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Which camera settings should I use for sports photos?



Many people buy DSLRs and other cameras because they want to take good sports photos; This is one of the areas where your smartphone can not cut it. Here are the camera settings that you can generally use to get the best results.

The equipment you need for sports photography

The biggest challenge in sports photography is distance: for most sports, you're stuck up to a few hundred yards away during the action on the side. If you do not want to roll the pitch up and down, a telephoto lens is the best tool to take good shots.

RELATED: What is a telephoto lens? Focal length longer than about 70 mm should work well for most sports. I have taken a lot of sport photos with a Canon 1

8-135mm. For more lens recommendations, see our manuals for the best lenses for your Canon or Nikon camera.

Sport photos can now be taken without a telephoto lens. You just have to be much more aware of the staging and you will miss more shots.

Shooting time for sports photos

Shutter speed is usually the most important setting in sports photography. That will freeze the action. The shutter speed you use depends on the sport you record.

RELATED: What shutter speed should I use with my camera?

Shutter speeds are faster than 1/1000 Second, pretty much everything will freeze, even fast-moving cars. But for most sports, you do not have to go that fast.

Shutter speeds between 1 / 500th of a second and 1 / 1000th of a second freeze every moving human, even though it moves quickly Balls – like tennis or baseball – can have a small motion blur.

shutter speeds between 1/100 second and 1/500 second will freeze most of the motions . A fast sprinter or someone who swings his arms or legs probably has some motion blur. If you use a long lens, there is also a risk that the shutter speed will not be fast enough to prevent camera shake in your hands.

In general, it's better to choose a faster shutter speed than you Think if you try to freeze the action. When shooting in the daylight, I usually try to use a shutter speed of at least 1 / 800th of a second.

The other option is to use a slightly longer shutter speed than to freeze the camera subject. A little motion blur on the edges adds a sense of speed and action.

Sports photo iris

Shutter speed is so important for sports photography that the iris takes a back seat. You must use a shutter that is large enough to get the shutter speed you want.

This often means you need to shoot with the maximum aperture of your lens: Aperture 4 and Aperture 5.6, two maximum aperture of the telephoto lens. Both work well for sports photography. If you want more depth of field, you can use about f / 8 or f / 11. You just have to watch your shutter speed.

CONNECTION: What aperture should I use with my camera?

ISO for sports photos

Like sports photo aperture The ISO selection depends on the shutter speed you want to use. Our general advice regarding ISO is the attitude of the lowest attitude you can afford. While this is still true, increasing the ISO value is often the only option you need to get a fast shutter speed. You should not be surprised if you need to set the value to 400, 800 or even 1600 to get a shutter speed shorter than a thousandth of a second.


Shutter speed is usually the most important consideration in sports photography. I still prefer to take pictures in aperture priority mode – and recommend it to you. Just make sure your shutter speed stays fast enough and open the shutter, or increase the ISO setting when it starts to fall off.


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