The best Canon cameras and lenses for sports photography

Sports photographers Jorge Ferrari and Jean-baptiste Liautard reveal the kit they rely on to capture their standout action shots.
A cyclist is captured in mid air, silhouetted against a smoky orange background, with silhouetted trees and rocks in the foreground.

The full-frame mirrorless Canon EOS R System has some outstanding camera and lens options for sports photographers, including the professional EOS R5 camera and the flexible and compact RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM zoom lens. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 100mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6 and ISO1250. © Jean-baptiste Liautard

Sports photographers need robust, reliable camera equipment to ensure they never miss a beat. Fast, accurate AF and a high-speed drive are essential, as are intuitive fingertip controls that mean you never have to take your eye off the action.

So, which Canon cameras are best for sports photography? And what lenses do professional sports photographers recommend?

"For me, shooting with a Canon DSLR, the essential lenses for sports are the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM and a short zoom," says Canon Ambassador Jorge Ferrari. But, as the in-demand sports, action and commercial photographer also reveals, the best lens ultimately depends on what the objective is for a particular event. "Let's say I'm covering a rugby match, for example," Jorge continues. "I would put a 400mm or 600mm lens on my Canon EOS-1D X Mark III because the tight action shots would be my main focus. But I'd switch to a 70-200mm or 24-70mm lens for the prize presentations, because my priority has changed."

Hear more of the conversation in this episode of Canon's Shutter Stories podcast: