Best Canon Camera for Sports Photography

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sport photography

You can shoot sport with just about any camera, but some cameras offer special features that can give you a very good chance to catch the exact and perfect shot. These features may include the following:

High shutter speeds

Most consumer-level digital cameras can shoot at shutter speeds up to 1/1000th of a second, which usually is plenty fast enough to stop the action of a moving subject. But sometimes you need a faster shutter speed to freeze these fleeting, dramatic moments in time. Photographers who shoot high-speed action, such as motorsports, typically find that 1/1000th of a second isn’t fast enough to freeze the action properly. But using a fast camera, for example, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II gives you a max shutter speed of 1/8000sec, which is eight times faster.

sport photography

High frame rates

Continuous Shooting mode known as ‘burst’ mode is a feature that allows you to take multiple photographs within a short timeframe and in rapid succession. The speed of a camera’s Continuous Shooting mode is based on how many photos the camera can take within one second – such as 10 frames per second. The higher frame per second is the more chances that you will find the perfect shots among the taken ones.

There are some limitations that come with shooting in burst mode, you should be aware of them:

  • The camera will not usually have time to directly save your images to your memory card. Instead, most cameras have a ‘buffering’ system that stores the shot up until you finish shooting. It then sends them to the card. The more shots you take the longer it will take after you stop shooting before you can start shooting again as the process does usually take a fair bit of processing power from your camera.
  • Most cameras have a limit to how many shots they will allow you to take in this mode. The number of shots allowed will depend upon numerous factors including the format you’re shooting in (i.e. RAW files are bigger and you can’t shoot as many in a row) and the size of images you’re shooting.
  • Obviously the more shots you take the quicker you’ll run out of batteries and the faster you’ll fill your memory card.

sport photography

Fast autofocus system

There are two autofocus systems currently used in modern DSLR cameras: phase detection and contrast detection autofocus.

  • Contrast detection AF

Contrast detection AF works by analyzing pixels on the camera’s sensor. It works on the basis that the subject is in focus when contrast is highest. To find that point it has to push the focusing point of the lens back and forth. As a result contrast detection, AF is slower than phase detection AF. But it’s far more accurate at focusing on still subjects.

  • Phase detection AF

Phase detection is used mostly in SLR viewfinder shooting. It analyzes the difference between slightly different wavelengths of light, instantly determining both the direction to move the lens and how far its optics needs to move for the sharpest focus. Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF uses phase detection in Live View shooting for high-quality, fast focusing.

If you’re into sports photography or anything that uses the AF tracking and continuous focusing abilities of your camera, then phase detection AF works better.

sport photography

Photobacks Sports Package

Recommended Canon cameras for sport photography

Browse the top-ranked list of Canon Cameras for Sports below

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II 

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

The EOS-1D X Mark II is Canon’s newest flagship DSLR aimed at pro-level photographers. A quick glance reveals the camera’s 1D-series heritage, but under the hood, there are some exciting upgrades going on. The 1D X II is built around a new 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, now with Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus system, includes an expanded 61-point autofocus system with 24% more coverage and a 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, and is one of the first Canon DSLRs (other than the somewhat niche 1D C) that captures 4K video.

Canon 1D X Mark II Key Specifications

  • New 20.2MP CMOS full-frame sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus
  • Max Resolution: 5472 x 3648
  • Up to 14 fps at 20.2 MP for up to 170 Frames in Raw Format (16 fps in live view)
  • Shutter Type: Electronic & Mechanical, Speed: 30 – 1/8000 Second
  • 200+ shot buffer with Raw and JPEG (CFast 2.0)
  • 61-point AF system with 41 cross-type sensors and 24% more coverage
  • 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
  • ISO Sensitivity Auto/Manual, 100 – 25600 (expandable to 50-409,600)
  • 4K/60p video in DCI format (4096 x 2160 pixels) using Motion JPEG
  • Max Video Clip Length: 4096 x 2160: 29 Minutes, 59 Seconds
  • 62 million dot LCD touchscreen
  • Flicker detection
  • CFast 2.0 card support
  • USB 3.0
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3″ / 158.0 x 167.6 x 82.6 mm
  • Weight: 3.37 lb./ 1530 g CIPA, with battery and memory card

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The 5D Mark IV DSLR offers a newly developed 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor paired with the DIGIC 6+ image processor in order to balance fine detail and resolution with low-light performance and sensitivity. It is able to work within a native range of ISO 100-32000, which can then be expanded to an impressive ISO 50-102400, for sharp, low-noise images in a variety of conditions. Along with these improvements to image quality, users will enjoy a performance boost across the board with an enhanced AF system, built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS, and much more.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Key Specifications

