Photography / Buying Guide

10 Recommended Cameras for Sports, Wildlife, and Action Photography

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Whether you’re shooting a basketball game from the sidelines or the great wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara, you’re going to want a camera with a lens that’s fast enough to catch all of the action. While some prefer the flexibility of an interchangeable-lens system with a large sensor, others dislike the bulk and weight of the gear involved. Fortunately for us all, technology is catching up to those of us who want a small camera with a large sensor and the ability to change lenses. Whatever your preference may be—below is a list of ten cameras recommended for sports, wildlife, and action photography for your adventures in 2016.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR

For the absolute latest flagship release, the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II features a 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 6+ processors, and a 61-Point High Density Reticular Auto Focus II with 41 cross-type points and a center point sensitive to -3 EV. This durable magnesium-alloy body has been designed for the pro shooter, delivering 16 frames per second when working in live view, and 14 fps when working with the viewfinder, not to mention the ability to record up to 170 raw files in a single burst when using a CFast 2.0 memory card. An expanded sensitivity range from ISO 50-409600 allows for greater low-light performance. Furthermore, the weather- and dust-proof EOS-1D X Mark II supports DCI 4K-resolution video recording at up to 60 fps, along with Full HD 1080p shooting at 120 fps for slow-motion playback. A built-in GPS module allows for in-camera geo-tagging and auto time sync while Wi-Fi sharing and wireless remote control is supported when using the optional WFT-E8A Wireless File Transmitter.

Nikon D5 DSLR

Another recent release, the Nikon D5 houses a 20.8MP FX-format CMOS sensor, an EXPEED 5 processor, and 153-point Multi-CAM 20K phase-detect auto focusing. Photographers wanting to capture a fast-paced sports game or animals in the wilderness running at top speeds will be delighted by the 14 fps maximum continuous frame rate with fixed focus and mirror lock-up. For those desiring full auto exposure and focusing, a slight drop to 12 fps is sure to capture the perfect action-packed moment with precise focusing. Nighttime wildlife feed times and night games won’t be as challenging to shoot with the native sensitivity range from ISO 100-102400 and the expanded range of ISO 50-3280000. Photographers who also work in video will be pleased with the D5’s 4K UHD video-recording capabilities. Wi-Fi connectivity is possible with the optional WT-6A transmitter.


Nikon D500 DSLR

For flagship performance in a compact DX-format body, the Nikon D500 DSLR Camera is another recent release to the market. Featuring a 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor, it houses the same EXPEED 5 processor and 153-point Multi-CAM 20K phase-detect autofocusing as the D5 for significantly less of an investment. Sports and wildlife shooters alike will readily take advantage of the 10 fps continuous shooting rate for up to 200 frames in a single burst. The native sensitivity range from ISO 100-51200 with an expanded ISO 50-1640000 is able to handle tough lighting situations. The D500 also offers up to 4K UHD video recording at 30 fps. Multiple sharing options like the built-in SnapBridge Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, and Near Field Communication (NFC) are all supported to provide quick methods for connecting to your mobile device.

Canon 7D Mark II DSLR

Another APS-C offering, this time from Canon, is the Canon 7D Mark II, which features a 20.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with dual DIGIC 6 image processors and a continuous shooting rate of 10 fps. This fast action capture relies heavily upon the 65-point all cross type phase-detection AF system that makes it a great choice for sports and wildlife photographers. The combination of dual image processors and CMOS sensor contribute to the native ISO range of 100-16000, which can be expanded to ISO 51200. For those working across platforms, Full HD 1080p video recording is supported at up to 60 fps and benefits from Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast focusing during video and live view. 

Nikon 1 V3 Mirrorless Digital Camera

For a lot of speed in a compact mirrorless body, the Nikon 1 V3, available here with the 10-30mm kit lens, combines an 18.4MP 1" CMOS sensor and an EXPEED 4A image processor to achieve 20 frames per second with full-time autofocus capabilities. Once the focus position is fixed after the first frame is recorded, continuous shooting captures up to 60 fps—perfect when you’re close to the action. The intuitive Hybrid AF system combines both phase- and contrast-detection focusing methods to capture all of the action with extreme precision. In addition to the high-resolution still photographs, Full HD 1080p video recording is supported at 60 frames per second with a sensitivity of 12800 and full-time focusing for constant sharpness. While many photographers still wrinkle their noses at a tilting screen, it affords easier visibility from a variety of angles that would be otherwise impossible with a traditional viewfinder. For the traditionalist, an auxiliary electronic viewfinder is included. The camera’s built-in Wi-Fi enables you to quickly share photos immediately after recording them. For existing Nikon shooters looking for a compact camera solution, slip the FT-1 Mount Adapter onto the Nikon 1 V3 so you can work with all your favorite F-mount glass.  

