As a sports mom, you have a lot on your plate. You’re the cheerleader, coach, photographer/videographer, and more. You want to capture every moment of your kids’ sports lives and enjoy doing so.
The best camera for sports moms is a camera that is easy to use, has great battery life, and is portable enough so that you can take it everywhere with you. It should also be able to create high-quality images in a variety of conditions.
Here we’ll review great cameras, including DSLRs and mirrorless. We’ll also recommend specific models based on your budget and needs.
Best Camera for Sports Moms
- Canon EOS R10
- Sony a9 II
- Nikon D500
- Sony a6700
- Fujifilm X-H2S
- Canon EOS 7D Mark II
- Sony RX100 Mark VII
Canon EOS R10 – The best entry-level camera for sports moms
You know what’s really surprising? This camera is an absolute powerhouse for sports photography! Can you believe it? And get this, it’s actually quite affordable too (under $1000, body only), which makes the EOS R10 even more appealing.
So, here’s the deal – it may not be the absolute top-tier camera out there like the Canon EOS R3 or Sony Alpha A9 II (which are both super expensive!). But honestly, for a sports mom, it’s a total game-changer.
And the Canon EOS R10 is one of the best modern Canon cameras for sports.
I mean, it’s got this impressive AF system that locks onto those fast-moving targets like a champ. And the speed? It’s like lightning! It will definitely help you to catch a lot of action.
Also, carrying it around is a breeze! It’s compact and lightweight (for a sports mirrorless camera), and you can easily take it to your kid’s soccer games without feeling like you’re lugging around a ton of gear.
Oh, and you know those nerve-wracking indoor or low-light situations? Well, the Canon EOS R10 got you covered with its impressive high ISO performance. It will help you to eliminate blurry shots in those dimly lit gymnasiums.
I’m telling you, this camera has great value for money. It’s perfect for capturing all those sports moments that matter the most to all sports moms.
And hey, it won’t break the bank either! So if you’re like me, looking for an amazing camera that won’t cost an arm and a leg, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Go ahead, unleash your sports photography skills with this gem by your side. You won’t regret it!
- It can shoot up to 15 frames per second (or 23 with the electronic shutter) allowing you to freeze fast-paced moments effortlessly
- 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor – it’s a crop sensor but a pretty powerful one
- Up to ISO 32000
- 651 focus points, which I find all accurate
- Great image quality
- Compact and lightweight
- Can shoot 4K videos
- 1/4000 max shutter speed
- The camera’s advanced animal tracking and eye detection features worked like a charm for me. It makes tracking athletes and high-speed vehicles a breeze
- The inclusion of a flip screen adds flexibility to your shooting style
- Coming from a DSLR background, I found the EOS R10’s intuitive controls allowed me to focus on composition and capturing the perfect moment without worrying about technical settings
- The EOS R10 offers excellent value for a camera that excels in sports and wildlife photography. Its high frame rate and superb image quality make it a standout option in its price range
- Battery life
- Viewfinder resolution (its resolution falls short when shooting subjects at maximum zoom)
- During my testing, I found that the kit lenses for the R10 lacked the sharpness I desired
If you’re a sports mom that is looking for a fantastic camera recommendation, let me personally vouch for the Canon EOS R10. This little gem delivers exceptional photo quality without putting a dent in your wallet.
Whether you’re capturing your kids’ epic moments on the field or their joyful expressions during playtime, the Canon EOS R10 makes it a breeze. Using this camera is as easy as pie, and the weight? Oh, it’s no bother at all!
Once you get your hands on the Canon EOS R10, you’ll be amazed at the picture-perfect memories you’ll create.
Sony a9 II – Best Splurge
This is a top-of-the-line model that’s designed for the most demanding sports photographers. The Sony a9 II is one of the best sports cameras out there, and it takes incredible photos.
If you’re not just shooting for fun but also for business, then this is the camera for you. It’s the perfect choice for pro sports/action photographers who want a camera that can keep up with them in all situations.
Moreover, the Sony a9 II has a superb autofocus system that allows you to capture subjects with speed and accuracy, even when they’re moving at high speeds!
You can also use it to shoot in low-light situations without worrying about grainy images or blurred details.
And as a sports mom with a passion for capturing your kids’ indoor and fast-paced sports moments, finding the right camera has been a challenge.
One of the main issues faced by sports photographers is capturing fast-moving action without any hiccups. The Sony a9 II tackles this problem head-on with its revolutionary 20 frames per second burst rate and blackout-free shooting.
