The Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games of 2020

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There are plenty of reasons why you would want to film a basketball game. It could be that you are trying to work on improving your own game by recording other people or yourself. You might also be a coach who is trying to teach the sport to younger kids. Or it might be because it concerns your job or the way you are raising your child to become the next basketball superstar. Whatever your reason is, there is no doubt that having a camera that could record basketball games well is a must-have for you.

So, if you are a coach, sports aficionado, a cameraman, blogger, or journalist working for a startup that covers basketball games, or a parent looking to record every basket and progress that your son is making as a young star for his high school varsity team, you would want to make sure that you have the best camera for recording basketball games. 

Here are our picks for the cameras you would want to use to record basketball games:

If you want to get back to playing basketball, get our top pick camera for recording basketball games here.

Our Top Favorite
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Our Top Runner Up
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
Our Top Value Pick
Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio Input(Microphone),3.0-Inch Touch Panel LCD, Digic DV 4 Image Processor, 57x Advanced Zoom, and Full HD CMOS Sensor, Black
Camera
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder
Prime Status
-
Our Top Favorite
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Camera
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Prime Status
-
Our Top Runner Up
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
Camera
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Prime Status
Our Top Value Pick
Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio Input(Microphone),3.0-Inch Touch Panel LCD, Digic DV 4 Image Processor, 57x Advanced Zoom, and Full HD CMOS Sensor, Black
Camera
Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder
Prime Status

Our Favorites for the Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games Our Favorites for the Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games (the best out of the bunch)

Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder

If you really want to go big on a camera for recording basketball games without even thinking about how much you are going to spend on it, the Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder should do the trick for you. As the name suggests, it is a professional camcorder that basically has everything you need to record basketball games at the best quality possible. It is like you are one of those cameramen on an NBA court filming an angle for the audience watching at home or on the road.

What makes this camcorder jump right out of the box is its 1.0-inch 4K UHD CMOS Image Sensor, which allows it to record videos at the highest quality possible. You will be able to shoot basketball games in ultra HD with a 2160p resolution and a frame rate of 60fps. And if you are looking to record in slow-motion for you to be able to capture those tiny details and for you to study the videos frame by frame, the Canon XF405 allows you to shoot full HD videos at 120fps. This makes it possible for you to shoot videos meant for studying movements and plays that are usually done quickly and too difficult to follow using the naked eye.

For those who are filming far away in the stands or if you simply want to zoom into plays to record players and plays on a more precise and focused level, the Canon XF405 comes with a 15x optical zoom lens that makes sure to retain the 4K video quality even though you are filming at the highest magnification. And if you are shooting at full HD, you can get as much as 30x with the Advanced Zoom feature.

The Canon XF405 has dual DIGIC DV 6 Image Processors that make it possible for you to get the best images when recording with this camcorder. On top of that, the same feature makes it possible for you to operate the camcorder smoothly and without a lot of problems. In the end, you will get stable images and smooth performances even when using the camera at its highest settings.

For things to get easier for you even though you are not a professional cameraman, the Canon XF405 features Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which is the company’s proprietary autofocus technology. It allows the camcorder to focus on your subject as fast as possible automatically and frame by frame so that you could actually still get high-quality images even though you are not the most skilled cameraman.

All in all, the Canon XF405 is a joy to use for those who wish to get the best images using the best camera for recording basketball games. It is our recommended camera for recording basketball games and is the best when it comes to overall features that give you high-quality videos quick and easy.

What makes the Canon XF04 Professional Camcorder unique:

  • Records 4K videos at 60 frames per second.
  • Can record at slow motion with 120 frames per second.
  • Image stabilization is superb and great at keeping the camera focused and stable.

Why choose the Canon XFO4 Professional Camcorder:

  • Amazing image quality in terms of resolution and frame rate.
  • Great for those who want to capture slow-motion basketball videos.
  • Allows you to focus on certain subjects close up without sacrificing image quality.
  • Ideal for professionals and for those looking to make money out of basketball videos.
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
  • 1.0-inch 4K UHD CMOS image sensor
  • 15x Optical 4K UHD Zoom Lens with 5-Axis Optical Image Stabilization
  • Dual DIGIC DV 6 Image Processors

Canon EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-135 IS

You really cannot go wrong with a Canon camera regardless of what your reason is for buying one. And if you want an all-around camera that is not only good for taking pictures but also for capturing videos, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-135 IS is an amazing choice for you if you are looking to record basketball games with top-class quality.

