Documenting and recording workouts has become more popular than ever, but at the same time, it is quite a difficult task, especially if you don’t have the right equipment and no, I am not talking about fitness equipment.
Searching for the right camera is not a walk in the park, you don’t want just to pick a camera you see at first sight. Make sure you research each detail and if it has the right features and functionalities to fit your needs and preferences.
With my knowledge and with some research, I have come up with a list that contains up to 6 cameras, from DSLRs to Action Cameras, and hopefully, you will find the best camera for fitness videos.
Down below, in the end, I have also shared some important points you should consider when picking a camera to film your workout sessions.
Without wasting your time further, let me introduce the picks:
The Top 6 Best Cameras For Fitness Videos
6. DJI Osmo Action – Best Value
The DJI Osmo action is a compact action camera from the drone industry-leading brand, DJI.
No doubt that the DJI made this action camera in mind to challenge GoPro, since a few years ago GoPro tried to eat DJI’s lunch by entering the drone industry. But, that sure didn’t go well for GoPro.
Some people might accuse DJI of stealing the design cues from GoPro, but that doesn’t mean it’s an absolute steal design. It’s only that the action cameras tend to look like that. It measures 2.56 x 1.65 x 1.38 inches and weighs 4.4 ounces.
It sports a watertight seal and a hydrophobic coating on the back of the touchscreen, making it waterproof enough to survive up to 11m immersion.
As for the quality, we are used to seeing this kind of visual quality on DJI, but not in an action camera, since most of them have been mounted on drones. As such, the quality is so crisp and clear that it takes on GoPro Hero7 without a sweat, and even capable of trading blows with the Hero8.
It supports 4k capture from 24Fps up to 60fps and also if you like 2.7k it offers it in the same frame rate. If you go even lower for 1080p content it increases up to a whopping 240fps.
But the star of the show here is the image stabilization features, that don’t struggle even in a heavy impact, no wonder it is called Rocksteady.
As for the battery life it heavily varies on the content you’re recording, it manages around 1 hour for 4k at 60fps.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T8i – Best Entry-Level DSLR
What makes the EOS Rebel a great choice for fitness enthusiasts is that is billed as an entry-level camera for beginners, hobbyists, and content creators. Surprisingly enough, you will find the same features you find on a professional/high-end Canon camera.
Even though it is a DSLR camera, it fits perfectly in the hand and it is quite compact at the same time, measuring 3 x 5.16 x 4.04 inches and weighing 2.9 pounds. Yes, small enough to toss it in a bag.
The Canon EOS T8i at its heart is driven by a 24.1 -megapixel sensor, that has an ISO range of 100 -25600, and a 45-point all-cross type AF System, capturing true to life content with this bad boy won’t be a problem.
The 45-point cross-type AF system ensures us that it will capture subjects in focus swiftly and accurately, regardless of where they are.
Yet again, it promises us cinematic results with its recording capabilities, it does 4k content in 24 fps.
As for the battery life, it is great with a longevity of 1240 shots when you use the viewfinder alone, and dropping to 360 shots when using the live view.
4. GoPro HERO10 – Best High-End
Hate it or love it, GoPro is synonymous with action cameras. Their new flagship is here to exceed even its brother, the GoPro Hero 9 who took the market by storm back with its release.
The GoPro Hero10 remains the same design, besides the new blue logo and insignia, it looks identical to its predecessor. It measures 3.2 x 4.8 x 9.4 inches and weighs only 1.01 pounds, it is solid and durable like always, with waterproofing of up to 10 meters.
Under the hood, it inherited the same 23.6MP sensor that was introduced on its brother. It supports recording content up to 5.3k resolution at 60fps, while 4k resolution at a perfect amount of 120 Fps. If you want even more it can record 2.7k 240Fps, going even further beyond 270 fps in 1080P. After all these frame rates are what sets Hero 10 apart from the 9 and the rest of the competition.
The killer feature here is the new HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization features. It holds the footage together and steadily. You can even tilt the Hero 10 up to 45 degrees in linear mode and the camera won’t budge even a bit.
It uses the same 1720mAh battery as the Hero 9, but please take note that the 5.3k content in 60Fps highly drains the battery life.
3. Nikon D780 – Best Battery-Life
After releasing the D750 and the D850 people start to think that they will mark the end of DSLRs from Nikon. Later in 2020 Nikon surprisingly unveiled its D780 – which is the newest DSLR from Nikon, and it is aiming to refresh the DSLR market once again.
The D780 is a solid design camera with great ergonomics that fits perfectly fine in hand and also, it has a tight and comfortable grip. It is dust and weather-sealed while having a full magnesium alloy body. It measures 5.65 x 2.99 x 4.55 inches and weighs 1.57 pounds.
Inside it sports a 24-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor that is categorized as one of the best in Nikon’s lineup, the same image quality we can find in the Z6. The Autofocus is a big upgrade too. In single-point autofocus, the D780 can have 51 Af points. It is also the first Nikon DSLR with live-view autofocus, thanks to its 273-point on-chip phase-detection autofocus.
It shines even in the video recording aspect, it is capable of producing 4k content with high levels of details and minimal noise. Marking the best video quality from any Nikon Camera besides the Z6 ( which both are equivalent ). 4k UHD clocks at 30 fps while FHD in 120 fps.
