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Best Digital Cameras for Shooting Sports

Sports photography requires a different set of camera capabilities than the average shooter. Shooting action requires a much different set of capabilities than shooting a selfie.

Sports cameras need to be fast. To keep up with the action, look for a camera with a fast burst speed. While 5 fps or so is decent for a DSLR, if you are buying a compact camera or mirrorless, look for something that hits 10 fps if possible. You'll also want to avoid buying the cheap memory cards, since they can actually slow your camera down too.

Sports cameras need a good zoom. Even if you have sideline access, the action tends to happen at a distance. If you're on a tight budget, super zoom cameras work great for photographing your kids sports games. If you have enough wiggle room for a DSLR, pick up a 70-300mm lens for sports.

And sports cameras need to perform great in any light. If you'll be shooting lots of indoor sports like basketball and wrestling, you'll want to pay close attention to the f number on the lens. This indicates how well the lens handles low light conditions, and in this case, lower is better. An f/2.8 is a good aperture for a zoom lens, while shorter zooms can head down to f/1.8 or more.

Whether you are looking to capture a t-ball game or headed to the professional level, you need a camera as fast as the action you're shooting. Here are our current recommendations, all within a few different price points. And don't forget to check out our guide to shooting sports.

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Sony a9

The Sony a7 was a landmark camera, bringing a full frame sensor to the mirrorless arena for the first time, though a slow burst speed kept it from joining the ranks of sports, wildlife and action cameras. That's changing with the Sony a9, a fu...

Grade: A+ Price: $4,498.00

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Canon EOS Rebel T7i

Canon's latest consumer DSLR updates have been mediocre attempts at bringing older high-end features to the more budget friendly line, but the new Canon EOS Rebel T7i uses a new sensor, updated dual pixel autofocus and the company's latest...

Grade: A- Price: $849.00

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Panasonic Lumix FZ80

The super zoom category is jam packed with cameras offering the reach that pocketable cameras cannot -- but the Panasonic FZ80 enters the fray with a brighter than average lens and 4K video.The Panasonic FZ80 uses a 1/2.3" sensor, typical for...

Grade: A- Price: $398.00

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Sony Alpha a6500

The Sony a6500 aims to sway new users with a speedy .05 second autofocus speed paired with a snappy 11 fps burst speed. With Sony being known for their autofocus speed, the a6500 looks to continue the tradition.The a6500 uses an APS-C sensor, the ...

Grade: A Price: $1,398.00

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Sony a99II

Sony may have a successfull full frame mirrorless line, but they haven't forgotten about their DSLTs. The Sony a99II is a fast SLT (like an SLR, but with a translucent mirror) that boasts 12 fps burst shooting while still using autofocus.The u...

Grade: A Price: $3,198.00

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Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

All 4Ks are not created equal -- and the Panasonic FZ2500 sports a true cinema quality 4K video mode.4K is technically 4,000 pixels, but most manufacturers will classify 3800 as 4K. While Panasonic’s bump up to 4096 pixels is a less noticeab...

Grade: A- Price: $1,098.00

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Fujifilm X-T2

Sitting pretty at the top of the company's line-up right alongside the X-Pro2, the Fujifilm X-T2 is a feature-packed mirrorless camera. As a Fujifilm flagship, the camera boasts some of the company's best specs, including new 4K video and ...

Grade: A+ Price: $45.00

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Sony a68

Just when we thought Sony had forgotten about their DSLRs to concentrate on mirrorless, they've released a very intriguing entry-level model, the a68. While other budget DSLRs offer autofocus points in the single digits or very low double digi...

Grade: A- Price: $598.00

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Sony a6300

The Sony a6300 is making big boasts about speed, and if the earlier model is any indication, should offer pretty good image quality to boot. In Sony's tests, the a6300 locked focus as fast as .05 seconds--a pretty quick focus if Sony's lab...

Grade: A- Price: $1,048.00

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Sony RX10 Mark III

The Sony RX10 line combines the higher resolution of a 1" sensor with a much bigger zoom than the small RX100 line can muster. That just expanded even more with the Sony RX10 Mark III. With the previous camera offering about an 8x zoom, the l...

Grade: A Price: $1,398.00

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Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon's 2016 flagship DSLR boasts impressive speeds of up to 16 fps, but that's certainly not all the high-end DSLR offers. As Canon's top offering, it's packed with plenty of features for the most demanding professionals.Canon bum...

Grade: A+ Price: $5,999.00

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Nikon D500

Fast cameras, just like fast cars, are notoriously expensive. But with the Nikon D500, the speed of the most expensive flagship DSLRs are now accessible at a third of the cost. The D500 wraps up many of the features of the best-in-class D5, includ...

Grade: A- Price: $1,599.00

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Nikon D5

Nikon certainly didn't make big promises but small improvements. The 2016 professional flagship DSLR, the Nikon D5, sees sweeping updates across the board, becoming Nikon's new top-of-the-line option. Frankly, this thing is a monster. An e...

Grade: A+ Price: $6,497.00

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Sony RX10 Mark II

Sony impressed with the RX10, the first camera to incorporate their popular 1" sensor with a big zoom. The camera giant is upping the ante once again, adding 4k video, enhanced sensor technology and even more speed to their luxury super zoom ...

Grade: A- Price: $1,198.00

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Nikon COOLPIX P900

If one thing can rescue the point-and-shoot camera market from the smartphone, it's a good zoom. And if there's one camera with a good zoom on the market right now, it's the Nikon Coolpix P900. The camera giant just breezed past the 50...

Grade: A- Price: $559.00

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Nikon D7200

If the ultimate test of a good camera is low light performance, the Nikon D7200 is set up as an easy winner. The D7000 line has always been a solid DSLR, Nikon's 2015 enthusiast camera takes the fully featured D7100 and enhances the sensor eve...

Grade: A Price: $997.00

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Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Speed is hard to come by in DSLRs (unless of course you plan on spending about as much as a new car)--which is why the Canon EOS 7D Mark II gets such high marks. Canon's most advanced camera with an APS-C sensor hits 10 fps--add that to a 65-p...

Grade: A Price: $1,169.00

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Fujifilm FinePix S1

A 50x zoom is no longer unheard of, in fact, 50x is becoming the norm in the realm of super zoom cameras. But what's much harder to find is a camera that can take images at the long end of that big zoom that are quite similar in quality to the...

Grade: A- Price: $500.00

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Sony HX400

Cameras with big zooms can capture images that just aren't possible with the average shooter. The Sony HX400 doesn't just have a huge 50x zoom, it can also capture macro shots of little things as close as one inch from the front of the len...

Grade: B+ Price: $448.00

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Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

The Canon SX280 is truly a feature packed compact zoom, with a 20x optical zoom, wi-fi and GPS. Canon upgraded their processor over the previous model--a big change meaning better low light images and a faster burst speed of 14 fps (up to seven sh...

Grade: A- Price: $234.00

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Canon EOS-1D X

Canon's top-of-the-line DSLR replaces both the 1D Mark IV and 1Ds Mark III in one fell swoop. With a new full frame 18 megapixel sensor, the 1D X has the resolution to please studio shooters and the frame rate, at 14 fps, to appeal to sports p...

Grade: A Price: $4,375.00