The EOS Rebel T7i excels in terms of the video quality it provides you with the clear images and quality that you could only get from Canon. You can record videos in a lot of different sizes and frame rates at 1080p and at 60 frames per second. It might not have the capability to record 4K videos but you are still going to get pretty good slow-motion videos with this camera.

On top of how great the image quality is with the EOS Rebel T7i, it also offers you a dual pixel autofocus that improves stability to a gem. As such, it will be easy for you to capture amazing videos with clear and focused details without sacrificing the quality of the film. This makes it a fantastic camera for beginners who are not exactly skilled at manually focusing. You are essentially going to get great videos just by point and shooting.

While the image and video quality you are getting from the Canon EOS T7i is amazing, it also comes with additional features that improve the overall experience you are getting from this camera. Its processing power is superb, it performs quickly and amazingly, is great for low-light conditions, and makes the simple functions so easy for you to use. And when you are pairing it up with top-quality Canon lenses, the videos will only improve.

The Canon EOS Rebel T7i may not have the 4K video quality and the professional experience you are getting from top-end camcorders but this is an amazing camera to use for sports due to its superb performance and easy-to-use functions. It won’t jump out of the box as the best camera you can use for basketball but we highly recommend it because of its performance and ease of use.

What makes the Canon EOS Rebel T7i unique:

  • Large screen for easy shooting without looking through the eyepiece.
  • Dual pixel autofocus provides amazing videos for beginners.
  • Easy to use controls and functions.

Why choose the Canon EOS Rebel T7i:

  • Good for capturing slow-motion videos at 1080p.
  • Ideal for beginners because of how its quick autofocus function.
  • Very easy to use because of its simple functions and quick point-to-shoot capabilities.
Sale
Canon EOS REBEL T7i EF-S 18-135 IS STM Kit
  • 242 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi*, NFC** and Bluetooth***
  • High-Speed continuous shooting at up to 60 fps

Our Runner Ups for the Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games Our Runner Ups for the Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games (still good but a bit lacking)

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Small and compact, the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera is a great camera that you can use as a camcorder for sports even though it comes with a midlevel price. Its features and amazing performance for sports allow it to excel in recording basketball games even though it does not have the price tag and power that some of the other cameras on this list come with.

The Sony Alpha a6000 comes with a 1080p recording function that can capture videos at 24 frames per second. And if you are looking to record fast actions, this camera is good enough to film videos at 60 fps. Adding to that is the fact that it comes with a 179 phase-deduction AF sensor that allows it to record and track fast-moving subjects easily and quickly. As such, it is regarded as an ideal camera for recording fast-paced sports such as basketball.

Adding to its amazing performance, the Sony Alpha a6000 comes with a BIONZ X image processor that is great at processing images at the highest possible speeds to give you amazing videos that are as close to true-to-life images as possible. This gives you videos that are similar to the ones you see with your naked eye. The Alpha a6000 is great at delivering realistic videos that are also great for low-light conditions due to its Exmor CMOS sensor on to its image processor.

What you will really love about the Sony Alpha a6000 is the fact that it comes with the size and weight that will allow you to carry it anywhere even if you have to put it in your pocket or in a handbag. You can capture basketball games with this handy camera quite easily as it is only about half the size of DSLRs. This makes it a versatile and compact camera that is great for capturing basketball games and other fast-paced sports on the go.

What makes the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera unique:

  • Its sensor is quick enough to follow fast-moving targets.
  • Fast and great-quality processor gives you real-life images.
  • A lot smaller and lighter than DSLR cameras.

Why choose the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirroless Digital Camera:

  • Good for those who are capturing videos of fast-paced sports.
  • Ideal for on-the-go video recording because of its compact size.
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
  • Advanced 24.2MP back Illuminated 35 millimeter full frame image sensor
  • ISO 100 25600 (expandable to 51200). Lens compatibility: Sony E mount lenses
  • Hybrid AF with 179 point focal plane phase detection and 25 contrast detect points

Panasonic Lumix G85 4K Digital Camera

Small, compact, and great at delivering high-quality videos and images, the Panasonic Lumix G85 4K Digital Camera offers a great performance that you would love when you are shooting basketball games. It comes from a trusted brand that will surely deliver in terms of how it performs when you are capturing games on the go.

