8 Best Video Cameras for Sports Action

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There’s no doubt that action video is captivating, especially sports. It could be little Jemma or Jimmy’s first sports day at school or something far more dramatic. This guide reviews 8 of the best video cameras for sports action. A little basic knowledge helps to prevent the dreaded buying blunders. Keep reading if you want to avoid that shaky, hard-to-watch footage produced by some cameras.

CamKing DV01 Video
Type: Camcorder
Video Res: 1080p
Quite easy to use, 24MP stills, 3” LCD, anti-shake, scene modes, beauty function.
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Best Value
GoPro Hero5 Black
Type: Action Cam
Video Res: 4K
1-button use, rugged/waterproof, touch display, video stabilization, voice control.
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Top Pick
Canon EOS-1DX Mark II
Type: DSLR
Video Res: 4K
Incredible build quality, intelligent viewfinder, feature-packed, dual card slot.
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Make a Buyer’s Checklist

Those familiar with my reviews know that I’m a massive fan of the humble checklist. Too many shopping blunders occur because of buying in haste and or ignorance. Writing down the essential wants and needs guarantees better buying decisions. Below are 5 things to consider.

  1. Camera type
  2. Feature and functions that are vital to your needs
  3. Video resolution (opt for at least 1080p)
  4. The type of sports or action activities you want the camera for
  5. Any accessories

This guide doesn’t get into technicalities, so do a little research if you’re not sure about any of the above. Below is a quick introduction to the kinds of things you may need to look into further.

About My ‘Best Video Camera’ for Sports Guide

The choices in video cameras are endless these days. I’ve researched dozens of popular options to come up with the 8 products here. These are models across all budgets and camera types. They include dedicated video recorders, DSLRs, Mirrorless models, and Action Cams. My first three reviews are the Editor’s Choice for the Best Budget video camera, Best Value, and the Top Pick.

Video Cameras for Sports Action Comparison Table

Make and ModelTypeVideo ResZoomWeightPrice
CamKing DV01 VideoCamcorder1080p18x8.9 oz.Check Price
GoPro Hero5 BlackAction Cam4KNone4.2 0z.Check Price
Canon EOS-1DX Mark IIDSLR4KN/A47.2 oz.Check Price
AKASO EK7000 4KAction Cam4KNone2.08 oz.Check Price
Canon VIXIA HF R800Camcorder1080p7x8.29 oz.Check Price
Panasonic Full HD HC-V770Camcorder1080p20x12.45 oz.Check Price
Sony Alpha a6000Mirrorless1080p3x12.13 oz.Check Price
PANASONIC LUMIX GH5SMirrorless4K2.8x23.2 oz.Check Price

1. CamKing DV01 Video Camcorder | Best Budget

CamKing DV01 Video CamcorderView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Best Budget video camera for sports goes to the CamKing DV01 Digital Camcorder. It’s a perfect entry-level product to capture family events, including kid’s sports days and fun activities.

  • Best feature 1: 18X digital zoom feature
  • Best feature 2: 1080p video resolution
  • Plus points: Quite easy to use, 24MP stills, 3” LCD, anti-shake, scene modes, beauty function
  • Minus points: No memory card included, only supports SD card up to 32GB

CamKing DV01 Camcorder Highlights

The CamKing DV01 video camcorder has an 18X digital zoom that gets closer to faraway action. And its 270° wide-angle is there for when you need to take in wider views. CamKing’s DV01 delivers 24MP photos and 1080p video, so it offers a lot for such an affordable product. Another neat feature is the camera’s ability to record while the battery charges.

A bright 3.0″ LCD screen makes light work of framing and composing the action. Anti-shake is another vital feature, especially for recording fast-moving subjects while holding the camcorder. The scene mode and a beauty function are nice to have for landscapes and people shots. There’s much to like about this product considering what it offers for the price.

