Photo Equipment for Game Park visits


Mar 3rd, 2013, 10:20 AM
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Photo Equipment for Game Park visits

I, an amateur photographer, wants to bring camera, but not the bulk of a DSLR with the requsisite long lenses to game parks. Are digital video recorders an option to provide reasonable quality?
hokiepete is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Nowadays most any digital camera will provide 'excellent' quality. And, if you're an amateur and don't want the expense of the DSLR along with lenses... go into your local Photo Shop and 'shop'... the sales reps are very good and most helpful.

Though my Fuji 20X Optical (they now have up to 30X Optical) zoom, which gets you right into the animals face, have video... have never used that feature. You can find same Fuji or many other Point/Shoots with hi - optical for less than $250 and then along with a few memory chips... set to go.

Am sure others have their favorite P&S, but at least this is a start.
sandi is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 12:23 PM
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Took some good videos on safari in SA 18 months ago with a Canon Powershot G12. Turned out far better than I expected, and I love looking at them. Although my husband took some wonderful shots, at least for me there is nothing like video to take you right back there.
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Mar 4th, 2013, 09:45 AM
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I'm just back and very pleased with my photos using Nikon P510. This is what is known as a "bridge" camera. It has more power and zoom than a point and shoot but no removable lenses of a DSLR. If you go to any photo shop and ask to look at a bridge camera, they'll know what you're talking about. It does have the flexibility to shoot manually (doing meter readings, setting aperture and shutter speed) but works well with Auto too, so depending on how much learning curve you want, you could shoot either way.

In any event, get your camera well ahead of your trip and learn to use it. I took mine on another big vacation and to many local zoos before I went on safari in preparation.
amyb is offline  
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Mar 26th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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It really depends what you want to do with your pics afterwards. Point and shoots are great if they have good zoom abilities but won't allow you to accommodate extreme light variations which you will always find on an African safari. You go out early in the morning when it is quite hazy, by mid morning you have sharp glare (especially further north) and deep, contrasting shadows and then evening game drives are very subtle and require something that can offer you more definition.

If you want to use your pics afterwards for anything beyond showing friends and relatives that you actually saw a live rhino, I would bring the best camera equipment possible. There is nothing worse than being on safari, seeing a leopard on a branch and not being able to capture the moment because your equipment is inadequate.

Remember the animals aren't always in the open - they are often behind bushes and rocks and photography gets tricky.

My advice as a travel writer, avid South African safari-goer and amateur photographer? Bring the equipment. It's worth the lug.
KarinPanainoPetersen is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 03:07 AM
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> amateur photographer
> not using DSLR's with good lenses

Pick one.

>> Are digital video recorders an option to provide reasonable quality?

Absolutely not. The sensor is geared towards moving images (which require much less detail, and much less low light capability). And at the widest setting, it's still not nearly as wide enough to take any landscape shot.

Sorry to be so direct, but the truth is the truth.


pixelpower is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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First question, how good are you with Photoshop? If your answer is - Photoshop what? If that is your answer, quite right to skip the DSLR thing.

I take Nikon DSLRs with me. My camera kit weighs about 30 lbs and that is not heavy compared to other kits I've seen. The most important part for making good photos is you!! It's the Indian not the arrows that count.

I'm not that familiar with digital video cameras but agree with PP above about them.

Any of the P&S superzooms will also take good video, very good video, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic. No use to name model numbers because they change every year. That can work to your advantage, get last years model at closeout discount.

Two things to keep in mind when choosing one. Does it have a viewfinder, do you like a viewfinder? (Viewfinder - you hold the camera up to your eye to shoot photo). See the camera, play with it at a store. Oh and one more, if the first thing the kid behind the counter says is -"It has xx megapixels." That may be true, but don't believe him about anything else he says about cameras.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 02:35 PM
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Oh, also must add, I like video a lot. Nothing shows the environment and action like a video with real life sound. However, video is not worth having unless you can edit it.

regards - tom
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