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Compare the Best Sports Photography CamerasJanuary 2020

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The best cameras for use in capturing sharp, high-quality photos of sports events and fast-moving athletes.
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Rank
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Price
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76

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Samsung logo

Samsung NX1000

128 Reviews
3dnews.ru - Best Buyvido.com.ua - RecommendedPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedEphotozine - Highly Recommended

$119.99

20.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
217.7g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Oct 2012

82

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Canon logo

Canon EOS 6D

181 Reviews
PC Mag - Editor's ChoiceTrusted Reviews - RecommendedPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedEphotozine - Highly Recommended

$609.00

20.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
755g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Jun 2013

83

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Sony logo

Sony Cyber‑shot DSC‑H300

115 Reviews

$198.00

20.1MP
Info
35x
Info
495g
Info
Compact
Info
Info
Sep 2013

80

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Panasonic logo

Panasonic Lumix DMC‑GX1

173 Reviews
Trusted Reviews - RecommendedDP Review - SilverPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedWhat Digital Camera - Gold

$434.99

16MP
Info
Depends on lens
318g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Jun 2013

76

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Nikon logo

Nikon 1 J4

86 Reviews
PhotographyBlog.com - RecommendedEphotozine - Highly Recommended

$366.85

18.4MP
Info
Depends on lens
192g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Dec 2015

80

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Sony α Alpha A7R

101 Reviews
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$699.00

36.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
407g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Jan 2016

78

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Samsung NX Mini NXF1

$299.00

20.5MP
Info
Depends on lens
158g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Apr 2014

80

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Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

111 Reviews
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$135.00

16MP
Info
30x
Info
313g
Info
Bridge
Info
Info
Jul 2014

82

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Sony α Alpha A5100

317 Reviews
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$448.00

24.3MP
Info
3x
Info
224g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Aug 2014

85

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Nikon D750

238 Reviews
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$913.97

24.3MP
Info
3.5x
Info
750g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Oct 2014

78

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Canon Powershot SX60 HS

586 Reviews
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$316.85

16.8MP
Info
65x
Info
649g
Info
Bridge
Info
Info
Sep 2014

80

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Canon EOS 7D Mark II

$999.99

20.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
910g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Nov 2016

77

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Samsung NX1

161 Reviews
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$1,098.00

28.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
550g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Oct 2015

82

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Nikon D5500

131 Reviews
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$435.99

24.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
420g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Apr 2017

83

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Canon EOS 750D ‑ Rebel T6i

555 Reviews

$449.00

24.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
510g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Feb 2015

82

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Canon EOS M3

230 Reviews
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$328.00

24.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
319g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Sep 2017

76

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Olympus OM‑D EM1

219 Reviews
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$359.00

16.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
443g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Sep 2013

84

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Nikon D610

141 Reviews
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$256.95

24.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
760g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Nov 2013

84

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Nikon D810

560 Reviews
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$899.00

36MP
Info
Depends on lens
880g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Jun 2014

83

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Nikon D7100

250 Reviews
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$129.95

24.1MP
Info
5.8x
Info
675g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Mar 2013

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is the difference between an SLR, Mirrorless and Compact cameras?
ASLRs and Mirrorless cameras are both powerful cameras with changable lenses for a large amount of flexibility. Mirrorless cameras tend to be smaller and lighter than SLRs (because they don't have to include a mirror to bounce light onto the sensor) but are not quite as powerful.

Compact cameras are small fixed-lens cameras meant for casual photography and everyday carry. In previous generations compact cameras were significantly less powerful than other types, but modern variants are almost as powerful as SLRs.
QWhat is the difference between optical and digital zoom?
AOptical zoom uses the hardware of the camera to physically move the lenses, enlarging the captured picture. Digital zoom uses software to further enlarge the picture. This means digital zooms can go far beyond the range of optical zooms, but the quality is much worse, and degrades sharply as the image is zoomed in.
QWhat is an 'image stabiliser'?
AAn image stabiliser detects and compensates for small judders and shakes while filming, meaning the resulting images are far smoother and still.
QWhy is a big sensor size important?
AA larger optical sensor produces better quality images, because more light can be brought into the lens at once, This leads to larger, more highly-detailed photos.
QWhat is GPS function on a camera?
AGPS allows the camera to tag each photo with exactly where it was taken.
QWhat is the difference between 'waterproof' and 'water resistant'?
AThere is a small but important difference between waterPROOF and water RESISTANT - waterproof means that the camera can be submerged underwater for an extended amount of time with no adverse effects. Water resistant means that the camera can suffer limited exposure to water without any problems - normally this is limited to heavy rain or liquid splashes, not total immersion.
QWhat are the benefits of instant cameras?
AInstant cameras have been seeing a revival in recent years - modern versions work similar to the classic Polaroid cameras, but use modern thermal-reactive paper. They allow immediate printing of photos when out and about - perfect for parties! However the paper is expensive to buy, and you can easily blast through a pack of 10 shots very quickly.

Sports Photography

Cameras have a long history of being used to document all the dramatic moments, victories and losses of sports matches throughout history. Not all cameras are good for sports photography though, and here we’ve attempted to rank the best ones for you to consider.

One of the most important attributes of a sports photography camera is speed. The players at a game will normally be moving very fast, so you need a camera that will keep up with them and produce clean, unblurry photos. Therefore a fast shutter speed and an image stabiliser will allow you to react fast to sudden events without the end result turning into a blurry mess. Connected to this, a multi burst (or ‘motor drive’) functionality will allow you to take a larger number of photos in a very short space of time - therefore meaning you’ll have a large number of shots to choose from when selecting the perfect photo afterwards. Because you may be taking an awful lot of photos, a good battery life is very important too. Finally, weatherproofing is always a good idea - rain doesn’t always stop play, and you definitely don’t want it to stop your camera!

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How to Choose a Digital Camera That is Good for Sports Photography

Camera Shutter Speed

The minimum time which the camera shutter is open when taking a photo.

'Shutter speed' denotes how long the shutter on the camera is held open, collecting light that is then turned into the resulting photo. A faster shutter speed means that the shutter will be open for less time, meaning there is less chance that motion blur will be introduced to the photo because the subject moved in the split-second the lens was open. This is immensely important in sports photography, since the subjects you'll be shooting will normally be moving fast, and a fast shutter speed will allow for the sharpest photo possible, with no motion blur.

Multi Burst Mode

'Multi burst mode' is a special setting on a digital camera to allow it to take multiple photos in very quick succession at a single button press.

Multi-burst mode, also called motor drive, allows the camera to take a large number of shots in a very short amount of time, one after another. This is essential for sports photography, since it means you can shoot 20-30 photos over the course of a few seconds of high motion action, and pick the best one from the results.

Image Stabiliser

Image stabiliser technology detects and corrects slight camera shakes in order to make the final image sharper. There are 2 types of image stabiliser: optical and digital. Optical stabilisers stabilise the image with a moving lens inside the camera that counteracts the camera shake. Optical stabilisers are traditionally considered the best type. Digital stabilisers use a computer algorithm to remove camera shake from the image.

An image stabilizer works to detect and try and compensate for small judders and movements when taking photos. With sports photography you'll frequently be shooting fast-moving subjects by hand, so there will be a lot of movement from your camera - this system will help to reduce the amount of motion blur from these movements.

Maximum ISO Sensitivity

ISO sensitivity denotes the sensitivity of your camera to available light. Modifying the sensitivity causes the camera to gather more or less light when forming an image. Higher sensitivity gathers more light, which means can lead to a sharper image in low-light conditions. However it may also lead to increased 'noise', meaning the ISO level must be carefully modified to get the best shot.

ISO measures how sensitive your camera is to light. A high ISO means that your camera will require less time to fully capture an image. This means that fast-moving subjects - such as those often shot by sports photographers - will be captured quicker, which means less image blur will be introduced, and the resulting photo will be far crisper and sharper.

Battery Life

The number of shots per battery charge is the number of photos that the camera will typically take on a single charge of the battery.

When shooting a sports game, you'll frequently be taking a very large amount of photos - especially when using a burst or motor drive. Therefore having a bigger battery life means that there isn't a chance your camera will run out of juice mid-game!

Waterproof

Waterproof compacts or tough / rugged compacts allow you to take shots in all sorts of weather conditions and even take your camera snorkelling with you. Make sure to check the depth the camera can be used to if you intend to use it underwater at greater depths of for extended periods of time.

Sports photography means you will frequently be outside, and the weather isn't always kind to football games. Therefore having a waterproof camera means that a sudden downpour won't cause damage to your camera.