The mirrorless camera revolution has finally arrived to Sports Photography! In this review, we highlight the best mirrorless cameras for sports in 2022.
I am Ali Ghorbani of Ali G Studios, a Hong Kong-based professional photographer, NFT Artist, and social media workshop instructor. Over the years, I have photographed many sports events, athletes and artists.
I believe that the Fujifilm X-T4 should be considered as the best mirrorless camera for sports at the moment. It is fast, comes with excellent in-body image stabilization and 4K video recording up to 60 FPS. On top of that, I just love the classic camera look.
Those are other great options in the current market that suit different people’s needs as well, and I will talk about them one by one.
Let’s dive in and take some great photos!
- Best Overall: Fujifilm X-T4
- Best Budget: Nikon Z 50
- Best for Professional: Sony A9 II
- Best HD: Nikon Z7 II
4 Best Mirrorless Camera for Sports - Our Top Picks
Here are my most recommended mirrorless cameras for sports:
- Key Features: In-body image stabilization, faster shooting, 4k video recording up to 60 FPS, WiFi connectivity
- Resolution: 26.1 MP
- Lens: Fujinon XF18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM Optical Image Stabiliser Lens Kit
- Weight: Approx. 607g (including battery and SD memory card)
- Best for: Burst Speed
Fujifilm is known for manufacturing some of the best mirrorless cameras. The Fujifilm X-T4 is a great option for multimedia enthusiasts as it can deliver sharp stills and capture 4k videos at 60 FPS and full HD up to 240 FPS.
Capturing a fast-paced environment requires a camera that matches the speed and the Fujifilm X-T4 can deliver. It has the fastest autofocus among advanced photo systems, type-C mirrorless cameras at 0.02 seconds, making sure you don’t miss any important action. The mechanical shutter also lets you capture images at up to 15 frames per second. Additionally, the sensor has an image stabilization system that reduces the appearance of a camera shake when shooting with a tripod.
Beyond its capabilities and performance, the Fujifilm X-T4 also has an updated design compared to its predecessor for durability, improved handling, and easier shooting. Plus, the 3.0” LCD touch screen can be tilted so you can shoot comfortably at any angle.
Overall, if you are looking for a hybrid still/video camera that can capture fast-moving scenarios, the Fujifilm X-T4 is your best bet.
- Key Features: Fast-phase autofocus detection system, 11 FPS continuous shooting speed, flip-down LCD touch screen, WiFi connectivity
- Resolution: 20.9 MP
- Lens: Interchangeable NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR lens kit
- Weight: 325g (body only)
- Best for: Budget
The Nikon Z 50 is the brand’s entry-level mirrorless camera. This affordable camera is easy to carry around with its compact design, and you can customize the menu to instantly access your frequently used settings.
The Nikon Z50 boasts a bigger lens mount that can capture more light, giving you better image quality overall. When it comes to videos, it can capture 4K Ultra HD videos and time-lapse, 1080p slow motion, vertical video, and it also has in-camera editing so you can edit and post the video on the fly.
Another great thing about the Nikon Z 50 is the interchangeable lens. When you decide to buy the kit, you can either get the NIKKOR X DZ 16-50mm lens, or upgrade to get the NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm too. Zoom lenses are great for sports as not all the time you can get close to your subject. But the lens options aren’t just limited to these two. It’s also compatible with any NIKKOR Z lenses and around 360 DSLR lenses.
The Nikon Z 50 is a great sports camera for beginners and budget-conscious photographers.
- Key Features: 20 FPS continuous shooting, fast hybrid AF system, 4k video recording, latest BIONZ X image processing, improved WiFi connectivity, high-speed data transfer, dual card slots
- Resolution: 24.2mp
- Lens: Interchangeable lens (compatible with Sony E-mount lenses)
- Weight: 678 g (including battery and SD memory card)
- Best for: Professional
“Built for speed, reliability, and durability” is how Sony describes its A9 II. And this isn’t false advertising as the camera is packed with the latest BIONZ X image processing for high-resolution sensor performance and has high-speed continuous shooting for up to 20 FPS.
Among the cameras on the list, Sony A9 II is the best for professionals. It makes workflow easier by providing several connections from your camera to your PC like a LAN terminal, remote operation with its Remote Camera Tool, and 5 GHz WiFi.
Additionally, the Sony A9 II has a high-capacity battery so you can shoot longer durations whether you are in the field or in the mountains. Not only that, but it also has 2 memory card slots so you can instantly separate RAW from JPEGS, stills from videos, and even copy data from one memory card to another.
- Key Features: 5-axis image stabilization, 10fps high-speed shooting with single-point AF, high-resolution imaging
- Resolution: 47.5mp
- Lens: Compatible with NIKKOR Z lenses
- Weight: 615g (body only)
- Best for: HD Resolution
Nikon improved its already amazing Nikon Z7 to give us the Nikon Z7 II which is a more credible action camera. The 47.5mp resolution captures very detailed images, and the 10 fps with continuous autofocus can give you a total of 77 12-bit raw images in full resolution. New autofocus modes have also been added so you can select which one will work best for you.
When it comes to the design, the Nikon Z7 II is almost identical to Nikon Z7, except that it’s slightly taller. The grip is very ergonomic even when you try shooting vertical, and the buttons are all well-placed.
Best Mirrorless Camera for Sports - What to Consider?
There are a few things to consider when choosing a mirrorless camera for sports. To help you select the best choice, here are some of the most critical factors to look at:
In this article, we showed a range of resolutions from 20.9mp to 47.5mp. If you have a higher resolution, you have more flexibility to crop your images. However, if you also want to capture videos, it is best to settle with something that can record 4k videos at 60fps.
A sensor is another important factor to consider, especially if you are shooting in low light. Similar to resolution, the larger the sensor, the higher the image quality. If you are shooting in low light and have a dependable, large sensor, you can guarantee that your images will have reduced noise and an excellent dynamic range.
The burst rate is useful for fast-moving objects. The faster the burst rate is, the higher the chances are that you will be able to capture the winning shot. 14-16fps is a good range if you want to pursue sports photography.
If not mounted on a tripod or monopod, there will be instances where you have to carry the camera to be able to capture the best possible angles or to keep up with the speed. Take something that you will be comfortable carrying around at all times.
Given that your camera has great resolution and a large sensor, stabilization would be an important factor too. Choose a camera that has built-in stabilization so even if your camera is handheld, it will minimize the blur in your images.
Being able to interchange your lens can give you a wider choice of image-capture capabilities. For sports, we usually see ultra-fast primes or high-end zoom lenses. Lenses are usually bought separately so make sure that your camera is compatible with these.
Here are some quick questions when it comes to choosing a mirrorless camera for sports and their quick answers.
What is better for sports: mirrorless cameras or DSLRs?
Both mirrorless cameras and DSLRs are used for sports photography. What’s more important is the performance of the camera and its ability to capture fast-moving objects.
Sports photographers use what kind of camera?
Usually, sports photographers choose cameras that have the high maximum shutter speed and high frame rates to really capture the perfect moment.
Are mirrorless cameras better for sports?
There are a wide range of options for mirrorless cameras if you want to focus on sports photography. Some specs are almost as powerful as DSLRs, but the most important factors to consider are the burst rate, sensor, stabilization, and autofocus.
I hope you find this article helpful in choosing the best mirrorless cameras for sports. I love the Fujifilm X-T4, but all other choices are also great for different needs.
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A big thanks to Phottix for the professional lighting equipment provided to Ali G Studios.
Disclosure: As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.