The deep buffers ensure that you never miss a moment, which allows you to capture the most exhilarating plays with ease.
- 20 frames per second
- 24.2MP Exmor RS Stacked sensor
- Excellent Image Quality: High-quality Raw and JPEG
- ISO 100-51200 range (up to 204800)
- Up to 1/32000s when using the electronic shutter
- 693 phase and 425 contrast detection AF points
- Real-Time Eye-AF in Video Mode: A remarkable feature that ensures sharp focus on moving subjects, even during video recording.
- Improved IBIS System: The 5.5 stops of image stabilization help me capture blur-free shots, especially when using telephoto lenses.
- Convenient Voice Memo Option: A nifty feature that converts voice memos to text using the Imaging Edge software, making organizing and finding photos a breeze.
- Dual UHS-II SD Card Slots: Both slots now support high-speed UHS-II cards, ensuring no slowdowns when shooting continuous bursts.
- Impressive ISO Performance: The camera maintains excellent color fidelity and even noise distribution at higher ISO settings.
- Improved Shadow Recovery: The a9II excels in retaining detail in shadows, offering greater post-processing flexibility.
- It’s baffling that Sony omitted Picture Profiles like SLOG, limiting advanced video capabilities.
- No 4K60 Option: In an era where 4K60 is becoming more common, the a9II’s 4K30 capability might be a drawback for some videographers.
- The Sony a9II is undeniably an expensive camera, which might deter some sports photographers on a budget.
Comparing the Sony a9II to other options, it’s clear that this camera stands out for its incredible sports photography features.
Although there are some notable cons, the pros heavily outweigh them. If you’re a sports enthusiast or a professional photographer looking to capture fast-paced action, the Sony a9II is a solid investment.
In conclusion, the Sony a9II (ILCE-9M2) has truly impressed me with its remarkable burst rate, blackout-free shooting, and top-notch autofocus performance.
While it may not be perfect, its advantages make it an excellent choice for shooting sports. As a sports mom, I can confidently say that this camera has elevated my photography to new heights, ensuring I never miss a thrilling sports moment again.
Nikon D500 – Fantastic Nikon DSLR designed for sports photography
This camera is aimed at photographers who want to shoot fast-moving sports and wildlife. I know a lot of sports moms with a passion for photography and I understand their struggle of trying to capture those action-packed moments of their kids on the field.
The Nikon D500 is a powerful DSLR designed for sports photography and it has a lot of useful features to help you achieve amazing results.
- 20-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- The 153-point autofocus system is lightning-fast, ensuring sharp and focused shots even when the action is happening in a split second.
- Up to 10 frames per second shooting
- Large Buffer: The ample buffer lets me shoot up to 200 images in a burst, preventing the camera from slowing down during continuous shooting.
- The ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-1,640,000) means I can confidently shoot in challenging lighting conditions without sacrificing image quality.
- 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD.
- The weather-sealed body gives me peace of mind during unpredictable weather conditions.
- Dual Card Slots: Having both XQD and SD card slots provides extra storage.
- The camera’s layout and controls are user-friendly, allowing me to focus on the game, not fumbling with settings.
- Impressive Battery Life: Up to 1,240 shots per charge.
- Robust Build Quality: The D500’s magnesium alloy chassis ensures durability, perfect for the rough and tumble of sports events.
- Excellent Metering System: The 180,000-pixel RGB sensor provides accurate exposure even in challenging lighting situations.
- 4K video capability.
- Nikon’s extensive F-mount lens lineup offers a wide range of choices to suit different sports photography needs.
- As a mom on a budget, I appreciate the value for money I get with the D500, especially when buying it used.
- The D500’s larger size and weight might be a bit bulky to carry around for extended periods, especially with a telephoto lens attached.
- Lack of Built-In Flash: The absence of a built-in flash might be a downside for those who occasionally need fill-flash in certain situations.
- Video options are limited
- No USB charging
Overall, Nikon D500’s exceptional autofocus, fast frame rate, and superb image quality have made capturing those crucial moments a breeze. While it may have a few minor drawbacks, the D500’s performance and reliability are second to none.
Also, if you’re mostly shooting videos, you might want to consider other options, as the D500 doesn’t have many video features.
So, if you’re a sports mom or dad looking to elevate your photography game without spending a fortune, the D500 is an excellent choice for you. It’s worth the investment.