Pentax K-3 II DSLR

Featuring a 24.35MP APS-C CMOS sensor, the Pentax K-3 II has a PRIME III image processor, optimized for high-speed shooting at 8.3 frames per second, and a competitive ISO range of 100-51200. Twenty-seven distinct phase-detection points include 25 cross-type for quickly and accurately pinpointing focus. Image quality and overall versatility is improved upon with a selectable anti-aliasing filter to gain higher resolution and sharpness or to protect against moiré. The sensor-shift design compensates for up to 4.5 stops of camera shake, aiding even the most experienced fast-action shooter, especially with longer focal lengths. Full HD 1080p video recording is supported in multiple frame rates along with time-lapse capture with the interval timer. 

Fujifilm X-T1 Mirrorless Digital Camera

For those wanting to take advantage of Fujifilm’s history in traditional film-based photography, several Film Simulation modes mimic some of the classic film types in the compact Fujifilm X-T1, which offers a 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and an EXR Processor II, both contributing to its top continuous shooting rate of 8 frames per second. The expandable ISO range, from ISO 100-51200 is equally competitive, as is its proprietary X-Trans sensor, which takes advantage of a randomized pixel array instead of the more commonly used resolution-reducing optical low-pass filter. Digital Split Image and Focus Highlight Peaking enable fast and efficient manual focusing. Built-in wireless connectivity allows for instant sharing of photos and videos to your Android or iOS mobile device, as well as remote camera control and monitoring.

Sony a77II DSLR

The Sony a77II features a 24.3MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor and a BIONZ X image processor that work together to produce continuous shooting at up to 12 fps for as many as 26 RAW frames. Translucent Mirror Technology enables the 79-point AF system with 15 cross-type points to work seamlessly while photographing in continuous shooting mode or while recording video and it enables full use of live view and the electronic viewfinder during shooting. Full HD 1080p video recording is supported at both 60 and 24 fps. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC are both available without a complex setup.

Sony a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera
 

For a smaller and more compact Sony body, the 14.25 ounce Sony a6300 is an advanced mirrorless option featuring a redeveloped 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor that work simultaneously to produce continuous shooting up to 11 fps. A 425-point phase-detection system with a 169-area contrast detection system allows for High-density Tracking AF for increased accuracy when following moving subjects across the image frame. Due to the on-sensor design of the AF system, it also works when shooting UHD 4K video, which is possible at a high 100 Mbps for maximum quality. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC are also supported in the a6300 for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites.

Sony RX10 Mark II

For those wanting everything (or as close to everything as technology will allow) in one package, the Sony RX10 Mark II offers a 20.2MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor with a Carl Zeiss 24-200mm f/2.8 lens. This all-in-one camera offers a flexible built-in zoom that eliminates the need to carry additional lenses. Its constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 and sensitivity range of ISO 100-12800 provides excellent low-light capabilities. The BIONZ X processor enables continuous shooting up to 14 fps and contributes to the camera’s precise and speedy autofocus, as well as UHD 4K video recording. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC round out the RX10 Mark II for direct sharing, as does its moisture- and dust-resistant construction, a built-in pop-up flash, and the Sony Multi-interface shoe for connecting flashes, microphones, lights, monitors, and other accessories.

Only the Beginning…

While far from exhaustive, this list is meant to be a springboard into the pool of advanced, fast cameras 2016 has to offer for all of you sports and wildlife enthusiasts. As every photographer knows, cameras are only going to get smaller, faster, and more technologically advanced as the year goes on. 

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Hi

I have a Canon G16 that I use for UW photos, does a fine job.  Is there any way to add decent telephoto for wildlife shooting if we go to Africa?  Or do I really need a new camera to capture the land critters?

