The tiny Canon EOS M50 can deliver great results for sports photography. And not only that but it is also great for low light shooting and as your travel companion as well.
It’s a great little camera that is easy to use but capable of advanced shooting. It has a fast autofocus system, which is important for capturing action shots. Pair it with the right lens, and you will definitely get outstanding results.
There are many different settings that can be useful for sports photography, and each one will have its own unique advantages.
In this article, you’ll learn which settings will work best for sporting events and how to use them. You’ll also learn about the different lenses that are available for this camera, and which ones are best for sports photography.
How do I set my Canon EOS M50 for sports photography?
There’s no “best” setting for every situation, but there are settings that can help you capture better sports photos. Here’s a good starting point for sports and action photography:
- Set your camera to TV mode
- Shoot in JPEG
- Set the drive mode to high speed continuous
- Set the ISO Speed setting to ISO AUTO Max: 6400
- Choose a fast shutter speed. Start with 1/500th
- Set the metering mode to evaluative
- Auto white balance
- Set the picture style to Faithful
- Set the AF Setting to Servo
- Set the AF Method to Zone AF
Do keep in mind that these settings will change depending on the situation and what kind of sports you are shooting. Also, I will explain why I chose these settings in more detail below.
Canon EOS M50 Sports mode
Canon M50 has a Sports mode under “Specific Scenes” settings, which you can use for capturing subjects in motion. It’s a fully auto mode in which the camera chooses everything from ISO, shutter speed, aperture, AF Area, and burst rate or drive mode.
This feature is useful if you want to focus on shooting instead of fiddling with settings. From my experience, it’s actually useful and gets the job done, especially when shooting outdoor sports.
What ISO do I use for sports photography?
When it comes to taking pictures of sporting events, high ISO performance is necessary for high shutter speeds and accurate exposure. You can use the AUTO ISO setting on your camera and choose a maximum ISO of 3200 to 6400. When shooting outdoor sports, ISO 400 to 1600 is a good starting point.
With Canon M50, I can increase the ISO up to 3200. The images have some noticeable noise but the image quality is still pretty good even when shooting in JPEG.
ISO 6400 is pretty usable for me (sometimes), but I wouldn’t go beyond that.
Increasing the ISO setting will ensure that you can get a fast shutter speed that can freeze the action. However, increasing the ISO also increases noise in your photos.
So, you should set your maximum ISO according to your camera’s capabilities.
What shutter speed is best for sports photos?
To capture images of live sports, you need to use a fast shutter speed. Ideally, you should use a shutter speed of 1/500 or faster. This will help freeze the action and produce sharp photos.
During the day, this setting is easy to achieve.
However, if you are shooting in the dark or in an indoor venue, you may have to increase your ISO to achieve the right shutter speed.
What f-stop is best for sports?
I normally set my camera to TV or shutter priority mode for convenience. But if you want to shoot in manual mode, the recommended aperture for sports is around f/2.8 as a start.
And if you want to take a panning shot, you can totally close the aperture up to f/22 to get that beautiful motion blur.
How many focus points do you need for sports photography?
With the Canon M50, you can choose ZONE AF since it has a larger area of focus. It’s actually a big box and has several focus points inside and you can move that box around to any area you want.
You’ll find that the camera focuses faster with this and will track your subject as long as he’s inside the box and you’re using continuous AF mode.
How many frames per second for shooting sports photography?
You should choose a burst rate between 4 and up to the maximum rate that your camera can do. For example, with the Canon M50, you can shoot up to 7 frames per second. That’s pretty fast and will allow you to capture moments that you wouldn’t normally be able to without this feature.
Does Canon EOS M50 have continuous shooting?
Yes, it has a continuous shooting mode. To do this, you can go to the Drive Mode settings and choose either Single shooting, Low Low speed continuous/Continuous shooting, or High-speed continuous shooting.
Low-speed continuous can shoot approximately 4 shots per sec. while High speed continuous can go as high as 7 frames per second.
Sports lenses for Canon EOS M50
Here is a rundown of our favorite lenses for this camera. If you wish to learn more about sports photography lenses for your Canon M50 and M50 Mark II, you may start with our buying guide here.
Unfortunately, sports lenses are pretty limited when it comes to AF-M mount. If you’re mostly shooting outdoors such as your kid’s soccer games, you may want to consider the Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 Image Stabilization STM Lens.
It’s a pretty good sports lens that’s lightweight and easy to carry around with you. It’s also affordable and will definitely be more than enough for capturing outdoor sports. Oh, it’s also a great choice for a travel lens.
You can also use a Sigma EF-M 56mm f/1.4 Contemporary, which has an EF-M mount that allows you to use it without an adapter. It has a full-frame equivalent of 85mm, which can be suitable for some indoor or outdoor sports.
It’s one of the best Sigma and low light lenses for the Canon EOS M50.
Additionally, you can get a Canon EOS M Mount Adapter, which you can use to mount any EF and EF-S lenses on your EOS M50.
This way, you can take advantage of the wide range of lenses available for Canon cameras, which means you’ll have more options when it comes to capturing sports.
I use it with my Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III and Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II without any issues. And when you paired these great EF lenses with a Canon M50, you can even get more reach for shooting sports.
How do I get my sports pictures sharp?
Why are your sports photos blurry? The biggest problem that I see with blurry sports photos is camera shake. When you’re shooting handheld, you have to hold the camera steady to avoid motion blur.
If your subject is constantly moving, you need to use a faster shutter speed such as 1/500th or above to get a sharp shot when there’s a lot of movement. Also, try to reduce the camera shake by using a tripod or monopod if possible.
It’s also possible that your camera can’t track the subjects accurately. Use a wider AF zone and a higher burst rate to get more keepers.
How do sports photographers shoot at night?
Most sports photographers use a camera that can go as high as ISO 3200 without introducing too much noise and loss of detail. Having a fast lens such as f/1.4 or f/2.8 can greatly help you to lower the ISO while having a fast shutter speed.
When it comes to shutter speed, 1/500s is a good start, but if it’s not fast enough, then you can go up to 1/1000s. It’s also important that you as a photographer should know where to anticipate the action and where to position yourself in order to get the desired shot.
In sports photography is all about anticipation, positioning, and timing, so be sure that you have a good understanding of what’s going on before pressing the shutter button.
Luck can play a huge part as well! Take a look at this shot of Muhammad Ali, and you will understand what I mean.
Canon EOS M50 is great for shooting sports photography. It may not be as fast as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or 7D Mark II, but it can still do a good job. Its autofocus performance is surprisingly fast and accurate, which can be helpful for shooting sports.
The image quality is also quite good, and the camera produces sharp and vivid images.
Emma Lucy is the Founder & CEO of Emma Lucy Photography. She has over a decade of experience shooting weddings and other intimate events. She also tests the latest digital camera bodies, lenses, analog cameras and other gear from Canon, Nikon, Sony and other camera brands. She currently lives in London where she spends most of her time being a self-employed professional photographer and writer.