The Panasonic Lumix G85 comes with a 4K resolution that can capture at 30 frames per second. Its image stabilization is amazing to the point that even beginners can produce great videos even when you are shooting with one hand. Add to the fact that it performs excellently in low-light conditions, this camera simply kills the competition when it comes to capturing basketball videos.

What you would also love about the Panasonic Lumix G85 is the fact that it has a feature that will allow you to post-focus your videos. What that means is that its 4K Post Focus feature that you can set your desired focus after shooting the video so that you can do the focusing after taking the video in case you forgot to set the focus when you were capturing the footage.

In terms of ease of use, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is a handy and light digital camera that is very easy to carry around and bring wherever you are going. It weighs only about a pound and can easily be held and stabilized with one hand. That makes it great for capturing basketball videos on the go. It also comes with wireless capabilities that will make it easy for you to quickly share the videos online right after taking them. You can boast your dunks and quick crossovers online if you are a player or send scouting videos to coaches faster than others if you are working as a scout.

What makes the Panasonic Lumix G85 4K Digital Camera unique:

  • Has a feature that allows you to focus right after taking the videos.
  • Image stabilization makes it possible for you to shoot stable and clear videos with one hand.

Why choose the Panasonic Lumix G85 4K Digital Camera:

  • Compact and light design and wireless capabilities are good for you to use the camera on the go.
  • Ideal for beginners because of its image stabilization and post focus feature.
Panasonic Lumix G85 4K Digital Camera, 12-60mm Power O.I.S. Lens, 16 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera, 5 Axis In-Body Dual Image Stabilization, 3-Inch Tilt and Touch LCD, DMC-G85MK (Black)
  • Fine Detail Performance: 16 megapixel micro four thirds sensor with no low pass filter resulting in a near 10 percent boost in fine detail resolving power over existing 16 megapixel micro four thirds sensors; Color temperature setting 2500 to 10000K in 100K
  • Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera: With 12 60 millimeter lens, Shoot lighter and faster with the modern hybrid photography performance of a mirrorless camera and nearly half the bulk of most DSLRs
  • Class Leading Dual Image Stabilization: In body 5 axis dual image stabilization works in both photo and motion picture recording including 4K video to produce clear handheld shots even in low light conditions. Diopter adjustment:-4.0 - +4.0 (dpt)

Our Value Picks for the Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games Our Value Picks for the Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games (good and affordable)

Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder

If you are looking for an affordable and capable camcorder that is great at taking videos for basketball games, the Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder is the best bet for you. It is one of the most inexpensive camcorders on the market and is far more affordable than any of the other cameras on this list. That is what makes it a good option for those who are not willing to break the bank but still find ways to take videos of basketball games

What makes the Canon VIXIA HF R800 a good inexpensive option is that it comes with an impressive 57x advance zoom that allows you to shoot videos from a distance. If you are up in the stands watching your kid’s game or if you are a scout looking to focus on a certain player, this should be a good camcorder for you. On top of that, it also comes with an optical image stabilization feature that is quick to react to any kind of camera shaking to stabilize the image.

The Canon VIXIA HF R800 captures videos in full HD or in 1080p to give you clear and crisp images that seem to belie the camcorder’s price. The image processor in this little tool is also powerful enough to capture light so that it will perform in low-light conditions while also making sure that the camera functions smoothly and efficiently as it works in conjunction with the image stabilizer to provide you with top-quality videos.

Great for those who are on the go, the VIXIA HF R800 is quite easy and light to use. Its touchscreen LCD panel is bright and clear enough for you to playback videos. Meanwhile, it also comes with a design that will allow you to actually operate it with one hand even if you have really small hands. That is high small it is. And finally, the VIXIA HF R800 has a rechargeable battery that promises to last a very long time on one single charge.

What makes the Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder unique:

  • Has a 57x times advance zoom that makes sit good to use from far away distances.
  • Image stabilization automatically senses shaking to stabilize the video.

