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Digital cameras you are considering for upcoming safari???

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Apr 7th, 2005, 09:18 PM
  #161
 
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Lawrence/sunny days,
Thanks for the reminder...it always is about how and what you like to photograph. I should have said: for the things I shoot (things where more depth is required...or where I think more depth of field is required) I NEVER end up using f2.8 (even though my lense can open up this far.

And I've just been really pleased with the results from the 17-40...yes it is not superwide, but if I can only carry two lenses, it provides a good range that I often use with landscapes, people, etc.

And you are correct about even the 70-200 being a compromise...at 1.6X, and with a 1.4 teleconverter, you can get to almost 450mm (effective) and that is OK although sometimes you do wish for more. And there are many many cases where you don't need the 1.4 as the animals are often very close. If not, I just give up and enjoy the binoculars. I do wish I could also have the 100-400IS, -- if I had both, I'd probably take this one to Africa. Actually, I'm probably going to compromise on the 70-300 DO, because I really really need something smaller sometime. Big compromise...but big size savings. That's life...

Anyway, my real point is at this level, skimping on lenses to get a better camera may not be the best choice. The camera is only as good as the lense on it...
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Apr 8th, 2005, 05:43 AM
  #162
 
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Panasonic DMC-FZ5
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05...fz5_review.asp
This camera has a great zoom lense with excellent image stabilization. It is small and light weight. You won't need to spend $1,500. Take what is left over and get the Epson P2000 multimedia storage viewer. Wife and myself are going on safari, Zambia, Botswana, S. Africa in late August. I am going to get both of us one. Forget about all that fancy heavy DSLR stuff, check out this Panasonic
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Apr 8th, 2005, 06:12 AM
  #163
 
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cary999 - I went on a photography workshop last weekend and one of the participants had the Epson P2000. Quite an amazing piece of equipment! Beautiful image view, even RAW files. The only complaint I heard from those present was that it has only a 40GB capacity. And it's almost half the price of a cheap laptop.
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Apr 8th, 2005, 06:56 AM
  #164
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cary999,

Instead of making a sweeping generalizatin that your 5.0 megapixel point & shoot is somehow in the same league as a Canon 20D, you should take into consideration that those of us who are investing heavily in the DSLR's have done extensive research and found that there was ample enough reason to invest in a DSLR.

(Not the best way to introduce yourself on the board, but welcome, nevertheless)
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Apr 8th, 2005, 08:42 AM
  #165
 
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Charging camera batteries on safari:

We're going to Kenya and Tanzania in January and I'm curious about how some of you on this thread charge camera batteries while on safari?

1. Is 120v 60Hz available at most camps?
2. Do you use voltrage converters?
3. Do you use lighter adapters in safari vehicles?
4. Do you simply bring many spare batteries?

Thanks.
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Apr 8th, 2005, 11:26 AM
  #166
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Okay, I am pretty confident that I will have a Canon 20D w/ a 17-85mm IS lens and a Sigma 80-400mm lens in hand in the next couple days.

I want to go test this kind prepared. I will likely be going to the San Diego Wild Animal Park and San Diego Zoo next weekend.

What else will I need besides a couple GB of memory, an extra battery and the camera and lenses?

What kind of filter should I be looking at? Do I absolutely need a monopod for just a one day test shoot? With a couple gb and only for a single day, I am thinking I can get by without a download device, right?

This is all becoming a reality thanks to all of your help. While I am tempted to crush my Sony F707 beneath my feet in celebration, I will instead save it for my sister so she can use on the safari.
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Apr 8th, 2005, 12:17 PM
  #167
 
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Rocco I think you will love the 20D that is what we had on our recent trip to Tanz & Kenya & we were so happy. You will definately need the 400 lens in fact by hubby stole my 1.4 convertor sometimes to put on his 400 just to get a bit closer!
Enjoy experimenting this weekend.
J
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Apr 8th, 2005, 01:16 PM
  #168
 
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Roccco - are you buying the camera locally or online? If local, get them to show you how to set it up so you view the histogram on each shot. One of my big problems has been blowing out the whites. The histogram and the "flashing highlights" will tell you immediately when you need to over/underexpose what you are taking pictures of. The lighlights are overexposed "blown" on the head in this image (the detail is gone) http://www.pbase.com/cjw/image/34582929 and nothing you do in Photoshop can fix it.
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Apr 8th, 2005, 01:20 PM
  #169
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Sundowner,

Given that I am only saving on the sales tax & perhaps an extra $50, I will most likely buy this camera locally, as it will entitle me to the customer service that I would otherwise sacrifice as a result of buying it online.

