Digital Camera and/or Mini Camcorder

Mar 7th, 2005, 03:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 108
Digital Camera and/or Mini Camcorder

I don't know which type of camera I should buy for my upcoming safari.

I can see there would be times when each would be useful, but what do you experienced travelers recommend? Would it be good to have one of each?

I also don't want to spend thousands of dollars. Are there any good mid-range cameras that can be recommended.

Thanks for your advice.
mollybee is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226

Over the past few weeks I have learned that there is an enormouns amount of info out there concering photography on safari! As a matter of fact I just purchased my first digital camera for our upcoming safari based on the info on this message board and others. I am a total novice but wanted a quality digital camera on a budget. I bought the Panasonic Fz15 - 12 power OPTICAL zoom (400mm equal), 4 megapix and all the goodies for $350. It even captures video. I am amazed at the quality of images, especially with zoom (you want this on safari) for the price.

I topped Roccco's thread concerning digital cameras for you. Lots of great info. His budget is much higher than mine ($5,000 vs. $350!).

Here are some links to reviews of the Panasonic:

I would strongly consider taking a look at the Panasonic Fz line for a safari camera. I am very happy with my purchase and can't wait to get to Africa with my new camera.

Good luck!
JazzDrew is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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I forgot to add that I plan to bring my camcorder along as well. I hope that I can manage all this equipment -especially power to re-charge batteries! If all works out well I will share my images and video of our safari on a web site with anyone interested.
JazzDrew is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 05:33 AM
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Dear Jazz Drew,
Thanks for your info. Will check out the camera.
What kind of camcorder do you have?
When are you going on your safari?
mollybee is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Posts: 5,553

Actually, my budget is probably about the same as yours...the amount of debt, however, that I am willing to occur appears much higher!
Roccco is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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occur = incur
Roccco is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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Figured I'd add onto this chat since I have similar questions to Mollybee. We are going on safari to East Africa in October. We are looking at the Panasonic FZ20 digital as we are very amateur photographers and don't want to carry around a ton of lenses.

My husband and I are uncertain if
1) should we also take a film camera?
2) should we take a videocam as well?

I want to get a videocam (small one & not too expensive), but he is unsure. Any feedback would be appreciated.
lorib1 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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lorib1 -

Like you and others I haven't yet gone the digital route... am still considering and looking into it. I'm actually pleased with my 35mm and don't really want to deal with all the bells and whistles of digital... and I certainly have no intention of printing my own photos. However, all that aside, regardless what my decision might be, I never travel with only one camera. I always take a second 35mm, as back-up and a few disposables. Anything can go wrong with any camera and being in the middle of the Mara or Serengeti is no place to be looking for a repair shop. Cameras are so small and light weight it's an easy decision.
Mar 8th, 2005, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226

We have a Canon ZR65 digital camcorder that we purchased last year. It is small and easy to use. I am a total novice, but I have done some editing and have leared to burn to dvd. It is actually pretty cool technology! I am taking the camcorder to Africa mostly to record family, sounds and details of the lodges/camps that we will visit. I have really enjoyed videos of "the safari experience" that I have found online and would like to contribute more videos, especially of lodges, camps, sundowners, game drives, cultural events, etc. when we return.

Our itinerary:

1. Fly to Amsterdam - Overnight there at the Hilton.
2. Fly to Nairobi - Giraffe Manor
3. Fly to Amboseli Tortilis
4. Amboseli Tortilis
5. Drive to Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
6. Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
7. Drive to Ngorongoro Serena
8. Ngorongoro Serena
9. Drive to Serengeti Serena
10. Drive to Kirawira
11. Kirawira
12. Kirawira
13. Fly to Arusha. Fly to Amsterdam.
14. Overninght Amsterdam.
15. Return to US

I'll bet I can keep up with you in the "amount of debt willing to incur" department! I demonstrated great discipline with the camera purchase With the money saved I can spend more on the next safari!!
JazzDrew is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

Yeah, The Africa Bug will definitely delay all of our retirements!

I am still waiting for that bus to appear out of nowhere one day (to flatten me) so that I have no regrets over not maxing out my ROTH IRA each year. Hopefully, however, it will not be for at least 30 more years and about 30 more visits to Africa!
Roccco is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 153
Sandi - thanks for the message. We already have gone digital via a small point & shoot but are looking for a more "professional" camera with a good zoom lens like the Panasonic. Think it is a great idea to bring a backup camera just in case. Have you ever shot video in addition to still photos? It seems like most of the "experts" on the Africa posts are more geared to just photos (still or digital).

JazzDrew - are you taking a film camera with you as well?

We still have 6.5 long months to decide. Wish it was here sooner.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

lorib1 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226

Yes, we plan to take a film camera as well our new digital Panasonic. Actually two. A popint and shoot Nikon 35mm for my wife and another older one for our 11 year old (let him get in on the action as well). That totals 2 film, 1 digital cameras and 1 camcorder...we will be prime targets for theft!
JazzDrew is offline  

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