Best Nikon action camera

After reviewing the 16 DSLRs and eight mirrorless alternatives available from Nikon and putting several of them through their paces during field testing, I realized that the Nikon Z6II is the best Nikon action camera for taking photographs of sporting events.

Nikon KeyMission 80

$328.00  in stock
1 used from $328.00
as of May 28, 2023 9:54 am


  • Waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof wearable camera; Effective Pixels (Megapixels); Front: 12.4 million, Rear: 4.9 million
  • Designed to capture everyday life without interrupting the moment; Monitor Type: 1.75-in. (4.4 cm) approx. 230,000-dot, TFT LCD (touchscreen) with 5-level brightness adjustment
  • Fast shooting speeds, simple controls and convenient operation; Movie: 1,920x1,080/ 30p (max.)
  • SnapBridge integration for real-time wireless sharing; Dedicated selfie camera on the backside
  • Dimension: 1.8x3.5x0.6-Inch; Weight 2.7 oz.

Compact, waterproof and shockproof camera with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, and dual lens system.

Nikon KeyMission 360

$263.95  in stock
6 new from $263.95
7 used from $222.22
as of May 28, 2023 9:54 am


  • Shoot 4K UHD video and stills in spherical 360 degree field of view
  • SnapBridge 360/170 support with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in
  • Waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof without use of external housing

360-degree spherical video and photo capture capability, waterproof and shockproof, 4K video resolution, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.

Nikon Z 6II

 in stock
17 new from $1,696.95
20 used from $1,549.95
Free shipping
as of May 28, 2023 9:54 am


  • Mirrorless versatility on a whole new level. 24.5MP BSI resolution that excels in low light. 14 FPS suitable for fast action. 4K UHD Video performance at its best.
  • Full frame. Full pixel readout. Full featured 4K UHD Video. Top of the line video performance with 4K UHD 60p using full pixel readout and a host of outstanding features for serious videographers. Subject acquisition with speed and precision. 3.5x more buffer capacity than the original Z 6. Faster continuous shooting. Improved AF performance and functionality.
  • Dual card slots (CFexpress/XQD plus UHS-II SD). Flexibility and peace of mind when shooting important moments or on assignment, such as wedding and event photography. Comfortable. Durable. Intuitive. Z 6II’s exterior and interior have been thoughtfully designed to be handled and used with max comfort and ease of operation.
  • Vertical Grip Ready. Now compatible with the new vertical battery grip for those in need of more power and easier shutter operation when shooting vertically. USB-C constant power and charging. Never run low on power during livestreams, video shoots and timelapses.
  • One mount accepts them all. Compatible with a growing line of NIKKOR Z lenses as well as approx. 360 F-mount NIKKOR lenses with FTZ mount adapter (sold separately).

Full-frame, mirrorless camera with dual processors, 14 fps continuous shooting, dual card slots, and 4K UHD video.

Nikon D3500

$1,069.95  in stock
33 used from $485.97
Free shipping
as of May 28, 2023 9:54 am


  • A DSLR that's as easy to use as a point and shoot camera
  • Compact, comfortable design that's great for travel and special events
  • Image sensor that's 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones for sharper, clearer pictures
  • Works with Nikon’s snap bridge app for sharing photos with a compatible smartphone or tablet
  • 1080p full hd videos with monaural sound at the touch of a button. Bluetooth version 4.1

Compact and easy-to-use DSLR camera with 24.2 MP resolution, 5fps continuous shooting, and built-in guide mode for beginners.

Nikon Z50

$1,146.95  in stock
5 new from $1,146.95
6 used from $1,000.00
Free shipping
as of May 28, 2023 9:54 am


  • Compact, lightweight and durably constructed mirrorless camera
  • First DX-format mirrorless camera to use a large 55 millimeter lens mount, offering advantages in high image quality and lowlight performance.
  • 20.9 MP sensor with robust 4K UHD video features
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for simple pairing to a smartphone.
  • "Selfie" flip down touch LCD screen, great for self-portraits and vlogging.

Compact and lightweight mirrorless camera with a 20.9 MP sensor, 11fps continuous shooting, 4K UHD video, and a built-in electronic viewfinder.

Nikon Z9

$5,496.95  in stock
7 new from $5,496.95
11 used from $4,730.00
Free shipping
as of May 28, 2023 9:54 am


  • 45.7MP Stacked CMOS sensor and EXPEED 7 image processing. Fast powerful AF that can keep up with the fastest subjects and frame rates.
  • Subject detection uses deep learning to automatically detect and track people, cats, dogs, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, trains and planes in still and video with no menu changes.
  • Capture 45.7MP stills at 20 or 30 fps; 120 fps stills at 11MP, all with full AF and AE, and no viewfinder blackout. 8K/30p video capture in-camera for over 2 hours recording time. 4K 120p slow motion video capture.
  • 10-bit 4K/30p from oversampled 8K, recorded in-camera as ProRes 422 HQ or H.265 video.
  • New high-efficiency RAW file format is 1/3 the size of uncompressed RAW while retaining the same high image quality and dynamic range as conventional RAW files.

