It is not easy to find a good camera for sports photography. However, you can put blind faith in Canon cameras, just like with any other type of photograph, when it comes to taking spectacular sports images and photos. In this guide to the best Canon camera for sports, we are going to discuss the top Canon cameras you can use for sports photography.
A sports camera should have certain characteristics such as a high maximum shutter speed to fully stop the action. Similarly, it must have high frame rate for catching the perfect moment. Not to mention, it should feature quick as a flash autofocus to successfully keep the action in focus. These are, in fact, only the basic requirements for the best camera for sports photography.
Fortunately, Canon makes a lot of DSLR and mirrorless cameras that have these and other advanced features for sports and action photography.
Best Canon Cameras for Sports Photography
The following is our list of the Canon cameras with the power to stunningly capture athletes’ movements, energy, and emotions while they are in action.
ImageModel NameSensor TypeAutofocus PointsCheck Price Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
30.4MP Full Frame
Check Price Canon EOS R5
45Mp Full Frame
Check Price Canon EOS 90D
Check Price Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Check Price Canon EOS Rebel T7
Check Price Canon EOS R6
20MP Full Frame
Check Price Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Check Price Canon EOS-1DX Mark II
20.2MP Full Frame
Check Price Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Check Price Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: Best Canon Sports Camera for Beginners
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a great multipurpose camera to have. You can use it for almost everything including sports photography. It comes with a lot of sports-friendly features such as 30.4 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensors and a DIGI6+ image processor. Both these features combine to produce detailed and sharp sports images.
The low-light performance of the camera is also unparalleled. It has a sensitivity range of ISO 100-32000 which you can further expand to ISO 50-102400. The outcome is low-noise and crispy images in all types of conditions.
The camera has a burst rate of 7fps which is not the quickest but enough for beginner photographers. Similarly, 5D Mark IV can produce up to 21 frames per second in the RAW format.
Perhaps the best feature of the camera is the fairly advanced 61-point autofocus system. It has also a 4K video recording as well as a 2” rear touchscreen LCD.
In general, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a good camera for novice sports photographers.
2. Canon EOS R5: The Best Mirrorless Camera for Sports
Canon EOS R5 is perhaps the best mirrorless camera on the market right now. It is a behemoth of a camera offering the latest technological wonders you can think of. What makes it a perfect sports camera is the 8K video resolution. It allows you to create sports videos of the highest quality without even stepping into a studio.
It also has one of the highest sensor resolutions among mirrorless cameras at 45 megapixels. Similarly, the whopping 5940 points Dual Pixel CMOS sensor combines with the sensor to generate fantastically beautiful images.
The Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus tracks each moment and emotion of the athletes and helps you capture them in your photos. The autofocus system, as you can imagine, is the best in the business.
Another outstanding feature of the camera is the burst rate of 20fps. Therefore, it can capture lightning-fast action with the utmost ease, making it the best sports photography camera for professionals.
The list of outwardly features of this camera does not end here. It also includes a high-resolution EVF, an intuitive control panel, and an easy-to-understand menu.
The only problem with the camera is its high price. Similarly, it heats up at 8K which is quite annoying.
3. Canon EOS 90D: Most Versatile Camera for Sports
Canon EOS 90D is a fresh breath of air for DSLR users in a world dominated by mirrorless cameras. It is a humble but versatile and well-engineered camera that you can use for any purpose including sports.
It is indeed fast enough for sports photography thanks to the 32.5 megapixel CMOS sensor and 45-point autofocus. As you can imagine, the camera produces very high-quality images as well. It also has a sophisticated metering system to create breathtaking JPEGs.
Similarly, you can use EOS 90D in all kinds of conditions because of its excellent weatherproofing. You would not have any problem covering a sports event happening in the rain or snow. The high burst rate of 11fps also makes it a reasonably good sports camera.
The performance of the camera in the live view mode is simply matchless, which is a bit surprising for a DSLR camera. However, it enables you to catch the action in the real-time rather than watching it through a viewfinder.
4. Canon EOS 7D Mark II: The Best Canon Camera for Sports
Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a giant of a sports camera. It has a continuous shooting speed of 10fps. Therefore, the buffer can manage 30 RAW and 1000 JPEG imagers respectively with the right memory card. That kind of brilliant performance means you can get images of the highest quality emphasizing every single moment of the action.
The combination of DIGIC 6 + image processor and 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor is more than enough to achieve amazing shooting performance and image quality.