  • 4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting
  • Max resolution: 6720 x 4480
  • Shutter Type: Electronic & Mechanical: Speed: 30 – 1/8000 Second, Bulb Mode
  • Up to 7 fps at 30 MP for up to 21 Frames in Raw Format
  • Phase Detection: 61-point AF system with 41 cross-points for expanded vertical coverage
  • ISO range 100-32000 with 50-102400 expansion
  • 4K video recording at 30p or 24p and in-camera still frame grab of 8.8MP images
  • 2″ Rear Touchscreen LCD
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 170.0°
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0″ / 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9 mm
  • Weight: 1.76 lb / 800 g body only

Canon EOS 6D Mark II 

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II camera puts the full-frame performance into a compact, fully featured DSLR. Its 26.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 7 Image Processor help deliver amazing results even at expanded ISO settings. The EOS 6D Mark II also features an impressive optical viewfinder with 45 all cross-type AF points1, fast and accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF and a Vari-angle Touch Screen LCD for Live View operation. With the speed to capture the action, and the versatility to create phenomenal photographs and Full HD 60p videos in numerous environments and lighting situations.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II key specifications

  • Full-frame CMOS Sensor.
  • Pixels: Actual: 27.1 Megapixel, Effective: 26.2 Megapixel
  • Max Resolution: 6240 x 4160
  • Optical Viewfinder.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection & Full HD 60p.
  • Autofocus Points: Phase Detection: 45 (45 Cross-Type)
  • ISO Sensitivity Auto: 100-40000 (Extended Mode: 50-102400)
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor,. GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth low energy
  • Continuous Shooting: Up to 6.5 fps at 26.2 MP
  • Vari-angle Touch Screen, 3.0-inch LCD.
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9″ / 144.0 x 110.5 x 74.8 mm
  • Weight: 1.51 lb / 685 g body only

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV 

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Offering a comprehensive combination of speed, accuracy and image quality, the EOS-1D Mark IV is the perfect choice for professional photographers and subjects on the move. With a completely redesigned 45-point AF system including 39 cross-type points, a new AI Servo II AF focus tracking system with improved algorithm combined with 10 fps continuous shooting, the EOS-1D Mark IV can handle even high-speed situations with ease. An APS-H sized 16.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 4 image processors, a spectacular ISO range of 100-12800 (up to 102400 in H3 mode) with an advanced noise reduction system helps ensure sharp, low-noise images in even low-light situations. Add advanced Live View shooting, Full HD movie recording with selectable frame rates and manual exposure control plus a host of new features that enhance every facet of the shooting process. The EOS-1D Mark IV is the choice of professionals looking for the ultimate in SLR performance.

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV key specifications

  • 1-megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 imaging processors
  • 45-point Area AF sensor including 39 cross-type AF points with f/2.8 support
  • ISO 100-12,800 for shooting from bright to dim light with low noise levels
  • EOS HD movie with manual exposure control and multiple frame rates; 3.0-inch Clear View II LCD monitor
  • Magnesium alloy body with shutter durability up to 300,000 cycles and exclusive dust-and-weather resistance
  • Body only, lenses sold separately; capture images to CF Card Type I and II, SD/SDHC (not included)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Designed with a penchant for speed, the 7D Mark II is characterized by its APS-C-sized 20.2MP CMOS sensor, dual DIGIC 6 image processors, and a top continuous shooting rate of 10 fps. Both a 65-point all cross-type phase-detection AF system and Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology benefit fast, accurate focusing performance for both the optical viewfinder and live view shooting. Additionally, the combination of the dual image processors along with the CMOS sensor also contributes to enhanced low-light sensitivity to a native ISO 16000, which is further expandable to ISO 51200. The 7D Mark II comfortably performs in a range of challenging situations, and while ideally situated as a tool for sports and wildlife photographers, it resides equally as well in the hands of contemporary multimedia image-makers.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Key Specifications

  • 2 Megapixel CMOS APS-C Sensor supporting next-generation Dual Pixel CMOS sensor-based AF
  • 0 fps continuous shooting for up to 130 JPG/31 RAW frames
  • Dual DIGIC 6 Processors
  • Highly customizable AF system featuring 65 All Cross-Type AF Points with f/8 center point sensitive to -3 EV extreme low-light conditions
  • ISO 100-16000 with expansion to 51200
  • Built-in GPS receiver with a digital compass records location information (longitude, latitude, elevation, direction and UTC time) to EXIF
  • Improved custom controls with built-in Intervalometer and bulb timer
  • 60 fps 1080p video, speed, and sensitivity-customizable Movie Servo AF, MOV, and MP4 recording formats and uncompressed HDMI out
  • Magnesium alloy body, shutter durability rating up to 200,000 cycles, and enhanced dust and weather resistance
  • EOS Scene Detection System features a new 150,000-pixel RGB+IR Metering Sensor for improved precision
  • 0-inch Clear View II LCD monitor (approximately 1,040,000 dots)
  • Flicker Mode adjusts shutter release timing to avoid flickering light issues
  • Dual Memory Card Slots supporting one CF (UDMA Mode 7) and one SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) memory card
  • 100% view, 1.00x magnification Intelligent Viewfinder II
  • Distortion correction joins Canon’s previously introduced in-camera chromatic aberration and peripheral illumination correction
  • New LP-E6N Battery and Battery Grip BG-E16