Battery life is the star of the show here. It uses the same battery as its predecessor, making it take up to 2,260 photos on a single charge. This is insane when you think of it, since the mirrorless cameras can’t even come close to half of that. It’s a great camera for hairstylists, dentists, and other jobs that have to do with people.
2. AKASO Brave 4 Pro – Best Budget
Last but not least, we have the most affordable option.
Brave 4 Pro is an entry-level action camera that will bring joy to almost anyone, thanks to its capabilities at a budget price.
For sure the GoPros still hold the throne of the action cameras, but remember, they have one major drawback, a painful price.
At the first sight, you will understand that AKASO likes to keep things simple and nice. It screams minimalism, featuring a black plastic rectangular shape with ribbed sides. It is quite compact measuring 2.28 x 1.26 x 0.94 inches and weighing 1.23 pounds.
When it comes to durability, it is one robust fella, which is quite surprising given the plastic build.
As for waterproof-ness, you can wrap it in the waterproof case that is included in the package and it survives immersion of 30 meters without a problem.
The whole reputation of the Akaso came from the action sports community, due to it being a splendid alternative to GoPro, with an affordable price and great quality content.
It sports a 20 MP camera sensor that has an adjustable lens, it promises to provide solid quality images to fit in any social media platform. It has a built-in EIS that works very well, it is really fast and doesn’t distort image quality on heavy movements.
Its ability to record 4k content in 30fps is just insane, when you take into account its slightly under 120$ price.
It comes with 2 rechargeable 1050 mAh batteries and each battery can record up to 90 minutes without a problem.
To wrap things up, the value Akaso Brave 4 Pro brings for the price, it’s simply unbeatable. I don’t doubt that this would be the best alternative to the Osmo Action/ GoPro if you are a fitness athlete on a budget.
There might be someone who prefers a mirrorless camera instead of the above, and that’s why I decided to throw an extra, one of the best mirrorless cameras to have been made, the:
1. Sony Alpha 7 IV – Best Mirrorless
The Alpha 7 IV is billed as a camera that can do everything, and it is one of the best mirrorless cameras in the market. It is completely a powerhouse on its own, after all, it’s the successor of the well-known Sony Alpha 7 III, who led the mirrorless market for 3 years straight. But indeed, all this performance comes with a price that is hard to swallow.
Basically, it is like a mini Sony A1 that is insanely good at everything but less than half the price.
It comes in a magnesium alloy body that is bigger, thicker, and a bit heavier than its brother whom it replaces. Still, it is quite slender and small overall, measuring 9.6 x 6.5 x 6.7 inches and weighs 1.4 pounds. The increase in size is so it can get a more generous handgrip, with that being said the A7 IV is more comfortable than the A7 III, which the latter one didn’t do so well in the grip apartment.
What drives the Alpha 7 IV is a newly developed 33-megapixel EXMOR R BSI CMOS sensor, this sensor gives A7 IV a huge edge over the competition, or even over A7 III.
The uncanny, well-known Auto Focus of Sony is inherited on the A7 IV, it uses the exact same one you find on Sony’s flagship A1. There is 759 phase-detection points that cover 94% of the frame, plus 425 contrast-detection points.
It doesn’t stop here the A7 IV offers 4k UHD video recording, up to 60fps at 4:2:2 color depth. It also can record Full HD 1080p at up to 120fps. And, it features a 5-axis image stabilization system to prevent any unwanted camera shake.
No doubt that once you start recording your fitness sessions the Alpha 7 IV will stick to you like glue.
And the battery life is a decent one for a mirrorless camera, rated 580 shots per charge.
DSLR or Action Cameras:
The most important types of cameras and the most used ones for recording fitness videos and training sessions would be the
- DSLR ( Digital Single-Lens Reflex )
- Action Cameras
We are quite familiar with DSLR, I mean at least once in our lives we have seen one. The DSLRs are used for almost anything, professional photography, vlogging, journalism, filming, and more.
Indeed they are bulky and heavy compared to action cameras.
But that’s a small compromise to pay for the terrific picture/video quality, and the lens versatility they offer.
Action cameras don’t fall short on reputation either, with GoPro giving them a huge boost on recognition in the camera world.
They are compact and easy to use while having a durable build that can survive even immersions, and on top of all that high definition video quality.
With all that being said no point to talk further and waste your time.
The key points you should look into:
Whether it is DSLR, Action, or even mirrorless these points are crucial when deciding to buy the best fitness camera.
Just the term is self-explanatory, you want to make sure to always check how many megapixels does the camera has to offer, the more the better.
If the autofocus is awful just ditch the camera, that’s how important this aspect is. When you move around, exercising, you want the camera to focus you automatically and instantly, especially if there is no one around to hold the camera for you.
Yet again another important aspect. Always aim for a camera which lens covers a wide area. Since Gyms and workout rooms are relatively small a wide lens makes a huge difference.
When you walk or run, which you will do a lot during exercise, the movement shakes the sensor and it cannot focus on the objects resulting in blurry and shaky videos.
A good image stabilization camera will allow the sensor to focus perfectly fine even in the swiftest movements.
Documenting or filming the workout sessions is not the hard part when you have the right camera.
That’s why I really suggest you guys do proper research before buying one since it is a long-term decision, it’s not something you buy daily and they come with a price that is hard to swallow.