The 65-point autofocus coupled with Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus results in fast and smooth subject tracking even in the most difficult of circumstances. It enables you to capture every single moment no matter you are covering a football match or downhill skiing. The focusing and exposure are superfast and accurate respectively, necessary for good sports photographs.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II also has excellent low light performance. It does not have In-body Image Stabilization. However, the compatibility with some of the best Canon lenses would compensate for this drawback. It won’t be a problem to shoot in poor light conditions even at slow shutter speeds. On the other hand, you would be able to capture the endurance and grit on the player’s faces during a night volleyball match.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is such a brilliant camera for sports despite being more than 7 years old. Similarly, it is available for around $1300, making it a better and more economical option than the Canon EOD-1DX series.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T7: Best Canon Camera for Sports under $500
If you are thinking of switching your smartphone with a solid entry-level DSLR camera, you must give Canon EOS Rebel T7 a chance. It offers a lot of features and functions despite being a cheap camera. Similarly, it is also a very easy camera to operate, making a switch from a smartphone to a digital camera a delight.
The Rebel T7 has a 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, helping you to take pictures with quite realistic colors in all conditions. The DIGIC 4+ image processors, although old, still results in incredibly fast image processing, something you require for sports photography. The camera also produces grain-free images in low light conditions as well.
The biggest problem with the camera is the lack of a touchscreen. Therefore, it is quite difficult to operate the camera and process the images in real-time.
6. Canon EOS R6: Cheaper Alternative of Canon EOS R5
Canon EOS R5 is a wonderful but very expensive camera. Therefore, you can replace it with Canon EOS R6 if you are looking for similar features but for a far less price. EOS R6 is just like a little brother for EOS R5 but offer many similar features.
For example, it comes with 6072 points autofocus system that is very similar to that of EOS R5. However, it only has 20 megapixel sensor whereas the R5 has a 45 megapixel sensor. The high number of useable autofocus points is simply remarkable. The autofocus matches in performance to that of Canon EOS-1DX Mark III, to be honest.
The burs rate of Canon EOS R6 is also 20fps which is quite impressive considering its price. The in-body image stabilization is also better than many comparable cameras. Similarly, it records fabulous videos at 4K at 60fps even though it lacks 8K video.
Some experts consider Canon EOS R6 the best mirrorless camera for stills as well. Furthermore, it is fairly priced for its features, making it the best canon sports camera in its class.
7. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III: The Most Advanced Professional Sports Camera
Professional sports photographers are simply in love with Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. You would also find this camera on every list about the best sports cameras as well. It is also one of the best cameras ever made.
The camera comes with deep learning autofocus. The AF learns your shooting patterns and gets better with age. Similarly, the whopping 191-point autofocus is out of this world. Such advanced autofocus would ensure the smoothest and most accurate subject tracking possible.
The burst rate of 16fps means you can just keep shooting on and on and on. The 1000+ shots buffer is potentially unlimited as well.
The camera also features a revolutionary smart controller, making handling it as easy as ABC. Some of the other cutting-edge features of the camera include HDR PQ and HEIF support, 12-bit internal 4K RAW video, EFexpress, head tracking, and much more.
Canon EOD-1D X Mark III has clear advantages over its closest competitors such as Sony a9 II. For example, it has a better dynamic range, higher speed thanks to an amazing optical viewfinder, and better video specs due to the 4k video at up to 60fps.
All in all, Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is the best sports camera in the world. The only reason it doesn’t occupy the top spot in our list is its price. After all, not everyone can afford a $6000+ camera.
8. Canon EOS-1DX Mark II: Cheaper Alternative of Canon EOS-1DX Mark III
Canon EOS-1DX Mark II, just like its sibling the 1DX Mark III, offers a myriad of features and functions for sports photography. For example, it comprises a clever DIGIC 6+ image processor, a 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, and a 61-point autofocus system. The center point sensitivity of the autofocus is -3 EV and that is why it is widely used for sports photography.
The camera delivers 16 fps and 14fps burst speed while working in live view and viewfinder respectively. Similarly, you can also use a CFast 2.0 memory card to record up to 170 RAW files. Therefore, the camera helps you capture every moment during a match without any hassle.
It has a very solid yet ergonomic body designed especially for professional shooters. It is weather and dustproof camera that you can use in the most difficult of conditions. The camera also offers excellent low-light performance thanks to the expanded sensitivity range of ISO 50-409600.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II also allows you to record videos in DCK 4K resolution at 60fps. For slow-motion playback, you can also record Full HD 1080P videos at up to 120fps.