Canon EOS 80D 

Canon EOS 80D

the Canon EOS 80D further clarifies itself using a pair of robust focusing systems and an intuitive design. Featuring a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 image processor, this sleek DSLR is capable of capturing high-resolution images at up to 7 fps and Full HD 1080p60 video, both with reduced noise and high sensitivity up to an expanded ISO 25600 for working in difficult lighting conditions. When working with the optical viewfinder, an apt 45-point all cross-type AF system affords fast performance in a range of lighting conditions for tracking moving subjects and working in low light, while the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system benefits live view shooting and movie recording by providing a smooth, a natural focusing quality akin to the way a camcorder acquires focus. Touch-to-focus is availed by the large 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD, which also sports a swiveling vari-angle design for working from high and low angles with ease. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC allows you to pair mobile devices with the camera to wirelessly transfer files for sharing your photos and movies online. More than just a well-connected DSLR, the 80D is equally matched in imaging versatility due to its inclusion of multimedia feature-sets for stills shooting and movie recording.

Canon EOS 80D key specifications

  • 2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • Max Resolution: 24 MP: 6000 x 4000
  • DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • 0″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • Autofocus Points: Phase Detection 45 (45 Cross-Type)
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Shutter: 30 – 1/8000 Second, Bulb Mode
  • ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-16000 (Extended Mode: 100-25600)
  • Continuous Shooting: Up to 7 fps at 24.2 MP for up to 25 Frames in Raw Format and Up to 7 fps at 24.2 MP for up to 110 Frames in JPEG Format
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
  • RGB+IR 7560-Pixel Metering Sensor
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1″ / 139.0 x 105.2 x 78.5 mm
  • Weight: 1.61 lb / 730 g

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR is an outstanding still photography option and an able 4K-capable video machine. This multimedia maven offers a newly developed 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor paired with the DIGIC 6+ image processor in order to balance fine detail and resolution with low-light performance and sensitivity. It is able to work within a native range of ISO 100-32000, which can then be expanded to an impressive ISO 50-102400, for sharp, low-noise images in a variety of conditions. Along with these improvements to image quality, users will enjoy a performance boost across the board with an enhanced AF system, built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS, and much more.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III key specifications

  • 4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
  • 2″ 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
  • DCI 4K Video at 30 fps; 8.8MP Still Grab
  • Phase Detection AF: 61 (41 Cross-Type)
  • Native ISO 32000, Expanded to ISO 102400
  • Dual Pixel RAW; AF Area Select Button
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF
  • Shutter Speed: 30 – 1/8000 Second, Bulb Mode
  • Continuous Shooting: Up to 7 fps at 30 MP for up to 21 Frames in Raw Format and Up to 7 fps at 30 MP for Unlimited Frames
  • Built-In GPS and Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0″ / 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9 mm
  • Weight 76 lb / 800 g body only

Canon EOS Rebel T6s

Canon EOS Rebel T6s

The Canon EOS Rebel T6s DSLR Camera from Canon is the first of its class to feature a top LCD panel, a Quick Control dial, and a horizontal level. This camera also packs a high-resolution 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 6 Image Processor into a compact body, enabling shooting in a wide variety of conditions, from bright sunlight to dim indoor scenarios due to ISO performance of up to 12,800, which can be expanded to 25,600. The APS-C camera has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC that allows for wireless transfer of images and video to social networks and cloud storage via the Camera Connect mobile app. Also, NFC enables a fast connection to mobile devices as well as the CS100 Connect Station.

Canon EOS Rebel T6s key specifications

  • 2 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • 0″ 1.04m-dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Shutter Speed: 1/4000 – 30 Seconds
  • 19-Pt. Cross-Type AF, Hybrid CMOS AF III
  • Expanded ISO 25600, 5 fps Shooting
  • 7560-Pixel RGB+IR Metering Sensor
  • EOS Scene Analysis
  • Top LCD Panel & Quick Control Dial
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.2 x 4.0 x 3.1″ / 13.2 x 10.2 x 7.9 cm
  • Weight : 19.93 oz / 565.02 g

When choosing which cameras to buy, the following things should be taken into account:

  • Experts’ recommendations and personal experience
  • User reviews
  • Camera capabilities (fast focusing and high frame rate)
  • Price

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  • Canon is one of the leading companies in the world of photography. Sports photography need quite a very quality kind of camera for details oriented pictures and videos. The clearer the pictures, the more interesting it is to watch sports photography, thanks for sharing.

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