The Sports Photography Equipment Every Beginner Needs

Sports photography can be a fun niche to get into. But it’s also one of those types of photography that require good quality equipment. You’re shooting difficult subjects that are always on the move and often far away. You need to plan your shots ahead of time, get in the right spot for the photo, and have the perfect gear that’s equipped to capture the shot crisply and efficiently. No easy task. A few weeks ago, we gave you some simple but effective tips to improve your sports photography. Now we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty details about the exact type of equipment you need to pull off the perfect shot.

The best camera for sports photography

photographer with telephoto lens DSLRs are still the preferred cameras for professional photographers but the technological landscape is quickly changing, with many mirrorless cameras starting to match the capabilities of DSLRs. Sports photography demands a fast burst rate, quick autofocus, and high processing power to help you freeze the action. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 are favourites among sports photographers. These full frame cameras have exceptionally fast autofocus tracking and continuous shooting, along with high ISO performance and weather sealing. Of course, these cameras have hefty price tags if you’re just starting out. The Canon 7D Mark II is another, more affordable choice, with outstanding battery life, a continuous shooting rate of 10 fps, and a native ISO range of 100-16000. Meanwhile, a Nikon D500 has a great AF system and subject tracking capabilities, along with speedy burst shooting and a sturdy body. In the mirrorless world, Panasonic’s GH5, and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II all have promising focus and capture speeds.

The best lenses for sports photography

sports photographer holding camera with with zoom lens Unfortunately, you can’t skimp on the lens if you want to achieve high-quality sports photography. Just treat your lens as a long-term investment that will help you improve your photography over time. The best lenses for sports photography are those that are super fast and high quality with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. In particular, photographers like 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lenses. Fixed focal length telephoto lenses such as a 400mm f/2.8 lens are another great option. Zoom lenses with apertures of f/4 or f/5.6 don’t achieve the same soft background, nor do they work as well in low-light scenarios. But they are, of course, more affordable. Notable high-end sports lenses include:

If you’re operating on a budget, consider looking at the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III, the Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens, or the Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED WR telephoto lens, or the Tamron SP AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens, which is available for Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras.

The best sports camera monopods

sports photographer on beach pointing camera at waves Tripods are heavier, less flexible, and often even prohibited at some sporting events, so a monopod is the way to go with sports photography Monopods balance on one leg, making them extremely versatile when you have to move quickly. They’re also great for panning, which you’ll find yourself doing A LOT in sports photography. The Manfrotto XPro Aluminium monopod or the Manfrotto MM290C4 4-Section Carbon monopod are both excellent, lightweight, and affordable choices.

Other essential sports photography equipment

The key to sports photography is in having a camera setup that processes your shots quickly – and your memory card will have a lot to do with this. You’ll ideally want a memory card with writing speeds of at least 90MB/s to keep up during continuous shooting mode. As always, it’s best to have more than one memory card. Sporting events are often held outdoors, which means it’s important you have rugged camera gear that will withstand the elements. Alongside your spare memory card, you’ll probably also want a spare battery. In sports photography, it’s common to take hundreds of photos to land just a few you love. Don’t miss the best moment of the day because of a dead battery.

Upgrade your gear today

Ready to take your sports photography to new heights? Camera House has all the gear you need to level up your game. Not entirely sure what equipment you want? Come visit one of our camera specialists at your nearest store to get the low-down on essential gear. Or if you know exactly what you need, shop our range of camera equipment online today.

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