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Best Cameras for Sports Photography

Here's a round up of the best cameras for sports photography because nobody wants a camera with the shakes.

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Whether you are a seasoned pro sports photographer, or a proud papa just wanting to catch junior kicking the winning score during this weekend’s soccer game, you need a good camera that will not only give you crisp, clean pictures when nobody is moving around, but also one that delivers good, clear photos during the action. Plus, it doesn’t help if your camera can take great still pictures if it can’t keep the images stable as you too are moving around trying to capture the action. Here are ten of the best cameras for sports photography with most offering a little something extra too.

D500 DSLR Camera by Nikon

The technology of Nikon’s D500 DSLR Camera is held within its more than durable, magnesium alloy chassis which is both dust sealed and weather sealed; a great help when shooting events in the rain or windy weather. It also comes with an advanced version of SnapBridge providing Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC and Bluetooth connectivity to your mobile phone.

D7500 DSLR Camera by Nikon

Nikon’s D7500 DSLR Camera is about 20 percent lighter and smaller than the previous D500, making it a little less clunky for some and the pentaprism optical viewfinder and 3.2-inch 922K dot tilting touchscreen is a pleasure to use. Together, they provide a large field of view and they aide when shooting from low or high angles. The pentaprism finder is also a huge advantage over regular LCD screens as the latter are often difficult to use in bright light, something that is very useful when taking shots at a sport event. The SnapBridge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allows users to transfer photos and movies wirelessly from your smartphone, which is great when you need to send photos on a deadline. It's one of the best Nikon cameras of 2018.

D5 DSLR by Nikon

The Nikon D5 is one of the great cameras others try to emulate. It excels with its 20.8MP full-frame sensor and 153-point autofocus improving speed and reliability, because when "the one that got away" should be the fish, not your photo! Digital Photography Review describes this camera as "both tough as nails and exceedingly comfortable to use." Even without a lens it still weighs over three pounds and unlike other point and shoot cameras, it can take a beating. This camera's frame rate is 14 frames per second with fixed focus and mirror lock-up or 12 frames per second when choosing to use the precise focusing feature. The native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 102400 and the 4K UHD video-recording is nice too. Finally, the D5 also comes with an amazingly long battery life. It's CIPA-rated to 3,780 shots.

EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR by Canon

As one of the best Canon cameras of 2018, Canon's 1DX is actually quite similar to the Nikon D5, but while the latter has a high ISO, the former is an improvement on its continuous shooting speed making it one of the best cameras for sports photography. Housed in a tough magnesium-alloy body, the EOS-1D Mark II has been designed for pro shooters giving 16 frames per second while shooting in the live view and 14 frames per second when using the viewfinder. It has a 61-point autofocus system with 24 percent more coverage and an amazing 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor. The camera has the ability to record 170 raw files using just one Cfast 2.0 memory card and the built-in GPS module is pretty impressive too. Don't be intimidated. There isn't much of a learning curve either for those with previous 1D experience. 

7D Mark II DSLR by Canon

Shooting a crisp 10 frames per second, the Canon 7D Mark II has a combination of dual image processors and CMOS sensor that takes the native ISO range of 100-16000 all the way up to ISO 51200 and is great for those needing to work across different platforms with the Full HD 1080p video recording capabilities. It features a flexible auto focus system and surprisingly bright viewfinder. It's super fast and not only is the image quality of photos high, but using it to shoot sports videos is excellent as well. The only real downside here is the lack of tilting or articulated display and it doesn't feature built-in Wi-Fi.

Pentax K-1 Mark II DSLR by Pentax

If you’re going for looks only, the Pentax K-1 Mark 11 may be your best choice with its sleek stainless steel and magnesium-alloy body, but this beauty has brains too with its weather-sealing protecting the contents inside from harsh climates and cold weather. It boasts of a 36-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with a range that stretches from ISO100 to ISO81920, a shake reduction sensor, a large pentaprism optical viewfinder with 0.7x magnification offering 100% frame coverage, 0.7 magnification, operation assist light and a 1.04m-dot LCD Cross-Tilt design. It's fast too with a 300,000 shutter rating and 1/8000s shutter speed. Finally, there is a lightroom plugin for tethered shooting.

X-T100 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 15-45mm Lens by Fujifilm

The Fujifilm’s X-T100 is a very versatile mirrorless compact camera that is great for any type of photography needs, but excels with its high-resolution 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor that can record stills and 4K Ultra HD video. It also features film simulation modes (which gives the illusion of classic Fujifilm films) and advanced filters offering some truly unique effects. The camera includes a three inch titlting LCD display, an electronic viewfinder and Super Intelligent Flash technology. There are many advantages of mirrorless cameras as well. Finally, it’s hard to beat the included rechargeable lithium-ion battery that give up to 430 shots per charge for anyone needing to rely on the camera for an all-day project.

4K Action Camera by YI Technology

It's one thing trying to find the right camera for sports photography, but it comes to whole new level when looking for a camera that will capture your own athletic achievements. Experts agree that the YI Technology 4K Action Camera offers the biggest bang for your budgeted buck. Compared to GoPro, it’s super cheap. While it doesn’t offer the same waterproof casing that the GoPro is known for, it does feature a larger touch screen and can record 4K in 60 frames per second. The quality is almost as good as the GoPro HERO5, but at a much lower price.

A6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera by Sony

The Sony A6300 Digital Camera offers an advanced mirrorless technology featuring a redeveloped 24.2 MP APS-C Exmore CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine that work together to provide very good image quality whether you are shooting at ISO 100 or ISO 51200. It features a 4D Focus system with 425 detection AF points that become positioned over the entire image area for super smooth images. The camera offers continuous shooting up to 11 frames per second and is also great for shooting UHD 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in the Super 35mm format.

Cyber-Shot DSC-RX10 Digital Camera by Sony

Digital Photography Review says that Sony Cyber-Shot’s DSC-RX10’s "combines aspects of two of the company's most imagination-catching cameras—the RX100 II zoom compact camera and the R1." While the RX10 has all of the stuff you'd expect from a compact camera (like a bunch of manual controls, high resolution EVF, tilting LCD screen and built-in Wi-Fi)  this isn't a small camera. It features a built-in 8.3x optical zoom lens which provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-200mm which covers a wide range of focal lengths allowing for more versatile and multi-functional shooting from just one zoom lens. The Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is brilliant in helping to minimize camera shakes, making it one of the most perfect cameras for sports photography.

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