Rob Sambles Photography | Camera Settings for Sports Photography

Camera Settings for Sports Photography

September 04, 2016  •  2 Comments

I recently did a video on my camera settings for sports photography (link to the video is at the bottom), I wanted to include a written version too. It's a bit more clear when you see everything layed out on paper.

There is no set formula for these, this is an example of what I typically do, its not always the same and it might vary quite a lot if my particular surroundings require me to change them.

Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (if outside daytime) or Manual for indoors and floodlit games.

F-stop: f/2.8 or lower (mostly). Sometime f/4 for daytime football.

Shutter Speed: 1/1000 of a second or faster for outdoors, sometimes I have to settle for 1/800 at night or indoors.

ISO: Will vary depending on what I need to achieve the fast shutter speeds. This might be as low as 100 for daytime outdoors, maybe up to 8000 indoors. For daytime outdoors, I will use Auto ISO.

White Balance: Auto mostly, but I adjust it if it looks wrong for indoor stuff

Focus Mode: AI Servo (Continuous Focus Mode)

Auto Focus (AF) Area Selection Mode: Mostly Single point, but occasionally AF point expansion (up, down, left, and right)

Focus Control: Back Button Focus

Shooting Mode: High-Speed Continuous (burst mode)

File Mode: RAW (I know people will argue JPEG for sports, but this isn't about that).

Main camera Basketball: 50mm f/1.8

Main camera Football: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8

2nd Body Basketball: Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 or Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS

2nd Body Football: Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 or Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS (depending where I am sat).

IS (Image Stabilization): Off (always for Sports really)

Main body: Canon EOS 7dii
2nd Body: Canon EOS 7dii

Memory Cards: Lexar Professional 800x 8gb Compact Flash Cards, Transcend 600x 8gb Compact Flash Cards and Transcend 600x 64gb SD Cards (the CF cards get changed out during the game, the SD card remains for the duration).


I hope this was interesting for you guys/girls!

Thanks as always.





Rob Sambles Photography
Hi, Thanks for commenting. It could possibly be that you're using an older version of light room which hasn't been updated to recognise the 7dii files. I'll email you. Thanks. Rob
Hi Rob, Many thanks for such a great blog and informative videos. I am myself a keen Sports amateur Photographer and I appreciate any advice I can get. My question is the following: I have a Canon 7 D Mark II I would like to shoot in RAW but I cannot get Lightroom to recognise the RAW files, do you know how to solve this problem? Many thanks in advance.
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