What other interesting places could I go? I am thinking of places like the Long Beach Aquarium, San Diego Wild Animal Park/San Diego Zoo, L.A. Zoo, but other suggestions would also be appreciated.
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Apr 8th, 2005, 01:30 PM
  #170
 
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Several of the recent wildlife posts at naturescapes.net were taken at zoos. Great place to practice.
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Apr 8th, 2005, 09:48 PM
  #171
 
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Hi All,
Roccco responds to my message on 04/08-
He says-
Author: Roccco ([email protected])
Date: 04/08/2005, 10:56 am
cary999,

Instead of making a sweeping generalizatin that your 5.0 megapixel point & shoot is somehow in the same league as a Canon 20D, you should take into consideration that those of us who are investing heavily in the DSLR's have done extensive research and found that there was ample enough reason to invest in a DSLR.

(Not the best way to introduce yourself on the board, but welcome, nevertheless)

My reply-
Oh, well, in that case ladies and gentlemen please allow me to introduce myself. My real name is not cary but Tom. I live in beautiful Southern California, city of Fullerton. I am 62 years of age and retired. I started as a "serious" amateur photographer 30 years ago, my first camera was an SLR Minolta SRT101. In fact I had two of them. Back then I "specialized" in color slides and was very active in the Chicago area camera clubs. Skip to today - my latest digital camera is a Canon S50. But enough about me-
Did I say the Panasonic FZ5 P&S was in the same league as a Canon 20D? If I did, I apologize. The Canon 20D is three leagues ahead of the capabilities of the FZ5, no question. What I DID say is that the Panasonic might be a good choice for the intended user and their usage. For some people the camera itself (maybe a 20D) is more important than taking pictures. For other people the camera is just a tool for them to share and/or remember life. You pay your money and you take your choice. For some people the name on the camera is very important. A camera made by a consumer entertainment company, Panasonic, horrors, canít even write that on the same page with Canon.
Also, why did I mention the Epson P2000 in my original message, anybody? Huh, anybody? Here's why. A year ago we took a 30 day cruise (Princess) in the middle east. We took about 1000 pictures each. My wife brought along her laptop PC and every day I would download our pics into it. We would then enjoy looking at them. I also had with me an Archos 320 into which I also downloaded each dayís pics. At the end of the trip whilst visiting friends in England my wife spilled a full, whole, hot, cup of coffee, all of it, on her laptop PC keyboard. Goodbye PC. Goodbye pictures on the PC. The Archos still had them. So "only" real loss was the PC. "Only" $1,400 for a new laptop. Point, I guess, is this. If you spend good bucks on a camera and value your pictures, then have a way to back them up Ė as you go. In my years of travel I always said Ė someone can steal my cameras, just not my exposed film. And BTW, Iíve never had photo equipment stolen while traveling. But I digress, now back to your regularly scheduled programming-
cheers - tom
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Apr 9th, 2005, 12:55 PM
  #172
 
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HI All,
There is a great web site for digital photo discussions. If you already know of it, forgive me, but it is- www.dpreview.com. Has everything, discussion groups by camera make and much more. C h e c k - i t - o u t
regards - tom
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Apr 10th, 2005, 08:37 PM
  #173
 
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Hi Roccco, I guess you've already had your first weekend...hope it was fun.
SD Wild Animal park would be great fun for practice. I WOULD take the monopod, because you'll need to practice with it if you are taking to AFrica. I'd also get the remote cable cord--if you can get used to using that, you'll eliminate another source of vibration (even pushing the shutter button will cause).

If you are taking a flash unit, you might also like the cord to allow off-camera flash (if you can perhaps get your wife to hold?) In Africa, I always have 3 batteries-- in in the camera, one charged spare with me, one in the camp charging. These days, there is often such a lineup to charge, that it's nice to have the 3rd one, and it doesn't weigh much. REALLY VALUABLE: the small charged brushes for cleaning dust off the lense /filter. (AND use it often!) Several microfiber clothes. If you have good lenses, you'll want to protect them, so I'd go for a good UV filter-- B&W are highly recommended. They cost a bit more, but definitely are better glass.
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Apr 11th, 2005, 03:53 PM
  #174
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Thanks for the continued advice.

