To snap or not to snap

Old May 14th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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To snap or not to snap

We will be heading on Safari in October .

Im sure every thing we see will be amazing but I dont want to spend every minute attempting to get "the perfect shot" as I really want to experience it. Ive travelled with people before who spent their trip behind the lens, yes coming home with zillions of photos but not enjoying the entire essence of the trip while it was happening if you know what I mean.

That said I do enjoy taking some photos for memory sake and Im not too bad at it although I have a simple digital camera at present.

Should I or my DH be investing in a better camera for the safari? Were you disappointed you didnt take more photos?
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Old May 14th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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My best suggestion is that you have two cameras, one for each of you.
As to what brand/type, well, that depends.

regards - tom
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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I think it's better to be prepared than to not be and come home disappointed.

Oct is not too far away so do you think you have time to learn a new camera? Will you likely use it much after safari? Have you thought about renting instead?

If you know yourself and can balance capturing the essence of the trip while preserving memories in photos I'd say get the new camera.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Back in the day of film, on our first safari, we were so excited seeing our first animal in their natural environment, we were clicking and clicking away. That was until lunch, first day.

While we (excuse me - I had lots of film, he didn't bring near enough... not surprising) had plenty of film, I realized that if we were both taking the same photos (remember when you developed and received duplicates), we'd have more pics than we needed, duplicates and be spending more time behind the viewfinder than actually enjoying the experience.

We (yes, both of us) decided, that he'd take pics on his side of the vehicle, and I from my side; we'd split what was in front or behind us. Thank goodness we did, and so between us did pretty good with maybe total of 500-750 pics. Were they great? Some yes, some not, and plenty of duds, so can appreciate today's digital cameras. And, on subsequent safaris, coordinated the same arrangements with whomever I was traveling.

Until I purchased my first digital in '05, we never took more than 500 pics total. And, surpringly, since with my digital, I still don't take all that many photos. I'd kill myself if I wound up with 1,000+ of my own. Even on our '05 trip, three people with a total of 6 cameras - digital and film - the finished album contained about 600 pics.

So, I'm with you, "it's the essence of the experience" do not need every imaginable elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, monkey, wildebeest.

For you, it depends on the camera/s you currently have, whether you're satisfied with the output; only you can decide if you need another camera. But, you should both have a camera of your own.

There are so many options out their today, at every price range...try some and if a new camera is in the budget - go for it!
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Old May 14th, 2008, 04:23 PM
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What cameras do you have now? If you have at least a 200 lens (300 is better) or at least 10x optical zoom (12 or more is better), then you may be fine.

With digital, it is easy to take many photos and not spend all your time behind the camera. You can use continuous shoot on the interesting stuff, then pick out the best shot later.

I take about 100 digital photos a day on safari and keep a fraction of those. To me that seems just right.

If you do get new equipment, try it out, and buy it with plenty of lead time to become accustomed to it. You can get some great high end Point and Shoots with image stabilization for $300-$400 that will give you wonderful shots. I would bring more than one camera, even if only one is new.

Have a great trip!
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Old May 15th, 2008, 02:29 AM
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As others have said, it depends on your current camera. There's nothing wrong in having a 'simple' camera as long as it can take some good shots.

I've travelled with friends who haven't bothered with cameras at all and have relied on my photos.

I've also found myself in situations where I've chosen to stop taking photos as I didn't want to watch everything from behind the lens.

If you do buy a new camera then I strongly suggest you play around with it first. As Lynn says, with the digital cameras you can afford to make mistakes and there are some great easy to use digital cameras out there.

Just take plenty of memory cards, a spare battery and the battery charger!
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Old May 15th, 2008, 04:22 AM
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before one can really assist in giving some advise we should know which equipemnt you have got and whether you find it sufficient.

as i understand you are much more into EXPERIENCE" than "DOCUMENTATION". this is perfectly fine! as you mention it's sometimes sad when people just take fotos instead of enjoying the experience itself. and by the way: watching let's say the wildebeast migration crossing te mara river through a lense is completly different from observing this animal wonder straight.

why not leaving it as it is: take you cam and enjoy what you have got but enjoy experiencing straight!
Old May 15th, 2008, 05:19 AM
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First safari: Canon AE-1 with all the lenses - 3 different cameras

Present safari's: Digital P&S with optical zoom - 1 camera
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Old May 15th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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I agree with dss- Use a small digital camera with 5-10 megapixels and at least a 4 optical zoom. Then take a reasonable amount of pictures and enjoy the experience of the safari.

If your pictures don't turn out to be the most perfect ever taken of the subjects, then so be it.

I took 500 picts on a 2 week safari, and put 200 photos in an album. We are quite satisfied.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 08:20 AM
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My suggestion would be for one of you to have a "point and shoot" camera with at least a 10x zoom and the other to have a video camera. The still photos are nice, but the video would bring back more memories with the motion, sounds, and comments being made as you watch the wildlife. You can also videotape your new friends along the way, as well.
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