Thanks

I will be graduating college soon and losing access to the Nikon D200 have I have been using for the past few years. I am a cyclist and skier so that makes up the majority of my shooting. I would like a body that can shoot video and photo so I have been looking into the Sony a7s ii, the Nikon D500 and the D810. I like nikons in general but after using a friends sony I found it worth looking into. Any thoughts or suggestions as to which would be best or any other cameras that would suit my needs?

All three of the cameras you list are good cameras, though all three have different designs and would be good for different usage needs.  Both the Nikon D810 DSLR camera and the Sony Alpha a7S II Mirrorless Digital Camera are full-frame cameras, while the Nikon D500 uses the smaller 1.5x APS-C cropped sensor.  The Nikon D810 has the highest resolution of the three cameras, while the Sony a7S II has the lowest resolution, but the best low-light performance and best performance with less noise when using higher ISO settings, which would be beneficial if you are shooting sports in low lighting and need a higher ISO to freeze action.   The Nikon D500 and Sony Alpha a7S II both have tilting LCD screens to assist in shooting at high/low angles for more creative framing, while the LCD screen on the D810 is fixed.  Both the Nikon D500 and the Sony a7S II shoot 4K UHD video, while the Nikon D810 DSLR camera shoots 1080p HD video.  Both Nikon cameras have almost 3x the battery life per charge compared to the Sony a7S II, as the Nikon cameras may shoot approximately 1200 images per charge, versus 370 images per charge with the Sony camera, so you may need more backup batteries when using the Sony battery.  Both the Nikon D500 and the Sony a7S II have built-in Wi-Fi capabilities for transferring images, while wireless file transfer is optional on the Nikon D810 with the purchase of their WT-5A adapter.  The Nikon D500 and Nikon D810 DSLR cameras have dual memory card slots so you may use two cards at once.  The Nikon D500 uses both SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards as well as the new XQD memory card.  The Nikon D810 DSLR camera uses both SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards as well as CompactFlash memory cards.  Both the Nikon D810 and the Sony Alpha a7S II have a burst rate of 5 frames per second, while the Nikon D500 DSLR camera has a 10 frames per second burst rate.  Nikon does have a larger lens library for use on their F-mount, though Sony is adding more lenses to their lineup, and with the use of lens adapters, there are multiple options that would expand the lens choices (and in the case of some Sony/Minolta A-mount lens adapters and Canon EF-mount lens adapters, there are some adapters that will  even retain autofocus and auto exposure capabilities).

All that being said, all are good options.  In terms of image quality, the Nikon D810 would have the highest resolution, best color depth, and best dynamic range of the three cameras.  As such, if you simply needed the best image quality the D810 would work for your needs.  If you often shoot in low lighting and would benefit from a cleaner higher ISO range and built-in image stabilization that would benefit any lens used on the camera, then the Sony a7S II would be recommended.  If you needed the fastest autofocus and fastest burst rate, and do not mind the smaller sensor while benefiting from its crop factor to make your subjects appear closer to you, then the Nikon D500 would be recommended.  While there is no one “right” answer, and your planned usage and budget would be a determining factor in your ultimate purchase, I hope the above shows some of the differences in the cameras you listed and why one may perform better for your needs compared to another option.

Hi, I have a Nikon d5200 with a 70-300mm lense kit and I wanted to upgrade with a faster fps without breaking the bank. I am a mom who likes to take pictures of my kids surfing, which I someties find I miss the shot because my camera seems slow to get the exact shot. Any suggestions would be awesome. Thank you

Hi! what would be a good beginner camera to take picture of fmx  ? Would need something with a high fps I guess since all the action is over within few seconds. Also what are your opinion on the Pentax K-50? would it do the job? any input would help, like I said im new at this and have no idea where to go! 

Thanks a lot! 

Does Nikon make any 10 fps cameras for under $1,000 used?

Best I can find is a D7200, but that is only 6 fps.

I will be going to Yellowstone this month and would like a recommendation for a camera to take wildlife photos in the snow. That said, most viewings will probably be dusk/dawn. Would a superzoom work or would a good DSLR be better?

If you don’t mind the size, I would suggest going with a DSLR.  A DSLR option would have better overall image quality and low light performance.  You might look at the Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera Dual Lens Kit.  It would be a great option for starting out with a camera, and would be a great camera to take with you to the national parks.

