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sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 06:25 AM

photos fantastic tigers
Hi everybody.... I remember a lot of fodorites who were interested in viewing the photos of my bandhavgarh trip..... I have uploaded some and plan to upload a lot more today... please post your reviews about the photos and advise about what camera one should buy for safari trips(looking to buy a very good camera... what should be my budget ?? would 1500$ be enough or I need to push it up) hope everybody enjoys....

the link is


Kavey Jan 11th, 2008 06:55 AM

What camera are you using currently?

sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 07:05 AM

Kavey.... I think its canon digital, but it is small,.... my naturalist and guests at mahua had much better camera's so I will upload a link where there is a mix of photos by the naturalist and me.... some of them are beautiful... the link is

Everybody enjoy, these photos are seriously goooood....

Chris_GA_Atl Jan 11th, 2008 08:05 AM

Those are really nice, thanks for sharing them. Taking pictures of tigers in a forest would seem to call for a really fast telephoto, like a 300/2.8 or something like that. And a camera with great high ISO performance. I am sure you had to deal with really low light for this set of pictures.

Sonali, in terms of a camera for a future safari, I am sure many people will happily respond, but it would help if you can tell us something about your level of interest in photography, what your goals are in terms of the kind of pictures you want to be able to take, how much tolerance you have for carrying around heavy cameras and lenses, and things like that. Knowing that will help us give you better advice.


sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 08:27 AM

thanks Chris, you hit the nail right on the head..... I hate carrying cameras,but it is wonderful to watch photos after many years.... so smaller the better... but then What about the quality of zoom, focus and clarity, based on this info what would u advise ?

Frankly the first set of pictures are mine and the second set is mainly by my naturalist at mahua, only the ones in the second set,where the tiger scratches the tree and walks on to the road are mine......My sightings were in the early morning so the light was not too good...


sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 08:34 AM

Hi, you can also read my detailed trip report at

Chris_GA_Atl Jan 11th, 2008 08:49 AM

I would suggest that you look at the following cameras, compare features and if possible pick them up and hold them, and compare the reviews of all three on

Canon S5 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Sony DSC-H9
Olympus SP-550UZ

Basically these are the best-quality point & shoot cameras made by the four respective manufactures. Fromy our comments, I don't think a DSLR with interchangeable lenses is what you would want -- it involves a learning curve, spending more money and carrying around more stuff. A DSLR will give the best image quality if used properly and with the best quality lenses, but you won't get any shots if you don't like carrying the camera and haven't mastered how to use it. So that is why I would recommend one of the models listed above, being partial to Canon of course, since my wife and I both use Canon cameras. :)


rickmck Jan 11th, 2008 09:26 AM

thanks, Sonali, for sharing the beautiful tiger photos. I suspect many people will now want to be adding an India tiger safari to their future plans!

sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 09:47 AM

Rick, I certainly hope soo.... it's the only way to save our beautiful tigers in India..... they are beautiful animals, so strong, proud fearless.... I could look at them endlessly

I have added another album, titled, my last day at bandhavgarh where I will post the photos of the north end dominant male, he is the biggest tiger in the park, a veteran,and is around 13 years of age.... the link is....

Dana_M Jan 11th, 2008 10:44 AM

Thanks Sonali for posting these photos. Wonderful photos for such a a beautiful animal. Rickmck is right, now I want to go to Bandhavgarh on a tiger safari!

Chris' email suggests a Sony H9 as a camera you should look into. I agree. I have one and really like it. It's very easy to use and has a great zoom. I have no interest in photography other than to get decent shots with the least amount of trouble and the Sony H9 fit that bill perfectly. I take photos solely to remember my trips by, and frankly I was surprised with how good some of these shots came out. All were taken with one of the automatic settings. With the exception of cropping and some “automatic” corrections through the Picasa site, they haven't been altered. In addition to having no real interest in cameras or photography I have absolutely zero interest in spending time altering photos. I tell you this so you'll have an idea of the type of person that can get good pics with this camera. However, this camera is capable of so much more than what I use it for, that people with a greater interest in photography also like it.