Another great characteristic of the camera is auto time sync and geotagging made possible through a built-in GPS module.
In short, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is one of the best Canon cameras for sports photography.
9. Canon EOS Rebel T7i: Best Canon Sports Camera for Money
Gone are the days when sports photography was the domain of professional photographers only. Nowadays, more and more novices and amateur photographers are also trying their luck in this field of photography. Therefore, it is also important to include entry-level sports photography cameras such as Canon EOS Rebel T7i in this list.
Canon EOS Rebel T7i is a brilliant yet cheap alternative to high-end cameras such as Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. However, it has some nice features for sports photography despite its low price.
The design of the camera is compact and neat. Similarly, it has a typical aesthetic that has become a trademark of Canon DSLRs. The grip, as well as controls, are well placed and comfortable to use as well.
The camera comes with a DIGIC 7+ image processor and an excellent 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor. As a result, you take sharp and clear photographs at your next sports event.
One of the best features of the camera is the Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus that enables you to smoothly and accurately focus fast-moving subjects.
Another great thing about Rebel T7i is the 5-axis in-body image stabilization. Not many affordable cameras have this feature. It greatly helps in reducing camera shakes during low-light shooting, while using telephone lenses, and while capturing handheld images.
Similarly, the Rebel T7i supports Canon’s all APS-C and many third-party lenses which are quite impressive for a budget camera. Some of these lenses include outstanding zoom and prime lenses, also making it an ideal choice for enthusiast sports photographers.
The camera also offers plenty of features and brilliant performance for sports photographers for $800. In our opinion, it also offers the best value for money.
10. Canon EOS 1D Mark IV: Best for Fast Action Photography
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV is perhaps the best camera for moving subjects, also making it an excellent sports camera. It offers an incredible combination of image quality, accuracy, and speed, all of which are required for superior sports images.
The camera features a redesigned 45-point including 39 cross-type points autofocus. Similarly, the camera ensures excellent tracking of the moving objects thanks to a new AI Servo II AF focus tracking system. The AF system detects the motion and anticipates the next movements of the athletes using much improved algorithms.
The camera can tackle fast-moving subjects with ease using the burst speed of 10fps. It also has an excellent ISO range of 100-12800, resulting in good low light performance.
The DIGIC 4 + image processor and 16.1 megapixel sensors are on the lower side. However, the highly advanced Live View Mode, Full HD shooting, and manual exposure control easily compensate for these drawbacks.
How to Choose the Best Canon Camera for Sports Photography?
Most professionals use DSLR cameras for sports and action photography. Such cameras usually have excellent and highly reliable autofocus systems and continuous tracking modes. However, you can use any camera to capture awesome sports images. You should have to keep a few factors in mind while buying a camera for sports to take those perfect shots.
The sensor is one of the biggest considerations when it comes to buying a sports camera. The best camera for sports is that with smaller APS-C and Micro Four Third sensors. They offer a field of view that looks like the one created by a longer lens if you use a full-frame sensor with them. That is why professional sports photographers prefer them over full-frame cameras.
A Good Burst Mode
Sports activities are usually very fast other than snooker tournaments. They happen so quickly that you cannot keep track of all of them. Therefore, you need to have a camera with a high burst rate. Only then you will be able to capture split-second moments.
Fast and Efficient Autofocus
The best canon camera for sports will always have fast and efficient autofocus. The higher the autofocus points, the better it is for sports photography. Similarly, look for a camera with a sophisticated autofocus tracking system. Such a camera will always save the day for you during sports photography.
Good Buffer Depth
It is also important for your sports camera to have a good buffer depth. Sports photography requires you to take so many photographs in quick succession. That is only possible if the camera has a good buffer capacity. Most cameras offer greater buffer depth for JPEGs as compared to RAW files. However, high-end cameras such as Canon EOS-1D X Mark III have a limitless buffer for both formats. However, they tend to be quite expensive as well.
In most cases, you have to be a fair distance from your subject during sports photography sessions. Therefore, only a telephone lens will enable you to get close to the action and take dynamic shots. You have two options here. You can choose an interchangeable lens camera that is compatible with a good zoom lens. On the other hand, you can pick a compact camera such as a bridge camera with generous zoom.
Sports photography is one of the toughest branches of photography. You constantly have to remain on your toes and look for the smallest of details to take the best shots. You cannot miss even the split-second of action otherwise your photos will lack the punch you are looking for. Therefore, you need the best Canon camera for sports to get everything right and take the sports photographs that can mesmerize your audience.