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HomeTop PickFrom Adventure to Pro Sports: Best Nikon action camera

From Adventure to Pro Sports: 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.

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List of top Nikon action camera

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Nikon KeyMission 80

Nikon KeyMission 80

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

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Nikon KeyMission 360

Nikon KeyMission 360

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

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Nikon Z 6II

Nikon Z 6II

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

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Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500

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

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Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50

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

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Nikon Z9

Nikon Z9

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.

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Nikon D500

Nikon D500

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.

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Nikon KeyMission 80

Compact action 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.

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Nikon KeyMission

360/170 Action Pack

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.

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Nikon Z6 II

Light refresh of the original Z6

Image Size: 24.5 MP | Sensor: Full Frame (FX) Sensor | ISO: 100 – 51,200 | Burst: 14 Frames/sec | Mount: Nikon Z Mount | Weight: 21.7 oz. (615 g)

Good For
  • Superior AF performance
  • Two memory card slots
  • Improved burst shooting
Need Improvements
  • Other bodies are faster
  • No articulating screen

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.

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Nikon D3500

Best entry-level DSLRs you can buy

Image Quality: 24.2 MP | Sensor: Crop (DX) Sensor | ISO: 100 – 25,600 | Burst: 5 Frames/sec | Mount: Nikon F Mount | Weight: 12.9 oz.(365 g)

Good For
  • Beginner friendliness
  • Value for money
  • All-round image quality
Need Improvements
  • No 4K video
  • Fixed rear screen

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.

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Nikon Z50

A mirrorless camera for the masses

Image Size: 20.9 MP | Sensor: Crop (DX) Sensor | ISO: 100 – 51,200 | Burst: 11 Frames/sec | Mount: Nikon Z Mount | Weight: 14.0 oz. (390 g)

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.

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Nikon Z9

Fashionably late,

Image Size: 45.7 MP | Sensor: Full Frame (FX) Sensor | ISO: 64 – 25,600 | Burst: 20 Frames/sec RAW and 30 Frames/sec JPEG | Mount: Nikon Z Mount | Weight: 47.3 oz. (1340 g)

Good For
  • 8K 60p video resolution
  • 120fps burst shooting!
Need Improvements
  • 120fps files are only 11MP

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.

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Nikon D500

Nikon’s pro-quality DX-format DSLR

Image Size: 20.9 MP | Sensor: Crop (DX) Sensor | ISO: 100 – 51,200 | Burst: 10 Frames/sec | Mount: Nikon F Mount | Weight: 26.9 oz.(760 g)

Good For
  • Huge raw buffer capacity
  • 10fps continuous shooting
Need Improvements
  • Live View autofocus improved but still hunts

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.

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Buying Guide

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.

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FAQs

FAQs for the best action camera

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.

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