The link below has photos from my Namibia and Botswana trip this past summer. It also has some other photos, but you can just ignore those (or look if you want, they’re public, but they aren’t very interesting). The Botswana photos will give you an idea of the type of safari photos you’d get with the H9. I loved it for safari because I could focus my attention on the animals, not on the camera. I think it cost about $500, well under your $1,500 budget.

sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 11:14 AM

Wow Dana..... loved your duba plains pics.... do you have a trip report somewhere on fodors.... I love lions... maybe you have already read, thanks for the camera advise... saved me $$$.....

The ideal time to visit bandhavgarh would be feb end march beginning, you will love it,it's so peaceful,...have u ever been to india ?? India does have a lot to offer for tourists...there is lots to see specially in rajasthan,even kerala is gorgeous..., if u have any other questions on india just ask.....

best regards, Sonali

cary999 Jan 11th, 2008 11:19 AM

sonali - I will also recommend the cameras on Chris's list. Try to find them and hold them and don't be pushed into one by a know it all salesperson.
regards - tom

sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 11:37 AM

Thanks...Tom....I definately want a camera I am comfortable seem to go to africa often, which parks have u been to and which park would you recommend for best lion viewing(my favourite cat)


Dana_M Jan 11th, 2008 11:48 AM

You are so right! How a camera feels in your hand is so important and the sales guys think we all want the same thing which of course we don¡¦t. I was used to a shape similar to a Sony H9 where I could roll my fingers around to grip it, but a salesperson kept trying to sell me a smaller/flat camera that would fit in my pocket. Some people love those tiny cameras, but they didn¡¦t feel right to me. I finally just said ¡§this is what I want and I am the customer.¡¨ The sales guy finally stopped trying to convince me otherwise.

Definitely take Tom¡¦s advice.

Here¡¦s the link to my Botswana trip report. If you love lions you¡¦ll absolutely love Duba.;tid=34954921

Thanks for the tip on timing at Bandhavgarh. It just so happens my birthday is early March, so maybe that¡¦s where I¡¦ll be March 2010 ƒº I have never been to India but it¡¦s been on my wish list for a while. However, it keeps getting bumped by Africa. I am going to read your trip report and if I have questions I¡¦ll post them on that thread.

cary999 Jan 11th, 2008 11:51 AM

Sonali, safari camps I've been to - Kenya, Lil Governors; Botswana, Khwai River Lodge; Zambia, Nesfu and TenaTena; South Africa, Madikwe Hills, Kruger, Kings Camp, Leopard Hills, MalaMala. These last two are in the Sabi Sand Reserve and I'd bet any camp in the SSR would have good lion sightings. I have not been to Tanzania - yet.

Most of my safaris, over half of the nights, have been in South Africa. Lions. Lions were very good in Kenya. Best lions I've seen have been at MalaMala. But I've also been to MalaMala more than anywhere else. My overall African safari experience is light compared to many on this forum. I think others would likely say Kenya or Tanzania for lions. This question may not get the attention you want here in this thread. Why don't you start another thread with this question, I'm sure you'll get many good replies.

regards - tom
ps - Dana - thanks for the vote of confidence :-). You were so right in knowing what you liked and not being swayed.

sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 11:58 AM

Thanks dana for the link to your trip report, I will relish reading all your lion sightings

Sadly I just read the thread about one of the duba boys, who passed away recently.... I really hope the other one survives this terrible loss of his brother,


sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 02:04 PM

OK back to's just that I cannot resist discussing lions

Dear tiger lovers, all 3 albums of mine are now accesible at the following link, so if you have missed any album, check it out,


sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 07:27 PM

Hello all... tonight I plan to upload the maps of the tala region in bandhavgarh which is the core area and the buffer zone on the gallery.....Sonali

Leely Jan 11th, 2008 07:45 PM

Thanks for the awesome photos. The trip looks tempting! I would very much like to go, expecially if I could have sonali-style tiger luck.

By the way, did you ever see Lynn's trip photos from the Pantanal in Brazil? I ask because I know you like big cats so much.

sonali74 Jan 11th, 2008 11:07 PM

Leely, I am checking into lynn's report.... I am sure you will have good luck with tiger sightings and I am dying to go back to bandhavgarh, probably (wishful thinking) before the park closes in july.....Sonali

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