Anyone interested in sports photography needs a camera with specific strengths. For professionals, the market is limited to the models of two manufacturers. The purchase prices are well into the four-digit range. Ambitious amateur photographers should not be discouraged by this, because there are also opportunities for them to get into sports photography.
Important features of a sports photography camera
As long as it is not about golf, chess or snooker, there is rapid movement on the playing field or the racetrack. If you have the subject in the viewfinder, a sharp image should be the result after the shutter release. A fast autofocus module and correspondingly high ISO values are indispensable. For good pictures, there should be no annoying image noise even at high ISO settings.
Sample photos from other users on the Internet show you the quality of the photos at high ISO values. Image noise is also a central topic in test reports. Above all, it is important that the image noise is not simply suppressed by the software inside the camera. The result is a calculation and color change of pixels, where the contours can get lost.
Since the subject remains in motion, the continuous shooting function is also exciting. You can compare the efficiency of the series recording in the offers of the manufacturers. You need a fast memory card to process the shots – otherwise it will slow down the series shots unnecessarily. The memory card should be able to hold a large number of images in good quality. It is optimal if the camera has a second slot for another memory card.
When it comes to the point, important settings should not be hidden in the menu. A good camera for sports photography therefore has buttons that can be grasped quickly and easily. It also feels good in the hand. It’ll prevent her from slipping away from you in the heat of battle. For outdoor photography, splash water protection against rain is ideal. In general, you should pay attention to a robust workmanship and feel when using a camera for sports photography.
Hobby and professional sports photography
All above mentioned features are combined in cameras of the highest price range. Since most camera manufacturers want to appeal to the mass market, professional sports photographers will find the models of their choice in the Canon and Nikon brands. Hobby photographers can also purchase these models, but should be aware that they are investing in pure luxury. You should therefore have the appropriate budget or be enthusiastic about the topic to the fullest extent so that this investment pays off. With up to 250,000 photos, the top models have a longer lifetime than normal cameras. You can therefore buy a used camera with a clear conscience if you don’t want to do without the top performance.
As a rule, however, hobby photographers do not need many features of the expensive professional equipment. If you don’t have to deliver perfect pictures in wind and weather, the splash water protection is not necessary. Nor does it have to be the fastest continuous shooting function. Because unlike sports journalists, your income doesn’t depend on having a certain scene 100% in the box.
Errors and rejects are allowed. This tolerance can already significantly reduce the price range of the cameras that come into question for you. Models from other manufacturers can therefore also be used for sports photography if they offer strong autofocus, fast image sequences and high ISO values with low image noise. The results are impressive, even if they don’t cost thousands of euros and have to adorn the front page of a sports journal.
Both professionals and ambitious amateur photographers will find suitable cameras for sports photography. With some research and a willingness to compromise, you can save a lot of money. For sports photography in particular, the choice of lens is much more important than that of the camera.