Camera help & advice for Kenya Safari

Old Apr 7th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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Camera help & advice for Kenya Safari

I have read all of the threads everywhere on cameras and just don't know what to do. I am heading to Kenya for 2 weeks, alone, on safari in August. I am not a hot shot photographer but have found my Kodak digital too slow when travelling. So now I am wondering I get a faster point & shoot digital like the Lumix FZ7 or 30 or do I bite the bullet and get something like the Nikon D50 and some sort o f zoom lens. Also what about storeage? Lots of cards or just haul an Epson 2000? I have small hands and am already wondering how to manage in 22 lbs. I will be staying in Lewa Downs, Lil Gov's Camp, Elsa'a Kopje in Meru, Ol Malo and Loisaba and don't really know abouit electricity etc. Any help will be greatly aoppreciated. and one more thing, need I be atoo concerned about being a female alone so far from home? I know this sounds nuts but I am a bit apprehensive!
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Hi (first post here),

I'm going to kenya for 9 weeks to volunteer in 3 weeks (includes 4 day safari and then 3 weeks of backpacking). I had the same problem as you...WHICH CAMERA TO GET??

Let me point you to The forums are awesome and the site (with its reviews) is SUPER helpful in trying to find the right camera. Lots of guys have been on safaris and there's lots of help. I suggest searching the forums before asking a question.

I didn't have a digital camera before now, and i ended up getting the Canon S2 IS. Great 12x zoom (450 mm zoom i think will give me great opportunity for closeups of the animals), 5 Megapixels, easy to use, only $330 at, and it's an awesome overall camera.

You can look up a review for each camera and then talk to owners' in each manufacturer's forum. Also, for storage (they have a forum for that too), i'd suggest a PSD ('personal storage device' i believe) like the smartdisk 'fotochute' (ebay/office depot) as it'll give you 20-60 GB of storage in a compact/portable case. I asked nearly the same question and here's what people suggested (good luck and hope this helps):

Most highly rated for around $400 (my price range):

Sony H1
Canon S2
Panasonic FZ5
Fuji S5200

Good luck and maybe i'll see you there (i'll be in maasailand from May 3rd - July 1st...and then backpacking)
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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one more thing...for memory cards, i got a 2 GB and 1 GB Ultra II Sandisk cards from for under $150 shipped.

koreansteve is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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If you're not seriously committed to photography, I wouldn't buy a DSLR. They are very expensive, challenging to learn how to use, and heavy to carry. The vast majority of people are perfectly happy with one of the prosumer super-zooms (Panasonic FZ series, etc).

Before converting to DSLR I used a Panasonic FZ20 -- it's a great camera, and the Panasonics are the most highly rated of the prosumer super-zooms. The upgraded version is the FZ30. Phil, who posts here sometimes, is a photography teacher and he uses an FZ30.

One of the best things about the FZ series cameras is the high-quality image stabilisation system -- I have used this camera to shoot a pack of wild dogs racing through the trees from a bouncing safari vehicle. The stabilisation will be very helpful at maximum tele, especially if you are in any parks where you can't drive off-road.

I would contact the camps (or your tour operator) about the electricity question.

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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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hi, go video. maybe bring along a simple point and shoot for: people, around camp,for those shots that something is a bit close things like that. but video-very cool!
just a thought.
see ya, david
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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It's too late to learn a totally new complex camera. Either stick to what you have or buy something very similar. I would be better to have 'not great' pictures than none at all because you didn't know how to use a new camera.

Pictures aren't everything - enjoy the trip!!
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 05:38 PM
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Video clips are fun but I don't like to do a lot of videoing. For some reason it is too distracting and I feal like I'm missing whatever is going on. Most "still" cameras (except DSLR) will take short video clips with sound. This I enjoy doing along with mostly regular photos. My wife and I both use the Canon S2 on safari and like it very much. It is being replaced by a new model (S3) and can be found for $350. And no, I would not replace my S2 with the S3, I would wait for the next generation after the S3.
regards - tom
ps - this sounds like an opening to show off some photos taken with our S2s. At -
regards - tom
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 08:22 PM
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All the camera help on this thread and others is really helpful.

In my previous trips I've always taken two SLR bodies in case there was a problem with one. Once a camera did stop working on a trip and required repairs when I got home. Another time one camera was just weird acting for several days (due to a rainy environment I think) so I used the other. For these reasons two cameras seemed to make sense.

When switching to digital, I am thinking I will still need two cameras, especially because digitals are more touchy. I'm looking at the Canon S2 maybe S3 or the Panasonic Lumix FZ30 or the Sony H2. Am I being too anal in planning on getting two and taking two?

I always have my point and shoot, which at this time is a digital Nikon Coolpix 3x optical zoom.


If you are going with a reputable outfitter, then going alone is no problem. Most of my Africa trips have been alone and I am female. Since you are a bit apprehensive, you will undoubtedly exercise good judgment and not do anything stupid that could cause you problems.

Your itinerary looks wonderful and is at a very good time of year. There are plenty of people who can help you with your bags if they are heavy. Once you have the camera stuff under control, you'll have no worries.
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 04:30 AM
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I'm getting myself a Nikon D70s and Nikkor 80-200mm F2.8 lens before I go on my next safari...
Nikao is offline  
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