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Best Camera Equipment For Action And Racing

Are you an adventurous photographer seeking to capture the thrill of action and racing, or perhaps you're a wedding photographer who needs equipment that can keep up with someone’s fast-paced special day? Look no further, as we uncover some of the best camera equipment for action and racing, as well as other high-speed genres, which include motion .

Best Camera Equipment For Action And Racing

In our previous articles, we've shared valuable tips on how to photograph motion and now, we're taking it a step further by exploring the best camera equipment suited for action and racing photography. Whether you're into extreme sports, wildlife photography, or any genre that demands equipment capable of capturing subjects moving at high velocity, we've got you covered with the latest cameras, 360 cameras, drones and accessories.

Get ready to embark on an exhilarating journey where your camera gear becomes your trusted companion in the pursuit of dynamic photos and videos.

Capturing motorports with Nikon Z9

What to look for in a sports and action camera

When choosing a digital camera for action and racing photography, there are several key features to consider that will help you capture fast-paced action with greater precision and accuracy. Some of the most important features to look for include:

  1. Fast and accurate autofocus – A camera with advanced autofocus capabilities, such as phase-detection, hybrid autofocus and subject recognition will give you the best chance of keeping subjects in sharp focus, even when they're moving rapidly.
  2. High continuous shooting speed – Look for a camera that offers high frames-per-second (FPS) in continuous shooting mode. This will enable you to capture multiple images in quick succession, increasing your chances of capturing the perfect moment, no matter how fleeting.
  3. Excellent low light performance – Action and racing events often take place in challenging lighting conditions. A camera with good low-light performance, which is characterised by high ISO sensitivity and low noise levels, will allow you to capture clear and detailed images even in dimly lit environments.
  4. Image stabilisation – To counteract camera shake and capture sharp images, opt for a camera with in-body image stabilisation (IBIS). This feature compensates for handheld movement, providing smoother footage and reducing the risk of blurry shots.
  5. Durability and weather sealing – Action and racing photography can be physically demanding and often takes place in harsh environments. Look for a camera that is built to withstand rugged conditions, with robust construction and weather sealing to protect against dust, moisture, and extreme temperatures.
  6. Customisable controls and ergonomics – Quick and easy access to essential settings and controls is crucial when shooting action and racing scenes. Consider a camera with customisable buttons and ergonomic design that allows for intuitive operation, enabling you to make adjustments swiftly. Some prefer larger cameras with a built-in grip, while others prefer a smaller and lighter camera, which is easier to carry for long periods.

By considering these key features, you can choose a camera that will meet the demands of action and racing photography, allowing you to capture thrilling moments with higher quality and greater precision.

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Sony a9 II shooting football stadium

Our picks for sports cameras

We've narrowed down a selection of suitable cameras, each of which is an excellent choice for sports and action photography enthusiasts, and professional photographers. These models stand out due to their key features, which define their impressive capabilities. You can trade-in an older camera or unwanted photo equipment to offset the cost of a new camera.


Continuous burst




Sony a7 IV Camera with 28-70mm Lens Kit

10fps mechanical and electronic

5.5 stops

94% of the sensor is covered by 759 points (phase-detection AF)


Sony A9 II

10fps mechanical and 20fps electronic shutter

5.5 stops

93% of the sensor is covered by 693 points (phase-detection AF)


Canon EOS R7

15fps mechanical and 30fps electronic shutter

7 stops (up to 8-stops with certain lenses)

100% of the sensor is covered by 651 points (phase-detection AF)


Fujifilm X-T5

15fps mechanical and 20fps electronic shutter

7 stops

100% of the sensor is covered by 425 points (phase-detection AF)


Nikon Z9

30fps electronic shutter (up to 120fps)

6 stops

90% of the sensor is covered by 493 points (phase-detection AF)


Nikon Z8

20fps electronic shutter (up to 120fps)

6 stops

90% of the sensor is covered by 493 points (phase-detection AF)


Panasonic Lumix GH6

75fps electronic shutter

7.5 stops

315 AF point (Contrast AF system)


OM System OM-5

30fps electronic shutter

6.5-stops (up to 7.5 stops with certain lenses)

70% of the sensor is covered by 121 AF points (Hybrid AF system)


Browse all top motion-ready cameras here.

Canon EOS R7 with super telephoto lens

The best lens for sports and action photography

When it comes to capturing sports and action-type genres, having the right camera lens can make a significant difference in the quality and impact of your photographs. One type of lens that stands out for this purpose, is the telephoto zoom lens, which are discussed in our guide to camera lenses.

A telephoto (or super telephoto) zoom lens offers a longer focal width, allowing you to zoom in on distant subjects and capture close-up shots with greater detail. This makes a telephoto zoom the ideal choice for sports and action photography, where subjects are often moving quickly and located at a distance. With a telephoto zoom lens you can bring the action closer, filling the frame with your subject and capturing decisive moments with precision.

