Sports Photography


Standard Member
Hi Guys,

I am new on here and at the moment I'm really looking for some advice on what type of camera/equipment I would need for taking sports actiobn shots (namely football).

I should say that I am fairly new to digital photography, (I am more used to 35mm). I did purchase an Olympus Camedia Digital Camera( with 10x zoom) about 14 months ago but because of the time lag (something the guy in Jessops didnt mention at the time !) after pressing the shutter release the results have been less than stisfactory. I have been looking at the Nikon Coolpix 8700 plus a telephoto converter; but before I purchase anything I thought I would ask someone who is more familiar and knowledgeable about digital equipment.

I am open to suggestions / recommendations and at present would have about £500 to spend (less if possible). So, ideas please? :confused:


DSLR would be the way to go as these have very little shutter lag and you can by fast lenses that would be ideal for sports photography. You may struggle to get everything you need for £500 though. It may be worth looking at a second hand 300D on ebay as a starting point.



I don't own a DSLR but there are plenty on here that do. They'd be better qualified to advise on a reasonable price and the type of lens you'd need.



Standard Member
If you want pictures that look like you see in the newspapers a DSLR and large lens is the only way. Problem comes with the cost. You will need at least a 300mm lens and you will need to get light into the camera quick enough to stop the action. That means a large diameter lens - f2.8 or f4 so you can get in the 1/200 sec or less range.

Have a look on ebay - but be prepared to be confused by the range of lenses on offer. You will see used prices hold up well for lenses that are worth having. So you can buy what you can afford now and trade up to something better later.

With Canon you will be looking at 'EF' fitting lenses.

I had a go with local cricket with a 70-200mm lens a while back this is the thread where I posted some pictures - as you can see 200mm is not long enough.

Don't know if you can do what you want on your budget.


You ahould be alright with a 70-300 and these start quite cheap. i'm told the one to go for is the Sigma AF 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO DG Macro Super (Canon AF Fit) at 160 quid (read dpreview).

It's f5.6 at the long end so you will need a bit of light but as long as it is fairly sunny / bright then you are ok, otherwise bump up the ISO a bit. A 350d might be better at higher ISO than a 300d but it depends on what you can afford.

Focus wise, manual will be better if you can predict where the action is going to be or it is over 10 or so metres away, as the camera will recognise this as infinity ( depends on the lens i think), otherwise, just use the sports mode, especially if you are new to the camera.

Just a note too, the 300d does 4 shots before the buffer fills up and slows down at 2.8fps (i think), the 350d does 14 shots before the buffer fills at 3fps.

Oh and get a big CF card !!!

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