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The camera with the greatest megapixels isn’t always the ideal one for sports photography. A good sports camera must be quick and precise in order to keep up with moving, unpredictable subjects.
But, with so many cameras out there, it can be quite hard to choose the best option. This is especially true if you are a beginner, have a specific feature in mind, and/or you have a limited budget.
Lucky for you, though, you’ve come to the right place as we listed some of the top cameras that are worth considering if you want to venture into sports photography. From affordable bridge cameras to the state-of-the-art professional ones that are used at the Olympics, we have gathered the best sports cameras for this guide to suit all budgets and skill levels. Read on to find out which ones are for you.
Built on a 24-2000mm equivalent zoom lens, the Nikon Coolpix P950 is a potent superzoom compact camera. The P950, the Coolpix P900’s successor, enhances the P900 with Raw capture, a far better electronic viewfinder, and 4K video. Formerly, cameras with the same physical appearance as the P950 were referred to as “bridge” models because they served as a bridge between the features of a traditional compact camera and a D/SLR. This term lost all value with the advent of the superzoom class a few years ago, with their massive zoom ratios. The P950 isn’t really a “bridge” between anything, despite its extraordinary capacity to link objects across impossibly wide gaps.
It almost belongs in a different class. The superzoom class is surprisingly compact and simple to navigate. Simply said, the higher the price point, the more zoom you get, and the more likely you are to obtain attractive extras like OLED viewfinders, programmable controls, and better video. The P950 is more of a lens with a camera slapped on than a camera with a built-in lens. Nikon deserves praise for making it impressively useable as a result. The P950 doesn’t work precisely like a Nikon DSLR, but using it alongside, let’s say, a D3000-series camera is close enough that someone who is used to one should be able to pick up the other very fast.
In keeping with Nikon’s terminology, the P950’s advertised 5.5EV of image stabilization (or vibration reduction) is still quite good. The P950, which costs around $800, has a zoom range wide enough to photograph anything. Additionally, a powerful image stabilization technology is combined with this, meaning a tripod is rarely, if ever, necessary. The P950 is a potent tool and might be a very helpful second camera to go along with a more normal mirrorless ILC or DSLR setup.
Normally, if you want a robust camera that can actually handle drops and is waterproof, it won’t have a very long zoom lens. The Panasonic Lumix FZ300 is one of the only cameras today that can change that “or” into an “and.” However, the FZ300 boasts a fantastic 24x f2.8 25-600 mm lens and is also dust and splash-proof. The issue with most superzoom cameras is that the lenses have narrow apertures in an effort to keep the price and size of the camera low.
Without getting too technical, a tiny aperture reduces the amount of light that enters the camera, which can cause motion blur and/or soft, noisy images and movies. Additionally, as you zoom, the maximum aperture becomes increasingly smaller and can allow in even less light. What makes this camera good is that you don’t need to be shooting in direct sunlight or using the higher ISO settings on the FZ300 in order to capture good shots because it can maintain an aperture of f2.8 throughout its zoom range.
In fact, the camera rarely went beyond ISO 400 when taking pictures in a variety of daytime situations. Having said that, this is a great option if you require a camera for a family of photographers, from casual snapshooters to those who wish to get more creative.
A bridge-style camera, the FZ1000 II resembles a mirrorless device in form but lacks interchangeable lenses. It’s a category that appeals to both professionals who own a large camera setup but don’t want to carry it about all the time and more casual photographers who want more than what a phone can offer without having to lug around bags of lenses and accessories. The 25-400 mm zoom lens can be used in many different circumstances.
You can capture photographs with a little broader field of view than the primary camera on the majority of smartphones, and you can zoom in enough to get close-up shots of wildlife, sporting events, and other topics. The FZ1000 II uses a lot of plastic in its construction but nevertheless feels pretty sturdy in the hand. The camera seems slightly more premium because the lens optics are contained in a metal barrel, but it doesn’t compare to Sony’s RX10 series, which all have magnesium shells and weather protection. If you desire a longer zoom range, you can upgrade to the RX10 III; alternatively, if you don’t want to spend a lot more money, you can consider the RX10 II, which features a shorter 24-200mm F2.8 zoom lens.
