10 Best Camera for Surf Photography in 2020 [Expert Guide]
Once you start practicing water sports you discover incredible sensations that you undoubtedly want and feel the need to share with other people and with yourself.
A water camera becomes an essential accessory, whether it is for a friend, your partner or family member to also discover the wonderful world that being in the middle of the sea offers or simply to record your sessions and be able to refine your surfing.
For this, you always need best camera for surf photography. So now the main question is what is the best camera for surf photography?
So don’t worry we have analyzed, tested and studied the best sports cameras on the market in order to offer you the best recommendation adapted and personalized to your needs.
Top 10 Best Camera for Surf Photography in 2020
- 1 Top 10 Best Camera for Surf Photography in 2020
- 1.1 1. Canon EOS Rebel T6i Digital SLR Camera
- 1.2 2. Sony Alpha a6000 camera for Surf Photography
- 1.3 3. Sony a6500 Digital Camera
- 1.4 4. Canon EOS Rebel T5i Digital Camera
- 1.5 5. Panasonic Lumix GH5 Digital Camera
- 1.6 6. Panasonic Lumix G9 Digital Camera
- 1.7 7. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera
- 1.8 8. Panasonic Lumix G85 Digital Camera
- 1.9 9. Panasonic Lumix G7 Digital Camera
- 1.10 10. Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera
- 2 Complete Buying guide to buy the Best Camera for Surf Photography
To make the ranking of this post we have based on the three most important factors that you must take into account before choosing your camera first is price and quality, second is functions and third is design.
1. Canon EOS Rebel T6i Digital SLR Camera
This model was introduced in February 2015 but still in 2020 it is a highly demanded camera because it is an entry-level camera that comes with the CMOS sensor.
Canon Company replaced its older model 700D with this T6i. It comes with the 24.0 MP camera with the CMOS sensor and also features a DIGIC 6 processor.
Because of all these amazing features, you can capture at a maximum resolution of 6000 x 4000 pixels with the aspect ratio of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 with this best camera for surf photography.
Other than this the T6i camera provides the ISO range between 100 to 12800 and this range is also boosted up to 25600.
The most amazing feature of this camera is it can save files in the RAW format and this thing will give you the wider room for the post-processing.
This good camera for surf photography comes with the 3″ LCD touch screen so you have the opportunity to change the settings and the focus point with the help of your fingertips.
The only drawback of this camera is it doesn’t have any type of environmental sealing on its body so you should have to protect it from the dust and water.
- Comes with the built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
- Touch screen
- It provides the 19 focus point
- The built-in optical viewfinder
- The external microphone port is present
- Image stabilization is not present
2. Sony Alpha a6000 camera for Surf Photography
In the process of rebranding Sony with its range of CSC with APS sensor from the name NEX to Alpha, it has gone one step further with the Sony A6000.
As we can see, its new 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor heads the renewal.
Although the highlight of the sensor of this best camera for surf photography is that it incorporates pixels for the focus which leads it to become one of its main arguments.
It has no less than 179 autofocus points (compared to 99 that the NEX-6 incorporated), by phase detection, but of them, 25 are contrast-detection points
This thing completes its powerful hybrid autofocus system.
We cannot ignore the inclusion of the latest Sony processor, the Bionz X that is already present in the A7 and A7r, for example.
And your chance of reaching a maximum ISO sensitivity of 25,600 with this best camera for surfing photography.
Another aspect that should be noted is that we did not find a touch screen.
The new electronic viewfinder of this camera is the only step back (incomprehensible) with respect to the previous model.
Now the viewfinder is slightly smaller, but above all, it has a lower resolution.
Its autofocus is one of its strongest points because it is really effective in low light and amazingly fast in good light conditions.
It is a superb camera in terms of color reproduction. It tends to be slightly saturated but it is not annoying or too noticeable.
The A6000 best surf photography camera incorporates a new automatic ISO mode, in addition to the usual one.
- Fast autofocus speed
- Enables bursts of up to 11 fps with tracking focus
- Improve connectivity with NFC and remote connection to PC or Mac
- High customization of controls
- The price is competitive in its range
- Kit lens does not take full advantage of the sensor
- The design is almost identical to the previous model
3. Sony a6500 Digital Camera
The Sony a6500 is considered one of the best mirrorless or evil cameras today with the APS-C sensor.
