Best Camera For Surf Photography 2023 | Reviews and Comparison

Surfing is a popular water sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you are interested in capturing the beauty and excitement of surfing, you will need to purchase the best camera for surf photography.

There are several factors you will need to consider when choosing a camera for this purpose, including the type of photography you plan to do, the features offered by different cameras, and your budget. This article will provide you with information on how to choose the best camera for surf photography.

Best Camera For Surf Photography

Sony A7III

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The Sony A7 III is a full-frame mirrorless camera that can take great surfing photos. It has some advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that it is popular and people know how to use it. Another advantage is that it is compatible with waterproof accessories and a wide range of surf photography lenses.

A disadvantage, however, is that it might be old technology for some people. The Sony A7 III’s 24.2MP BSI CMOS sensor provides excellent color fidelity and dynamic range in low light. Its 700-pt AF tracking system is good but not as good as the Sony Alpha models. 

You can use thirty parties or lenses manufactured by sony for this camera. The quality of the video is marvelous. However, the Recording limit is only 30 minutes. Make sure you keep this in mind before shooting surf videos with Sony A7 III.


The camera is good. There’s also a 5Gbps Type-C connection, an audio output for monitoring, a line-in, and a micro HDMI output for displaying 8-bit video streams. You can connect your camera to the internet using wifi and others option on this camera.

I know the camera is large but not hefty. The firm grip helps surfers while shooting surfing videos and with a large zoom lens, it makes the video more beautiful. The body of the Sony A7 III is not solid as compared to previous sony cameras, But it will be completely fine when you protect it in a waterproof bag.

Battery Life

The Sony A7 III has great battery life. You can take 710 photos on one charge, but careful use might let you take a few thousand photos. Please take care of your battery. Because sometimes during surfing sand and water enters the battery and which will lead to severe damage to your battery. So why not prevent this damage? Always put the camera in a bag when not in use.

Ignore Sony A7 III’s age because Age is just a number. This camera is still able to shoot excellent surf videos and high-quality images. The price has gone down since it was first released because newer models have come out. Its waterproofing features make it one of the best cameras for surf photography.

  • Amazing Dynamic Range
  • Excellent Image stabilization
  • Button are easy to customize
  • AF System could be better.

Panasonic LUMIX S5

Another excellent mirrorless camera in the market is LUMIX S5. Panasonic are making cameras for many years. But this Panasonic camera hits differently. I know that fan following of this camera is low as compared to others mentioned in this article.

But it has awesome features that produce high-quality images and videos. Moreover, the Manual focus of S5 is just too good. You can shoot surf videos from a distance and close-up shots. You can rely on this camera for surf photography.

S5’s Defocus technology is incredible which enhances camera quality and makes it more efficient. This is a slower method than PDAF, but it is more accurate. S5’s image sensor is just amazing. With the help of this, we can create excellent surfing films and pictures that we stored as memories for the future.


The S5 has an HDMI output, two 3.5mm audio inputs for monitoring and recording, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, and a USB-C port that can charge the camera at 5 Gbps. The S5’s USB-C connection is rated for 5 Gbps and may also be used to charge the camera.

Because it’s a more video-focused hybrid camera, the S5 can provide phantom power to a compatible microphone; you’ll be interested to discover that it can also deliver phantom power to a compatible microphone.

Build Quality

The Lumix s5 is the smallest Panasonic full-frame camera. It is still heavier than some of the competitors, but that can be helpful because it makes the camera easier to hold. When you are taking pictures without a tripod, the camera mustn’t be too heavy so it doesn’t drop out of your hands.

Battery Life

The product is good. The battery life is 460 photos. But if you take pictures for a long time, A battery grip or a power bank will be required. To save you time in unpacking the camera, Consider a waterproof case and grip for LUMIX S5 camera.

If you like S5’s manual focusing and excellent video capabilities, then it’s a good choice for you and helps you film surfing videos. The without-movement images captured with S5 are amazing. In my opinion, This is the best camera for surf photography.

Canon EOS R

The Canon EOS R is an example of an old camera that is still very popular. This full-frame mirrorless camera from Canon was the company’s first. It has the same sensor as the 5D Mark IV, which makes it a good choice for people who want to take pictures of things that are moving quickly and also want to capture the beauty of those things.

The camera comes with an amazing high-resolution 30.3MP CMOS sensor, Which is the greatest high-resolution sensor for a full-frame mirrorless camera. You’ll have all the sharpness you desire with the right lenses, and you also get one of the most effective IBIS systems available.

Dual Pixel technology is supported by the Canon 5D Mark IV, and it has over 5,000 AF points with real-time subject tracking. 4K 60 FPS movies are possible with this camera, but you’ll have to live with a 1.8x crop.