The magnification power of a telephoto lens not only allows you to isolate your subject from the surrounding environment but also enables you to emphasise the dynamic nature of the action. Whether it's a sprinter crossing the finishing line or a football player taking a powerful shot, a longer lens helps you capture the intensity and emotion of the moment.

The flexibility to zoom between focal widths allows you to adapt to different shooting situations and capture various types of sports and action scenes. For example, a longer focal width is ideal for capturing distant subjects such as athletes on the other end of a football field, while a shorter focal length within the zoom range can be used for closer shots, such as individual player portraits or goal celebrations, where you have to capture a wider area of the scene.

Another advantage of telephoto zoom lenses is their ability to create a pleasing background blur, also known as bokeh. By using a wider aperture and a longer focal length, you can achieve a shallow depth of field, isolating your subject and making them stand out against a soft, blurred background.

This not only adds a professional and artistic touch to your images but also helps to eliminate distractions and draw the viewer's attention to the main subject. When choosing a lens, try and buy one with the fastest (or widest) aperture possible, in order to gather as much light to maintain high-speed shooting without raising the ISO unnecessarily high. A used lens is well worth considering, as it allows you to get more advanced features like a wider aperture, at a lower price than buying new.

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Shooting with a long zoom lens

Our top picks for sports and action lenses

The lenses we’ve shortlisted provide a versatile focal range for capturing distant subjects, feature fast autofocus technology and in some cases, twin focus motors. When photographing fast-moving subjects, the lenses' stabilisation and weight are important factors to consider, especially for handheld shooting.


Optical stabilisation


Focus system


Canon RF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM Lens

5 stops


Dual Nano USM


Canon RF 70-200mm F/4L IS USM Lens

5 stops


Dual Nano USM


Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6-6.3 G OSS

Yes N/A

2,115 g

Direct-Drive Super-Sonic AF Motor


Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens

5 stops


Twin linear motors


Nikon Z 70-200mm F/2.8 S Lens

5.5 stops

1,440 g

Twin stepping motors


Olympus 100-400mm F/5-6.3 ED M.ZUIKO Lens

3 stops

383 g

High-speed Imager AF


Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO Lens



Dual VCM (Voice Coil Motor) AF system


Browse our favourite lenses for capturing motion here.

DJI Mavic 3 Pro capturing watersports

Using a drone for sports and action content

Camera drones have revolutionised the world of photography by providing a unique and captivating perspective from the skies. With their ability to soar above the action, drones offer photographers and videographers an unparalleled opportunity to capture breathtaking shots that were once only possible with expensive helicopter rentals. From high-flying aerial views that showcase the scale of a stadium or track, to low-level flyovers that immerse viewers in the heart of the action, drones offer a new dimension to sports and action photography.

One of the key advantages of using a drone is the smooth and stable footage that many are able to capture. Equipped with advanced gimbal stabilisation systems, drones can maintain a steady shot even in fast-paced, high-speed scenarios. This ensures that your videos are professional-looking and free from the shakiness often associated with handheld footage. Whether it's tracking a cyclist speeding down a mountain trail or capturing the agility of a surfer out at sea, drones provide exhilarating footage that enhances the audience’s visual experience.

DJI drones come with intelligent flight modes that enable them to track and follow moving subjects automatically. With features like Active Track or Follow Me, a drone can lock onto a subject and keep it in the frame as it moves about, for more dynamic and engaging footage. This is particularly beneficial for capturing sports events where athletes or vehicles are constantly in motion. By utilising these tracking modes, photographers can focus on framing the perfect shot while the drone takes care of keeping the subject in view.

In addition to tracking and stability, drones also offer unparalleled creativity. Content creators can explore unique perspectives, fly through obstacles, and perform aerial manoeuvres to capture shots, which were once impossible.

The freedom of movement and ability to experiment with angles and compositions allows for the creation of visually stunning and captivating imagery. Whether it's a sweeping panoramic shot of a marathon race, a breathtaking aerial view of an athletics stadium packed with fans, or a thrilling chase sequence capturing the intensity of a motorsport event, drones unlock endless possibilities for creative storytelling in the realm of sports and action photography. Choose the best drone accessories to adjust your footage in different conditions, and you’re good to go.

Mototrbike tracked by DJI Mini 3

Top DJI drones for aerial action

DJI is the market leader in consumer drones, with a variety of aircraft for any budget, offering a combination of image quality, intelligent features and flight times. Not only does DJI have extensive experience, but their drones come packed with easy-to-use features and expandability though add-ons such as FPV goggles.


