Best Cheap Camera For Sports Photography

By | 13/10/2022

best camera for sports photography

Canon 90D Camera

For the money, the Canon 90D is the best selection for a photographic camera for sports and action photography. It’s not equally big or heavy as the expensive professional person cameras. The 90D is classified equally a prosumer photographic camera. It shoots at x frames per second and has fast focus tracking capabilities. It costs much less, has plenty of pixels for sharp detailed photos and has many skilful sports lens options.

So, information technology’s a great question. What is the best photographic camera for sports photography? There’re then many good cameras on the market, you’re probably wondering where to start. This post will help you lot find out the v features to expect for to go the best sports photographic camera, as well as 5 expert choices for your sports camera. There’s besides a helpful table for yous to use to help you set your sports camera to the right shutter speed to get abrupt photos.

There is one distinction yous want to know almost first. That’southward the differences between a sports camera and an activity camera.

Sports photo

Canon DSLR, 400mm lens, 1/1000 second

Action cameras are for the immature at center that want to record their activities as they participate. The Gopro is past far the most well-known action camera.  This post is all about choosing a skilful photographic camera to apply when you lot photograph sports when you’re the spectator.

Hither is a quick wait at the 5 features to wait for in comparing sports cameras. We’ll dive into these more securely in a minute. Take a expect. They’re all of import to be enlightened of.

5 features of a good sports camera


2. FAST FRAME Charge per unit


four. ZOOM Power


This is no longer a discussion of who makes the best sports cameras, Catechism or Nikon. Those days are over, accept for professional photographers. These two companies were both the clear leaders at one point amid all of the digital photographic camera makers, but now there are many other companies that accept candidates for the best sports photographic camera.

What kind of camera exercise pro sports photographers use

Canon vs Nikon

Nikon vs. Canon

Canon and Nikon are even so by far the photographic camera brands that professional person sports photographers utilize. Some accept switched to Sony and Fujifilm, but don’t let that limit your search. Don’t focus on a particular make for a sports photographic camera. Choose the best camera for the sports

 the other types of photography you lot like to shoot.

Earlier I just give you a list of the best sports cameras-I know we all similar to get the quick respond-accept a minute to meet what camera features yous need to wait for first. Permit’s dive into the most important thing to recognize and then we’ll visit the 5 features to watch when your figuring on which sports camera to buy.

what’south the virtually of import factor to consider?

Point and shoot camera

Likewise slow for sports

 DSLRs are easily the winner when it comes to the best kind of camera for speed and quality in shooting sports. The type of photographic camera you use is the easiest manner to divide good sports cameras from mediocre sports cameras.  DSLR cameras are better for sports photography considering they focus faster, tin shoot more frames per second, take very niggling shutter button delay, and have a bigger retentiveness buffer.

More on that in a minute. DSLRs also have a huge array of quality sports lenses to choose from in terms of how powerful (magnification) they are and how fast (maximum discontinuity) they are.

Are mirrorless cameras good for sports photography

DSLR cameras are nevertheless a better choice than mirrorless cameras right at present, but but because of lens choice and cost. There are more lens choices for DSLR cameras than mirrorless cameras. Otherwise, recently made mirrorless are fantabulous cameras for shooting sports and action photos.

Mirrorless cameras without a view finder are not good for sports photography. Viewfinders make it much easier to follow fast paced activeness with your camera held at eye level.

All DSLRs also have optical viewfinders.


Particularly with the DSLRs that have been introduced into the market in the last two years, newer cameras have such bully applied science congenital in that yous’re fortunate to exist looking right now.

Betoken and shoot cameras, bridge cameras, and cell telephone cameras tin’t possible perform to the level yous need when y’all’re photographing the fast action of sports or other activities that involve fast motion.

features to look for

At present accept a more than detailed look on what features a expert sports camera should have.


This is a must have feature. It’s very awkward to try and follow activeness past looking at an LCD screen on the back of a camera. A good camera for sports photography needs to take a viewfinder. I’d never recommend a camera without a viewfinder to shoot sports.

ii. FRAMES PER Second (FPS)
.  How many photos tin a camera accept within a one second time period? The less time that passes between each photograph taken means the more than likely y’all are to take successfully captured that perfectly timed activity photo. the right fourth dimension.

It really depends on the sport and how fast it is to estimate the minimum FPS needed. Mostly speaking, 5-7 frames per second is a minimum for having a squeamish stiff adventure of getting the right timing. Newer DSLRs and mirrorless cameras often accept 8 fps or faster capabilities.

tennis serve

A faster frame rate would accept less gaps in the action.
My Canon 5D was released in 2005, so it’s “aboriginal” technology.

I shot tennis star Jelena Jankovic with my Catechism 5D M1 at 3 frames per second. It was barely fast plenty to record her serve. The newer Canon 5D Mark 3 shoots at 6 frames per second. That’s not great by today’s standards, just it’s still actually good.