The Not So Good

There are only a couple of minor beefs with this affordable camera. It takes a MicroSD card, but it doesn’t include one in the box. The biggest letdown is that it only takes cards up to 32GB. That may sound plenty, but it’s not if you record lots of high-definition videos. It’s easy enough to carry a spare card, but they’re small and easy to lose if you’re not careful.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Camking
Video Camera Type: Camcorder
Lens Max Aperture: F/2.6
Zoom: 8X digital
Video Resolution: 1080p
Stills: 24-megapixel
Focus Range: 1.2m to infinity
Card Storage: MicroSD max 32GB
Battery Life: Lithium-ion battery NP-40
Battery Life: 90–15 minutes
Screen Type: 270° 3.0” articulating
Camera Weight: 8.9 oz.
Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 2.9”
The Pros
Quite easy to use
Articulating Screen
Face Detection
Beauty Photo Function
Anti-shake Function
LED Fill Light
Adjustable self-timer
Selectable auto power OFF
The Cons
Doesn’t include memory card
Only takes cards up to 32GB

2. GoPro Hero5 Black, Digital Action Cam | Best Value

GoPro Hero5 BlackView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

GoPro action cameras exist to record sports or any other type of fast-moving activities. I chose the company’s Hero5 Black for the Best Value slot for a whole range of reasons.

  • Best feature 1: 4K video w/ 12MP photos
  • Best feature 2: Bestselling action cam
  • Plus points: 1-button use, rugged/waterproof, touch display, video stabilization, voice control
  • Minus points: Short battery life, a little dated, not ideal for larger hands

It takes a lot to build brand recognition and a first-rate product reputation. Well, the GoPro Hero5 Black is a bestseller because it delivers on its promises. The brand has seen a lot of competition in recent times, and that’s great for consumers. But GoPro continues to be a world-leader when it comes to action cameras. Its Hero5 Black is no exception and is the easiest of all GoPros to use.

GoPro Hero5 Black Camera Highlights

This little video camera is perfect for capturing extreme sports action. It offers unrivaled toughness and versatility. The Hero5 Black delivers 4K video and produces 24MP stills. It boasts image stabilization, voice control, and simple one-button functionality. The camera’s smallness and built-in waterproofing let you take it to where many other cameras can’t get.

The most amazing thing about the Hero5 Black is that you don’t have to touch it to use it. The voice activation allows users to think, then say, and the camera responds accordingly. That’s especially useful if it’s mounted onto a person or thing and is otherwise out of reach.

The Not So Good

The 90–120 minutes battery life is a disappointment. Most owners of the GoPro Hero5 Black invest in one or two spares, which adds further to the cost. The camera is also a little dated for a technical product, but don’t be too put-off. Newer models are not always better, and this one has stood the test of time. Lastly, this is a tiny camera and may be hard to use for folks with bigger hands.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: GoPro
Video Camera Type: Action cam
Video: 4K @ 60fps
Waterproofing: 33ft (10 meters)
Card Storage: MicroSD 64GB
Battery: 1220mah lithium-ion
Max Battery Life: 120 minutes
Screen Type: Fixed touchscreen
Camera Weight: 4.2 oz.
Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.7 x 1”
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Bestselling action camera
Tiny, compact design
Hight-quality video capture
Simple, one-button control
Rugged and waterproofed
LCD touchscreen display
Voice control
Video stabilization
Quick & easy to share footage
The Cons
Short battery life
A little dated
Too small for larger hands

3. Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera | Top Pick

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR CameraView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II takes the Top Pick Slot. It’s loved by many yet owned by only a few. The high price tag puts it mainly in the hands of prosumers, semi, and professional photographers.

  • Best feature 1: Records stunning 4K video at 60fps
  • Best feature 2: Fast and smooth autofocus system
  • Plus points: Incredible build quality, intelligent viewfinder, feature-packed, dual card slot
  • Minus points: High price tag, no quick video menus, large file sizes

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Highlights

The EOS 1DX Mark II is a dream camera. It’s also an incredible workhorse for those who need rugged reliability and consistent performance. The magnesium alloy weather-resistant build is as good as it gets. And the on-body controls blend right in, rather than dominate the design. Some of those include an intelligent viewfinder, dual card slot, and touch panel LCD screen.

This is a camera that inspires those who own it. Photographers who can justify the 1DX Mark II know what they’re getting. The full-frame sensor and depth of field guarantee glossy magazine-quality footage every time. But what about filmmakers?

Cinematic Quality Video

This is a camera that produces 4K video at 60fps (frames per second). One of its’ most exciting features is the 1080p HD capture up to an incredible 120fps for slow motion. Despite its heft, the EOS-1DX Mark II sits well in the hands and functions with silky smoothness. Other cameras can produce similar results to this one, but only after much post-production tweaking.

The camera delivers on all fronts irrespective of photographic and video styles. Canon’s EOS-1DX Mark II has so much to explore and is a superb long-term investment. It doesn’t matter what follows—this is one high-end DSLR that’s unlikely to date.