The 24.4-megapixel sensor of this best camera for surf photography performs really well, even in difficult light conditions.
It comes with 5-axis image stabilization built into the body, a BIONZ X sensor that allows you to record video in 4K and shoot 11 photos per second in burst mode.
It has a hybrid focus with phase detection and 0.05-second contrast-detection AF.
425 focus points and touch screen, a feature that the Sony A7II did not bring and that will help many undecided choose.
Focused on an average/professional user who wants to take the step and stop using the SLR camera in jobs where weight is a problem or as a more than the reliable second body.
Its negative point of this best surf photography camera is battery because we can take from 310 to 350 photos depending on whether we use the screen or the viewfinder.
So it is advisable to carry some extra battery.
In the video section, the Sony a6500 camera provides you with the opportunity to record the 4K videos at the 30fps same as the Sony a6000 series models.
However, the bitrate almost goes up to the 100Mbps.
This waterproof surf camera comes with the logarithmic S-Log profiles and this thing will offer you to maximize the dynamic range in the video to provide more control in the editing phase.
Other than this you can also record the 1080p resolution video up to the 120 fps.
But the only drawback is it suffers from heating when you record the video at 4K resolution but now with the new update, this problem is solved.
- Focusing speed is fantastic
- It provides excellent performance at the high ISOs
- Comes with the good image stabilizer
- Built-in 5 axis stabilization system
- Price is high
4. Canon EOS Rebel T5i Digital Camera
We recommend this camera (and EOS systems in general) to those who are just beginning to study photography or are new to the subject.
Its design is like any other SLR but with the great features of size and weight it is much more compact and lighter than a professional camera
This best camera for surf photography comes with the LCD, touch, 3 inches with aspect 3: 2 (wide) and a resolution of a million points.
You will see your images very saturated, very deep and sharp but do not trust yourself; we recommend that you always download the photos to the computer.
It has brightness control, covers 100% of what you are seeing through the optical viewfinder and the menus that appear in it are available in 25 different languages.
In addition to having an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, the sensitivity (ISO) can be expanded up to 12800 or 25600 to be able to photograph what you want in very dark conditions.
It has 9 autofocus points which work much better when Live View mode is on.
The hybrid sensor makes focusing much faster that’s why it is best option for surf photography from the beach.
It has a smart mode that recognizes different scenes. With this mode, the camera will take technically correct photos, optimized for the corresponding scene, even at night.
It has creative effects such as Night Mode, HDR and Backlighting, among others, as well as seven filters that you can see in real-time (while Live View is activated).
This good camera for video and photo comes with a function that reduces digital noise in case the camera is set to very high sensitivity (12800 or 25600).
In this way, you ensure maximum detail even at high sensitivities.
It is compatible with SD / SDHC / SDXC cards which are much easier to find everywhere, a little cheaper than CF (Compact Flash). It is compatible with a huge range of Canon EF or EF-S lenses.
- It has 18 megapixels in a hybrid CMOS sensor.
- Records video in Full HD and has HDMI output.
- 3-inch LCD screen.
- Compatible with a wide range of lenses.
- The EOS system is the simplest so it is not a totally professional camera
5. Panasonic Lumix GH5 Digital Camera
The G line of professional mirrorless cameras brings the Lumix GH5, but what makes this model a best camera for surf photography?
After three years of hard work by Panasonic, the Lumix GH5 was exhibited for the first time in September 2016
For visibility of live and recorded material, it has a 3.2-inch OLED electronic viewfinder, multi-angle RGBW LCD and touch screen, considered one of the sharpest among cameras.
It has a resolution of 1.62 points, since it is capable of representing 3.68 million points, with a magnification of 0.76 and a front sight of 21 mm, a quality that is not present in today’s cameras.
It has two slots for SD memory cards, these are UHS-II compatible and usable for automatic switching, backup and selection of final files
This best camera for video and photo comes with an interchangeable lens, mirrorless (DSLM). It gives the ability to take pictures with a resolution of 6K.
Pixel density was improved with a Digital LIVE MOS sensor, compared to the previous model there is a 25% improvement in this topic.
In addition, it allows you to take bursts at 30fps. Speed is another of its strengths; it has 12fps of continuous shooting with AF-S and 9fps with AF-C to record a maximum of 100 frames.
It has a Venus Engine image processor, ideal for better natural photos where the texture of objects can be fully appreciated.