802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE 4.1, 6 Gbps USB-C, twin 3.5mm audio jacks, a micro HDMI port for video output, and a single UHS-II class card that can store data are all included in the EOS R. It may be used as a remote control with the appropriate software on your smartphone.

Build Quality

The EOS R is designed to be durable and withstand tough conditions. The large size and durability of this camera mean that it can withstand rain and strong winds. The deep grip and buttons help you maintain balance and control when shooting from a boat.

Battery Life

The battery life is quite limited, with only 370 photographs possible per charge. But this is to be expected because it’s a first-generation full-frame mirrorless camera. If you need more shots, you can buy a battery grip that will triple the battery life. Or allowing it to be charged using a USB-PD charger.

The Canon EOS R is good for taking pictures of things that don’t move. It’s a good camera with a lot of features. It also has a good image sensor and is very stable when you’re taking pictures.

Nikon Z6

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This is a new Nikon mirrorless camera that aims to compete with other similar models. It has a fast burst rate and good image quality, especially when taking pictures of people. The Z mount lenses, which are made specifically for Nikon’s mirrorless cameras, are also compatible with this model.

The Z6 can take still images quickly using its 24MP sensor. You’ll likely get clear photos with the camera’s built-in image stabilization. The image quality is also amazing, especially when you shoot RAW files. The 273-point autofocus system is ideal for taking photos quickly, but it may not be as good for tracking moving objects as some of Nikon’s other DSLRs.


The camera includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you may quickly link it to a network wirelessly. This is fantastic because you won’t have to take the camera out of its waterproof casing to see your photographs. The device has a 5 Gbps USB-C, two 3.5 mm audio ports, HDMI output, and an MC-DC2 remote jack.

Build quality

The Nikon Z6 is a well-made mirrorless camera. It has a very good design and is one of the largest EVFs in its class. The EVF is 3.7 megapixels. Surprisingly, it is also very light at only 1.29 pounds.

Battery Life

The battery life of the Nikon Z6 is not good, with only 380 photos available per charge. However, you might be able to take more than 1000 photos if you are careful. A battery grip would still be a good idea for taking pictures at the beach, though.

This is a great time for Nikon lovers to start using the full-frame system. The Z mount is the future, and existing lenses can be used while migrating to it. AF monitoring might be improved, but it’s more than enough for stunning surfing pictures.

Sony A6600

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The Sony A6600 is an outstanding camera that builds on the strengths of its previous one, the Sony A6400. The most important difference between the two cameras is that the Sony A6600 has a bigger battery and image stabilization (IBIS). This makes images steadier and less blurry, which is important for surfers.

The Sony A6600 is an older model than the A7 III, but it is still one of the best cameras for people who want to take pictures with an APS-C sensor. This camera can take pictures quickly. It also has Sony’s good system that helps track the picture. No other APS-C camera has this system.

The IBIS system is fantastic and the 4K 30 FPS video mode (limited to 8-bit output) is a great value. Photos and videos are clear, even at high ISO settings. The video quality is very good when you downsample 6K footage.


The high-definition videos and images are stored on a single SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo card. This means that you will need a good card reader because data transfer rates are limited to USB 2.0. There is also a micro HDMI output, two 3.5mm audio jacks, and Wi-Fi 802.11n with NFC here.

Build quality

The A6600 has a bigger grip than the A6400. This means that it can hold a larger battery. However, it is still a very small camera. The menu structure of A6600 could be better and due to its lightweight, there is difficulty in gripping with large lenses.

Battery Life

The Sony A6600 is a great camera for taking pictures in low-light situations. It also has a decent battery life, which lasts up to 810 shots. This is much better than any other camera, even full-frame models. The camera gets its power from batteries that are easy to find.

Nikon Z50

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The Nikon Z50 is a smaller version of the Nikon Z6 or Z7. It has a contemporary Z mount and the EXPEED 6 processor. This makes it more capable and adaptable while sacrificing a little depth of field. This isn’t significant for surfing photography.

Its powerful 20.09 CMOS sensor helps the Z6 Camera in making high-quality images and videos. The Z6 camera is even more efficient in low-light conditions. AF performance is also out of the park because sensors have a low workload with fewer pixels. These features make it another best cameras for surf photography.


Nikon has delivered images with an 8-megapixel sensor in the past. This time, it has upgraded the focus system. Nikon went with micro USB instead of USB Type C in a somewhat odd choice. Performance is limited to the USB 2.0 480 Mbps standard. Micro HDMI video output, as well as microphone input and no headphone jack, are available. Wi-Fi is fast thanks to 802.11ac and Bluetooth compatibility.