The Not So Good

The price of this exceptional DSLR is only a con for those who can’t justify its cost. For everyone else— that is, those who make money from the EOS-1DX Mark II—it’s worth every cent. One of the feature disappointments is that there isn’t a dedicated quick menu for the camera’s video mode. The large file sizes may be another disadvantaged for heavy shooters.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Canon
Materials(s): Magnesium alloy
Video Camera Type: Digital-SLR
Video Resolution: 4K @ 60fps, Full 1080p HD up to 120fps
Sensor Resolution: 20.2MP full-frame
LCD screen: 3.2” 1.62 million dots
ISO Range: 100–51200
Card Storage: CFast 128GB
Articulating Screen: None
Camera Weight: 47.2 oz.
Dimensions: 7.7 x 9.4 x 8”
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Exceptional build quality
Cinematic-quality video
Fast, buttery-smooth autofocus
Accurate subject tracking
Bright touch panel LCD
Intelligent viewfinder
Digital Lens Optimizer technology
Built-in GPS
Wireless file transmitter (optional)
Dual card slot
The Cons
High price tag
No quick video menus
Large file sizes

4. AKASO EK7000 PRO 4K WiFi Sports Action Camera

AKASO EK7000 PRO 4K WiFi Sports Action CameraView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Meet the AKASO EK7000 Pro, which is an upgrade on the non-pro version. It’s an affordable sports action camera and one of the bestselling products in its price category.

  • Best feature 1: Ideal action camera for sports action
  • Best feature 2: Range of attachments
  • Plus points: Touchscreen, WiFi, image stabilization, remote, adjustable view angle
  • Minus points: Awkward battery cover, average video, camera body gets hot

AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera Highlights

AKASO’s EK7000 Pro is a small, 4K, 25fps WiFi action cam with a handy touchscreen display. It packs in many features for a budget-end camera. The electronic image stabilization prevents camera shake while filming fast-moving, high impact sports. An adjustable view gives users a choice between Super Wide, Wide, Medium, and Narrow angles to match needs.

A Box Full of Extras

This action cam has a range of supporting extras and accessories in the box. There’s a USB dual charger. You also get 2 batteries that average around 90 minutes of recording on a single charge. Fans of water sports can take the EK7000 Pro down to a depth of 131ft (40m) using its waterproof case. Other items include a remote controller and a full suite of mounting accessories.

The Not So Good

The battery cover is a design flaw as it’s awkward to open and may break with rough handling. Video quality is decent rather than exceptional but adequate for its class. First-time buyers need to have realistic expectations for image quality with budget end products. The camera tends to get overly hot, and that can’t be a good thing. Still, I haven’t come across any reports of malfunction because of it.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: AKASO
Video Camera Type: Sports action cam
LCD Screen: 2 IPS touch display
Waterproof: Up to 131ft (40 meters)
Card Storage: 64GB Micro SDXC UHS-I
Battery: 1050mAh (x2)
Max Battery Life: 40 minutes
Charging Time: 2+ hours
Articulating Screen: None
Camera Weight: 2.08 oz.
Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.6 x 1.3”
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Ideal cam for watersports
Range of useful attachments
Touchscreen display
Electronic image stabilization
Remote control
Adjustable view angle
WiFi connection
Time Lapse
Diving Mode
Special effects
Burst photo
Local memory storage
The Cons
Awkward battery cover
Average video quality
Camera body gets hot

5. Canon VIXIA HF R800 Video Camcorder

Canon VIXIA HF R800 Video CamcorderView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The fifth review is for Canon’s VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder. It’s an exceptional choice for those who want a quality video camera at the entry-level. This model is a good allrounder for recording events.

  • Best feature 1: Ideal camera for recording kid’s sports and family events camcorder
  • Best feature 2: Excellent entry-level product
  • Plus points: Compact, LCD, advanced zoom, image stabilization, mic input, headphone output
  • Minus points: Too small for big hands, flimsy tripod, a little dark indoors

Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder Highlights

Canon’s VIXIA HF R800 makes a great camera to take along to kid’s sports days and other events. It’s a familiar camcorder with proud parents videoing from the sidelines. The compact design, smart carrying case, and range of accessories make this a travel-friendly kit. It records 1080p video, takes still photos, and saves all footage to an Ultra SDHC 64GB memory card.

