Category: How To


Sports photography is a difficult field to master. It requires a large concentration, a good knowledge of the discipline to cover, and preferably high-end equipment. A case with a very responsive autofocus (AF) and a good engine speed is essential. A good rise in ISO sensitivity is also essential, especially in the theater or at night: 2500 to 3200 ISO for high-level football, and often 5000 or 6400 ISO in most sports complexes not intended for professional athletes. The case must be associated with a lens having a large aperture (f / 2.8 or f / 4 minimum) and a long focal length (200 mm minimum).
In short, the sports photo unfortunately requires heavy equipment and expensive to obtain a correct result, especially when the light conditions are poor. But rest assured, to photograph your kid during a football match in the middle of the day, you do not need 5000 euros of equipment!

A match of Ligue 1

During the day and with entry-level equipment (700D or 70D coupled to a 70-300 type of lens that is not very bright, opening at f / 5.6, for example), daylight makes it easy to shoot sports such as football or football. rugby, a good opportunity to try sports photography. Recall that for this type of photo, it is necessary to set the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/500. It’s all about compromise, depending on the light available. We will prefer, especially with a low-end box, shooter at 1/500 f / 5.6 500 ISO, that 1/1000 f / 5.6 1000 ISO, knowing that the noise increases with the increase of the ISO sensitivity. On a high-end device (1DX, D4s), the difference in quality between 500 and 1000 ISO is not huge, it is much less embarrassing to favor the shutter speed to perfectly freeze the movement. Moreover, most of the reporters-photographers of the newspaper “The team” favor the shutter speed at the expense of the grain caused by the rise of the ISO sensitivity: I approve this choice, if the material at your disposal allows it .

When the light is scarce, the use of a medium or high-end box (7D, D700, 1D, D3 etc), associated with a telephoto lens (70-200, 300, 400mm) bright (minimum f / 2.8) becomes indispensable. The poor lighting of most sports complexes forces the photographer to push his equipment to the limit of reasonable (6400 ISO, 1/500 f / 2.8). The use of the flash cobra is strongly discouraged: it is also prohibited in many sports (including table tennis), and the rendering is very mediocre.


France - Netherlands.  1DX - Canon 300 2.8 - 1/1000 - 4000 ISO - f / 2.8
Difficulty Low (day) and average (night)
objectives 70-200 2.8 (action close, pre-match), 300 2.8 (action a little further away, close-up, portrait), 16-35 2.8 (pre-match). The 300 has the advantage of detaching the background.
Position Sitting, ideally on a sinful seat (is decathlon for less than ten euros), on the side of the goal and behind the sideline if space allows: it is not always tolerated by the delegate and / or the referee, but this position allows you to shoot beautiful aerial duels.
ISO daytime sensitivity 100 to 640
ISO sensitivity at night 2500/3200 (L1), 4000/6400 (amateur football)
Shutter speed 1/1000 for a sharp picture, 1/1600 if possible. In all cases, do not go below 1/500.
Opening f / 2.8 at night, f / 4 during the day, f / 3.2 or f / 4 for corners.
1DX - 1/1000 - 4000 ISO - f / 2.8

1DX – 300mm – 1/1000 – 4000 ISO – f / 2.8

1DX - 300mm - 1/800 - 800 ISO - f / 2.8

1DX – 300mm – 1/800 – 800 ISO – f / 2.8


Pro B - 1DX - 80mm - 1/1000 - 4000 ISO - f / 2.8
Difficulty Average
objectives 70-200 2.8 (action), 300 2.8 (close-up, portrait), 16-35 2.8 (atmosphere with the coach), 24-70 (close action). If you had to choose one, the 70-200 would be perfect!
Position On the ground (to avoid the heads cut in the background), below the basket or on the side of the basket.
ISO sensitivity 2500/3200 (Pro A, Pro B, N1), 4000/6400 (amateur basketball)
Shutter speed 1/1000 minimum for a clear picture.
Opening f / 2.8


I often get emails from people asking me for advice on buying a camera to get started .

Generally, many expect me to convince them to buy Nikon or Canon because they think these brands are better than others.

There is some truth, but in reality, others are doing just as well and it’s even more complicated than that. As a result, I do not answer them.

If you asked me which camera to buy , I would first ask you a series of questions.

It is only from your answers that I will guide you to a compact camera , a hybrid or a digital SLR .

If you are not sure if you are making the right choice right now, you will find in this article some answers to your questions before buying a camera.

Why do you want to buy a camera?

I guess you have a smartphone, like almost everyone.

If so, are you satisfied with the quality of the photos it produces? No no, I’m not kidding, it’s a very serious question.

At present, all smartphones have a camera and are getting better every year, with more and more advanced features like raw support.

Some even manage to compete with real cameras, it’s a reality .

Many amateur and even professional photographers use their smartphones in addition to their existing photo material and get very good results, so why not without.

I know that if you ask me about the purchase of a new camera, you have already thought hard and wait until I confirm your choice.

But before that, I’m looking for an answer that persuades me that your smartphone does not encourage you to take photos.

Not that you should definitely turn to this type of camera to start in photography, far from it.

Nevertheless, the smartphone can be a smart choice before you buy a SLR or a hybrid, because it can allow you to start mastering a number  of basics and play with different settings.

That’s when I come to the next question.

What do you expect from a camera that your smartphone is not able to do?

By providing valid reasons, I will guide you to the ideal type of camera 🙂

Define your desires before buying a camera

You have made the decision to buy your first camera but do not know which one to choose. Why is it so difficult?

Often, people who contact me want to do everything with a camera , but the reality is quite different.

Remember that none is good at all and none will allow you to respond to all situations .

One of the main factors that will determine the type of camera you need is knowing what you would like to photograph .

For example, I’m not going to advise someone to buy a SLR if his goal is to basically do family photos at home or on vacation for the purpose of storing them in the computer, but rather advise him to keep your smartphone.

On the other hand, if the same person also wants to do landscape or portrait photography in a serious way and who wants to make prints regularly, then a DSLR or a hybrid is probably the camera she has to buy.

Do you see the difference ? It’s common sense.

The non-exhaustive list below can help you find the type of topics you are interested in .

Then, try to classify the different moments in which you will be taken to take photos.

You must have in mind that each of these disciplines have their own photographic technical difficulties and require the use of an ideal type of camera with specific objectives.

This is why it is important to define your desire for photos at the start .

  • Photographing flowers or insects (macro photography)
  • Make animal photography
  • Architecture Photo
  • Make pictures of family or your children
  • Make travel photos
  • Take sports photos
  • Photograph concerts
  • Make landscape and nature photos
  • Make portrait or wedding photos
  • Take urban photos
  • Photographing objects or subjects in the studio