Help needed on camera


Jun 27th, 2003, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 116
Help needed on camera

I am booking a trip to Tanzania and Kenya with 2Afrika in September. On my list of things to do soon is buy a new camera, as I do not have one suitable for the trip.

I've been reading the posts on cameras, lenses, etc., which have been very helpful. I would like to know people's opinions/thoughts on film vs. digital.

I am not going to be downloading a lot of pictures to a computer and manipulating them - I like the old-fashioned album/scrapbook approach! However, what appears to me about digital is being able to see that I've gotten the shot. I haven't forgotten the four rolls of pictures I 'lost' in Australia when the film didn't wind into the camera.

Any advice?
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Jun 27th, 2003, 11:00 AM
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On our trip to Tanzania last year I took a conventional 35 mm slr with two lens--a 200mm and a 28-80mm macro focus zoom. I visited a camera store so I could see the difference. On the trip since we would be in van w/pop-up top I always had items close at hand. Also, work vest with large pockets for quick change of lens. The more serious photo buffs will shutter but I switched back and forth from pocket to pocket disregarding dust and dirt (and still got great pictures). Many times wildlife was too close for using the 200 lens. Sometimes I took shots with both lens. Was able to find steady support for shots. Did not use tripod nor beanbags. Often propped myself against van. Did take a flash unit along for the slr mainly for pics at the lodges. Also, I had an inexpensive digital camera that came with most recent pc we purchased. I forget the make and model number but had to be slaved to pc to download pic. Beauty of it was means to store some 120 or so pics. Got some great shots with it.

Thinking/hoping we may get to go back to East Africa in a year or so and knowing utility of digital cameras the family got me a new one for Fathers Day. I wanted one with zoom capability but w/o costing an arm and a leg. We ended up with an Olympus 740 ultra zoom. Has 10x zoom, uses postage size memory cards and so far seems to be just what I had in mind. Besides it fits in my shirt. Pocket. I took shots of birds at bird feeder about 15 feet away from house and thru window. I could see even the stripes on the sunflower seeds! I don't have the web address with me but in checking around I came across a site where cameras are reviewed but not by a sales person touting that particular model. I saw the positive and negative points for each model I was considering. I also noted quite a variation in price for the same unit. Sorry for the long reply. I feel bound to comment when I can as so many Fodorites did so to my inquiries. Have a great trip this Fall!
rsnyder is offline  
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Jun 27th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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star55, I might add I plan on taking both the digital and the 35 mm on the next trip.

rsnyder is offline  
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Jun 27th, 2003, 11:26 AM
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First of all, always travel with more than one camera, just in case.

On all my travels, I still use my 35mm currently w/ 140zoom, backup camera has 90zoom and I usually have a few disposable one-use cameras. I mostly use only 200 film, a few times 400, only because it was on sale, yet no different in quality of final print.

The only disappointment has been that I took some lousy photos, either was in rush or distance too far.

Often the driver stops right on top of whatever you're about to snap, so never felt hindered by not having a 300 zoom.

On last trip to So.Africa, my partner only planned to take his digital, yet I suggested he also take his 35mm Canon EOS, which thankfuly he did. Problem with the digital is that the batteries run out real fast (was recharging every night we were somewhere where there was electricity - some place either don't have any or insufficient to recharge) and you need something. The 35mm is always ready to go (we always have extra batteries - sometimes 2 for each - for all our cameras).

While my partner took quite a number of shots I didn't get, when they were finally printed (I selected the ones I wanted from a proof sheet he provided) I was rather disappointed. Besides, I don't want t o spend time at the computer printing these out. For $5/roll let someone else do this. So far 15 is the maximum number of rolls I've taken regardless where I've been. Three-quarters of which are really pretty good. The rest I put in a second small album that I can carry with me, others I use as postcards to friends.

I certainly don't consider myself a great photographer, but over the year's have learned that if two people are traveling, you don't both have to take the same pics. Realized that after our first trip to Africa, you get so excited when you see the first animals "up close & personal" that you go crazy clicking away. Well, we stopped that real quick after the first day. You'll have plenty of opportunities to take pics - just tell the driver to stop when you want him to.

And if I must admit, I've got some really amazing photos with my 35mm w/140z, many have been enlarged and they're so good I can see the eyelashes on elephants.

The choice is yours.
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Jun 27th, 2003, 11:32 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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For our trip to Tanzania last year, we bought a standard 35mm, and took both a 28-80 and a 300 mm lens. We ended up using both, and got some pretty awesome photos. The 300 mm came in really handy in getting some pictures of leopards in trees, and our only two rhinos way off in the distance. Having said that, there was a lady in our party who had a digital, with a pretty good zoom, and it also had a short amount of video available on it. So she was able to get some great shots and some great video.

We are planning on returning in a couple of years, and will seriously consider going digital. But I would say that you won't go wrong either way, as long as you take enough "zoom" with you.
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