Why choose the Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder:

Sale
Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio Input(Microphone),3.0-Inch Touch Panel LCD, Digic DV 4 Image Processor, 57x Advanced Zoom, and Full HD CMOS Sensor, Black
  • A 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD screen that is bright and clearly visible, even outdoors in the sun, with rich, natural color reproduction
  • SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer helps correct camera shake quickly, so even handheld video taken at long focal lengths can be sharp and steady
  • The 57x Advanced Zoom allows you to create videos with dynamic variety, and is less likely to disrupt the action you're shooting

Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Video Camcorder

While not entirely the most affordable camcorder on the market, the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Video Camcorder is one of the most inexpensive choices for you on this list if you are looking for a video recorder that is capable of capturing basketball games and other videos at 4K resolutions. In a sense, you are getting a camera that is capable of providing you with top-quality videos that are difficult to match even by more expensive cameras.

The Panasonic HC-VX981K is a charm in terms of its video quality. As mentioned, it is one of the more affordable camcorders that can record 4K videos. But what really adds to the quality is the HDR capabilities that will allow you to shoot videos that have a high-dynamic range that is comparable to movies. This gives you videos that are clearer and crisper than most other cameras on the market.

Another great reason why this is good for capturing basketball games is that it is great at suppressing background noise while taking in as much light as possible to give you clear videos in low-light conditions due to its backside illuminator. As such, you will be able to get the best videos possible when you are shooting basketball games outdoors during the night time or whenever it is fall or winter.

The Panasonic HC-VX981K comes with the ability to wirelessly connect with your smartphone. What that allows you to do is that it can use your phone’s camera as a sub-camera that can also record in conjunction with this one to provide you with a picture-in-picture style of taking videos. And adding to its ease of use is the fact that you can edit videos in-camera when you are capturing them at 1080p resolutions. You can even create slow-motion videos using the full HD resolution. Editing the videos can give you slow-motion effects of up to 240 frames per second.

What makes the Panasonic HC-VX981K unique:

Why choose the Panasonic HC-VX981K:

  • Gives you amazing video quality at 4K resolutions at more than half the price of DSLR cameras and professional camcorders.
  • Great for on-the-spot editing because how it allows you to edit in-camera when you are shooting at 1080p.
Sale
Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Video Camera Camcorder HC-VX981K, 20X Optical Zoom, 1/2.3-Inch BSI Sensor, HDR Capture, Wi-Fi Smartphone Multi Scene Video Capture (Black)
  • Get in Close and Detail: 18.91 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 20x Zoom LEICA Decomar Lens (4.08-81.6 millimeter), plus 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)
  • 1/2.3-Inch BSI Sensor: The Back Side Illumination Sensor has a large effective area with 8.29M effective pixels, suppressing noise even when shooting in dimly lit conditions
  • 4K Recording and In-Camera Editing: Ultra-sharp 4K Ultra HD recording, plus in-camera editing for 1080p displays; Total Pixels 18.91 megapixels, still image 7.00 megapixels [3:2], 8.29 megapixels [16:9], 6.22 megapixels [4:3]

Why You Should Invest in a Quality Camera for Recording Basketball Games

There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in a quality camera for recording basketball games. Here are merely some of them:

Studying or analyzing

If you are trying to perfect a certain move or if you want to analyze why you are unable to perform certain basketball moves that are quite tricky such as quick crossovers or that James Harden stepback, you may want to use a good camera that can record your moves so that you can look at where you went wrong in terms of the small details.

Scouting

Basketball coaches and scouts can benefit from high-quality cameras whenever they are scouting certain players they want to bring into their program or if they are looking to scout opponents individually or as a team. Only the best cameras can give you videos that can clearly show all of the tiny details that will allow you to excel as at scouting.

Coaching

If you are coaching individual players or an entire team, you can also make use of video recording to show your players the details they may have missed while they were training or practicing.

Archiving

Parents these days can keep archives of their children’s basketball games using a high-quality video camera that can record basketball games really well. Since parents are usually up on the stands and are not the best at taking videos, only the best cameras can provide them with high-quality recordings that can make them look like professionals even when they are shooting the videos from faraway distances while cheering.

FAQ on the Best Cameras for Recording Basketball

What Resolution Do You Need for Recording Sports?

A camera that is capable of recording videos at 1080p is already good enough for most people as such a resolution already provides the clear and crisp images that will show you tiny details and fast movements.

How Long Do You Need to be Able to Record for?

