Updated Nov 22

If you want to shoot sports at the very highest level, you should look to the likes of Nikon's Z9, Canon's EOS R3 and Sony's a1: tools used by most professionals. But if your budget (and ambitions) are a little more modest, here are the cameras we think will do the best job of capturing the action. Whether it's at your local clubs' games or your children's matches, these fast-shooting models have some of the best autofocus around. Don't forget to factor-in the cost of a long lens, though.

Best consumer camera for sports: Canon EOS R6 Mark II

What we like:

  • Simple, powerful AF for stills
  • Fast 40fps shooting with continuous AF
  • Excellent battery life

What we don't:

  • AF less reliable in video mode
  • SD cards limit burst duration
  • E-shutter can distort fast-moving subject

The EOS R6 II is an enthusiast-level full-frame mirrorless camera with excellent autofocus, but the thing that makes it stand out for sports is its ability to shoot at up to 40 frames per second. This uses its e-shutter mode, which means there's a risk of distortion with very fast-moving subjects, but it's easier to capture the key moment than with most of its peers. A 30fps Raw pre-capture mode starts buffering images as soon as you half-press the shutter, saving around a half-seconds-worth, once you fully press.

Alternatively the OM System OM-1 and Fujifilm X-H2S use the latest Stacked CMOS technology to deliver faster frame rates without such a risk of subject distortion. They also use smaller sensors, which typically means the lenses you need are smaller and less expensive (though it also typically means lower image quality). Neither has an AF system quite as simple and powerful as the Canon, but both can deliver hit-rates beyond the reach of pro setups from just a few years ago.

Richard Butler

Also consider:

These are the other models we think lend themselves particularly well to sports and action photography:

Why should you trust us?

Our Buying Guides are based on extensive use and testing of the cameras included. We only recommend cameras once we know how they compare to their peers in a variety of shooting situations. All selections are made solely by our editorial and video teams and are the models we'd buy or recommend to friends and family. We gain no financial advantage from recommending one camera over another, either as individuals or as a business.