Nikon Z9 is not yet released, so no specific information is available, But it's expected to be a High-end Full-Frame mirrorless camera with advanced features and high-speed performance.

Nikon D500

 in stock
21 used from $948.00
as of May 28, 2023 9:54 am


  • 20.9MP DX format CMOS sensor. Viewfinder: Eye level pentaprism single lens reflex viewfinder
  • Expeed 5 image processor; Monitor size: 3.2 inches diagonal
  • 3.2 inches 2,539k dot tilting touchscreen LCD
  • 4k UHD video recording at 30 fps
  • Multi cam 20k 153 point AF system

High-performance DX-format DSLR camera with 20.9 MP resolution, 10fps continuous shooting, 4K UHD video and advanced autofocus system.

This camera offers everything you need to capture the perfect sports moment, including a unique focusing mechanism, a high frame rate, and several fantastic lenses in the Z mount range. So if you want to capture the perfect sports moment, you should get this camera.

Full model name: Nikon KeyMission 80 | Resolution: 11.80 Megapixels | Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch (6.2mm x 4.6mm) | Lens: Non-Zoom (25mm eq.) | Viewfinder: No / LCD | Native ISO: 100 – 1600 | Extended ISO: 100 – 1600 | Shutter: 1/6400 – 1 sec | Max Aperture: 2.0 | Dimensions: 1.8 x 3.4 x 0.6 in. (45 x 87 x 15 mm) | Weight: 2.6 oz (74 g)
includes batteries

Good For
  • The dual lens system allows for both wide-angle and standard views
  • Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth allow for easy sharing of photos and videos
  • Built-in camera features, such as time-lapse and interval shooting, add creative options
Need Improvements
  • Battery life is relatively short
  • Limited manual control options

The KeyMission 80 has a front camera that can record Full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second and take still photographs at 12 megapixels with a natural-perspective field of view of 80 degrees. It also has a back camera that can take still images at 5 megapixels.

In addition to other functions, it has a time-lapse photography mode, an accessible panorama mode, an auto-on part when it is removed from its support holster, and other options. You can set up and watch your photographs in real-time thanks to a prominent touchscreen display that measures 1.75 inches and is located on the back of the camera. You can also play them back for rapid evaluation.

Video: Capture UHD 4K 25/30p with 170° View, 1080p at up to 120 fps; Hi-Res Stills | Slow motion: 720p at Super-Slow-Motion 200/240 fps | Build: 33ft Waterproof without Housing Required | Vibration Reduction: Built-In (1080/720p) | Lens: Nikon Nikkor Glass Lens | Screen: 1.5″ Real-Time Monitoring & Playback LCD | Software: Control & Playback App for iOS/Android | Connectivity: Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Good For
  • The remote control and mounts make it easier to set up and control the cameras in different shooting scenarios.
  • Including the 360 and 170 cameras allows for a broader range of shooting options and perspectives.
Need Improvements
  • The KeyMission cameras have limited manual control options
  • The price of the Action Pack may be higher than purchasing the cameras separately.

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is a dual-lens action camera capable of simultaneously capturing two 180°+ UHD 4K pictures and automatically stitching them together into a single 360° film.

After that, you may see this single image with optional virtual reality goggles or on 360 sites, such as YouTube 360, where you can navigate the idea in all directions. Before viewing it on goggles or 360 platforms, you can transfer the stitched picture into one of the many VR editing software programs available and enhance it there.

The Nikon Z6II is an improved version of Nikon’s mirrorless Z6 from the original generation. The ability to utilize Nikon Z mount lenses, which continue to wow with each new lens introduced, is another reason why I consider it the best option available among Nikon cameras for photographing sports. Other causes include shooting speed and image quality. TAs a result, the Z Mount Nikon S 70-200 made it to the top of my list of the best Nikon lenses for shooting sports.

Regarding photographing sports, the sensor’s resolution of 24.5 megapixels represents a “sweet spot.” It provides enough detail to allow you to crop in when necessary while at the same time without being so vast that it slows down the camera.

The Z6II’s frame rate of 14 fps makes it more capable of handling most sporting events. If you want to shoot faster than that, you’ll need to spend more than twice as much on the Z9 camera (more about this one below).

The higher buffer depth is also significant since it allows you to capture more photos continuously before the camera forces you to stop shooting. This is even more important than the number of frames per second for many photographers who shoot sports. If you have a significant and quick buffer, the time you have to wait for it to clear before taking another shot will be reduced.

Producing affordable cameras of high quality is a specialty that Nikon excels at. Although it does not have all of the features and specifications found on professional cameras, the Nikon D3500 is an ideal choice for an amateur photographer who is just starting with wildlife photography or looking to save a little money.

