be just above the T3 and just below the T5i.

Product description 

The camera has a straightforward layout which would make it easy for beginners eager to learn photography 101. First, you will use only one hand in operating the camera since all the controls are on the right side and are more accessible in comparison to the predecessor.

The speaker, on the other hand, has been moved to the top left of the camera and this will eliminate any chances of accidental cover-ups.

It is also lighter with a bigger LCD by 0.3”. The grip is textured and will fit nicely in the hands.

Other features and benefits

The significant advantage with this camera is its impressive performance in low light, given that this is an entry-level DSLR. In this instance, it will keep the noise at a minimum.

The ISO range of 100-12,800 is very decent for a DSLR of today. In the span of ISO 1600-12,800, we advise you to utilize the three levels of noise-reduction: Low, Normal and Strong.

Lastly, the color accuracy is very impressive, with saturation levels of up to 105% which is acceptable.

Pros

  • Nice grip
  • Nice speaker-location
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Struggles in producing sharp images

4. Canon XA30 Camcorder

This professional camcorder was announced alongside the XA35, and they both contain some modern-day features, which would greatly suit you if you are shooting documentaries or covering events. Their target market is experienced professionals, and even amateurs will not have a hard time putting the camera to use.

Product description 

The Canon XA30 Camcorder measures 26.9mm wide, and it features an f/1.8-2.8 lens with a 20x zoom and an intelligent 5-axis OIS and Dynamic Image Stabilization.

 It also features Canon’s HD CMOS Pro Sensor for better performance in terms of sensitivity. It has a wide DR mode of 600% as well as a Highlight Priority mode for maintaining shadow detail.

The camera has a detachable handle that comes with professional XLR inputs as well as a built-in IR lamp. It also has a 3.5” OLED touchscreen and a fast and slow motion ranging from x2 to x1200.

Lastly, it has a built-in dual-band WI-Fi.

Other features and benefits

First, the camera is lightweight and still maintains a professional look. It has an impressive performance in low light conditions, and we can attribute this to HD CMOS Pro-Sensor. You will end up with high-quality images as a result of the visible pixels.

The zoom range of 35mm combined with the improved 8-blade design and the HD CMOS sensor will give your images a more realistic look. The standard zoom ring is also very easy to operate.

It lacks 4K resolution, and it compensates this by combining several features that will make it highly flexible.

The built-in dual band Wi-Fi will make it possible for you to transfer your files to your preferred storage without much hustle.

The 3.5” OLED display will give you an impressive viewing angle, no matter how awkwardly positioned you are.

Finally, you will not have to worry about memory running out as it supports SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.

Pros

  •  Impressive 3.5” OLED display
  • Has built-in dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Sharp and clear images

Cons

  • No 4K recording

5. Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera

The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level DSLR that was launched to replace the D3300. Although it features some improvements from its predecessor, it still focuses on simplicity, smallness, and lightness, without compromising on its expected performance.

Product description 

This camera has an APS-C sized sensor with a pixel count of 24.2MP. This sensor operates over an ISO range of ISO100-25,600, and it has a 5fps burst shooting and Full HD video recording, thanks to the Nikon's Expeed 4 processing engine.

The camera also has Nikon’s Picture Controls as well as Super Vivid, Illustration and Toy Camera effects which you can access via the mode dial.

The camera weighs 455g, has an 11-point AF, Bluetooth connectivity and improved battery life.

Other features and benefits

The D3400 is one of the lightest DSLRs to have ever been in existence. It weighs just about 650g, and this is with the memory card, battery and lens kit in place.

The grip is surrounded by soft rubber, and this increases its fantastic feel in the hands. The thumb rest is equally rubberized for comfortable operation. The mode dial too has a tremendous grip and rotates very smoothly.

It has an 11-point Multi-cam AF system which is very silent and has an impressive speed as it focuses on the subject immediately in good light. The auto white performance is also awe-inspiring while the viewfinder will deliver a clear and bright rendition of the region.

You can conduct the Wireless image transfer via the Snapbridge system which functions via the phone’s Bluetooth. Finally, it is worth mentioning the 1200-shot battery life.

Pros

  • Awesome battery-life
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use and understand

Cons

  • No touchscreen

6. Nikon D3300 24.2 DSLR

All photography enthusiasts would agree with us that the Nikon D3xx series cameras are worth having as you are always guaranteed of a splendid performance. The amateurs will have an easy time learning how to use them, and in the end, they will have expanded their knowledge in photography.

, but we shall explain to you why we still rate it highly.

Product description

The camera has featured an APS-C sensor with a high resolution of 24.2MP and features a native sensitivity range of ISO100-12800. It utilizes the EXPEED 4 processing engine to allow continuous shooting at a maximum rate of 5fps.

The processing engine also gives it the capability to record Full HD footage at 50p/60p frame rates with non-stop autofocus. It sports a 3-Inch display and an optical viewfinder that offers a 95% field of view.

