The 8 Best Cameras for Filming Sport and Exercise

Published on: 
29 October 19
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9 min read

When it comes to creating video content, there are several different challenges to overcome. The most important of which is making sure you have the correct equipment, specifically the camera. We took a brief look into camera choice in our in-depth guide to creating great fitness video and now want to go into more detail into what exact camera you should choose. In this article, we will go into what the different types of cameras are and then look at 8 of the best that are on the market right now.

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What Are the Different Types of Cameras You Can Use?

One of the most overwhelming things to consider when filming sports and exercise is the type of camera that you want to get. From a point and shoot camera to one with a viewfinder, there are many different types out there on the market today to choose from. The two most common types are DSLR and an action-specific camera. 

DLSR

A popular camera choice that can be used for taking pictures, as well as filming, is a DSLR camera. Able to film a wide variety of different sports and activities, it’s easy to see why this is a top contender for camera choices. Although the DSLR cameras can be cumbersome if you need to readjust the camera to different angles, you can get much more use out of this camera due to the interchangeable lenses – and therefore leading to several different options in terms of image variation. 

This might not be intriguing for someone who is filming sports or practices and need a sharp look, but it’s definitely a smart option if you want to improve the quality of your photos/film. The only downside to the DSLR cameras is that the video recording only lasts for a half-hour before it turns off – which is not ideal if you’re in the market for a camera that you can set up and leave on for an entire basketball game or soccer practice. If the short filming time frame doesn’t matter to you (or you can be nearby to restart the camera at the 30-minute mark), then the DSLR cameras are certainly worth looking into for their versatility. 

Action Camera

Another popular option is an action camera. Ever heard of a Go Pro? This is an action camera! These devices are perfect if you’re looking to film things from your point of view – think of a skier that wants to demo just how great the runs are on the mountain. Strapping on a Go-Pro to the chest and hitting the slopes will not only show what the user sees but also gives a pretty decent camera angle and footage to the end-user who’s watching the video. Again, not a camera type that everyone is looking for…. but, if your sport or activity is best viewed from the person /athlete themselves, then an action camera is an excellent option!

Now that you know some of the different types of cameras that you can utilize depending on what kind of content you are filming let’s look at some of the best cameras out there on the market today!

8 Best Cameras for Filming Workouts

1. Go Pro Hero 8 Black

The Go Pro Hero 8 Black is built for ultimate stabilization and is one of the best cameras for all the action. With four different lenses to choose from to capture the adventures (SuperView, Wide Angle, Linear, and Narrow), you can pick what works best to see what you’re doing. This Go Pro is also extremely smooth with full HD and enhanced with horizon leveling – so from running, to skiing, to biking, you’ll get a smooth video quality without all the bumpy mess!

2. DJI Osmo Action

This camera has a unique characteristic – dual screens. Perfect for those extreme sports where you want to stay within the frame and autofocus when needed, the DJI Osmo Action camera can help you capture your adventurous moments on-screen while keeping you in the frame. This is perfect for sports like diving or mountain biking. Not only that, but the DJI Osmo also provides extreme stability while filming, so your shots stay clear and precise while recording high-quality videos during your most extreme moments!

3. Go Pro Hero 7 Silver

Perfect for extreme sports, the Go Pro Hero 7 Silver is the camera you didn’t know you needed. Along with those high-powered activities, the Go Pro 7 is on point when shooting anything outside, in the water, or on the side of a mountain. With a 4K video that will capture all the epic moments, this Go Pro camera is for those who want a camera angle taken from their point of view – leading to crisp, quality videos and photos, even at night or in dark environments. With a built-in time-lapse mode that allows you to capture adventure and see it over time, the Go Pro 7 is perfect for those with a more rugged camera need!

4. Tom Tom Bandit

A company typically known for its services regarding navigation and GPS has jumped into the camera game with the Tom Tom Bandit. A small hand-held action camera with a full-frame displaying the settings (no live view on this camera), the Tom Tom Bandit allows you to attach it to a bike, helmet, or anywhere else you can fit the attachment. Even though there is no display for you to see the action on with this particular camera, it does have a highlight button for you to capture moments as the camera is taping, and is easily handled and utilized. With over 3 hours of battery life, Tom Tom is perfect for those who don’t have much space and aren’t concerned with a live view during filming, while still having superb image quality.

5. Sony RXO II

A fantastic tiny camera for those on the go, the Sony RXO fits perfectly in your gym bag and provides high-quality video and photos. With a durable exterior but light in weight, the Sony RXO can zoom up to two times. It will still maintain crystal clear photo and film quality for those adventurous moments. Even though this camera is smaller than most, it can record 4K videos at up to 30 fps, giving you the most bang for your buck if you’re traveling light and need a small, unobtrusive camera to capture those most pivotal moments!

6. Olympus TG-4

The stability and ruggedness of this camera are hard to beat; not only is it waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof, but if you drop your gym bag on it, it’ll most likely survive – its crush-proof as well! Along with its physical capabilities, you’re also going to get high definition video and photos taken with a high-speed lens, and can be used in low light situations. Even though the Olympus TG-4 doesn’t have a touchscreen, this camera features built-in WiFi to share action shots instantly.

7. Canon VIXIA HF R700

A super easy to use and budget-conscious choice from Canon, the Vixia HF R700 camcorder is perfect for filming all types of action. One of the best video cameras on the market today for shooting multiple different sports. It gives you the ability to zoom quickly and isn’t bulky – making it easy to carry around and maneuver. Another bonus with the Canon Vixia HF R700 is that it can shoot in full HD – ensuring that you won’t miss a moment of the big game with stunning image quality. 

8. Garmin VIRB XE

A video camera for those who love action, the Garmin VIRB XE is perfect for capturing professional style video and pictures of your most significant sports achievements. The bonus about the Garmin cameras such as this one is that there is a built-in GPS sensor within the camera – this helps to not only put your movement into charts and graphs that you can review later, but also helps to show movements in real-time…enabling photos and video quality that is crystal clear. The Garmin VIRB XE is a great camera that is also waterproof down to 50 meters and allows for maximum auditory functioning without a protective case. 

In Summary

When it comes to determining the best camera for you and your sport, you’ll have to figure out what works best in terms of achieving high-quality photos and exceptional video quality. Many of these cameras you can find on Amazon, or you can go to your local camera store for more help. If you’re torn between two different digital cameras, there are many YouTube videos of how different customers utilized their cameras, so you can get a firsthand point of view of how they work! From Canon and Go Pro to Sony, Nikon, and other high-end DSLR cameras and camcorders, you’re sure to find one that will give you the best bang for your buck!

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