Even Nikon’s most basic DSLR cameras include excellent construction and ergonomic design, and all of the company’s models share this trait. Even though it does not have the front dial like other models, you may set the exposure compensation button such that the rear dial controls the aperture when the button is pushed and regulates the shutter speed when it is not touched. This is because it does not have the front dial. If you make that insignificant adjustment, you’ll have speedy control over the two most critical variables.

Although it may not perform as well as the Z6II in low light, the D3500 does quite well for a camera with a crop sensor, especially considering its more affordable pricing. Up to 800/1600 ISO, you should be able to take relatively noise-free images; around 3200 ISO, you should start to see some noise. However, with just a bit of post-processing, you may quickly obtain photographs of high quality even while shooting at an ISO of 3200.

You will inevitably have to give up certain features to purchase an item at a lower price. However, the continuous shooting rate of just five frames per second is the most glaring difference between this camera and Nikon’s more costly versions.

Good For
  • Great image and video quality
  • 4K video recording
  • USB charging capacity
Need Improvements
  • Single UHS-Icard
  • No built-in stabilization

When photographing sports, the Nikon Z50 is an excellent choice for those who want a mirrorless camera that is more compact but still offers a high level of performance.

This is the second cheapest camera on this list and the most cost-effective entry point into the unique Nikon Z mount system.

This camera’s performance and specifications place it halfway between the D3500 and the Z6II, and the pricing reflects its position in that spectrum between the two models.

Because this camera has a crop ratio of 1.5x, all your lenses will have somewhat more reach. This means that a lens with a focal length of 200 millimeters effectively reaches 300 millimeters, which is a significant advantage for photographing athletic events. In addition, using the FTZ adapter, you can access the extensive F mount portfolio of accessories.

You won’t be limited to shooting sports with this camera because of its extensive range of capabilities. You’ll also have a fantastic walk-around option suitable for any circumstance, thanks to the camera’s diminutive size and the fact that some of the Z Mount DX lenses are tiny.

This is Nikon’s first mirrorless flagship camera body, and it is the ideal camera for capturing action photos and videos. Even though Nikon has not announced when it will begin delivering, you can place a pre-order. The Nikon Z9 is unquestionably the best camera for those who photograph sporting events. This may turn out to be the most excellent camera released in 2022.

The cost is, without a doubt, this camera’s most significant shortcoming. The price tag reflects that it is intended for use by professional photographers. But, on the other hand, you receive the value you paid for. This is a multimedia powerhouse with professional-grade shooting skills and professional-grade video recording capabilities.

This is the quickest camera that Nikon has ever produced. When shooting RAW files, you’ll obtain 20 frames per second, even with a sensor that has 45.7 megapixels. In addition, a new firmware version has just expanded the buffer capacity, which means that you can now shoot at this pace for thirty seconds.

If you need even more speed, you may convert to JPEG, giving you 30 frames per second, and if you switch to 11-megapixel JPEG photos, you’ll receive an unbelievable 120 frames per second.

The sensor is impressive in its own right. The backside-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor of the Z9 has a resolution of 45.7 megapixels. In simple terms, this translates to an extensive dynamic range and excellent performance in low light.

Additionally, the autofocusing mechanism will be Nikon’s most advanced to date. Because Nikon often releases new firmware updates that include enhancements to their focusing systems, you can anticipate that your camera will get more capable over time, even though you will not be required to spend any more money.

Nikon considers this camera its flagship for the DX (crop sensor) format, and the moniker is fitting. The Nikon D500 is a professional-grade DSLR camera body that incorporates a crop sensor.

Continuous shooting at ten frames per second comes very close to matching the pace of my best choice, which is described above. Furthermore, when following players on the field, there is no need to be concerned with screen blackout because the camera is a DSLR rather than a mirrorless one. Still, I strongly prefer Nikon’s mirrorless cameras, but I recognize that other photographers may feel otherwise.

The D500, like all other flagship DSLRs from Nikon, is constructed to be pretty durable. It uses magnesium alloy and carbon fiber components, which provide a high level of toughness without adding excessive weight. It is also resistant to dust and water drops, giving you the confidence to photograph in adverse conditions such as rain or other challenging locations.

This camera’s sensor exceeds Nikon’s previous crop sensor DSLRs and is highly comparable to the sensor found in the mirrorless Z50, which is smaller and costs less.

To find the best Nikon action camera, you should research and compare the features and specifications of different models, such as the Nikon Z6, Z7, and D500. Look for cameras with fast autofocus, high frame rate, and good low-light performance. Read reviews and check sample images to get an idea of image quality. Additionally, consider factors such as durability, waterproofing, and the availability of accessories.

Which camera is best for action photography?

A camera with fast autofocus, high frame rate, and good low-light performance, such as the Sony A9 II or the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, is ideal for action photography.



Paul is a highly experienced journalist and the editor of DSLRCameraSearch. With a background in the photographic industry since 2017, he has worked with notable clients such as . Paul's expertise lies in camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, and industry news. His work has been featured in renowned publications including . He is also a respected workshop host, speaker Photography Shows. Paul's passion for photography extends to his love for Sony, Canon, Olympus cameras.

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