The Sony Alpha SLT-A77
can shoot at an astonishing 12 frames per second. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitively a remarkable instance of camera engineering that y’all would brag about if yous ain one. The Sony SLT-AT77 uses a
Translucent Mirror
and it is a
whole lot cheaper
than the high-end Canons or Nikons that professional person sports photographers use.


Your camera and lens combination must exist able to focus fast when you take a moving target. Fifty-fifty the slightest delay can hateful the difference between a sharp and a blurry action shot.

 How much zooming ability you need depends on distance to your subject. If you tin can get a lens with a nice range of zoom, like 5x or more, y’all’ll observe it more than versatile to employ.

The quality of lens is too of import, but you don’t need to buy a pro lens to get some great shots of your daughter playing soccer. A long time ago I made the mistake a cheap 100-300 Sigma zoom lens for $100 on ebay before I had the money to buy one of Canon’due south “L” telephoto lenses. The Sigma budget lens was going to be used to photograph the local high school soccer games.

Male child, was I disappointed. I used it with an early model DSLR which had a crop factor of i.6 for it’s sensor. So I thought that the corresponding 160 to 480mm zoom range would be nifty. The photos were bad. They were united nations-sharp and the lens produced a lot of chromatic aberration. Well-nigh recently, I’ve settle on a nice compromise between a crappy cheap and an expensive sports lens. For more on my newest sports lens, I wrote a detailed post on my Canon blog on the versatile Catechism 100-400mm lens.

tennis backhand

Frozen role player – Blurred ball


It’s that abrasive delay between the instant you press the shutter push and when yous actually take your photograph. Traditional point and shoot cameras and cell telephone cameras have a meaning filibuster which makes timing your shot just correct very challenging.

additional factors for a good sports camera

This isn’t too much of a factor anymore. Nowadays just about every photographic camera can give you extremely fast shutter speeds. Only check the shutter speed specs before you choose a camera for sports photography.  My starting time SLR was a Topcon Auto 100, made in the 1960s, and it’south top shutter speed was a paltry ane/500 second.

That would exist adequate for sports where the action is only moderately fast, just not good plenty for faster professional person sports to stop the action effectively.

 How many total photos can y’all accept in a real quick sequence before the memory buffer fills up? The buffer refers to the number of back-to-dorsum shots the photographic camera can take and save to memory before the camera freezes upward temporarily to process and save the images to your retentiveness card.

BATTERY LIFE.Many pro sports photographers use bombardment grips, accessories that double the number of photos they can have without a recharge and make vertical orientation less taxing on their arms and wrists. I call up that’due south overkill for the casual sports photographer similar yous and me. DSLR cameras accept great battery capacity and it’south a lot easier and cheaper to just buy a 3rd party backup battery instead.

best place to purchase the best photographic camera for sports

Information technology’s just a personal preference for me-I like shopping from home and I like reading the reviews that consumers have written near the products.  You have dozens of choices on where to purchase a skilful sports camera and that’s an in depth topic for another day.

No matter where you buy, Amazon is a peachy identify to read the reviews on a given product get-go,
you buy. Then purchase from your favorite source.

what camera settings for sports photography

Sports mode camera setting

Sports Way

About beginning sports photographers want to know the exact camera settings to become the best shot. There are ii ways to go. It does vary a chip, depending on the blazon of sports action yous are shooting and the lighting conditions at the time, but here are the quick guidelines to use.

Most pros shoot sports use a shutter speed of 1/000 of a second as a starting signal and they often set their aperture of the lens to its widest setting. Rather than merely take the “ready it and forget it” mentality of your camera’s SPORTS Manner, adopt the marvel of a child and try these ii photographic camera settings instead. You can read well-nigh all of the photographic camera settings, including sports style, in this post on photographic camera settings.


To go that sharp look where the action appears to be frozen, yous need a really quick shutter speed. Shutter priority mode lets you ready the shutter speed and the camera will take care of the residual to give you lot a properly exposed photo.

No matter what camera you lot use for your sports photography, this is the preferred setting to give you command over the verbal amount of sharpness (or motion mistiness) you lot want.

The central is to know the sport y’all are photographing enough to pick the right shutter speed.

Frozen action

1/800 2d

The shutter speed chart beneath gives you a few starting points for the best shutter speed to apply for various sports. Your distance and your bending to the move of your discipline both touch what shutter speed your camera needs to be assail to get perfectly abrupt photos.

Y’all won’t know the exact perfect shutter speed until you experiment a little. It’southward best to become a little faster than you lot demand to and and so you know you’ve got it covered. Here’s a table to give you a starting point on how to set your photographic camera’south shutter speed for good precipitous sports photos.

camera shutter speed for sports

Table of Best Shutter Speeds For Sports
Sports Photography Shutter Speed Recommendations

Unique Technique For Sports Photography

Nearly photographers prepare their camera on shutter priority mode to insure they freeze the sports action that they’re photographing. Here’s an alternative method for getting  sharp photos that I use in sure situations.


