Outdoor Sports Photography - Settings and Equipment
Sports Photography
March 6, 2020

If you are attracted to photography and outdoor sports is your favorite hobby, then what else could be the best place to start learning photography. Sports photography is indeed a very popular genre of photography, not just as a profession but also as a major interest and passion.

So here is a blog to educate about this genre right from scratch. Keep reading to know what camera and lens to buy and learn basic settings to get started.


Equipment Required For Sports Photography


Camera & Lens:


A camera with fast auto-tracking and continuous shooting mode is going to be your best friend. It will let you capture the action with perfection. DSLRs are the best choice for sports photographers. Full frame sensors by Nikon are popular amongst sports photographers, however, it lies on the expensive side. So as a beginner, you can also go for cropped sensors that are still affordable. However, full-frame bodies will give you the ideal performance. A prime lens is ideal, for its sharp performance, which is most necessary to capture the action in the game with precision. Along with that, a zoom lens is also preferred by sports photographers, because you are often too far away from the scene and reaching it is not possible. Most photographers carry two cameras for these two lenses, as there is hardly any time to switch the lenses between the game.


Low Profile Tripod Or Monopod:


A low profile tripod gives the photographs a great action look. Unlike the normal perspective, a low perspective is going to click the passion in a shot perfectly. 

A monopod is very handy and will give you great mobility to capture a shot from any angle, side or perspective.


LCD Viewfinder:


An LCD viewfinder will act as your best friend in an outdoor day sport. As the sun makes it very difficult to look into the camera. And you can’t always go around looking for shade to be in. In that case, use an LCD viewfinder for your camera, to make sure you see clear, to adjust the correct settings and click a perfect picture.


Sling Strap & Gear Protection:


A sling strap to hang the camera around your neck. As you can’t always open your bag and waste a precious second. And also make your camera ready to tackle any weather condition. Be it rain, wind or dust. You should always protect your gears first. You can carry the protections by taking a prior judgment of the weather.


Camera Settings To Learn


Use Continuous Autofocus:


Using Continuous AutoFocus will let your camera track the movement with great precision. To begin with, keep the focus on the center of your subject and let the shutter halfway down, so when you feel like it's the right time, you can hit the shutter completely down, while your camera controls the focus.


Shutter Speed:


Keep your shutter speed very fast. Setting it faster than 1/1000th of a second can capture anything at a very fast pace. Between 1/500 - 1/1000 will let you capture a flying ball or a running player. And 1/100 - 1/500 is good for capturing humans at the action. You obviously can't keep changing the settings, so the idea is to go with a shutter speed of 1/800th of a second.


Aperture Setting:


An aperture setting that will support the above-given shutter speed will be to keep it to a minimum of f/4 and f/5.6. 

And keep the ISO setting to the lowest possible.


Use Burst Mode:


Click at least 4 to 6 shots at a time. Burst mode will ensure you multiple opportunities to click the same frame. So even if you use the perfect exposure triangle, burst mode will make it sure that out of all the frames you click, there is at least one photograph, that will be perfect.




Always click pictures in JPEG. they let your camera hit the shutter faster and consume less space. And every second is very precious in sports photography, so you can’t afford to waste it, while your camera processes to produce a RAW photograph.



This equipment and the settings, when put together along with your practice and efforts will definitely make you a better sports photographer with every shot you take. The key is to keep practicing until you rectify all your mistakes and feel confident to get on the field. 

Sports Photography
Copy link
About Author
Officially responsible to educate, inspire, and recognize photographers. :) :)
Be the first person to like this
Read this next
How To Shoot Low Light Indoor Sports Photography?

Indoor sports photography can be a bit challenging because the light is different everywhere and you have little or no control over it. So the camera settings go a little bit different than an outdoor sports event.

In th