Update...I have my Sigma 80-400mm lens in hand, but I am awaiting my Canon 20D. I think I am going to get it with the 17-85mm IS lens. This will add $400 to the cost of the camera, but at least that way I will be covered everywhere between 17mm - 400mm. With the 18-55mm lens, I would have no coverage between 55mm - 80mm.

With the conversion factor on the Canon 20D being 1.6, that will get me coverage from 28mm - 640mm. I really don't think I will need anything beyond 640mm.

I have heard rumors that a $100 rebate is in the works in the next few days, but should I buy the camera now, forthe Canon 20D w/ 18-55mm lens, I am looking at $1,549 from Samy's Camera (a small chain in L.A.) or $1,599 from Ritz Camera. Ritz Camera will match the price of Samy's Camera, however. $400 more to substitute the 17-85mm lens, but it will take a few days to get it.

So, for the time being, I have this incredible lens with nothing to attach it to. I would love to put it to use by this coming weekend. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Everything after the actual camera and the 17-85mm lens would come much easier, as the majority of the costs will be out of the way.
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Apr 11th, 2005, 04:02 PM
  #175
 
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Roccco - funny you should decide on the 17-85 as your walking around lens. This was just posted on another website by someone whose photographic opinion I regard highly. The question was - which lens do I buy as a travel lens for the 20d. The answer is:

My quick and dirty travel gear is a EOS 20D and the 17-85. Here is my personal evaluation of the other logical Canon choices based on a 1.6x crop factor DSLR:

28-135 - too long on the wide end with the 1.6x 20D factor
28-105 - same as 28-135
24-70 - still a little long on the wide end and not long enough on the long end and too heavy
24-85 - a little long on the wide end
16-35 - great on the wide end but too short on the long end
17-40 - same as 16-35
18-55 - OK on the wide end, a bit short on the long end and lousy picture quality
10-20 - awesome on the wide end but way too short on the long end
28-200 - too long on the short end and lousy overall picture quality
28-300 - too long on the wide end and way too large and bulky
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Apr 11th, 2005, 04:37 PM
  #176
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Sundowner,

This thread and each of its wonderful contributors have taught me a thing or two!

Now, only if I read the instructions to my Canon 20D, I will be set.
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Apr 11th, 2005, 04:44 PM
  #177
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jules39,

I think I am going to go without a 1.4 conversion lens. For sure I will not need it in the Sabi Sand.

In South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi, I probably will not need it either. The only place where I think it would come in handy is in North Luangwa, but since it will be 90% walking safaris, it probably would not benefit me, as all photos will be hand-held, and from the little I understand, the conversion will add an f-stop and make the photos of a lower quality.

The 640mm that I will get out of my new Sigma 80-400mm lens will likely be 3x closer than I was ever able to get out of my Sony F707.

I can hardly wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Apr 11th, 2005, 06:03 PM
  #178
 
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roccco - check this out http://www.wildworldphotography.co.u...bum=29&pos=111 or this http://www.wildworldphotography.co.u...lbum=29&pos=81

Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia, August / September 2004
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Apr 12th, 2005, 04:13 AM
  #179
 
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We made the plunge - on Sunday we ordered the 20D with the 17-85 lens from IBuyDigital.com (at little over $1800 it was the best price we could find at a reputable online site). I am going to learn the intricacies of dslr's with this lens and then buy the Sigma 80-400 or Canon 100-400 at a later date. Looking forward to receiving the camera and playing with it.

Roccco - we did the safari at the San Diego Wildlife Park (the longer of the two packages offered) a few years ago - it was a great experience (especially since we had not yet been to Africa). Have fun with your new camera and we look forward to seeing the photos from your Zambia trip. (Or even the ones from the Wildlife Park.)
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Apr 12th, 2005, 10:24 AM
  #180
 
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Hey Rocco, just wanted to say I'm glad you've made the important decisions and are happy with the kit your getting. I'm sure you will be really happy with the two lenses and the 20D. Have fun with it!

Lawrence
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