Like every niche of photography, the best camera for sports photographyis the one you have with. But sometimes it is worth planning ahead so you are equipped with the best. This is especially important in the fast-paced field of sports photography. Athletes are quick to move around the frame, whether they’re playing soccer, basketball, or tennis. This requires a specific set of features.

A good sports camera will have autofocusing and be very quick. The camera will quickly detect and focus on the subject, making sure that each shot is sharp, clear, and crisp. High shutter speeds and high frame rates are also essential. All of these essentials are necessary to capture the action as it occurs. Additional perks for sports-photography cameras include the ability to capture in low light conditions and high resolution (ideal when cropping in). All of this:

sports photographer doing sports photography with camera on soccer field

Which Camera is Best for Sports Photography?

These are the top ten best sports cameras with the best features.

Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless digital camera body

Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless digital camera body

The Sony Alpha A9II is the gold standard in sports photography cameras. The 24.2-megapixel sensor of this camera is extremely fast, allowing for blackout-free shooting at up to 20 frames per second. The camera also features a 1/32000 second anti-distortion shutter that ensures every shot is clear. This high-end camera has an ISO of up 51,200 and an autofocus that can calculate AF/AE up to 60 times per minute. When it comes to sports photography, the Sony A9 II isn’t afraid to show its true colors. That’s why so many photographers love this camera.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Shutter speed up to 1/32000
  • Continuous shooting at up to 20 fps

Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sony Alpha 1 is another great camera. It boasts a 50.1-megapixel Exmor RS image sensor and 30 frames per second continuous shooting. The high-end camera can perform 120 AF/AE calculations per seconds, which ensures that your frames are not only fast but also focused. The Sony Alpha 1 can handle both photo and video with a resolution of up to 8k at 30p. Our hands-on review with Mahesh Thapa, photographer, is available here.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 50.1 MP
  • Shutter speed up to 1/32000
  • Continuous shooting at 30 fps

Nikon Z9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

Nikon Z9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

The Nikon Z9 Mirrorless Camera has a 45.7-megapixel sensor with Nikon’s Expeed 7 processing. It is undoubtedly one the most popular cameras for sports photography. Check out Rod Mar, a sports photographer who used the Z9 to photograph tennis players. This camera is a workhorse, capable of shooting 20 frames per second bursts and has an electronic shutter that can read out speeds of 1/270. The Z9’s incredible shutter speeds of 1/32000 seconds and its ability to capture images at approximately 11MP when shooting at 120 frames a second make it clear why even professional sports photographers depend on it.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 45.7 MP
  • Shutter speed up to 1/32000
  • Continuous shooting at 120 fps

Nikon D6 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

Nikon D6 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

The Nikon D6 is another great Nikon camera that sports photographers will love. The Nikon D6 is a fast camera with a 20.8-megapixel sensor, EXPEED 6, image processor and stunning images that almost appear on the screen. Continuous shooting speeds of up to 14 frames per second and 200 continuous shots are possible with the camera. It also features a Multi-CAM 37K autofocus, Nikon’s most powerful AF technology. With 4K footage at 30 frames per second, 25 frames per second, and 24 frames per sec, the D6 is equally great for photography as it is for video.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 20.8 MP
  • Shutter speed: Up to 1/8000
  • Continuous shooting at up to 14 fps

Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Canon’s EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera is a great choice for sports photography. The camera’s 45-megapixel sensor produces stunning images, while the electronic and mechanical speeds of up 12 frames per second and 20 frames per sec respectively ensure that photographers never miss an important moment. The EOS R5 also features autofocus, with 1,053 automatic zones and eye detection AF.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 45 MP
  • Shutter speed: Up to 1/8000
  • Continuous shooting at up to 20 fps

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera Body

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera Body

Canon’s legacy of action-cameras continues with the EOS 5D mark IV. The all-purpose camera features a 30.4-megapixel full frame sensor, Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOOS AF 61-point system, continuous shooting at seven frames per second, and a reliable 30.4-megapixel full-frame sensor. The intuitive LCD touch-panel LCD screen allows you to easily adjust settings and navigate between frames. This camera is capable of recording images at ISO 100- 32,000, so it will work in any situation.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 30.4 MP
  • Shutter speed: Up to 1/8000
  • Continuous shooting at up to 7 fps

Olympus OM–D E-M1X Mirrorless Camera Body

Olympus OM–D E–M1X Mirrorless Digital Camera Bodily

The reliable, fast, and precise Olympic OM-D E–M1X Mirrorless digital camera offers all that a sports photographer needs in a camera. The 20.4-megapixel sensor ensures high-quality images that are ready to be printed. The continuous shooting speed of 60 frames per second ensures that photographers capture every second of the action. Creators will be able to capture the action in any setting thanks to the ISO range of 25,600. The camera’s innovative image stabilization technology promises sharp, blur-free photos.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 20.4 MP
  • Shutter speed up to 1/32000
  • Continuous shooting: 60 fps