The Fujifilm X-H2S isn’t your normal camera. It is somewhat lighter than the X-H1 but is 660 grams heavier than the X-T4. It also features a considerably larger grip, which gives you a sense of solidity and is perfect if you’re connecting large lenses for photographing sports or wildlife. Compared to other Fuji models, the layout is more akin to competing for mirrorless cameras from Canon and Sony. It has standard front and rear dials rather than dials that show shutter speed, exposure compensation, and ISO like the X-T4.
Only a mode selector is located on top, and a joystick and D-Pad control are located at the back. It has a minimum of 12 buttons, the majority of which may be reprogrammed for multiple uses. It has a top LCD that displays the basic settings, just like the X-H1. The layout makes sense, given that it is intended for sports and wildlife shooting, which necessitates adjusting settings quickly while keeping an eye on the subject.
Even so, if shooting on the fly, you can at least see settings on the top LCD display, which I know many Fujifilm lovers like. The record button was the only control I didn’t like because of how small and awkwardly situated it was. The X-H2S employs the same logical menu layout as the X-T4, making settings accessible. The electronic viewfinder (EVF), which offers blackout-free burst shooting and greater quality (5.76 million dots) than either the Sony A7 IV or the Canon EOS R6, is also beneficial for action photographers (3.68 million dots each). Additionally, it has a high-resolution touch screen with full articulation that you may use to manipulate focus, the quick menu, and other features.
The Canon EOS R7 s a high-end mirrorless camera primarily targeted toward avid sports and wildlife photographers. The newest Digic X CPU is paired with a 32.5 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the joint highest resolution yet found in a Canon cropped sensor mirrorless camera. This camera is quick; it can shoot bursts of 15 frames per second with its mechanical shutter and 30 frames per second with its electronic shutter, both with continuous auto-focus and auto-exposure.
The maximum shutter speed while utilizing the electronic shutter is 1/16,000 seconds, and the native ISO range is 100-3200 with an expandable range of ISO 51200. The EOS R7 features the same deep-learning artificial intelligence-based automated face, eye, animal, and vehicle AF tracking modes as the full-frame R3, R5, and R6 models thanks to its Digic X processor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus system. A combination of the camera’s in-body image stabilization technology and the stabilization system built into the attached lens can provide up to 8 stops of image stabilization. The rugged Canon R7 has a 3-inch, 1,620K-dot LCD vari-angle monitor with a touch-screen interface and an integrated, 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 1.15x magnification, and a refresh rate of 120 frames per second.
Additionally, there are two UHS-II SD memory card slots, an innovative new combined AF point selector, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, an integrated USB Type-C connector, a tiny HDMI port, headphone and microphone connections, and a new multi-purpose accessory shoe. One thing that not everyone will be fond of, though, is its control wheel. Unfortunately, its control wheel has a unique design. Thus, you might need some time to get used to it. Overall it’s still a nice camera for sports photography, given its features.
The Nikon Z50, the newest member of Nikon’s Z line of mirrorless cameras, is an APS-C model targeted directly at enthusiasts and beginners eager to make the transition to mirrorless photography. Not only is it a fantastic option for sports photography because of its 11 fps burst shooting, but also because of its advanced focusing system, stunning image clarity, and dynamic range that will have you raving for days.
With an eye toward the future, it’s a smart system to invest in, even though the native lens selection is now quite constrained. With a Z-branded lens, you can currently attain a 250 mm maximum telephoto reach. Using F-mount lenses is a nice temporary fix but not the best long-term option, even though an FTZ adapter does help here. The Z50 is a wise purchase, given that there are numerous indications that Nikon intends to give this system top priority in the future.
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