Image Quality


Flight time


DJI Avata Pro-View Combo (RC Motion 2)

  • 4K/60fps
  • 48 MP photo

Goggles 2 (included)

18 minutes


DJI Mini 3 Pro

  • 4K/60fps
  • 48 MP photo


34 minutes


DJI Mavic 3 Classic (DJI RC)

  • 5.1K/50fps
  • 20 MP RAW photo


DJI Goggles 2, DJI Goggles Integra, and DJI RC Motion 2

46 minutes


DJI Mavic 3 Pro Fly More Combo (DJI RC)

  • 5.1K/50fps
  • 3 cameras up to 48MP


DJI Goggles 2, DJI Goggles Integra, and DJI RC Motion 2

43 minutes


Insta360 camera while surfing

Action cameras and 360º cameras

All-in-one compact cameras and action cameras are brilliant tools for enthusiasts and creators who are looking to capture adventure and action. These cameras offer a range of benefits that make them ideal for capturing thrilling moments in outdoor activities and FPV views. Firstly, their compact size and lightweight design make them easy to carry and mount onto various surfaces, ensuring users can capture the action without being weighed down by bulky equipment. Whether it's attached to a helmet, strapped to a bike, or handheld, action cameras provide convenience and flexibility for capturing shots on the go.

Additionally, all-in-one and modular action cameras are built to withstand the rigours of outdoor adventures. They are designed to be rugged, durable and often waterproof, allowing users to confidently take them into challenging environments without worrying about damage. This durability ensures you can focus on your adventures without being hindered by the limitations of equipment.

Another great feature of these cameras is their versatility, with many models offering a range of shooting modes and advanced features, such as high-definition video, slow-motion capture, time-lapse and image stabilisation. This versatility enables you to capture stunning footage and photos that showcase the excitement and beauty of your adventures.

Furthermore, the modular nature of some action cameras allow users to customise their setups according to their specific needs. With interchangeable lenses, mounts and accessories, enthusiasts can adapt their cameras to different activities and capture unique perspectives. Whether it's attaching a wide-angle lens for immersive shots or using a specialised case for capturing underwater footage, action cameras offer endless possibilities for creativity and experimentation.

Lastly, the ease of use and intuitive controls of compact all-in-one and modular action cameras make them accessible to enthusiasts of all skill levels. Many models come with user-friendly interfaces and smartphone connectivity, allowing for seamless control, editing and sharing of content. This empowers photographers of any level to focus on their adventures and create impressive content without getting overwhelmed by complex settings. Make sure you can find the right action camera accessories for your chosen camera, including an action camera head mount and body mount if you want to capture hands-free shots while on-the-go.

Shooting with a compact OM System camera

Our top action camera picks

We've shortlisted a selection of action cameras that cater to a wide variety of shooting styles. Whether you're looking to capture immersive 360º videos, explore the underwater world, or record incredible hands-free action footage, these have got you covered with a host of capabilities for any scenario.



Key features


RICOH GR IIIx Urban Edition Kit

Full HD at 60fps

24.24 MP photos

  • 40mm f/2.8 lens
  • APS-C sensor
  • 4-stop stabilisation


Ricoh THETA Z1 51GB 360-Degree Action Camera

360° 4K video

23MP photos

  • 4 built-in mics
  • 51GB internal memory
  • weighs 182g


Ricoh WG-80 Digital Compact Camera

Full HD video at 30fps

16MP photos

  • Waterproof to 14m
  • 5x optical zoom lens
  • Microscope mode


Insta360 GO 3 (64GB)

2.7K up to 120 fps

3.69 MP photos

  • Flowstate stabilisation
  • Horizon lock
  • Up to 170 min battery
  • Weighs 35g


High-speed Lexar card in camera

Choosing a high-speed memory card

When it comes to fast-paced photography, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of memory cards, as choosing the right one is crucial to ensure you can enjoy smooth and uninterrupted shooting. Opting for the fastest card compatible with your camera, such as a UHS-II SD card or CFexpress card, can greatly enhance your ability to shoot quickly, so it’s a good idea to choose the most appropriate card.

Fast-action requires cameras to write data quickly to the memory card, especially when shooting in burst mode or recording high-resolution video. A UHS-II SD card or CFexpress card offers significantly faster write speeds compared to standard memory cards, allowing your camera to clear its buffer quickly and continue capturing images with minimal delay. Some cameras like Nikon’s Z8 features a high-speed buffer, allowing you to capture 1000+ shots without stopping, as long as you’re using a fast memory card.

The increased write speeds of UHS-II SD cards and CFexpress cards ensure that you can capture a continuous stream of shots during fast-action sequences, such as sporting events or wildlife photography. This is particularly beneficial when shooting in RAW format or using high-speed continuous shooting modes, as it minimises the risk of missing crucial moments.

In addition to write speeds, these advanced memory cards typically offer faster read speeds as well. This means that when you transfer your images to a computer using a memory card reader for editing, you'll experience quicker file transfer times, saving you valuable time and improving your workflow efficiency.

