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5 Digital Cameras We Love for Sports and Outdoor Adventure

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We all know the dad who posts amazing photos from his kid’s Little League games. Or have the buddy who uploads his outdoor adventures in stunning visual detail. It’s your turn to join this elite club. Ditch your flimsy camera phone and step up your game with these five options to fit your aspirations.

Olympus TG 870

The Tough One

If your sports take you into rough terrain, bring along the Olympus TG 870. It’ll survive being submerged in water, frozen, crushed under 220 pounds, and dropped from 7 feet. It’s not all brawn, though: this 16-megapixel camera has a wide 21mm equivalent lens, 180-degree flip-up LED screen, and WiFi streaming to your phone for quick Instagramming or Facebooking, so you can post pics no matter how hard it's pouring at your kid's soccer game. $280, getolympus.com

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Go Small

As far as pocket cameras go, Panasonic’s tiny Lumix ZS100 packs a 20 megapixel sensor, 4k video recording, and 10x zoom into a pocket-size package. The slim build makes it great for travel and for people who don't want to lug a large camera around a stadium. The smartphone remote control feature—via Panasonics’ app—is the icing on the cake. $700; shop.panasonic.com

Sony RX10 II

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Sony’s RX10 II is the definition of pro-sumer: a camera for the person who rides the line between everyday consumer and professional photographer. It shoots 4k video, up to 40x slow-mo, and has an autofocus of .09 seconds, so you won't miss that shot of the ball flying off your son’s bat. $1,300; sony.com

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Take Flight

Technically this isn’t a camera. It just helps you get photos that seem impossible. DJI’s Phantom 2 + H4-3D is built to work with GoPro’s Hero4 actions cam, has an internal GPS auto-pilot that allows it to hold a position or dial in a specific altitude so you can focus on shooting, while the 5200mAh battery gives you 25 minutes of flight time per charge. The integrated Nemuse H4-3D gimbal provides extremely smooth video recording. They only bummer? The GoPro Hero4 ($399-$499; gopro.com) isn’t included. But just image the Superman shots you’ll snag at the next family reunion. $500; store.dji.com

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POV

If you’re looking for a first-person point of view, Garmin’s Virb XE is perfect for reliving your last Tough Mudder or ski trip. Capable of recording video at 1080p and still photos at 12 megapixels, the waterproof (up to 150 feet) camera can mount on your chest, helmet, pack strap, or goggles. To further the immersion, the camera’s GPS-based sensors track stats (speed, elevation, heart rate, and hang time) and superimpose that on the screen, so your awesomeness will be backed by solid evidence. $399; virb.garmin.com

Reviews by Billy Brown