Sony a6700 – Small but mighty APS-C mirrorless camera
As a sports mom juggling between volleyball and baseball games, capturing those priceless moments on the field can be a real challenge. The Sony a6700 is the latest APS-C mirrorless camera from Sony.
It promises to be the small but mighty solution to all our photography and videography needs. Let’s dive in and see if this camera lives up to the expectations of busy sports parents like us!
Before the a6700, crop sensor mirrorless cameras often had some limitations that made them less than ideal for sports photography. These issues included limited autofocus capabilities, lack of a fully articulating screen, and poor object tracking.
But with the a6700, Sony claims to have addressed these pain points, making it a potential game-changer for sports enthusiasts and parents alike.
Its new real-time object tracking and lightning-fast autofocus use AI to lock onto players and follow them around the field.
- Real-time object tracking.
- 11 fps shooting.
- 4K video recording.
- Extremely fast autofocus system.
- 26MP BSI CMOS APS-C sensor.
- Bionz XR processor and dedicated ‘AI Processing Engine’.
- 759 AF points.
- In-body image stabilization.
- High-quality images and video: Delivers clean, sharp visuals with impressive detail.
- Fully articulating touchscreen: Allows for versatile shooting angles, perfect for capturing dynamic sports moments.
- 26MP BSI CMOS APS-C sensor
- Compact and lightweight design: Weighs 493g, easy to carry around all day without feeling cumbersome.
- Great battery life.
- Versatile shooting modes: Suitable for both beginners and experienced photographers.
- Produces high-quality images even in challenging lighting conditions.
- Since it’s the latest model, the Sony a6700 is quite expensive, which may be a deterrent for budget-conscious users.
- Only one SD card slot: Dual slots would have been more convenient for backup and overflow storage.
- Massive file sizes: High-quality video recording generates large files that require ample storage space.
- Limited 4K recording: 4K at 120fps is cropped, restricting full sensor width usage.
- Steeper learning curve: Some users may find the advanced features overwhelming, particularly if they are new to mirrorless cameras.
I thing that I like about the Sony a6700 is its superb image quality. The sensor is very good, and it performs well in low light. You can definitely use higher ISOs when shooting dimly lit indoor games without sacrificing much in terms of quality.
And because of that, we can expect more keepers, more precious moments, and fewer missed opportunities.
While the a6700’s price might be a concern for some, the features it offers justify the investment. However, the lack of dual SD card slots is a drawback for sports photographers who need redundancy and ample storage.
Compared to other products in this price range, like the Fujifilm X-T5 and Canon EOS R7, the Sony a6700 stands out with its superior autofocus and real-time object tracking capabilities.
It may not have all the bells and whistles of its full-frame counterparts, but for sports photography and videography, it delivers where it counts.
Fujifilm X-H2S – Great for sports videos
If you’re inclined to do more sports videography than photography, then the Fujifilm X-H2S is a great option for you. It’s a lightweight and compact camera that won’t feel too heavy after an hour of shooting.
I recently found out that using the Fujifilm X-H2S to shoot kids’ soccer and basketball games has been an absolute joy. Its blazing fast electronic shutter speed of 1/32000 sec is great for freezing moments, even in the most intense action.
The 40 fps shooting capability in e-shutter mode is a welcome addition, allowing me to capture those jaw-dropping goals and fantastic slam dunks with ease.
Beyond photography, the X-H2S shines in the realm of videography. I’m thrilled to share that this camera boasts an incredibly fast sensor readout, enabling it to deliver stunning 4K footage at up to 120p (60p without a crop), all while keeping rolling shutter levels impressively low.
The built-in image stabilization further enhances the quality of handheld videos, eliminating shaky shots during those exciting game moments.
- Outstanding speed and burst mode: Capture fast-paced action at 40 fps with ease.
- Excellent image quality: The 40MP BSI sensor delivers stunningly sharp and detailed photos.
- In-body image stabilization: Get smooth videos and steady shots even without a tripod.
- Shoot cinematic 4K videos at 60fps (without a crop) for professional-grade results.
- The robust construction ensures it can handle the rigors of sports photography.
- Intuitive controls: Easy-to-use interface makes it accessible to both beginners and experienced photographers.
- Versatile lens options: The Fujifilm X-series lens lineup provides a wide range of choices for various shooting scenarios.
- Reliable autofocus: The camera’s AF tracking keeps your subjects in sharp focus, even during fast movements.
- In-body image stabilization.
- Fast sensor readout and low rolling shutter for smooth and detailed video.