Build Quality

The Z50 is quite similar to the Z6. Nikon always wants that all of its cameras looks the same and only somewhat different. The top OLED and joystick were removed, but you can use touch input instead.

Battery Life

Even though some of its competitors cost more, the Nikon Z6 is a cheap camera. The EN-EL25 batteries that power the device are not particularly strong. The battery will only take you 320 shots at once. However, you can charge the batteries with a USB cable. If you need to take pictures for a longer time, you will need to have a lot of extra batteries.

  • Amazing Camera
  • Budget Friendly
  • Excellent Focusing System
  • Build quality could be better,

Sony A6500

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The Sony Alpha a6500 is the camera that ranks at the top of our list. It’s not only a great investment, but it also delivers excellent results for surfing photos. The Sony Alpha a6500 is another best cameras for surf photography, with its great performance and affordable price tag.

This is one of my favorite cameras because it delivers all of the features as those from bigger manufacturers without requiring the same cost, speed, quality, or creativity levels. The Sony Alpha a6500 has a 24.2MP APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and an improved image processing engine.

This means that the photos it takes are amazing. There are plenty of options available in Sony A6500 and you can pick which option you want to use. The image stabilization technology of this camera is top-notch, which helps to keep the camera straight, and the camera can capture high-quality pictures the right way.

The Sony Alpha a6500 sports 425 autofocus points. This is quite rapid in general. The 4D focus system innovation makes this camera outstanding. It also can shoot 11 frames per second in the continuous drive mode.

  • Excellent Camera
  • Durable
  • Easy to operate
  • Feature are average

Buying Guide

When choosing a camera for surf photography, there are several factors you will need to consider. The first thing to consider is the type of photography you plan to do. If you plan to do mostly action shots, you will need a camera with a fast shutter speed. If you plan to take photos of the scenery as well as the surfers, you will need a camera with a wide-angle lens.

The next thing to consider is the features offered by different cameras. Cameras with manual controls can be more versatile for surf photography, as they allow you to adjust settings such as shutter speed and aperture depending on the conditions. Some cameras also offer built-in waterproofing, which can be helpful if you plan to take photos in the water.

Finally, you will need to consider your budget when choosing a camera for surf photography. There are several great cameras on the market, but they can vary significantly in price. You will need to decide how much you are willing to spend on a camera before you start shopping.

FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the best camera for surf photography?

Different photographers have different preferences and opinions. Some of the most popular cameras used for surf photography include the Nikon D850, the Canon 5D Mark IV, and the Fujifilm X-T2.

What lens should I use for surf photography?

Many photographers recommend using a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the scene as possible. Some popular options include the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens and the Nikon 10-20mm f/3.5 DX AF-S ED Zoom-Nikkor Lens.

What settings should I use for surf photography?

Different photographers prefer different settings. However, a good starting point is to set your camera to manual mode and use a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second or faster to freeze the action. You may also want to adjust your aperture depending on the level of light and your desired depth of field.

How do I properly compose a surf photograph?

The best way to compose a surf photograph will vary depending on the scene and your personal preferences. However, some tips to keep in mind include using a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the scene as possible, placing your subject in the center of the frame, and using leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye toward your subject.

What are some common mistakes made in surf photography?

Some common mistakes made in surf photography include using a too-slow shutter speed (which can result in blurred action), not paying enough attention to the background (which can result in distracting elements), and not considering the light (which can affect the overall quality of the image).

What lighting conditions are best for surf photography?

Different photographers have different preferences. However, generally speaking, shooting in the morning or evening when the light is softer is often recommended. You may also want to consider using a tripod to ensure that your photos are properly exposed and composed.

Hopefully, these FAQs have helped to give you a better understanding of surf photography and how to get started. Remember, there is no one “right” way to take a surf photograph, so experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you. Happy Surfing!


After testing out and researching a variety of cameras, we’ve concluded that the best camera for surf photography is the Nikon D850. It’s a powerful DSLR camera that can shoot in a variety of conditions, making it perfect for capturing those split-second moments on the waves.

Plus, with its built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, you’ll be able to transfer your photos and videos to your computer or other devices quickly and easily. So if you’re looking for the best camera to help capture your surfing adventures, the Nikon D850 is a perfect choice.

If you are looking for a more affordable camera, we recommend the Canon EOS Rebel T7i. It’s a great entry-level DSLR camera that is easy to use and delivers excellent image quality. And with its extensive list of features, you’ll be able to capture stunning photos and videos of your surfing adventures.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, there is a camera out there that is perfect for capturing amazing surf photos. So get out there and start snapping some shots!

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