Whether you're trying to capture the crack of a bat hitting a homer or the fast-paced swoosh of skis hitting the slopes, you'll want a camera that's capable of recording every moment. Though your smartphone is great in a pinch, a dedicated video camera can take your sports videos to the next level. You'll want to make sure your camera has high frame rate options to capture the action smoothly or add slow-motion flourishes. In-body image stabilization (IBIS) can also be a big help if you're shooting handheld and want to minimize camera shake. Watch out for cameras with heavy rolling shutter distortion, which can be distracting if you find yourself panning the camera a lot. Of course, all of that is moot if the camera's autofocus can't even keep up with your subjects. Thankfully, mirrorless cameras have gotten more and more video-capable, so you're sure to find something that fits your needs and budget.
We've bought and tested over 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras to buy for recording sports video from the sidelines. If, however, you're looking for something to shoot extreme sports or capture POV footage from within the action, take a look at our best action camera picks. If you're a sports vlogger, you should also see our recommendations for the best cameras for vlogging, or check out the best cameras for filmmaking if you need something a little more advanced.
The Fujifilm X-T4 pretty much has everything you need to produce high-quality sports videos. It's relatively portable, making it easy to carry around on the move, and it's weather-sealed, meaning you can record the big game, rain or shine. It's also got a very effective in-body image stabilization system, so you can keep up with the action while keeping distracting camera jitter to a minimum. As for frame rate options, it has you covered with 4k / 60 fps (with a slight crop) and a high-speed recording mode in 1080p if you want to record super slow-mo footage.
While its autofocus isn't as reliable as a more expensive competitor like the Sony α7C, it still works very well for video and should easily track most subjects. Video quality is great, and you can take advantage of Fujifilm's excellent film simulation profiles to adjust the look of your footage without having to do additional editing, for those that prefer a more hands-off approach. While there are higher-end mirrorless cameras out there, including full-frame options like the Sony that'll get you better low-light capability, the X-T4's combination of portability, frame rates, and stabilization makes it one of the best cameras for sports we've tested.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is the best mid-range camera we've tested for sports. It uses a smaller Four Thirds sensor than the APS-C sensor on the Fujifilm X-T4, so video quality isn't as high, but it makes for an even more portable camera. You'll also have generally smaller lenses, so the overall size of your kit will be smaller. On top of that, the E-M5 has a very effective five-axis IBIS system to help reduce camera shake when shooting handheld.
That said, its AF system isn't as reliable and it has fewer frame rate options, but you still get a high-speed recording mode in 1080p for slow-motion shots. Overall, it's a very solid camera for the price, and it's an especially good option if you need something lightweight and portable. It's also weather-sealed and feels pretty sturdy, meaning it can put up with fairly heavy use in trickier weather conditions.
The Sony ZV-E10 is our top budget pick. Though it's aimed at vloggers, it also makes for a great general video camera for those looking for a more affordable interchangeable-lens option. It doesn't have a viewfinder, and at this price point, you also lose out on IBIS, which means you'll need to rely on optically stabilized lenses to get smoother footage when shooting handheld. If that isn't a dealbreaker, you'll find a lot to love with this camera.
Top of the list is its fantastic autofocus system. Sony cameras are known for their quick and accurate AF systems, and the ZV-E10 is no exception. It also has a fully articulated screen to help shoot at different angles and a good battery life, along with no recording time limit. Frame rates are a little limited, but it can still do cropped 4k/30 fps and 1080p/120 fps if you want to incorporate some slow-motion shots.
You're better off looking at cameras without interchangeable lenses if you want something on the cheap end. The DJI Pocket 2 is unique even among those, as it comes with a built-in gimbal, so you get a super portable pocket-sized camera with best-in-class stabilization. It's a great option if you want something lightweight but still prefer to get right in the action, as you can keep up with your subjects and still produce smooth footage. On top of that, it has an active tracking feature that can automatically follow a subject as they move around.
It records 4k video at up to 60 fps and includes a dedicated slow-motion mode in 1080p for super slow-mo shots. On top of that, it has an unlimited recording time limit and solid battery life. Because it's a small-sensor camera, you won't get amazing video quality compared to the higher-end options above. However, if the thought of an all-in-one camera and gimbal kit sounds appealing, this is one of the best cameras for sports you can get.
Sep 12, 2022: Restructured article to better align with market conditions and user needs; removed irrelevant Notable Mentions and touched up the intro.
May 06, 2022: Renamed the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III the 'Best Lightweight Mirrorless Sport Video Camera'.
Jan 14, 2022: Renamed the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III as 'More Portable Alternative'.
Nov 15, 2021: Replaced the GoPro HERO9 Black with the GoPro HERO10 Black as 'Best Action Camera For Sport Video' and added the GoPro HERO9 to Notable Mentions.
Oct 25, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks; no change to recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cameras for sports video for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our camera reviews. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.