There are many different ways to capture sports, and there are just as many different cameras to do it with. When looking for a sports video camera, it's important to consider the type of camera you need, whether it's a mountable action camera to get POV shots of the action or a well-equipped mirrorless camera to capture the action from afar. Look out for good stabilization to keep your camera steady and a good autofocus system to keep your subjects in focus. The more frame rate options, the better, especially if you want to incorporate slow-motion footage.
The lens you use with an interchangeable lens camera can drastically affect its overall performance. Using a telephoto lens with a long maximum focal length can help you capture the action from a distance, but that isn't the only point you should consider. Maximum aperture, autofocus performance, stabilization performance, and image and video quality depend on the lens you use, meaning that camera performance can differ significantly depending on your chosen lens and settings. For the sake of consistency and user-friendliness, we currently test mirrorless and DSLR cameras with their standard kit lenses.
We've tested over 70 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras to buy for sport video. These picks were selected not only based on their overall performance but also their feature set and price. For more options, see our recommendations for the best mirrorless cameras, the best cameras for YouTube, and the best cameras.
If you're looking for a mirrorless option, the Fujifilm X-T4 is the best camera for sports video that we've tested for most people. This crop-sensor mirrorless model feels very well-built and is relatively portable. It has a fully articulated screen to help you shoot from different angles and a full array of inputs and outputs, including a microphone jack if you want to connect an external mic for better audio.
It offers several frame rate options, as it can record 4k and FHD video at up to 60 fps. It also has a high-speed recording mode in FHD that lets you capture fast action at 120 fps or 240 fps for slow-motion playback. Its internal recording capability is also excellent, as it can record 10-bit 4:2:0 video internally to give you greater color depth and detail. Its video quality is impressive, particularly when shooting in brighter lighting conditions. It also has a great autofocus system that's remarkably effective at tracking moving subjects.
Unfortunately, it isn't the most comfortable to use, and its controls can take some getting used to if you're not accustomed to using dedicated exposure dials. Naturally, it's also heavier and bulkier than a portable action camera. It has in-body image stabilization to smooth out camera shake when shooting without a tripod. Overall, if you're looking for a hybrid stills/video camera to capture fast action and sports, this is an excellent option.
Of the action cameras we've tested, the best camera to video sports with is the GoPro HERO10 Black. This premium action camera is perfect for capturing sports thanks to its high frame rate options and digital stabilization feature. It's also advertised to be waterproof to a depth of 33 feet, and you can easily mount it on any number of action camera mounts or objects, including helmet and chest rigs.
Like the GoPro HERO9 Black, this model has a second front-facing screen that lets you monitor yourself while recording through Live View. It can shoot in several resolutions and frame rate options, from 1080p at up to 240 fps to 4k at up to 120 fps and even 5.3k at up to 60 fps, meaning you can shoot high-res action video and smooth slow-motion. The camera also does an exceptional job smoothing out camera shake in both 4k and 1080p thanks to its 'HyperSmooth' digital image stabilization feature, though it incurs a noticeable crop on your videos.
Unfortunately, it doesn't come with too many mounting accessories in the box, and it only has a USB-C port. If you want to connect an auxiliary microphone for better audio or connect it to an external display for playback over HDMI, you need to purchase a GoPro 'Media Mod' at an additional cost. Still, this is one of the best cameras for sports that we've tested, thanks to its excellent action video performance and dense feature set.
If you'd prefer something cheaper, take a look at the DJI Osmo Action. Unlike the GoPro HERO10 Black, it's limited to 4k and 1080p resolution, and you can't disable its fisheye lens effect. However, it's considerably cheaper and still comes with a front-facing screen that you can use to monitor yourself live when vlogging. It's advertised to be waterproof to a depth of 11 m, and the camera features a built-in heat sink that's supposed to reduce the risk of overheating. While it doesn't offer as many frame rate options, it can still shoot 4k at up to 60 fps and 1080p at up to 240 fps, which should be enough to suit most people. Its overall video quality is worse, and its digital stabilization feature incurs an even greater crop on your videos, though it does an excellent job of reducing camera shake.
Get the GoPro if you want a wider array of frame rates and resolutions, but if you're looking to save some money on a solid action camera for sports video, the DJI is a good alternative.
The DJI Pocket 2 is the best camera that we've tested for handheld sports video. This unique little camera features a built-in three-axis stabilized gimbal that makes for exceptionally smooth handheld video. You can also set it to lock one or more of its axes to prevent the camera from tilting or keep a level horizon even while moving the gimbal around. It feels very well-constructed, and its small size makes it easy to take wherever you go.
On top of its stabilization, the camera also has a fantastic autofocus system, which includes an active tracking feature that can lock onto a specific subject and follow them automatically with the camera. While it doesn't have as many frame rates as a GoPro, it can still record 4k and 1080p video at up to 60 fps, and it has a 'Slow-Mo' video mode that captures 1080p footage at higher frame rates for slow-motion playback. Its video quality is fair, and because of its slightly larger sensor, it also performs better in low light than most action cameras.
Although this camera doesn't have a recording time limit, it tends to overheat when used for longer periods, especially during 4k video recording. Its screen is also very small, though you can connect your phone through the DJI Mimo app and use that as a screen if you want. Overall, if you're looking for a handheld camera for sports, this is a great option because of its built-in gimbal, autofocus performance, and frame rate options.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is the best camera for sports if you're looking for a lightweight mirrorless option. This Micro Four Thirds camera feels very comfortable to shoot with. It's more lightweight and portable than the Fujifilm X-T4, making it very easy to carry around for longer shooting days and allowing you to get right in the action.
The camera has a fully articulated screen, which is great for getting interesting low-angle shots. It also has built-in stabilization, and it does an amazing job of eliminating jitter and camera shake when shooting video handheld, allowing you to capture smooth action footage. Video quality is excellent in 4k, and it even performs well in low-light, though 1080p quality leaves a little to be desired.
Unfortunately, it can only record 4k video up to 30 fps. If you want high-quality slo-mo footage, an action cam like the GoPro HERO10 Black might be a better fit, but it does have a high-speed capture mode that records in 1080p at 120 fps with slow-motion playback at a range of speeds. Overall, if you want an interchangeable lens camera without too much bulk, this is a great option for recording sport video.
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.
Oct 04, 2021: Updated article for accuracy and clarity.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best sport video cameras 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.