There’s little I get more excited about than combining two of my favorite things: photography and sports. Action sports are no different. I love watching people defy the odds and taking on a “watch me” attitude. Even though I rarely get to do any thrill seeking, I’m never too hesitant to jump out of an airplane, scuba dive, rock climb, repel, snowboard, surf, or skateboard.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie and you love to photograph your adventures, you should be aware of my favorite action sports gear. All of these things are included because they allow you to shoot great photos while packing light, they protect your gear as much as possible, and they allow you to have fun while shooting action sports.
Peak Design Capture Pro
If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you might know that I’m obsessed with a company called Peak Design. They make small camera accessories that make shooting and holding your gear easier. The first thing I bought from Peak Design was their Capture Pro, and it’s still my favorite camera accessory. Basically, the Capture Pro attaches to any strap or belt and has a latch that holds your camera in place. An easy to reach button releases your camera from the latch so you’re always ready to shoot. I actually had the chance to talk to Peak Design president to dive deeper into their concept. Listen to our conversation here!
See the Capture Pro HERE! Use the code “roundtable” for 10% off at checkout! Hurrah for coupon codes!
Peak Design Shell
If my love of Peak Design hasn’t become evident yet, just wait… there’s another Peak Design product later! The Shell isn’t available for purchase just yet, but I’m definitely going to get one when it is. Shell is an ultralight rain and dust cover for your DSLR. It will come in two sizes for those who have larger DSLR cameras or use a battery grip. I like Shell because it’s small. I don’t need a massive rain sleeve if I’m going to shoot with a wide angle lens. Shell is the perfect size for any photographer packing light. I mean seriously, when’s the last time you saw a photographer shooting with a 400mm lens on the side of a mountain? I rest my case…
I spend a few minutes each day scrolling through my Vimeo feed watching the latest GoPro user videos. Consider this your toy to use while you’re shooting serious shots with a DSLR. GoPros are very fun to use to shoot timelapse, still shots, or showing everyone what your adventure looks like from your point of view. What’s great about the GoPro is that it comes with their editing software that allows you to easily make professional videos of your footage!
If you already shoot action sports, when is the last time you took a tripod with you? Now, tripods have become lighter and more compact, but they still aren’t completely realistic to pack on action sports trips. There are still come situations where a tripod would be very useful, though. That’s why I use the GorillaPod. You might look at the GorillaPod’s flexible legs and think that it’s not sturdy, but let me assure you, it is. I even have a hard time getting it off objects! The GorillaPod is surprisingly light and small so it’s very easy to pack in a bag for travel. It’s the new go to tripod for action sports.
Peak Design Cuff
I told you it was coming! My love of Peak Design continues! Remember those little straps that the old point and shoot digital cameras came with? You would wrap them around your wrist so if you dropped the little guy it wouldn’t tumble to its eternal grave. Well, the Cuff is like that, only it’s much more durable and rugged. When I was shooting rock climbing, the one thing I was afraid of when I started shooting was dropping my DSLR. I thought, “Man, it sure would be great to have one of those point and shoot straps right now.” With the Cuff, that worry disappears.
See the Cuff HERE! Remember to use that “roundtable” coupon code for 10% off!
Sometimes conditions are dark, and you need a good solution to get great photos in low light. This flash is very good. Don’t let the price fool you, either. If you’re judging the quality of a product based on the price, your looking at the wrong thing. The Yongnuo Speedlight can do anything a Canon or Nikon flash can do. The only thing it’s missing is the high priced name brand. Whether you’re shooting 1st curtain, 2nd curtain, or high speed sync for those continuous shots, the Yongnuo will keep up with you.
Canon 7D MarkII
Looking for an action sports DSLR? Your wish has been granted! 20.2 MP, 10FPS, 65 AF points, ISO 100-16,000. It’s official. I’m obsessed with the 7D Mark II. I’m often upset when manufacturers roll out a second edition of a camera model because it disappoints me a lot, however the 7D Mark II is a different story. Packing 65 AF points, an outrageous ISO range, and 10 FPS into a crop sensor camera is unheard of, but Canon pulled it off! Don’t let the 20.2 MP scare you. Yes, it’s no 36 MP sensor, but it will give you images just as clear. The new APSC sensor allows for a wider ISO range for optimal low light performance. It’s crazy that a crop sensor takes the top spot for the hobbyist category, beating out a full-frame DSLR, but the FPS and the overall quality of the 7D Mark II shines brightly. The 10FPS will easily get you multiple quality shots in one burst.
So, now that you have all of this action sports gear, you’re going to need something to carry it in. Enter the Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L. This is the bag I use for every shoot, action sports or not. It’s extremely durable, lightweight, and has TONS of room in a compact space. I’ve fit my DSLR with a telephoto lens attached, wide angle lens, flash, extra batteries, 18-55 kit lens, and a GorillaPod in it before. The 10L is a perfect size. The 20L version is slightly too large for an action sports shoot where you’re required to maneuver positions quickly. You can easily access your gear by swinging the bag to your front on the hip buckle and unzipping the back! Perfect for a quick lens change!
After all of that, you should be geared up for your next action sports photography shoot! Even though I’m encouraging you to take your photography to the extreme, I’m not liable for your injuries. Happy and safe shooting! For more lists, favorites, and tips, follow me on Pinterest!