Olympus OM–D E-M1 Mark 3 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

Olympus OM–D E-M1 Mark 3 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body in Black

Olympus OM–D E-M1 Mark III is another top-rated Olympus camera for sports photographers. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a lightweight, high-end camera that features a 20 megapixel live MOS sensor and an in-body 5-axis image stabilization system. This ensures sharp and clear photos. It is suitable for action and outdoor sports such as cross-country skiing or snowboarding.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 20 MP
  • Shutter speed up to 1/32000
  • Continuous shooting at up to 15 fps

Panasonic Lumix DC GH5 Mirrorless Camera Body

Panasonic Lumix DC GH5 Mirrorless Camera Body in Black

Another top-quality camera for sports photography is the Panasonic Lumix DCGH5 Mirrorless Camera. The versatile features of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Camera allow you to capture winter sports, adventure feats, or even team sports. The camera was built for all weather conditions. It is splash- and dust-proof, as well as lightweight. The shutter speed of up to 1/16000 allows for quick shots. The 20.3-megapixel sensor produces stunning photos with high detail that can be printed or uploaded to online galleries.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 20.3 MP
  • Shutter speed up to 1/16000
  • Continuous shooting at up to 12 fps

Panasonic Lumix DC-1H Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

Panasonic Lumix DC-1H Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

The Panasonic Lumix DCS1H is a great sports-photography camera that offers power, stamina and precision. The camera boasts a variety of high-end video features, including 4K timelapse and full-frame 6K footage. It’s a great camera for sports photographers as well as videographers. Take its 24 megapixel resolution and ISO range of up to 51,200 as well as the 1/8000 shutter.

Key Features:

  • Resolution: 24 MP
  • Shutter speed: 1/8000
  • Continuous shooting at up to 9fps
sports photographer doing sports photography with camera on tennis

The Essential Features of a Sports Photography Camera Guide

These are just a few of our top picks for sports photography. But what if you want to try other models or need the model to be used for action and sports? It doesn’t matter which camera you pick, if your goal is to take stunning action sports photos, you need to be aware of a few key characteristics.

Which camera is best for sports photography? As long as you are able to know how to use your camera best, any camera can do the job.

Pay attention to these features when shopping for a new sports camera. This will ensure that the model you choose can take the sports photos you want. We will discuss each setting and explain why they are important. Finally, we’ll show you what you can expect to do with them.

Continuous Shooting Mode

Continuous shooting mode, also known as burst mode or continuous mode, is a mode photographers use to take many pictures in a very short time. Continuous shot cameras allow you to take multiple images by pressing and holding the shutter button. The shutter will open again for the next exposure as soon as it closes after the first exposure.

Because you can track the motion of the action and have many shots to choose from, continuous shot cameras are especially useful for sports action photos. Imagine being able not only to take one photograph of a batter hitting a ball, but also to capture ten. That makes it much easier to capture the moment when the ball and bat meet.

Sports cameras should have burst or continuous shooting.

ISO Sensitivity Range

You’ll see the term ISO Sensitivity range when you shop for a new camera. This is the maximum and lowest ISOs that you have. You should aim for a range between 100 and 25,000. However, it is important to inspect the quality of images taken at higher ISO sensitivity levels. Although some cameras can capture very high ISOs with great results, the images are often too noisy to be useful.

Why is ISO important for sports photography? You’ll want to capture all the action, regardless of how much light is available. To freeze the action, you need to slow down your shutter speed. The ISO range allows you to let in more light while still getting your shot, even in dim gyms and at night.

Image Processors

The image processor in your camera is one of its most critical components. Yet, we take these essential units for granted. The image processor analyzes what you are doing and captures it. The processor converts the image into digital code and stores it on a memory stick.

Your camera is working hard for every shot. Your camera works harder if you have a continuous-shot or quick-shooting model. If you have a camera that records 20+ MP images, and you take 12 photos per minute in burst mode you are asking the image processor for a lot of data in a very short time.

Slow image processors can cause your camera to lag behind, and you won’t be able to take more photos until the processing is complete. A fast processor is essential for quick-shooting cameras. You want to finish your shot quickly and continue.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a great tool for shooting in low light. It can help you get the shot or completely miss it. In-camera image stabilizer systems can give you an additional 2-3 stops of light. This means that your shutter speed may be 2-3 stops slower than what you are used to, but still capture sharp images.

If you are able to find a sports camera that has a good image stabilization system, and is within your budget you will be able to create great action photography.

Eye AF Tracking and Sophisticated Af Tracking

Eye AF Tracking is an autofocus system that can track the eye. This system keeps the eye in focus no matter what the subject does. This technology is particularly useful for sports photography, where it is important to keep the subject’s face focused.

Some advanced autofocus tracking systems allow you to shoot subjects in burst mode or pan mode, while still keeping them sharp throughout their motion range.

You’ll be able to see why an AF system is essential for sports photography if you have ever tried to focus on one subject but missed it.