It also features a range of special effects including Pop, Toy Camera, and Easy Panorama.

Other features and benefits

The D3300 utilizes a monocoque construction, with the chassis being constructed out of a single piece of material- Polycarbonate material.

It is lighter than its predecessor, the D3200 and has a textured surface to make the grip deep, comfortable and secure in the hands. The 18-55mm kit lens it comes with is collapsible and so will fit comfortably in your bag for storage purposes.

The top plate features a mode dial which will allow you to switch between exposure modes which include aperture priority, fully automatic and the newly featured effects mode.

The D3300 has an 11-point AF system with extremely high AF speeds, particularly in adequate lighting. As you shoot, three circles, which represent Sensitivity (ISO), aperture and shutter speed will be displayed. You will use the scrolling dials to alter settings, and as you do so, the three displays will change.

The 420-pixel RGB sensor will be vital in gathering exposure, white balance and focus information for the Automatic Scene Recognition System.

The high pixel count ensures that you end up with high-quality images, with noise starting to appear from ISO 3200 and above. The resolving power is impressive and even zooming images to 100% will give you the most exquisite details.

Lastly, the battery life is fantastic, lasting for approximately 700 shots.

Pros

  • Easy to understand and use
  • Strong and deep grip
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • No touchscreen

7. Canon EOS 70D DSLR

The Canon EOS 70D was the camera of choice for a majority of DSLR enthusiasts who wished to graduate from using the entry-level cameras. Even though the EOS 80D has taken much spotlight from it, we still believe it is worth giving a shot.

Product description

The camera features an APS-C sized sensor with a resolution of 20.2MP. It has an ISO range of ISO100-12,800 and is expandable to ISO100-25,600.

The EOS 70D has a 19-point AF system and is capable of burst-shooting at up to 7fps. It has a 3-Inch touchscreen display with 1,040,000 dots and can capture videos at 1080p.

Other features and benefits

The camera has a high resolution of 20.2MP, and this will be of help in the sensor performing phase-detect autofocus. The lens will have the ability to jump directly into focus rather than moving back and forth in searching for a sharp image.

The outer casing is textured and has a deep grip to make it very secure in your hands. The buttons and dials are reasonably arranged and spaced so that you do not make any accidental presses.

The 19-point AF system has high sensitivity due to all of them being cross-type. The AF action is fast, but it dips in low-light conditions.

The touchscreen is highly responsive as a result of the capacitive technology that is utilized. Its automatic white-balance system will capture amazing colors that reflect the environment without overdoing the task of correcting the source of light.

The camera delivers images with decently saturated colors, while the 63-zone iFCL metering system also gives an acceptable performance.

Pros

  • Highly-responsive touchscreen
  • Fantastic AF
  • High-quality images

Cons

  • Poor sharpness in videos

8. Canon VIXIA HF R700 Camcorder

This camcorder is one of the best products ever produced by Canon. Its main outstanding feature is the advanced zoom technology which you can find in the market and Full HD capacity. Overall, all its features guarantee that you will end up with high-quality results.

Product description 

The Canon HF R700 is an outdoor and travel video-camera with a powerful zooming capability as well as the SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer which is crucial in avoiding blurry images. It has a built-in mic for recording high-quality audio.

The Camcorder has a 3.28MP CMOS Image Sensor which captures videos in 1080 by 1920 resolution. The BP-727 battery pack will deliver you a very decent battery life.

Other features and benefits 

First, at 11 ounces, this camcorder is one of the heaviest you will ever find, and this contributes significantly to video-stability.

The LCD will give you access to some touch controls such as video editing and recording in slow motion as well as at super-fast speeds.

The camcorder comes with additional accessories such as a wall adapter, a camera-battery, a USB cable, and a Mini-HDMI cable.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Comes with a hand-strap for secure holding
  • Highly stable videos

Cons

  • Poor low-light performer

9. Olympus TG-4 Digital Camera

This camera falls in the line of Olympus' TG series, and it has some additional features which lack in the preceding models. It fits well in the pockets and is very tough such that it can survive in the bumpiest surroundings as well as underwater.

Product description 

The TG-4 is fully sealed from water, dust, and moisture and has a sturdy build to withstand accidental drops. It has GPS and built-in Wi-Fi as well. The camera comes with an f/2 25-100mm lens and has a 16MP CMOS sensor.

It records 1080p Full HD movies and has Raw file support.

Other features and benefits

The main feature of this camera is its ability to prevent any harmful penetrations into it. It is waterproof up to 15 meters without an extra casing, freeze-proof up to -10 degrees and is shock-proof up to 2 meters high. Additionally, it is crush-proof, persevering up to 100kg in weight.

It is entirely, and both battery and card compartments have double-lock doors for extra protection.

The lens does not protrude from the camera body as it has an internal zooming mechanism, which is equivalent to 25-100mm on a 35mm film camera.

