Water-sports action images

Compact camera tips

Surfing, kayaking and other water sports make striking subjects for photography. The thrills, spills, jumps, turns and speed mean getting great results requires effort and patience. We've come up with some tips for taking better shots and for printing your results once you’ve got them.

• Use a waterproof case
• Combine stills and short movie clips
• Use Servo focus
• Capture the crowds


Agilité entre ciel et mer, Yannick Rosaz

Use a waterproof case

To keep your camera safe around water, and at the beach, use one of the dedicated waterproof cases made by Canon. These hard shell cases will keep you shooting underwater to a depth of 40 metres, so sand and splashes won’t be a problem. The cases also have sealed buttons around them so that you can still access all the camera functions too.

It’s really a good idea to start out with a fully charged camera battery, a memory card with plenty of space free so you won’t have to open the case once you are out shooting. A few small silica gel bags inside the case will keep the humidity down.

Combine stills and short movie clips

IXUS and PowerShot cameras capture both stills and video. This is ideal for capturing fast moving action packed sports.

While you may concentrate on still pictures, a few short video clips will help to create a more powerful story. Many cameras have a dedicated button for video recording to make it simple to start shooting video as an alternative to stills. You can then share both on your favourite social networks.

Use Servo focus to lock onto your subject

Sometimes it’s not so easy to get a quick moving subject in focus. Compact cameras often focus on a subject and lock the focus. When the subject is moving it’s harder to get a quick focus lock too. Several of our latest PowerShot cameras have a Servo AF focus setting that continuously tracks the subject. Servo AF is ideal for sports and action. If the camera has Sports mode, the camera settings are geared to shoot fast action.

Capture the crowds too

The bigger the zoom, the more likely you will be able to make distant subjects larger in your pictures. So take another approach and shoot wider views that show the whole environment of the sport and crowd. If you look in newspapers only a few shots are detailed close up pictures of the sports action, many are wider shots that put the sport in context showing the location and crowds of fans. Such shots are important to capture and your PowerShot / IXUS is ideal for this kind of picture.

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