I would like some advice on purchasing a camera - the one i am currently using is a Kodak 26XIS wide angle.  I need a camera that offers the best value as budget is around £300 ish.  I need to take the highest quality pictures that can be sent to newspapers.  I would like to be able to take sports pictures so a reasonable shutter speed is essential and the best flash as a lot of pictures will need to be taken indoors.  A decent zoom needed also.  Being lightweight is not essential as long as everything else ticks the box.  Any advice appreciated.  Thanks

In that price range, you might look at the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 Digital Camera.  It has one of the larger sensors in that price range, along with a solid image stabilization system, expandable ISO, and a viewfinder.  All of this would allow it to perform solidly in low light conditions.  It also has a lovely 24-720mm zoom lens, and is fairly fast in terms of burst rate, shutter speed, and response time.  The flash is okay, though none of the built-in flashes are fantastic in the point and shoots.  However, the low light capability of the camera should help make up for this.  It has a high resolution sensor along with great image quality as well.

Hi,
Right now I am using Canon 80D with Canon 100 400mm IS ii lens. I want to switch to a camera with higher autofocus capabilities and higher speed. Should i buy 7D mark ii, or 5D Mark iv. Or should i consider buying Nikon D500 with 200 500mm Lens. Or should i wait for new release of Canon camera comparable to Nikon D500. Please advice.

If you are already invested in lenses, then I would likely stick with Canon rather than switching to Nikon.  Both the Canon 5D IV and 7D II have fantastic AF systems and would be a step up from the 80D.  Between the two, I would go with the 7D II if you are looking for speed.  The 7D II has a max burst rate of 10fps and a few extra AF points.  I think it would be the best option for what you say you are looking  for. 

I sold my Nikon coolpix p510 and want to purchase a DSLR. I would be using it for taking pictures of my kids playing hockey, snowboarding, water skiing and landscape pictures. I am so confused by all the reviews as to what would be the best camera. I have been reading about buying a beginner body to start (Nikon d3400) and then buy better lenses. Then I read about mirrorless camera's and get more lost. Any advise would be great. 

Hi Charlene - 

The Nikon D3400 is an excellent choice for the novice DSLR photographer. It's a great camera for family and travel too.  

A sleek and now connected DSLR for all, the black Nikon D3400 is designed to produce better image quality than your smartphone, yet work seamlessly with your mobile devices for sharing your memories. Utilizing a DX-format 24.2MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor, this camera provides a native sensitivity range from ISO 100-25600 to suit working in a variety of lighting conditions, and the sensor and processor combination also provides a 5 fps continuous shooting rate as well as Full HD 1080p video recording at 60 fps. The sensor's design also omits an optical low-pass filter in order to achieve greater sharpness and resolution from both photos and videos.

I am looking to upgrade my Canon camera - I take a lot of horse eventing/show juming pics.  Obviosuly a canon would suit for the lenses that I have - but am looking at the Nikon D5500 (?)  Any help would be greatful.  :)  I am asked reguarly for copies of the shots I take - but find the resolution is currently too low to be useful.  Cheers guys.

The D5500 would be a solid option for low light action shots.  While it isn’t the fastest camera in terms of burst rate, it does have great low light capability, which would allow for using higher ISO with less noise.  This in turn would enable you to use faster shutter speeds.  Now, whether or not it would be worth switching from Canon to Nikon might depend on the lenses you have for your current Canon camera.  I would suggest sending us an email letting us know what camera you currently have, your lenses for your camera, and what budget you are looking within.  We could then discus what the best way to go might be.

AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

I do both motorsport and interior architecture/technology photography. I currently have a Canon 5DMKII. I'd like to get more pixels as well as have an updated AF system. I've been looking and torn between the 5DS/5DSR and the Sony A7RII. I have all canon L glass so the canon is a seamless fit, but the ISO/low light performance is not ideal for shoots on location indoors where I have to use the existing lighting. The sony looks like it would be great for those situations, but being I will need a lens adapter for my canon glass, I'm concerned with how fast and accurate autofocus will be thru an adapter. 

Is there any word on a 5DSII being released soon with stronger low light abilities? 

I am looking for a camera to take pictures of our family at the motocross and enduring/cross country dirt bike tracks as well as my son's football and basketball games.  I am not sure if I should go with a DSLR or a mirror less. I also don't want to break the bank. Do you have any suggestions? There are so many options and I have ready so many different things and I want to make sure I spend my money wisely. Thanks. 