The GH5’s new recording capabilities range from the new autofocus system to the ability to capture 4K video at 50fps to 60fps in 4: 3 anamorphic mode; and 1080p at 180fps.
GH5 best camera for photos and videos includes in its options the 6K PHOTO function, which allows the user to extract an image from the video.
- Provide amazing image quality
- Reach ISO 25600
- HDR video
- Five-axis Dual IS Image Stabilizer System
- Suppresses image jitter and enables motion correction
- 225-point autofocus
- The weight of the camera is very high, even without the lens on
6. Panasonic Lumix G9 Digital Camera
Panasonic G9 the most photographic camera of the Japanese manufacturer, which makes the most demanding professional photographers fall in love.
The main feature of Panasonic Lumix G9 best camera for surf photography is the Speed as well as reliability and durability.
It is designed to give a lot of battle among lovers of photography in harsh environments.
In the Panasonic G9, we find a new generation 20.3 Million Pixel sensor with a new filter that achieves real magic even when the sun is against us and thanks to this new anti-reflection coating, ghosting and glare is eliminated.
The processor that the Panasonic G9 mounts are the Venus Engine, very fast as well as generating color quality and details that seem very good to me.
With Panasonic G9 you will find a stabilization system even more improved compared to previous versions and you will get amazing surfing picture.
One of the things that most caught our attention about the Panasonic G9 is its magnificent AF system.
It is fast and accurate as never before achieved in a Panasonic mirrorless, capable of setting focus in just 0.04 seconds.
It is one of the fastest and with the possibility of burst shooting of up to 20 frames per second at maximum file quality and maintaining AF-C focus tracking.
This burst speed can go up to 60 fps when switching to AF-S mode.
Like good and authentic Panasonic, is Lumix G9 we can enjoy Photo 4k / 6K functions, the format in which from a video you can extract a JPEG photograph of 8 or 16 MP, having a burst of up to 30 fps (6K) or 60 fps (4k).
- It provides excellent image quality
- It is a value for money product
- Comes with the amazing viewfinder
- Its body is very large
7. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera
The canon 7D mark II camera itself does not require much introduction.
We are facing the professional APS-C SLR of the entire range of the brand’s products.
Its excellent shooting speed and an excellent new metering mode make it have a certain degree of novelty and very suitable for sports and wildlife.
The design of 7 D Mark II best camera for surf photography is very similar to what we have in the Canon 5D Mark III, and its ergonomics is another very similar point as well.
On the sides of this best camera for long-distance shots, we can find the headphone, microphone, cable connector to synchronize flash, trigger, USB and HDMI output.
On the other side we have the double memory card slot, something very useful and finally implemented.
Image quality is an important point for users who have waited to know if it’s sensor has improved in terms of performance.
Knowing if the noise has been reduced from ISO 800 and if the dynamic range has been expanded
These are two of the main pending accounts that this 20.2-megapixel APS-C captor with Dual Pixel technology could have as a requirement that offers us sensitivity between 100 to 16000 ISO (without forcing).
And, except for the improvement in AF thanks to the aforementioned Dual Pixel and the mic, headphone and HDMI outputs; the video does not go from 1080p capture at 60, 50, 30, and 25 fps.
- It provides excellent image quality
- High ISO performance
- Comes with the excellent burst speed
- Built-in GPS and dual memory card slots
- Battery life is not enough for the professional users
8. Panasonic Lumix G85 Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix G85 is specially designed for those people who love shooting selfies and do vlogging. It comes with the 16.0 MP four-third CMOS sensors.
You have the opportunity to record video at the maximum resolution of 4592 x 3448 pixels with the aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9.
If we talk about the ISO range of this best camera for surf photography then it is 200 to 25600 and this camera saves the files in the RAW format which provides you with the wider space for the post-processing.
The other amazing feature of Panasonic G85 is it comes with the 5-axis image stabilization and it is totally sensor-based, other than this its sensor doesn’t have an anti-alias effect.
Because of removing this effect, this camera increases the level of details and sharpness.
The important thing is this best camera for video and photos provides the environmental sealing on its body which makes it a camera that provides resistance against the dust and water.
Panasonic G85 comes with the 3″ LCD touch screen and also built-in viewfinder. This thing makes it easier to capture a picture against the sunlight.
Comes with the built-in Wi-Fi and powered by a sufficient battery that provides the shooting life of 330.