A camera that can record for more than an hour should be best for recording basketball games since most of such games are expected to last for more than an hour depending on the level of basketball you are shooting. A children’s game might not last for more than an hour but games that are high school-level and above are expected to last for more than an hour.

How Important is Autofocus for Recording Sports?

Autofocus is very important for recording sports especially if you are not someone who is great at manually focusing. The reason is that players move so fast that it can be pretty difficult for you to focus on the spot. As such, a camera that has an autofocus function takes away the need for you to manually adjust the focus while the action is going on.

Is 4K Worth It for Recording Basketball Games?

A camera that is capable of recording at 1080p is already enough but a 4K camera is actually worth it because of how it can show you smaller details and are capable of filming at higher frame rates to give you slow-motion videos that are ideal for following the smallest details on the court. However, you should also take note that there are studies that show that some eyes are not capable of seeing past 1080p. 

Should I Use a Camera or a Camcorder for Recording Basketball?

If you are merely shooting basketball games and are not looking for a camera that can take pictures, then a camcorder might be the best for you as it was made with all the features that will allow you to shoot videos effectively. However, if you want more versatility or if you want to save money, a DSLR camera might be the better option for you.

How to Choose the Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games for You

When choosing a camera for recording basketball games, you should consider looking at these features:

Resolution

The resolution of a camera or a camcorder should be the first thing you need to look at. You would want a camera that can shoot at least 1080p and not lower than that if you want videos with the definition and clarity that would allow you to see small details.

Frame Rate

What makes frame rate important is that the higher the frame rate is, the more likely you will be able to slow down the footage. This is good for coaches, scouts, and players who want to study and learn moves since they can slow down the movements to study them carefully.

Size

The size of the camera is crucial if you are always on the go such as when you are a parent capturing videos of your child or if you are a scout or a journalist looking to quickly capture videos of basketball games. The smaller and more compact the camera is, the better.

Recording Time

Recording time is important if you are looking to capture videos of entire basketball games. You should get a camera that is capable of recording unlimited time or at least more than an hour if you want to capture full basketball games without stopping and starting the recording over and over again.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

Our Top Favorite
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Our Top Runner Up
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
Our Top Value Pick
Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio Input(Microphone),3.0-Inch Touch Panel LCD, Digic DV 4 Image Processor, 57x Advanced Zoom, and Full HD CMOS Sensor, Black
Camera
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder
Prime Status
-
Our Top Favorite
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Camera
Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder
Prime Status
-
Our Top Runner Up
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
Camera
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Prime Status
Our Top Value Pick
Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio Input(Microphone),3.0-Inch Touch Panel LCD, Digic DV 4 Image Processor, 57x Advanced Zoom, and Full HD CMOS Sensor, Black
Camera
Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder
Prime Status

All that said, if you have the money to spare and if you want the best basketball videos, then the Canon XF405 Professional Camcorder should be a wise choice for you since it provides you with professional-quality videos that can really cover all of the tiny details while giving you plenty of features you can choose from. 

If the price is too steep for you, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-135 IS also performs really well even though it lacks the 4K capabilities of other cameras. Nevertheless, it has a lot of neat features that all combine together to give you videos that are sharp and well-detailed in a package that is easy to use.

On the go and looking for a good camera that can capture basketball videos quickly and efficiently? Then the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera should be a good choice for you as it is small, compact, and very easy to use while providing you high-quality basketball videos that not a lot of small cameras are capable of filming.

Meanwhile, the Panasonic Lumix G85 4K Digital Camera is also a good choice as it is only a bit bulkier than the Alpha a600 but is capable of capturing videos at 4K resolutions while providing you with an ease of use that makes it ideal for beginners in the video recording business. 

But if you are looking for quality and affordability rolled into one while focusing more on the camcording capabilities instead of on the picture-taking function, then the Canon VIXIA HF R800 HD Camcorder and the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Video Camcorder should be good options for you. Both of those are strictly camcorders and are great at capturing basketball videos with the highest quality possible at their respective price levels.

So, those are our choices for the best camera for recording basketball games. We hope our review can help you make a decision.

Did you enjoy this article? Also, check out our other basketball gear reviews here.

> How Long Does a Basketball Game Last?

> How Much are Courtside Seats for an NBA Game?

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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