6 weatherproof cameras for outdoor sports photography
Sports photographers are tough old men who stay committed to their work, no matter the weather. These guys and gals need sports photography cameras that will do the same.
Come wind, rain, snow, cold weather or sunshine; you will always see photographers on the sidelines at sporting events. Their job is simple, capture the decisive moment of any game. Luckily, camera technology these days makes this quite easy, thanks to incredible autofocus systems, fast burst rates, and huge buffers. However, not all cameras are created equally when it comes to ruggedness. So we’ve rounded up the best (in our opinion) cameras for sports photography based on weather sealing and more.
All of the cameras we’ve listed here are absolute titans of the sports photography game. These cameras are ultra-reliable, fast, responsive, comfortable to hold and use, can help produce stunning images thanks to their sensors, and are weatherproof. When the going gets tough, these cams beat their chests and beg for more! If you’re looking for a camera that will make all-weather sports photography easier, check out the options listed below.
Canon EOS R7 — The new kid in town
For years, many sports photographers have used the Canon EOS 7D and 7D II for sports photography, thanks to their incredible performance and rugged build qualities. Now the Canon R7, the spiritual successor to the 7D, is here, and it’s very impressive. At under $1,500, the EOS R7 is a bargain, considering how much tech you get. The R7 features the largest APS-C sensor on the market (at the time of writing) which displays 32.5 megapixels. The sensor is paired with Canon’s incredible Dual Pixel CMOS AF II and can produce 30 frames per second with its electronic shutter. Additionally, the mechanical shutter fires 15 frames per second.
Along with the features listed above, you will also get an amazing IBIS, dual UHS-II card slots and a 2.36 million dot OLED EVF. Of course, the Canon EOS R7 is also weatherproof. So you can take this camera to any sporting event without worrying about Mother Nature. The ergonomics of the EOS R7 make this camera comfortable to hold for long periods of time as well, which is essential as sporting events can last forever. For the price, the Canon EOS R7 is one of the best mirrorless cameras for sports photography.
Nikon D500 — Sports Photography Royalty
It should come as no surprise that the legendary Nikon D500 made this list. There’s a good reason you’ll always see these cameras on the sidelines at professional sporting events. This camera is maybe six years old now; Still, it’s one of the best cameras for sports photography that budget-conscious photographers can get their hands on, thanks to fast burst rates (10 fps) and rugged construction. Plus, the weather sealing of the D500 is simply amazing. Snow, rain, dirt, freezing temperatures, etc. the D500 can handle it.
The 3D tracking used by Nikon in the D500 makes sports photography a breeze. Photographers have access to 153 responsive autofocus points, Wi-Fi connectivity, a large 3.2-inch LCD screen and dual card slots. Plus, the Nikon D500 is an absolute beast when it comes to low-light photography. The 21-megapixel APS-C sensor and EXPEED image processor work their magic at high ISOs.
Olympus E-M1X — As rugged as it gets
The Olympus E-M1X (which costs less than $2,000 these days) makes sports photography easy with an impressive autofocus system. You can track athletes quickly and easily, and with IPX1 waterproofing, you can use the E-M1X in any weather scenario without worrying about your camera. It’s perfect for those days when you’re stuck on the sidelines in torrential rain or blowing snow or when you’re trackside at a mud-covered motocross event.
The E-M1X has an integrated battery grip that can accommodate two batteries. The articulated screen makes shooting easier. The 20-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor delivers good dynamic range and excellent performance up to ISO 6400. You’ll also find dual UHS-II card slots, state-of-the-art IBIS, an easy-to-learn control layout and ergonomics. fantastic. Overall, the E-M1X is a great camera for sports photography. If you need a rugged camera that will last you many years, the E-M1X is the one for you.
Nikon Z 9 — A powerhouse of sports photography
The Nikon Z 9 pro-body is the new darling of the sports photography world. The Z 9 welcomes the 3D tracking that has made Nikon DSLRs so great. The camera uses 493 AI-infused autofocus points that can easily track subjects. There is also a real-time EVF without blackouts that will help you keep up with fast-paced sports.
The Z 9 is powered by a 45.7-megapixel stacked full-frame sensor. What is different with this camera is that there is no mechanical shutter, and because of this the performance is out of this world. There is a built-in vertical handle and two CFexpress card slots. The Nikon Z 9 can shoot 20fps and the buffer can handle 1000 RAW files. This camera is a weatherproof monster that can take on any weather condition. The Z 9 is one of the best mirrorless cameras and is well suited for sports photography.
Canon EOS R3 — It mocks Mother Nature
The Canon EOS R3 is a professional camera with all the bells and whistles you’d expect to find in a camera with a premium price tag. The camera features a rugged design that allows it to be outdoors in the worst Mother Nature has to offer. The EOS R3 uses a stacked 24-megapixel full-frame sensor that helps eliminate rolling shutter while delivering superior file quality. The R3 can shoot 30 frames per second with the electronic shutter and 12 frames per second with the mechanical shutter. So you’ll have no problem capturing the moments that matter. The R3 also has a party trick.
Eye-controlled autofocus is the real party element of the Canon EOS R3. All you have to do is look where you want to focus, and the camera tracks what you’re looking at. It takes a little getting used to, but soon you’ll find yourself immersed in what you’re doing and capturing the snapshots of your life. On top of that, you will get two card slots (CFexpress and UHS-II). 5-axis image stabilization, a 120fps EVF and a vari-angle touchscreen. For professional sports photographers, the cameras don’t get much better than the Canon EOS R3.
Canon EOS 1DX III — The stuff of legends
Oh my God! Another DSLR makes the list! It sure is and for good reason. The Canon EOS 1DX III is the mac daddy when it comes to DSLRs for sports photography, and it’s a camera that Canon itself says will be supported for many years to come. This camera is loved and cherished by many because of its mirrorless type performance when it comes to autofocus and burst rates and because of the advantages of an optical viewfinder over many EVFs.
The Canon EOS 1DX III features a 20.1-megapixel full-frame sensor paired with a Digic X processor. This is the same processor found in Canon’s mirrorless cameras. It features a super-fast 191-point EOS iTR AF X autofocus system and a Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system with 525 selectable points. The 1DX III outputs 20 frames per second, supports two CFexpress memory cards, has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity, and is weatherproof. A nuke could go off, and this camera would likely survive thanks to its rugged construction and waterproofness. For hard-core sports photographers, there’s probably no better camera.