Basketball is among the most exciting sports in the world to watch. But while the dynamism of the game is thrilling to witness live, it can be difficult to capture the same tension and exhilaration through photos and videos. Aside from a keen eye and impeccable senses, you will probably need the help of a specialized camera to capture those winning moments.
So below, we have listed five of the best sports cameras to use for basketball photography and videography:
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Building on the success of its predecessors (the D800 and D810), the Nikon D850 manages to live up to expectations. It supports a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is perfect for freezing objects without motion blur. This makes it easier to capture almost all frames amidst basketball’s fast-paced action. Meanwhile, its 45.7 megapixel sensor offers great image quality and efficient light gathering — able to deliver sharp and vivid images under most lighting conditions. In terms of videography, the D850 can shoot in either 4K or 8K time-lapse, while its attenuator regulates sound input to ensure smooth and clear sound recording. All in all, it’s a powerhouse camera for basketball photography enthusiasts.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has everything a photographer needs to take high-quality action shots. Despite having been available on the market for a while now, it remains one of the best feature-packed action cameras suitable for sports. This is mainly thanks to its 61-point autofocus system and Dual Pixel Autofocus technology, which helps photographers zero in on a moving subject without losing accuracy and focus. And with an image processor that supports burst shooting of up to seven frames per second, you can rest assured that your shots come out clean even when spraying and praying. Additionally, its wide ISO range (100-32000) means it’s suitable for all types of lighting — a useful feature for outdoor basketball games where you have little control over brightness.
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K
If you want Hollywood-esque cinematic footage to highlight a basketball game’s emotional moments, look no further than the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. Despite being a DSLR-sized camera, the Blackmagic 6k is best used as a full-on video camera. It’s able to shoot video in gorgeous 6k resolution, and the flexible 12-bit colors allow you to tweak and balance footage as you please in post-production. This makes it a great video camera to work with if you’re aiming for more dramatic storytelling through video.
Sony a9 II
The high-speed Sony a9 II makes a solid case for being one of the best professional-grade sports cameras available today. One of its main draws is its usage of hybrid focus points on the camera’s viewfinder, making autofocus a breeze even when it comes to erratic subjects. In addition, it has a max burst mode that can shoot a blistering 20 frames per second to capture those important micro-movements that can easily be missed. Despite its hefty price, the Sony a9 II is a worthy investment if you plan to delve deeper into sports photography.
The Sony a6400 is a good choice if you’re balancing affordability and quality. It’s a compact, versatile camera that packs features comparable to the line’s later models. For example, it can shoot up to 30 frames per second in 4k, up to 120 frames in 1080p. Despite the lack of built-in image stabilization, it’s no slouch in terms of autofocus and object detection — making it an excellent entry-level option for beginner photographers.
For more buyer’s guides for basketball enthusiasts, check out our blog