This article will look at a series of cameras that are particularly useful for recording basketball games in any setting.
I am an avid basketball player with nearly two decades of experience playing the game at different levels. I’ve also used cameras my entire life. That combination of knowledge allowed me to properly review the cameras outlined in this guide.
The Panasonic HC-V770 is my pick for the best camera for recording basketball games due to how well it blends features, image quality, and low light resolution.
As with any great recording device, the camera comes with a strong LCD screen as well as premium resolution. The 20x optical zoom gives you plenty of options, as does the versatile feature package that lets you control your footage. The companion app is amazing as well.
If you’re interested in that device, or if you want to check out any models that are like it, I’ll break down the best ones and explain why they rise above the rest of the pack.
Who Should Get This
There are many people who can appreciate a good recording device, but parents are the ones who benefit most from the ones that can capture basketball games. If you have a child or teenager who plays a lot, the following devices will help you save their performances forever.
Coaches may also want a good camera. Recording games or practices are a good way to show your team how they played as well as where they can improve. Many players learn better when they have visual evidence of their games and play style.
Best Cameras for Recording Basketball Games
Each part of the following section reviews a top basketball recording camera by analyzing its characteristics and applications.
1. Panasonic HC-V770
- Best for: Overall
- Key Features: 20x optical zoom and 4-drive lens system. Creative control. Bright 3-inch screen. HDR movie feature. Sharp, stellar image quality.
- Video Capture Resolution: 1080p
- Optical Zoom: 20x
- Screen Size: 3 inches
The HC-V770 is a powerful camera fully outfitted with 20x optical zoom, a 3-inch screen, as well as a 1/2.3-inch BSI sensor to create good shooting conditions no matter if you’re inside a gym or out on the blacktop. The HDR movie feature also brings another aspect to your recordings.
Something else that’s extremely useful, especially when it comes to recording basketball games, is that the camera can be used with the Panasonic Image App for full smartphone or tablet functionality. That enables you to control it from far away and still focus on the game.
The only downside to this model is that it has a hard cap when it comes to resolution. The 1080p looks great and will be more than serviceable, but it can’t quite match 4k. That might bug some people looking for the absolute best image quality.
2. Sony Cyber-Shot RX10
- Best for: Versatility
- Key Features: Stunning 4k high-resolution video. Exceptional colors alongside a large screen. High-density tracking autofocus. Strong image stabilization.
- Video Capture Resolution: 2160p
- Optical Zoom: 25x
- Screen Size: 7.5 inches
The RX10 is a great stand-alone camera that captures everything in stunning, high-definition quality. That includes basketball games. This device gives you plenty of options, allowing you to record in 4k, take 1080p slow motion, and snap vibrant HD pictures.
On top of that, the camera provides a steady shot, image stabilization, a strong sensor, as well as some of the best autofocus around. All of the colors look great, especially when you’re using the intuitive 7.5-inch screen to make sure all of your videos come out exactly as intended.
As great as the camera is, there are some drawbacks. It’s a bit heavier than similar models, which can lead to fatigue if you don’t have a tripod and need to hold it for the entire game. It also doesn’t come cheap, which means you need to be serious before buying it.
3. Sony Alpha a6000
- Best for: Mirrorless
- Key Features: Extremely fast autofocus. Lightweight design. 24MP APS-C sensor. Excellent low light capabilities. Intuitive, streamlined controls.
- Video Capture Resolution: 1080p
- Optical Zoom: 13x
- Screen Size: 3 inches
If you want a premium camera that will deliver strong traits both when you’re recording basketball and living your normal life, the a6000 is your best bet. The mirrorless model comes with a powerful battery, hybrid autofocus, and offers up to 11 FPS continuous shooting.
Adding to that is the 3-inch tilting LCD screen that provides you with extra versatility as well as the controls that give you unparalleled power over your shots. The camera is also lightweight, which is extremely useful if you need to hold it, and the low light capabilities are unmatched.
As great as the a6000 is when it comes to specs and power, it does lack a bit in the durability compartment. You’re going to want to be careful with this one. Using it with a tripod is highly recommended. It can overheat as well, which is something to always keep in mind.
4. Canon VIXIA HF R800
- Best for: Budget
- Key Features: 3-inch screen that works inside and outside. SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer. High-resolution HD CMOS Image Sensor.
- Video Capture Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Optical Zoom: 32x
- Screen Size: 3 inches
If you’re looking for a great camcorder that won’t break the bank, the R800 has plenty of features in an easy-to-use model. This handheld device has a stunning 3-inch capacitive touch panel LCD screen as well as a 57x advanced zoom to give you better range while you shoot.
It’s also lightweight, easy to manage, and gives you strong image quality without costing too much. On top of that, it does well in dimmer environments. That makes it a perfect choice for anyone who needs to actively record inside a gym. The image stabilization is impressive too.
As it’s a budget option, the R800 doesn’t quite have the strong resolution or ample range of features noted in more expensive models. The video is also a bit noisy. Still, if you’re looking for something to easily record basketball you won’t be disappointed.
Best Camera for Recording Basketball Games: What to Look For
Each of these traits is important to watch out for when getting a camera that you want to use to record basketball games.
Image quality is incredibly important regardless of what event you’re recording. When picking out a new camera try to get something that offers at least 1080p. 4k is the ultimate goal, but that tends to be more expensive. Go with what best fits your budget and needs.
Low Light Capability
Most basketball games take place inside gyms. While they have lights, conditions are far from ideal. That is why you want a camera with a strong sensor that enables you to see inside easily. Strong low light capability is vital and should always be kept in mind.
It’s also important to keep your camera’s weight in mind. Unless you’re using a tripod, you’ll be holding it for most of the game. That can get tiring if you’re not used to lugging equipment around. Do your best to get a lighter model that doesn’t sacrifice any important traits.
Now that you know some of the best basketball recording cameras, you may have a few other questions. I’ll answer some common ones in this section.
What is the Best Way to Record Basketball Games?
The best way to record basketball games is with a good, high-resolution camera on a stable tripod setup around half court. That will give you an excellent vision of the game and ensure you don’t miss any key plays.
Is a GoPro Good for Recording Basketball Games?
GoPro cameras are excellent for recording in short bursts. They have stellar quality but lack a strong battery. That means they can record a game well, as long as you have backup batteries or can keep them charged.
Do I need a Camera Tripod to Record Basketball Games?
No. Though a tripod definitely helps you record the game by cutting back on shakiness and fatigue, you can easily hold a camcorder or digital camera without any issues.
Useful Tips and Resources
Though it’s not necessary, a tripod is an excellent device for anyone who wants to record a basketball game. It holds the camera for you, enabling you to enjoy watching without something in your hand, and makes sure your footage is completely smooth.
If you want a high-quality option, this model will deliver great results. However, you can easily go cheaper if you’re looking to save some money as well. If you’re a bit intimidated, this video teaches the basic principles of recording while at a game.
The Panasonic HC-V770 is a solid model that gets my pick for the best basketball recording camera. Where many devices bring one or two key traits to the table, the lightweight device blends a sleek design with strong resolution, zoom, and creative control.
The V770 comes from one of the most reputable brands on the market and has a phenomenal companion app. It’s also lightweight and easy to manage. When it comes to recording basketball, it doesn’t get any easier.