. Peculiarly when y’all accept changing light conditions, like sunday and shade or uneven lighting on the sports field, y’all might desire to simply set your discontinuity at it smallest f/end number (its widest opening).

If yous combine that with setting the ISO (the camera’southward sensitivity) manually at a high number, your photographic camera volition and then give you the fastest shutter speed it can and withal maintain a proper exposure.

Using aperture priority sounds counterintuitive when you want to control shutter speed, but essentially you’re optimizing the camera to get the fastest shutter speed with the conditions that are present..

Steer wrestler

Aperture = f/2.viii

 Tips for Taking Sports Photos

The camera you apply is vitally important is the success you have shooting sports, but your technique should not be forgotten every bit an important part of the equation.

1. MOVE It.

Find a position where the angle you lot choose gives you a overnice background behind your subject. I can’t tell you lot how many otherwise adept sports photos are ruined considering of distracting backgrounds. Finding a unique perspective to take your camera in can often produce the most interesting sports photos.


Shooting at a broad open lens aperture will requite you a shallow depth of field which may assist make the background mistiness. Information technology depends on subject and background distances. Alter your position on the sidelines to conceptualize a good spot where the background is plain when you photograph the moving sports target.

3. ISO.

Use the highest ISO where you yet satisfied with the quality of image that your camera delivers. Sometimes, when the lite is low, you’ll have to really max out your ISO just to become into the correct range of fast enough shutter speeds.

five recommended sports cameras

These five cameras are all good candidates. I kept this list to good sports cameras for beginners with affordable price tags. The starting time four of them are very affordable. The Sony a6100 is the cheapest sports photographic camera on the list and the Catechism 90D came in as the nigh expensive.

As an Amazon affiliate I receive a pocket-sized commission from qualifying purchases, at NO added price to you.

small sports dslr

The Canon SL2 is among the smallest DSLRs ever made. Information technology tin can shoot continuously at maximum speed of v.0 frames-per-second (fps) and has max shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. That’s skillful, not great. The focusing system is actually fast.

Equally a popular camera for soccer moms, due to its compact size, y’all can club one in a kit with the eighteen-135mm or 70-300mm lenses which are both great for shooting sports. You tin click the photo to become its electric current price.

nikon d3500

The Nikon D3500 can also shoot continuously at max speed of 5.0 fps and has max shutter speed of 1/4000 second. What I like is that information technology’s a lot cheaper than the Canon SL2 and even smaller than the SL2

It does not have a rotating LCD screen, which to some is no big deal. For me it’s improtant to accept for shooting videos for my blog. Click the photo to check the toll.

Catechism Insubordinate t7i

This camera has a slighter faster frame rate which is good for sports photography. The Canon Rebel t7i shoots at a faster 6.0 fps and has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 second. The rotating LCD screen is a big plus. It’s and so much meliorate for shooting  from high or lose perspectives as well every bit for shooting videos or photos of yourself.

One bonus that the t7i has is time lapse recording. Although not of import in sports photography, it’s an added bonus that you would enjoy if you chose the t7i as your sports camera.

sony A6100

The Sony Alpha 6100 can shoot 8 fps with live view and 11 fps without live view. It’s the but mirrorless that made into my summit 5 cameras for sports photography. It’s not every bit pricey equally the other mirrorless sports cameras.

According to DPReview:
“i of the best family or travel c

ameras we’ve always used”

Click the photo for current pricing.

Canon 90D

The Catechism 90D does then many things and then well (including sports) that I’m ownership 1 for myself. Max shutter speed is a lightning quick one/8000 second and shoots the fastest in 10.0 fps. The dual pixel focusing is remarkably fast.

This is more of a long term sports photographic camera choice. It’southward a little higher up the nutrient chain in terms of quality and immovability and comes with the higher cost tag too.

closing thoughts on the best camera for sports

For the coin, the Canon 90D was the best option when I was looking for a photographic camera for sports and action photography.

Information technology’south non as big or heavy as the 1Dx “Pro” serial (I’k a Canon shooter) and is labeled as a prosumer camera. It shoots at 10 frames per second, has fast focus tracking capabilities, plenty of pixels, and is priced remarkably affordable.

I’m non a pro sports lensman, but I can get perfectly timed sports photos similar this one below.

Soccer Action Photo
I shot this with a Canon 90D
100-400mm zoom lens. F/5.6 @ 1/1000 second.

All of these considerations nosotros’ve mentioned come up into play every bit well as your personal preferences and the specific sport that y’all are photographing.

So in conclusion, in that location but isn’t one best photographic camera for sports photography-there are many that you’ll love shooting with. The good news is that you have many choices to consider.

Relish the search for your best sports photography camera and take a blast.  But don’t take too much fourth dimension in choosing. Yous could get paralysis from over analysis and could miss that one great sports photograph.

Stay inspired!

Article published by Bruce Lovelace


Bruce is the publisher of Better Digital Photo Tips. Read more on the


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