I would go with a Panasonic G7. The reason would be the 4K burst photo modes. Perfect for motocross as you are certain to get those wow shots.

looking for a new bridge camera to shot pictures of my kids (portraits) and action shots of gymnastics, basketball and lacrosse. Need fast shutter speed not to miss a shot and also great end results with clear crisp pictures. I have the canon sx60hs and I think it is very disappointing with action or indoor shots. Blurry action shots and a slow shutter speed. I miss alot of pictures I am aiming for. Please advise

If your SX60 isn’t getting the job done, you might consider going mirrorless.  The Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm and 55-210mm Lenses would be a solid option.  It’s an extremely fast camera with an excellent autofocus system, which would make it a great option for shooting sports.  It also has a larger sensor than your SX60, which would make it a big step up in terms of low light performance.

Hi it's not really the shutter speed that is the issue with the camera more that it is set to a program mode which means indoors it slows the shutter to allow more light in. This will result in blurry photos. As mentioned the only way to combat this is by a larger sensor camera such as apsc of full frame with some quality lenses. Unfortunately this is why indoor sports photography is expensive job the equipment needed to freeze action in low light is very high end.

So looking to upgrade to a new canon to shoot gymnastics, diving, track, basketball, and cross country photos.  Torn between the 7D mark 2, and the 80D.  Suggestions??

Between the two, I would lean towards the 7D II.  It is a faster camera with a better autofocus system.  This would make it better suited for shooting sports.

I am about to go on a trip to Africa where I will be shooting wildlife and landscapes.  I am not an expert photographer, but looking for soemthing that will give me flexibility to capture everything, while not emcumbering me with too many bells and whistles that I wont necessarily use.  Any advice?

Hi Ray!

Check out some super zooms like the Canon SX60 if you're not interested in changing lenses! Enjoy Africa! Going on safari in both Tanzania and Uganda was quite simply - amazing. Have so much fun!

I am basically a beginner and not very knowledgeable about "iso fstop" etc - nor am I very interested, my hobbies lie elsewhere - I bought a Nikon P600 with 60 x zoom before an Africa trip in 2014. It was phonomenal and I got hundreds of great shots. Sure it's a little slow focusing in zoom mode and I'm sure the high end DSLRs are far superior, but for the ability to capture wildlife for your own memories this camera, with the 60 x zoom was perfect.

I am in the process of looking to upgrade from my Canon Rebel series. I have T4 and T5 with 75-300mm lens and 18-35mm. I just found a love for sports photography. Taking pics of fast action football and basketball mostly. I'm ready to move up to the next level. I was looking at the 70 or 80D. Not sure which would be my Best Buy?

While both would be a step up from the Rebel series, if you are interested in shooting sports, I would go with the Canon 80D over the 70D.  The Canon 80D has a better autofocus system which should be faster, more accurate, and more sensitive in lower light.  This would definitely give it a significant advantage for sports and action photography. 

I am about to upgrade from my Coolpix P600. I have taken some fantastic birds with this camera and am rather frightened to go to a DSLR when the zoom on mine is 60 optical. Most birds I photograph are in the wild and taken spontaneously as I ramble around. I am totally confused. I want to be able to take landscapes and sunsets and the odd portrait too. The choice is really difficult.

You might consider going micro four thirds instead of DSLR.  You would be able to find super telephoto lenses that will be far more compact and light weight than the options on the market for a DSLR.  This could make the M43 system a better option for stepping up from the P600.  You might look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera.  It has the feel of a DSLR in a smaller form factor.  The camera has a fantastic image stabilization system, and is quite fast.  This would be great for shooting action such as wildlife.  As for lenses, you might look at the G85 kit with the 12-60mm lens to start with as a walk around lens.  Then, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens would be a great option for taking photos of birds.  You could also look at a wide angle lens such as the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 Lens for landscapes.

Hi, I've just recently started taking an interest in photography and have been thinking of getting myself a DSLR camera.

I'm looking for something easy to use that can take good quality pictures of outdoor sports(basketball, football) since my brothers play alot of sports. I've looked up on some that won't kill my bank account such as Nikon D7100, Canon EOS Rebel T6i. There's so many options that i have no idea what is good and what is not anymore... 

So.. which camera would u recommend for a first DSLR camera? 