Product highlights are the 3” LCD touchscreen, 7x Advanced Zoom, and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). There’s also a microphone input for attaching external mics and a headphone jack. Other ports include an HDMI output and a USB terminal. The kit has a bonus battery, high-speed SD card reader, and a 5-piece cleaning set. You also get a useful handgrip and a less useful desktop tripod (see next).

The Not So Good

The small size and compact design are among the camera’s highlights. However, it may also prove awkward to hold and operate for folks with larger hands. The included tripod is too flimsy for purpose. My advice for those who use a tripod often would be to replace it with a sturdier product. Finally, indoor shoots tend to be a little dark if the lighting is not bright enough.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Canon
Video Camera Type: Camcorder
Video Resolution: 1080p
Sensor: CMOS 1-Chip 1/4.85
Sensor Resolution: 3.28MP
Lens Focal Length: 2.8–89.6mm
Self-Timer: 10 seconds
Microphone input: Yes
Headphone Jack: Yes
Card Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Display Type: 3” LCD touchscreen
Screen Resolution: 230000 dots
Camera Weight: 8.29 oz.
Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.3 x 4.6”
Warranty: 1 year limited
The Pros
Excellent entry-level camcorder
Ideal camera for family events
Small and compact
Touchscreen display
Advanced zoom
Video stabilization
Built-in microphone
Accessory pack
Smart carrying case
The Cons
Too small for big hands
Flimsy tripod
A little dark indoors

6. Panasonic Full HD Video Camcorder HC-V770K

Panasonic Full HD Video Camcorder HC-V770KView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Panasonic’s HC-V770 Full HD is a feature-packed Camcorder. This model is a superb camera recorder for advanced beginners and above. Let’s check it out.

  • Best feature 1: Travel-friendly, compact design
  • Best feature 2: 20x optical Zoom
  • Plus points: Touchscreen BSI sensor, stabilization, slow-mo video, quality audio, app control
  • Minus points: Cheap, plasticky feel, low-average battery life, tricky menu

Panasonic HC-V770K Camcorder Highlights

The Panasonic HC-V770K camcorder is small and compact with a travel-friendly design. Portability is vital for filming busy sporting events. That’s especially true if you need to battle through crowds to get closer to the action. And the 20x optical zoom brings the action nearer to you when the subjects are far away. Navigation is made easy using the camera’s intuitive 3” LCD touchscreen.

Panasonic’s HC-V770K shoots 1080p video and has a Back-Side Illumination Sensor (BSI). The BSI does a superb job of suppressing noise to ensure clean, clear footage. Other highlights are the camera’s image stabilization, its fast, accurate autofocus (AF), manual focus, and slow-motion video. The audio quality from the Wind Shield Zoom Mic is also impressive for a camcorder in its class.

The Not So Good

The camcorder feels cheaper than it looks. The plastic is thin, but that helps to keep it light as well as compact, which is plus. The stock battery barely lasts an hour before it needs charging. Those who need more time on a single charge will need to factor in extras or a better battery. Lastly, the menus are not as intuitive as they could be, so they may take some time to get used to.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Panasonic
Video Camera Type: Camcorder
Zoom: 20x optical
Filter Size: 49mm
Lens Focal Length: 4.08–81.6mm
Sensor Resolution: 12.76MP
Headphone Port: Yes
Microphone Jack: Yes
Card Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Battery: 3.6 VDC 1940mAh
Max Battery Life: 1+ hours
Display Type: 3” LCD touchscreen
Screen Rotation: 90° open, 270° turn
Camera Weight: 12.45 oz.
Dimensions: 4 x 8.1 x 5.8”
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Travel-friendly, compact design
Zoom lens
BSI sensor
Video stabilization,
Slow-motion video playback
iA (intelligent Auto)
Quality audio
Touchscreen display
Several filter effects
App/smartphone control
The Cons
Cheap, plasticky feel
Low average battery life
Unintuitive menus

7. Sony Alpha a6000 Digital Mirrorless Camera

Sony Alpha a6000 Digital Mirrorless CameraView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Some folks like the convenience of smaller, compact cameras, so here’s the Sony Alpha a6000. It’s a popular mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with some striking video capabilities.

