Kayak

Explore Sports Lenses

Every Split Second Counts

Sport and action photography is about speed and accuracy, every split-second counts, and you only ever get one chance to capture that winning shot. For the very best results it’s important to have the right combination of camera and zoom lens. Some products mentioned below are in Cashback. To find out more click here.

kayak

This page will act as a short guide on what to think about when taking action photography and our recommendations on ideal Canon Camera bodies and lenses to choose whether you are new to the genre, an experienced enthusiast or a professional. At the bottom of the page you will find some useful hints and tips.

Don't Compromise

When every split-second counts, you want a lens with a good zoom capability to get up close to often dangerous and fast moving subjects. Make sure your kit bag doesn't let you down.

Compatibility: EOS cameras and EF lenses work together for the very best results. EF lens mounts connect the lenses electronically enabling highly accurate real time data transfer. Only genuine Canon lenses on Canon cameras gives you optimum performance in both speed of autofocus and image quality.

Reliability: Canon lenses are built with outstanding optics that keep colours accurate and contrast high for best in colour reproduction and highly detailed images. The specially developed coating on Canon lenses resists smudging and reduces lens flair when shooting in bright sunlight.

table with camera lens racket water bottle

Product Recommendations & Winning Combinations


Getting Started

WATERSKIER

If you are taking your first foray into sports and action photography the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM zoom lens is a great place to start. It has a lightweight, compact design that you can take everywhere, with a strong 250mm zoom capability to get you up close from a distance, ideal when you are tracking a faraway subject. The addition of Image Stabilizer reduces blur from camera shake, a really important feature when you zoom in up close.

If you’re looking for a camera body too, check out the 24.2MP EOS 800D. It can shoot up to 6 frames per second bursts, ideal for capturing a fast-moving subject on the move or in the air. A generous 45 Auto focus points, a favourite feature with sports photographers, is particularly useful for focus tracking a subject in motion.

Advanced and Pro Users

If you are at a level where you are happy to invest more in your kit for optimum quality and performance, we suggest you look at two of our most popular zoom lenses: the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM and the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.

The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM with a maximum 300mm telephoto focal length helps you to get close to your subject and fill the frame. A Nano USM allows you to focus on subjects quickly, smoothly and quietly, ideal for capturing still shots of fast-moving subjects. A 9-bladed circular aperture helps to separate your subject from its surroundings by creating beautiful background blur. With near silent operation and improved Image Stabilization, be sure to check it out.

lens

The powerful EOS 7D MkII DSLR shoots bursts of images at up 10 frames per second, with full autofocus and auto exposure, meaning you'll capture the split-second moment you are chasing. A generous buffer lets you keep shooting without a drop in performance and for pin-sharp focus it has 65 focus points to track fast moving subjects.

The professional EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is ideal for photographers who are travelling light and don’t want to compromise. A great choice for sports photography, the 100-400mm zoom range puts you right at the heart of the action, and lets you react quickly in a fast-changing situation.

The latest lens technology from Canon is capable of shooting any fast action from planes in flight to high speed motor racing. The powerful 400mm maximum length will get you closer to the action than ever before without sacrificing autofocus performance or image quality.

The 5D Mark IV with EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is the perfect combination for sports and action photography.

The 5D Mark IV with EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is the perfect combination for sports and action photography.

The EOS 5D Mark IV is built for those who demand the very highest standards, delivering images that are packed with detail, even in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows. It advanced focusing and metering captures moments and tracks them the instant they happen, even in difficult lighting, and the 7 frame-per-second burst ensures you’ll never miss subjects on the move. No matter what you’re shooting, be assured of uncompromising image quality and a thoroughly professional performance.

Canon EOS 5D IV_EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Sports and Action Photography Hints and Tips

It’s unlikely you can change your surroundings or the conditions you are shooting in, so preparation with your cameras set up is vital. Your subject will often be moving quite fast so having the correct shutter speed, aperture size and ISO settings to match the conditions are key.

When photographing something that is moving at speed, good autofocus is important so the camera always stays in focus. The more autofocus or AF points the camera has the better it will be at tracking moving subjects. To ensure your focus stays on the subject make sure your camera is set AI servo and continuous high-speed burst mode so you don’t miss the shot.

Setting up your shot for lighting and focus beforehand will help, then you can track the subject as they come into view and follow them to the position you have chosen to capture the shot. This is a classic panning shot. Panning is a great skill to learn for sports photography. This is where you move the camera from one side to the other in a horizontal or vertical plane following your subject. This will result in the subject looking sharp whilst the background will have the illusion of movement.

Another key factor is shutter speed. You can either slow the shutter speed down to create a slight motion and blur to the image; or freeze the subject with no movement using a fast shutter speed.

Photo Companion App

Learn more about your camera and photography with the Canon Photo Companion app.

Our Photo Companion app works to advance your knowledge of photography by giving you access to tailored articles and tutorials.

Find out more and download now

Canon Photo Companion App