- 6.2K open-gate mode for versatile cropping
- Impressive slow-motion opportunities for those breathtaking moments.
- Raw video output allows for extensive post-processing.
- Compact and lightweight design for easy portability during sports events.
- High-resolution stills complement the outstanding video capabilities.
- Extensive range of codecs and bitrates for optimal video quality.
- Limited battery life: The high-speed shooting and 4K video recording drain the battery quickly.
- The larger body may not be as compact as other mirrorless cameras. Some users may find this camera a bit bulky, however, it’s still a lightweight camera that can be carried around easily.
- Expensive investment: The X-H2S falls into a higher price range compared to entry-level options.
If you’re a sports enthusiast or a parent who loves to capture your kids’ sports moments, the Fujifilm X-H2S is an exceptional choice. Its speed, image quality, and video capabilities make it a top-notch tool for action photography and videography.
While it may come with a higher price tag, the X-H2S justifies its cost with its outstanding performance.
Compared to other products in this price range, the X-H2S competes neck-to-neck with professional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
If you want a well-rounded camera that excels in both stills and videos, the X-H2S won’t disappoint. While its battery life and bulkiness may pose some minor challenges, its impressive features make it an investment worth considering for capturing those cherished sports moments with confidence.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II – Affordable DSLR for sports moms
Oh, let me tell you, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is an absolute stunner! Especially when it comes to capturing swimming and hockey – it never fails to impress me.
If you’re searching for a budget-friendly DSLR that delivers top-notch performance on the field, then you’re in for a treat because this might just be the perfect match for you.
Now, you might wonder if a camera from 2014 can still keep up today. Well, let me assure you, it’s a definite yes! Especially if you’re not looking to splurge on a high-end sports photography camera like the Canon R3 and Sony a9 II.
Even with its age, the 7D Mark II continues to shine, delivering outstanding performance and stunning photo quality. I still keep it in my camera bag as a reliable backup, and it never disappoints.
But here’s the best part – it’s not just for sports photography. This versatile gem works wonders for all kinds of photography needs.
For all you sports moms and dads out there, this camera is a reliable companion on the field. The image quality it produces is top-notch, the autofocus performance is on point, and with 10 frames per second burst rate, you’ll never miss those crucial moments.
- With a 20MP APS-C sensor, this camera delivers superb image resolution that rivals some full-frame counterparts. Even at high ISOs, the 7D Mark II performs admirably, showcasing its technical brilliance.
- 10 fps burst rate which is more than enough for beginners and amateurs.
- 65-point all-cross-type AF system which helps you to frame your subject easily.
- ISO 100 – 16,000 (but can go up to 51,200).
- Subject tracking is dependable.
- 1/8000 maximum shutter speed which is great if you’re shooting outdoors in bright sunlight.
- Flicker Detection – its ability to detect and adjust exposure to flickering lights, such as fluorescent and LED, is a game-changer. Say goodbye to those occasional weird exposure and color issues in your indoor and night sports shots.
- 100% viewfinder coverage.
- Dual SD and CF card slots.
- Encased in a magnesium alloy body, this camera feels robust and durable.
- Lacks built-in Wi-Fi.
- While the 7D Mark II is primarily designed for still photography, its video capabilities are limited.
- No touchscreen.
One thing I like to add is the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is weather-sealed, which is great if you want to take it out in the rain or snow. But it’s not waterproof, so extra care is needed when shooting near the pool.
All in all, despite a few minor downsides, the 7D Mark II is an excellent option for budget-conscious sports photographers seeking precision, speed, and exceptional image quality.
Sony RX100 Mark VII – Compact point-and-shoot camera for outdoor sports
This small camera is actually known to be a great travel camera. It’s small enough to keep in your pocket, and it comes with a zoom lens so you can get some pretty far-away shots without having to walk.
However, it can also be a good sports camera since it is capable of taking very short bursts at 90 fps and can shoot blackout-free at 20 fps. And for me, that is a major plus!
Another feature that I find incredibly useful about the Sony RX100 Mark VII is its 9-72mm (24-200mm equiv.) f/2.8-4.5 lens. This is a very versatile lens with a wide-angle to telephoto range.
You can use wide-angle to put more context in your shots, or you can zoom in for a closer shot of the action.
The RX100 Mark VII also has an OLED electronic viewfinder, which is great for those who prefer looking through the camera instead of through their phone screen when shooting photos.