Thanks in advance, apprieciate any tips and suggestionss :)

I don’t think the D7100 would be to much of a camera to start with.  It’s a fantastic DSLR, and would be a great option for shooting sports.  It’s fairly fast, with a great AF system, and fantastic low light performance.  You could shoot it manually, but it still has plenty of auto features.

Really enjoying your website.

I am looking for a decent built in lens, good optical zoom (never use the digital as the quality is hopeless) and image stabilisation. I use the camera from the back of a horse in Kenya to take wildlife shots, action shots, movies for our company. Safaris Unlimited. I would greatly appreciate your advice on the best camera out there for this. I have been using a very simple Canon power shot sx210 is it has been fantastic but due an upgrade to improve photo quality. The camera needs to be robust enough to be on me bouncing around on the horse. 

Thank you in advance and looking forward to hearing your suggestions. 

If you enjoyed your previous Canon camera, you might look at the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Digital Camera.  It has a longer range than your SX210 (24-960mm), and increased resolution (20.3MP).  It also has Intelligent IS Image Stabilization.  If you found that the SX210 had met your needs well, the SX720 would be an excellent option for a new camera.

Hi, I am looking for a camera for my 10 year old son. He is into nature photography of birds, squirrels, rabbits ect.

He is a wheelchair user but uses a quad bike to go out into an open field and sit up to take pics. I would be looking for something with a good zoom so he can get close ups with good quality. Even maybe something that he can use the zoom from a good distance from inside the house (through window glass) out to the garden, maybe 100 - 150 metres

Something fairly easy to use and robust would be a must.

Thank for any advice. I know nothung about cameras but Huw is very interested in photography so I would like to try to get him something decent.

Pls feel free to contact me

thanks

Adrian

You might look at one of the superzoom point and shoots such as the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Digital Camera.  It would be a great option for taking photos of the nature, especially wildlife.  It has a solid AF system, and a fantastic 60X optical zoom lens.  It would also be relatively compact and light weight, so it would be easy to travel around with.  As it is a point and shoot, it has fairly easy auto features.  Though, it also allows for manual control of exposure, so would be great for learning more about photography.  If you have more questions, I would suggest sending us an email.  AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

hi I'm new to photography and really want to document my daughters swimming competitions. All my friends whip out these amazing looking cameras and take beautiful photos of the kids in the pool but my iPhone pics look blurry so am looking to purchase a nice camera that can take really good action shots but doesn't cost the earth! Any recommendations would be brilliant. 

There are many options on the market that could be used to get better action shots than your iPhone.  For this, I would suggest sending an email to our Photo Department.  In the email, you might want to let us know what your budget looks like, and if you are looking for a point and shoot, or something with interchangeable lenses.  With a bit more information, we could narrow down what might be the best option for you.  AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

Hello,

I would really appreciate some advice regarding which camera I should buy. I shoot mainly fast action sports and children, toddlers to teens. I have used a Canon 7D since 2010, but would like to trade up to another Canon DSLR. I have consistently had problems with focusing even though I use top quality lenses and would therefore like the most advanced Canon in terms of focusing and tracking. I am however, not ready for a 1D. Should I get a 7D Mark II or the new Canon 5D Mark IV?

That would be a tough call.  While the autofocus system in the 5D IV will be more sensitive in low light, I think the extra speed of the 7D II would make it the better choice for fast action shots.  It would still have a much improved AF system over the earlier model, and would be extremely comparable to that of the 5D IV.

I am having the same problem. My Canon 7D is not focusing like it used to and I wish to upgrade to a better camera. I have looked at the 7D ll and 5 lV. The features on the 5IV seem so advanced, but as a full frame I will lose the reach I now have with my 400mm lens. The 1.4 x and 2x extenders did not work with the old 7D, The autofocus did not recognize the lens. Do they work with the new 7D Mark ll and the 5 lV? Also, the video did not autofocus, so unless you are just staying in the same shot everything went out of foucs. Has this feature been fixed in either of these cameras? 

Lastly, how does the NIkon 500 compare and would it be worth it to swith from Canon to Nikon? I have a few Canon lens I would need to sacrifice. Thanks. 