- Articulating screen
- Provides an opportunity to record 4K videos
- Comes 49 focus point
- Provides timelapse recording
- Low light performance is not good
- Battery life is average
9. Panasonic Lumix G7 Digital Camera
It is a very light camera, although the format and ergonomics are more similar to an SLR, like its older sister the GH4.
Both are very video-oriented but of course, they are still cameras, which offer great image quality.
The G7 is basically the mid-range version of the GH4 and best camera for water photography.
It inherits many of the characteristics of that fantastic video camera, but in a body in which a balance has been sought to reduce costs.
For example, the construction material is basically plastic and it is not a sealed chamber.
For intensive professional use, it is clear that the GH4 is a more complete and robust camera, and has long been the benchmark when it comes to 4K video recording (and still is).
However, the G7 is a very good alternative, within the mid-range it is possibly the one that offers the best performance/price ratio if we want a camera with 4K video.
The focus system is very good: fast and precise, both in photography and video.
From its ability to record in 4K includes the 4K Photo function: It allows you to take bursts of 30 photos with 4K resolution, that is, 8Mpx instead of the 16Mpx that its sensor would allow.
This option is very useful to capture photos for surfers with a lot of movement, to be able to choose the exact moment that we want to collect.
The screen is fully articulated and tactile, which greatly facilitates work in both photography and video.
This best video and photo camera offers a very solid grip that allows us to comfortably use large lenses.
It includes two dials to control aperture and shutter speed in a very fast way, configurable function buttons and a focus lock button to facilitate the ‘back button focus technique.
The G7 does not include a stabilization system in the body, depending on the type of photography and the battery life is above the average for this type of mirrorless camera.
- Includes logarithmic gamma correction profiles
- The response to high ISOs is even better than the GH4
- The electronic viewfinder is large
- Includes Wi-Fi connection
- The plastic body can give a low-end or at least non-premium feeling
10. Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera
This camera is an amazing combination of refinement and the innovation and it is considered as the legendary camera in every aspect.
This best camera for surf photography comes with the Canon-developed sensor that provides excellent image quality in the range of EOS.
The EOS-1D X Mark II is super-fast and you can capture up to 14 fps and in the live control you can capture up to 16 fps.
If we talk more about this sensor then it comes with the ability to convert the light to the digital signal and because of this, it provides the high-sensitivity performance.
At the high and low ISO speeds, it reduces the complete noise and provides amazing images in the dark areas.
With the help of its 20-megapixel camera, you can record 4K best surfing videos at the 60fps and you the opportunity to record videos for 30 minutes without any disturbance.
Other than this you can also record the 4K videos at the resolution 8.8 MP. It also provides the option to capture the Full HD videos at 120 fps.
It comes with the top-notch display and when you look at the images on the camera screen then it will not disappoint you.
- It comes with the excellent control layout
- It is able to record the 4K videos
- Amazing auto-focus system
- It uses the excellent sensor
- For the video mode, it doesn’t provide the quick menu
- Its large size files create problems for some users
Complete Buying guide to buy the Best Camera for Surf Photography
There are too many things that consider before buying the best camera for surf photography, so all these things are given below.
How much are you going to use them?
The frequency of use is an important factor that you have to consider when buying the best camera for surf photography.
In case you use the camera frequently, we recommend making a good investment to guarantee the durability and resistance of the camera; on the contrary, if you know that you will only use the occasional camera, you can choose a one from given above.
As for the pixels:
The resolution is responsible for determining the number of pixels in the camera as well as the width of the image. To get maximum resolution photos, the camera must have a quality sensor.
This aspect has to do with the amount of light that the camera sensor absorbs. With this setting, you can get darker or brighter photos, depending on what you want. The smaller the aperture, the more illumination you will get in your shot.
For increased stability:
At the time surfing, you will definitely want sports cameras. The image stabilizer will help you reduce vibrations and jerky movements, which are what cause blurry photos.
In addition to the frequency of use, consider how long you will be using the sports camera. Since the more reach the camera battery has, the longer the duration will be, and if you are recording videos, you will not run the risk of the camera turning off while filming.
Get a camera that suits your needs, among the sports camera models you can find a camera with WIFI, Bluetooth, GPS or NFC.
Surfing cameras come in different forms, which in turn mean different camera sizes. For greater comfort, small sports cameras are ideal, however, if you want photos with a professional finish and with a greater range, opt for a large sports camera.