Whilst capturing sports can be extremely rewarding, it also presents a number of challenges. As a sports photographer, you’ll need remain poised so you don’t miss any of the action, however, you also need the right sports photography equipment to help you make the most of each shot. That’s why we’ve put together our top picks for sports photography equipment, to get you started in this exciting and thrilling photography field.

What do I need on my sports photography equipment list?

If you’re looking to venture into the world of sports photography, there are a few essentials that you’ll need to add to your sports photography equipment list. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the things you may need, but it provides a basic overview of the items in a typical sports photographer’s kit.

  • Digital camera bodies
  • Extra camera batteries
  • 70-200 telephoto zoom lens (or 70-300)
  • 1.5x teleconverter
  • 2.0x teleconverter
  • 300m telephoto lens
  • Shoe mount strobe
  • Superclamp
  • Monopods
  • Radio remotes
  • Lens cleaning kit
  • Flashes
  • Wheeled camera case
  • Camera coat
  • Memory cards
  • Laptop with extra memory
  • Tripod

As you can see, sports photography requires a range of specialised, high tech and often expensive equipment to carry out the job well. This makes it even more important to keep your kit protected with a rugged camera case. With a Peli hard camera case, you’ll have no doubts that your expensive equipment is safe from harm when travelling from shoot to shoot, or when simply keeping your sports photography equipment in storage.

We’ve taken a look at some of these pieces of equipment in detail to help you find the best models to add to your kit.

The best monopod for sports photography

A monopod is a single-legged stand for your camera. Whilst tripods provide ample stability, they are often cumbersome to set up and move around. On the other hand, monopods allow for easy movement and set up, which makes them a great tool for sports photographers chasing the action of a sports game.

The Sirui P-306 monopod is the perfect pick for any sports photographer looking for a lightweight stability solution. Weighing in at just 0.55 kilograms, you won’t have any trouble navigating a sporting event with this and your camera. It also has a wrist strap, cold weather grip, rubber foot and metal spike to ensure maximum stability for your photography.

The best Canon camera for sports photography

Canon and Nikon are the front runner brands in the camera game, and their offering isn’t just limited to consumer DSLRs. Both brands also have a range of models that are suited to the needs of sports photographers.

If you’re looking for the best Canon camera for sports photography, look no further than the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. This camera sports features such as a 20.2MP full frame sensor, 61-point autofocus (AF) and continuous shooting up to 14fps with full AF, making it the ideal companion for any professional sports photographer.

The best Nikon camera for sports photography

The Nikon D5 professional DSLR camera is one of the best Nikon cameras for sports photography that money can buy. This camera sports a revolutionary 153-point autofocus system, allowing for the ultimate precision when capturing those picture-perfect moments at sporting events. You can also capture up to 200 RAW photos in one ‘burst’ shot, therefore, you won’t miss any of those crucial shots.

Of course, you’ll need an equally high-quality lens to make the most of the Nikon D5’s amazing features. However, the D5 makes it that little bit easier to capture that perfect picture.

The best lens for sports photography from Nikon

Now that we’ve found the best Nikon camera for sports photography, which lens is best to go with it? As mentioned above, it’s best to opt for a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens, as this covers a wide range of sports, no matter whether you’re close to the action or far away.

As a result, the Nikkor 70-200mm lens is a great pick for a sports photographer looking to get the most sharp and stable photos. With a vibration reduction stabilisation system, a silent wave motor for quiet autofocusing and a crystal coating to reduce glare, you won’t have any trouble capturing your best sports photography yet with this lens.

The best lens for sports photography from Canon

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L lens is the ultimate all-rounder for professionals looking to perfect their sports photography. With this lens, you’ll benefit from exceptional image quality, a quick and quiet autofocus and background blurring that can make your subject stand out from the crowds.

No matter whether you’re capturing your local football team’s game, or an international sporting event like the Olympics, the Canon EF 400mm will help you to take your sports photography to the next level with ease.

As the old saying goes, ‘a man is only as good as his tools’, so it’s important to take your time, browse the different options available and make sure that you’re getting the right sports photography equipment to suit your exact needs. Once you’ve got all of your tools, don’t forget to keep them protected with a Peli hard camera case, and you’ll have everything you need to up your sports photography game.