Both the 5D IV and 7D II have more advanced AF systems than the first 7D.  The 5D IV’s AF system will be more sensitive in low light, though.  Both cameras can retain AF at f/8 which will have an impact on the use of teleconverters when it comes to retaining AF.  Though, which Canon 400mm lens you have will impact whether or not you will retain AF using the 2X teleconverter, or just retaining AF with the 1.4X teleconverter.  With the 400mm f/4, you would retain autofocus when using both the 1.4X and 2X teleconverters.  With the 400mm f/5.6, autofocus would only be retained with the 1.4X teleconverter.  Also, the model of the Canon teleconverter/extender will have an impact on which focus points could be used.  For more information about this, I would suggest sending us an email letting us know the exact model of your 400mm lens and of your teleconverters. 

That being said, if you are shooting action (such as sports or wildlife), I would likely go with the 7D II.  It’s a faster camera, and you will get more reach from your lenses. 

As for the Nikon D500, it is an excellent camera.  Though, if you are already invested in Canon lenses, I would likely stick with Canon.  Lenses are the most important part of your kit, and I don’t know that there are any cameras on the market that are worth the expense of purchasing an entire kit of new lenses (especially if you already have some nice pro-level glass).   

Hello everyone. I am currently using a Canon 6d with the 70-200 F4L lens to shoot my daughters competetive cheerleading competitions. The stage lighting and fast action can be a challenge to achieve clean sharp images. With my 6d I'm usually shooting at 800, f4 ISO 3200. What would your Canon recommendation be to achieve the best results without going insane with a 1dx mk ii? 

When it comes to shooting cheerleading with a 70-200mm from the stands/audience, 1/800 should be a fast enough shutter speed to obtain sharp photos of the action.  So, if your photos are soft, camera shake could be a factor.  If you aren’t already using a monopod, you might look into picking one up.   If the venue doesn’t allow monopods, you could also attach a rope to the bottom of the camera using a ¼”-20 eye bolt, or quick release with a D-ring.  Then, you could stabilize the camera a bit by standing on the bottom of the string and pulling up against it.  Adding some extra stabilization could also help if the issue is the ISO.  With a bit of stabilization you could shoot with a slightly slower shutter speed, and then also use a lower ISO.

It’s also possible that the camera is not achieving focus.  Depending on how far you are from the gymnasts/your angle to them, you might be able to use manual focus and just set the focus before the event.  Though, this would only work if the distance/angle to the gymnasts allows for a large depth of field.    If you are interested in looking at a new camera, you could look at the Canon 7D II.  It would have a much better autofocus system especially for shooting action in low light (the AF is much more sensitive in low light).

You might consider sending us an email with some photos attached to illustrate the issue you are having.  This would make it easier to trouble shoot what might be going on, and offer some recommendations.  AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

Hi all! I am looking to purchase a camera that would be good for action shots but not overwhelming to a beginner. It would need to have a decent zoom feature as getting up close is not always an option. What do you recommend?

We would be happy to provide a recommendation however we would need a bit more information. I would suggest sending us an email to askbh@bhphoto.com and let us know what type of camera are you looking for, a DSLR or mirrorless body with interchangeable lenses, or something more compact with a built in zoom? Also, what type of action are you specifically looking to capture, if sports of any kind would be necessary would it be an indoor or outdoor sport? And finally, what budget range were you looking to stay within? Once we have a better of understand of what you are trying to shoot we'll be much better able to suggestion something suitable. 

I want to buy my husband a camera for his birhtday. I am not sure what one to get him and I am trying to suprise him. He typically takes pictures of wildlife, night time photos of lights, and he also said something about the shutter staying open longer to get a "long exposure". I was hoping that someone on here could give me a starting point at least. I do appreciate any and all feedback. 

Hi Cari -

    All of the cameras we feature in the above article are worthy contenders for your consideration.  Perhaps you are looking for something else in a more convenient form factor or different price range.  If so - consider the 83x optical zoom COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera from Nikon. This camera has a 16MP CMOS sensor and a built-in lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24-2000mm. For an even further reach, the camera also has 166x Dynamic Fine Zoom, and 332x digital zoom, effectively quadrupling the optical zoom.

The P900 features Dual Detect Optical VR, providing up to five stops of compensation, and reducing the appearance of camera shake in your images. A vari-angle TFT LCD screen and an electronic viewfinder allow you to review and compose images, as well as navigate the menus. The camera also shoots full HD 1080p video, has built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS, and manual exposure control.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

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