It's important to note that not all cameras support UHS-II SD cards or CFexpress cards, so it's essential to check your camera's specifications prior to purchasing a card. It’s worth noting that if you shoot with a high-end Sony camera, you’ll need a CFexpress Type A card, whereas other camera manufacturers tend to use CFexpress Type B.

Additionally, while UHS-II SD cards are more widely available and generally more affordable, CFexpress cards provide even faster speeds and even larger storage capacities, making them an excellent choice for professionals or those who demand the utmost performance.

Capturing climbers with Nikon Z8

The fastest memory cards for action

These memory cards all offer fast read/write speeds for various camera systems.

Memory card


Additional features


Lexar 80GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

900 MB/s read and 800 MB/s write

Protection against temperature, shock and vibration


Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

900 MB/s read and 800 MB/s write

Protection against temperature, shock and vibration


Lexar 128GB Professional CFexpress Type B Card Diamond Series

1900MB/s read and 1700MB/s write

Protection against temperature, shock and vibration


Lexar 128GB Professional 1800x 270MB/S UHS-II V60 SDXC Twin Pack

270 MB/s read and 180 MB/s write

Temperature-proof, shockproof, vibration-proof and X-ray-proof


Lexar 256GB Professional 2000x 300MB/S UHS-II V90 SDXC Card Gold

300 MB/s read and 260 MB/s write

Temperature-proof, shockproof, vibration-proof and X-ray-proof


Browse the best accessories for capturing motion here.

Slider with motion control

Tripods and sliders

Having a stable foundation for your camera can be a great option when it comes to capturing action-packed moments. Quick release tripods and camera sliders offer the perfect solution, providing the stability and flexibility needed to capture dynamic shots with precision and ease. Whether you're shooting fast-moving sporting events, adventurous outdoor activities, or dynamic film sequences, these tools become invaluable in ensuring smooth and dynamic footage.

By utilising a quick release mechanism, you can rapidly set up your equipment and make quick adjustments, allowing you to adapt to the ever-changing pace of the action. By investing in high-quality tripods, you can elevate your photography and videography to new heights, capturing those exhilarating moments with professional-level stability and fluidity.

Best tripods and sliders for dynamic action sequences

When we put the Manfrotto MOVE Quick Release System through its paces we were impressed at how easy it was to use, so it’s no surprise that two of the tripods included in our recommendations come with the QR catcher.


Key features


Manfrotto 055 CF 3 Section Tripod Kit with Move QR Catcher and XPRO

Photo set-up which combines stable and lightweight carbon fibre tripod legs with a friction adjustable head and Manfrotto QR system


Manfrotto 055 CF 4 Section Tripod Kit with Move QR Catcher and XPRO Q2

This combination includes compact folding carbon legs, a 360º panning ball head and Manfrotto’s QR catcher


Manfrotto Magic Carpet PRO Short Slider + Ext (61-152cm)

Get professional-quality sliding motion for video content, which you can also use for timelapse


Manfrotto Genie II Linear

Add this motion control device to a slider and enjoy full wireless camera control and live view through the app


Canon mirrorless camera with 70-200mm lens

In summary, for sports and action photography it pays to choose a camera which is quick, features in-body stabilisation and excellent low light performance, along with a telephoto zoom lens. These will allow you to capture distant subjects in higher detail, while the zoom capability provides versatility for adapting to different shooting situations.

Drones have become an indispensable tool for some creators who capture sports and action from the skies. They provide photographers and videographers with unprecedented access, stability, and creative freedom, enabling them to document high-speed events and showcase the beauty and excitement of sports from a unique new perspective.

With a compact size, durability, versatility, and user-friendly features, action cameras enable enthusiasts to document their outdoor activities in exciting and immersive ways. Whether it's recording epic mountain bike rides, thrilling skiing descents, or capturing the beauty of underwater exploration, these cameras empower enthusiasts to relive and share their adrenaline-filled moments with others.

Whichever camera you choose, add the fastest memory card possible, whether it's a UHS-II SD card or CFexpress card. These offer faster write and read speeds, allowing for continuous shooting, smooth video recording, and quick file transfers.

Browse our range of digital cameras and interchangeable lenses to find the perfect match. Once you’ve got the gear, you can head out and create impactful images that truly showcase the excitement of sports and action genres.

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By Nick Dautlich on 05/07/2023

Trade in your old equipment

Fast and easy trade in service ensures your old gear is collected efficiently and you are paid quickly! It's very simple to trade in your unwanted photography gear. Just head over to our dedicated Sell or Part Exchange page, fill out the details, and we'll get back to you with an offer for your old gear. Take the cash, or put it towards the cost of your new gear. It's up to you! Find out more