The built-in Wi-Fi and GPS not only enables wireless sharing of footage and images but also allows external control of the camera from your smartphone.

The sensor-shift image stabilization is vital in supporting handheld shooting while the 16MP image resolution is crucial in producing sharp and clear images.

You will have the option of Raw shooting as well as Full HD 1080p video.

Pros

  • Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi
  • Waterproof up to 50 feet
  • Supports handheld shooting

Cons

  • Noisy lens

10. Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

Over time, photographers have moved on from slim fixed lens camera. This has however not slowed down their performance as they continue to showcase amazing qualities. One of these is the Canon PowerShot SX720HS.

Product description

The camera features a 40x optical zoom lens as well as an 80x digital zoom. It has a CMOS sensor with 20MP as well as a Digic 6 processor. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, a rear 3-Inch LCD screen as well as Full HD video recording at 1080p.

Other features and benefits

The camera is very slim and will comfortably fit in your pocket. It has a classy look thanks to the brushed metal and the rounded corners of the body.

The front of the camera features a rubberized grip where your middle finger will rest and will contribute to the camera being snuggly in your hands.

Beneath the mode dial, you will find the playback button plus another one which you will use in accessing the Wi-Fi mode on the camera.

Focusing action is commendable in well-lit conditions while it drops in darker situations. In general, the operational speeds are very impressive.

Pros

  • Very slim design
  • Sharp and bright LCD screen
  • Impressive AF speeds

Cons

  • Tiny buttons

Different Types of Cameras

There are different kinds of cameras that exist out there in the world. For that reason, before you opt for any one of them it is important that you understand their key differences.

The DSLR cameras are reputed for their sturdy construction and the fact that they can accommodate different kinds of lenses. They tend to be excellent performers in low light photography as well.

The second variety is the Mirrorless camera variety which is renowned for portability. And although this breed of cameras is relatively new in the video world, it has been making some big waves.

The third variety is the Camcorder family which are basic, entry-level cameras that are meant to simplify the art of capturing action videos. The last variety if the action camera which is specifically designed for adventure e.g. GoPro and the likes. This variety is made up of rugged cameras meant to withstand hostile conditions and punishing use.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Camera for Sports

So, what are some of the key factors to keep in mind when shopping for the right camera for sports videos? We’d like to share our list of recommended factors for you to keep in mind.

The Size of the Sensor

The size of the sensor that you opt for matters a lot when it comes to selecting the camera. Ideally, you should consider getting a full-frame sensor as it tends to perform quite well in low light.

However, when it comes to outdoor sports, you’d need a Micro Four Thirds or APS-C sensor for cleaner footage. This is especially important if you’re looking for a cinematic look and shallow depth.

Video Resolution

For quite a few years now, the 1080p variety of cameras has been the dominant choice for many. But times have changed and now 4K cameras are on the rise.

That said, the 1080p camera variety is still good enough for almost all applications. However, 4K technology seems to offer you a superior post-processing advantage.

Yet another advantage of going for the 4K variety of cameras is that they give you the freedom to crop and recompose your images. And this way, you can always apply digital stabilization effect without worrying about losing some vital pixels.

But even with that said, it is worth acknowledging that 4K videography is not absolutely necessary. And, therefore, you can always survive with a 1080p especially if you’re on a budget.

Manual vs Autofocus

Which one of those two is the better option? Well, while manual focus provides you with greater freedom and creativity, it’s not the best option for sports. That’s because in sports, the subject is likely to move quite fast and you may not have enough time to focus manually.

For that reason, you’re better off opting for an autofocus camera and preferably one with lots of focus points. In our view, the best video camera for sports is one with Dual Pixel Autofocus.

The Ideal Size

What’s the ideal camera size for the job? Well, our answer to that would be that the camera should be as small and compact as you might want to have it. Generally, you want to avoid the big DSLRs especially if you’re planning to be moving around quite a lot.

Look for something small enough but functional. And if heading out for the adventure yourself, consider going for a camera that can be fitted on the helmet or bike handlebar.

Extra Ports

The two extra ports that really matter when it comes to camera usage are the headphone and microphone ports. One thing you need to know is that though most cameras come with built-in microphones, those may not always have the best sound quality.

Therefore, if sound forms an important part of your videos, you want to make sure you settle for a camera that can accommodate an external microphone.

Also, headphones can be a great addition when you’re capturing content and want to listen-in in real-time.

Which One IS The Best?

If you’re planning to be shooting from the sidelines, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 would be your best bet. It is affordably priced and has a friendly focal length of 18-55mm which also enables for wide-view photos.

However, if you’re planning to shoot while you’re a part of the action, we’d recommend settling for the GoPro Hero5. It is waterproof and also enjoys the capacity to capture 4K quality content.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s your favorite video camera for sports? As suggested above, the best choice is one that suits your style of photography and whether or not you’ll be involved in the sporting action or not. With that said, we hope that the guidelines provided above will help you make an informed bet.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: