Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

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Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

I am trying to get a camera that has a good AF for taking video of action sports such as basketball, football, and skiing. It would be similar to the videos that BallerVisions or BeyondReality create. Thanks!

Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 20,217
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?
1

Powdski wrote:

I am trying to get a camera that has a good AF for taking video of action sports such as basketball, football, and skiing. It would be similar to the videos that BallerVisions or BeyondReality create. Thanks!

Can you give some more information.

  • What is your budget?
  • How far away are you going to be for each of the sports, especially football and skiing?  Alongside the pitch for the football, or up in the stands, well back from the pitch?
  • Daytime only football or nighttime as well?
  • How much weight are you prepared to carry for the skiing?  Do you want something that you can carry inside your jacket or are you prepared to carry a backpack?

Forget DSLRs, mirrorless are better for video.

If you want a single camera to cover everything, then the Sony RX10 Mk IV might be OK.  Otherwise you are probably looking at Sony or Panasonic mirrorless cameras like the Sony A6500 or A9 or the Panasonic GH5S.  You will probably need more than one lens, so a mirrorless alternative could get very expensive.

This is primarily a still photography but there are some videographers around.  I would ask on the Sports and action photography forum for advice on the individual sports.  You may get different suggestions for the different sports.

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Chris R

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OP Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Hi Chris,

My budget for the camera body is around $2,000.

As for the football, I’ll mainly be on the sideline, not up in the stands. All the games take place at night.

For skiing, I’ll be at the same distance as football, or closer.

OP Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Also, weight shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll have a backpack with me.

Thanks,

Connor

Tomx72 Senior Member • Posts: 1,533
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Sports might mean 60fps. Fuji x-t3: 60fps 4k, good PDAF.

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OP Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Thanks for the suggestion!

Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 20,217
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Do you already have a camera and have you tried videoing any of the sports?

I think that the biggest problem will be nighttime football because you will need a longer telephoto lens and the light will be very poor. Skiing will also need a telephoto lens but the light will be much better. Basketball will also be in poor light but closer.

I shoot soccer matches, stills, not video, at night under floodlights with an Olympus M4/3 camera and an expensive ($1350) lens. That is absolutely at the limit of what my camera can shoot for still photography, however, video is more forgiving and I think that you can probably video nighttime sports with a cheaper lens. This opinion is based on an a project that I carried out some years ago using an older M4/3 body to video wildlife at night illuminated by work lights only.

I would go for a Panasonic body and lenses because they have better video, and you can get a pretty good video setup (GH5 + 45-175mm PZ lens) for under $2000.  This is the alternative that gives you the best video

However, if that can shoot nighttime football, the Sony RX10 MkIV probably can as well. It has a smaller sensor than the Panasonic but a better lens for low light. This is a fixed lens camera with a long zoom range and very good autofocus, cost about $1800. This would be my personal choice for what you are trying to do, provided the video quality is good enough.

If these don't have good enough low light video, then the next step up would be camera with a larger APS-C sensor. Lenses will be more expensive, but there are probably Sony or Fujifilm alternatives under $2000.

The final alternative is to go up to an FF (full frame) body like the Sony A7 MkIII, but lenses are going to be expensive and you will have to go well over your budget.

My suggestion is that your next step should be to ask on the Sony Cybershot forum (or on the Sports and Action forum) whether anybody is videoing nighttime football games with a Sony RX10 MkIV  That should tell whether the quality is good enough.

For what it is worth, I have looked at some of the BallerVision videos and I suspect that they are using quite a small sensor camera.

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Chris R

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OP Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Chris R-UK wrote:

Do you already have a camera and have you tried videoing any of the sports?

I think that the biggest problem will be nighttime football because you will need a longer telephoto lens and the light will be very poor. Skiing will also need a telephoto lens but the light will be much better. Basketball will also be in poor light but closer.

I shoot soccer matches, stills, not video, at night under floodlights with an Olympus M4/3 camera and an expensive ($1350) lens. That is absolutely at the limit of what my camera can shoot for still photography, however, video is more forgiving and I think that you can probably video nighttime sports with a cheaper lens. This opinion is based on an a project that I carried out some years ago using an older M4/3 body to video wildlife at night illuminated by work lights only.

I would go for a Panasonic body and lenses because they have better video, and you can get a pretty good video setup (GH5 + 45-175mm PZ lens) for under $2000. This is the alternative that gives you the best video

However, if that can shoot nighttime football, the Sony RX10 MkIV probably can as well. It has a smaller sensor than the Panasonic but a better lens for low light. This is a fixed lens camera with a long zoom range and very good autofocus, cost about $1800. This would be my personal choice for what you are trying to do, provided the video quality is good enough.

If these don't have good enough low light video, then the next step up would be camera with a larger APS-C sensor. Lenses will be more expensive, but there are probably Sony or Fujifilm alternatives under $2000.

The final alternative is to go up to an FF (full frame) body like the Sony A7 MkIII, but lenses are going to be expensive and you will have to go well over your budget.

My suggestion is that your next step should be to ask on the Sony Cybershot forum (or on the Sports and Action forum) whether anybody is videoing nighttime football games with a Sony RX10 MkIV That should tell whether the quality is good enough.

For what it is worth, I have looked at some of the BallerVision videos and I suspect that they are using quite a small sensor camera.

Awesome. Thanks for the advice!

MILC man Senior Member • Posts: 3,863
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Powdski wrote:

Hi Chris,

My budget for the camera body is around $2,000.

As for the football, I’ll mainly be on the sideline, not up in the stands. All the games take place at night.

For skiing, I’ll be at the same distance as football, or closer.

the overwhelming priority for video action shooting will be parfocal lens capability, with a motorized rocker switch, for smooth zooming.

sony and canon are the only brands that offer that in an ilc still camera form factor, but it's well out of your budget range.

so you are left with prosumer camcorders, which are actually a good solution for this: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Pro-Camcorders-Cameras/ci/1881

the sensors will be tiny, but you'll be shooting at 1/60th-1/120th, which is very forgiving in low light.

af could be important, if you aren't able to use a parfocal lens(zoom all the way in, set focus, put it in manual focus mode)… sony has stacked sensor camcorders now(same tech as sony a9), so that or possibly canon dpaf would be my first choice for eval, do not get a cdaf-only camcorder for shooting action.

you didn't mention your delivery format, if for example it's youtube, hd could be sufficient, no need for 4k.

MichaelSmith12
MichaelSmith12 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Get a 5D Mark IV

It is one of the best professional DSLRs out there. Hope you already have a super-telephoto lens with you.

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Michael Smith
Amateur Photographer

beagle1 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,607
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Powdski wrote:

Hi Chris,

My budget for the camera body is around $2,000.

As for the football, I’ll mainly be on the sideline, not up in the stands. All the games take place at night.

For skiing, I’ll be at the same distance as football, or closer.

look at used / refurbished Canon 5D4  and f2.8 telephoto lens

OP Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Ok, thank you!

OP Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

I’ll look into it. Thanks!

OP Powdski Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Best DSLR/Mirrorless for Videoing Sports?

Thanks!

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