  • Best feature 1: Pocket-sized, travel-friendly design
  • Best feature 2: 1080p cinematic-quality video
  • Plus points: Interchangeable lenses, external controls, ultra-fast AF, tilting LCD, instant sharing
  • Minus points: Cramped buttons, shortish battery life, no touchscreen

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera Highlights

Sony’s Alpha a6000 is one of the all-time favorite digital mirrorless cameras in its class. It has a small design but comes packed with a plethora of BIG features. It’s a superb tool for action, sports, wildlife, portraiture, and all other photographic genres. The a6000 boasts a super-fast, highly accurate hybrid autofocus (AF) system. There’s no better AF system on any other camera at this price point.

The a6000 has the edge over Sony’s popular Alpha a5100 with its electronic viewfinder. Another plus is the handy customizable buttons and simple click wheels. The display on the back of the camera is a 3.0” 921k-dot tilting LCD screen. The menus are intuitive and quick to navigate. And it takes no time to share pics and videos online via the camera’s app, WiFi, and NFC connectivity.

The Not So Good

People with larger hands may find some of the rear physical buttons a little cramped and awkward. The problem is the 3” LCD screen takes up a lot of the room. The battery life is longer than most camcorders but disappointing for a compact camera. Spares are must-have extras, but they’re not too expensive at around $14. The final con is that the tilting LCD isn’t a touchscreen.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Sony
Video Camera Type: Compact mirrorless
Lens Mount: Sony E
Sensor Resolution: 24MP
Viewfinder Type: Electronic
Video Recording Limit: 30 minutes
Built-in Mic: Yes, stereo
Battery: 7.2 VDC, 1080mAh Lithium-Ion
Built-in Flash: Yes
Flash: Hot shoe
Card Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Articulating LCD: Yes (no touchscreen)
Camera Weight: 12.13 oz.
Dimensions: 4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8”
Warranty: 1 year limited
The Pros
Pocket-sized, travel-friendly
Easy to use w/ quick access dials
Superb image and video quality
Interchangeable lenses
Wi-Fi connectivity
Customizable buttons
1080p cinematic-quality video
Great for capturing action
Ultra-fast AF
Instant sharing
Tilting LCD
The Cons
Layout of physical buttons
Low-average battery life
LCD not a touchscreen

8. PANASONIC LUMIX GH5s W/ 35-100mm Lens

PANASONIC LUMIX GH5s W/ 35-100mm LensView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Last of the current lineup is the rugged, mirrorless PANASONIC LUMIX GH5s. It’s a high-end camera with interchangeable lens capability aimed at semi-pro and professional videographers.

  • Best feature 1: Outstanding 4K video (no crop)
  • Best feature 2: Interchangeable lenses
  • Plus points: Rugged build, compact design, unlimited recording, excellent ISO performance
  • Minus points: No built-in flash, high price

PANASONIC LUMIX GH5s Camera Highlights

The GH5s is the most advanced mirrorless camera for its price category and size. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor that guarantees quality footage despite the user. Panasonic’s GH5s makes an excellent video camera for sports. It can film stunning 4K videos with remarkable clarity and sharpness. And the slow-mo feature is much-loved by those who like to slow down the action.

This camera has a continuous shooting mode of 12fps (frames per second) that ensures the capture of fast action. And the 225 Focus Points guarantee accurate tracking of quick-moving subjects. The low light ISO is also excellent. The GH5s has a fast, 1/8000s shutter speed, and a built-in electronic viewfinder. Its environmental sealing helps to protect the camera when shooting outdoors.

The Not So Good

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless camera does not have a built-in flash. Photographers who use cameras like this try to avoid harsh popup lighting, but it has a place. See, there will always be some missed low-light opportunities if an external flash isn’t mounted at the time. The GH5s’ price tag puts it out of reach for many amateurs who would otherwise love to get their hands on one.

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Tech Specs
Video Camera Type: Mirrorless
Photo Sensor Size: Micro four thirds
Lens: 35-100mm
Max Shutter Speed: 8000s
Interval Recording: Yes
Self-Timer: 2-10-sec delay
Headphone Jack: Yes
Built-in Flash: None
External Flash Connection: Hot shoe
Card Storage: Dual, SD/SDHC/SDXC
Battery Life: 1 day
Articulating Screen: None
Camera Weight: 23.2 oz.
Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4”
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Rugged build quality
Environmental sealing
Compact design
Built-in electronic viewfinder
Outstanding 4K video
Interchangeable lenses
Unlimited in-camera recording
Anamorphic video mode
Fast continuous shooting
Fast max shutter speed
Exceptional low-light ISO
The Cons
No built-in flash
No in-body stabilization
High price tag
0/50 ratings