Now, this point-and-shoot camera has a 1-inch sensor, which is smaller than an APS-C sensor like the Sony a6700 and Fujifilm X-H2S. This means that the RX100 Mark VII doesn’t have as much dynamic range and low-light performance as other cameras.
That’s why I can only recommend this camera for shooting in broad daylight. Shooting outdoor sports (in bright daylight) like tennis, baseball, and soccer should not pose any problem with the RX100 Mark VII.
This camera also has an excellent autofocus system for a compact camera, that is fast, accurate, and reliable. It was able to keep up with their movements quite well. The AF tracking is quite reliable too!
- Its 20 FPS shooting speed ensures I never miss a moment of action, capturing the perfect swing or that game-winning goal.
- Ultra-Fast Autofocus: The camera’s lightning-quick autofocus system tracks moving subjects flawlessly, keeping the shots sharp and in focus.
- Unlike loud DSLRs, the silent shutter of the RX100 Mark VII allows me to capture shots discreetly without disturbing the game or players.
- The pop-up electronic viewfinder is super useful, especially under bright sunlight. It guarantees a clear view of the action, helping me frame my shots accurately.
- Lightweight and pocket-friendly design.
- 20mp 1-inch sensor
- ISO 125-12,800
- 1/2000s max shutter speed (mechanical), 1/32000s (electronic)
- 1/2000s flash sync speed – this is quite high!
- 355 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection areas
- Versatile zoom range (24-200mm equivalent) for capturing both close-ups and wide-angle shots.
- High-quality 4K HDR video recording with a 3.5mm microphone input jack.
- Fast startup and operation, comparable to an iPhone’s speed.
- Great low-light performance compared to other point-and-shoot cameras.
- Easy-to-use controls with customizable memory presets for quick settings.
- Built-in image stabilization for steady handheld shots.
- USB charging
- Limited battery life compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
- Touch screen is limited to selecting autofocus points.
- Single card slot
- Shooting at high ISO settings and low light conditions is often a struggle.
Alternative: Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV – Expensive but also good for sports || Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II – cheaper option
While there are other cameras with similar capabilities, the RX100 Mark VII’s combination of speed, compactness, and image quality sets it apart from other point-and-shoot cameras.
If you’re willing to invest in a camera that delivers fantastic results without the bulk, this Sony gem is a winner in every aspect.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Sports Mom Camera
Choosing a sports camera is harder than you might think. There are a lot of factors to consider before making your final decision, and I’ve outlined them below.
If you’re a sports mom or dad who wants to take excellent photos, image quality is one of the most important factors to consider. You should pick a camera with bigger sensors that can capture sharp, detailed images with low noise levels.
If you’re shooting indoors a lot, then getting a full-frame or modern APS-C camera can be beneficial. On the other hand, if you want to take pictures in bright sun, then point-and-shoot or micro four-thirds cameras can get the job done.
This is one of the most important features to consider when buying a camera. The autofocus system is what makes sure that your subject is in focus, and for sports photographers, this can be a big factor. Most cameras these days use hybrid AF systems that are fast, accurate, and reliable.
This is another important aspect of a sports camera and it’s one of the features that I look for when choosing a camera. The burst rate is how many frames per second your camera can take and it can vary greatly depending on what you are shooting.
A good burst rate is more than 10 frames per second. Also, a camera with a bigger buffer is ideal since you can take more pictures without waiting for the camera to write them to your memory card.
Ease of use
For sports moms, this is a lifesaver! The last thing you need is to be fiddling with your camera while the game is going on, trying to figure out how it works.
A good camera should be easy to use and have intuitive menus so that you can just pick up and start shooting right away.
Imagine this, you’re carrying a ton of your children’s gear, you have their food and drinks, your own stuff to carry around. The next thing you don’t want is to lug around a heavy camera with a big telephoto lens. That can be a real pain and will make you reluctant to bring it along.
So, make sure that the camera you choose is lightweight and portable.
The price of a sports camera can range anywhere from $400 to $5000. Choosing a camera largely depends on your budget and how much you want to spend on it. If you’re not sure how much money to spend, then we recommend starting with a cheaper camera first and upgrade as your needs grow.
Emma Lucy is the Founder & CEO of Emma Lucy Photography. She has over a decade of experience shooting weddings and other intimate events. She also tests the latest digital camera bodies, lenses, analog cameras, and other gear from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and other camera brands. She is From London and currently lives in the United States of America, where she spends most of her time as a self-employed professional photographer and writer.