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What is the best way to carry a DSLR camera on Safari?

What is the best way to carry a DSLR camera on Safari?

Jan 25th, 2010, 07:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 34
What is the best way to carry a DSLR camera on Safari?

One question I can't find answered - what is the best way to carry a camera on safari? I have a DSLR and 3 lenses (I may only bring 2)... what's the best way to carry them? Just a regular camera case? Day pack? What about one of those harnesses I see birders using to hold binoculars "at the ready" without flopping around? I think I've seen something called a "holster" camera case - what about that? I will be spending some time walking during the day, I won't be just sitting in a vehicle.

Any other tips on camera care and/or being "camera ready" are also appreciated!

Thanks in advance for the wisdom!
kathyf is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 204
I usually just held mine, you never knew what was coming up so I wanted to be ready. The other lens went in my safari vest pocket. Most of the flights didn't allow carry on bags so I carried it on the plane as well, and to keep the weight of the bag withing limits. I have one of those holster camera cases back home, it is easy to take the camera out of, but I find it rather heavy to carry around all the time.

carl170 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266
Carry as in on airlines or in jeep?

Carry the bodies/lenses in a backpack/bag when you travel. Remove from bag when you ride the vehicle and and use some trash bags to cover the setup while driving. Just remove from under the trashbag and use immediately as required.
Keep the camera ON, let the camera go on idle, it consumes very less battery. A simple half-click on the shutter should wake it up. Once the safari is done, remove the lenses from the body and put back in the backpack. Keeps it simple and safe (from accidents and prowling eyes,if any).

Think about me, I have 3 bodies and 5 lenses....+ binocs and video camera. Helps to have a spouse to share some of the load/duties
TigerPhotog is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 08:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 34
Okay, thanks; makes sense so far. What about while walking about on safari vs. sitting in a vehicle?
kathyf is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
We have
- backpack with all the gear/cams (middle seat)
- Monopod with totally flexible head attached to the cam which we have for game drives. That is only good for topless vehicles. Provides stability. Rests on the lap/pod between legs, covered with a kikoj while driving.
Monopod is not suitable for closed vehicles. There you can rest the body on top of the roof or window.

spassvogel is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
If you have a private safari vehicle, check out the Gura Gear bags, the bag designed by Andy Biggs. What I like especially about them; it is the only bag that does not consume twice the floorspace to open it.

If you share the vehicle and have limited space, I'd leave the bag in the tent and use a photo vest (to put some batteries and some memory cards in. Then I'd put the camera with tele lens on a monopod between my legs.


pixelpower is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 49
I keep my lenses in those small soft lens cases (<$10US from Adorama) and put everything in a Camel-Back back pack actually designed for a water bladder. I use a third lense case for filters and accessories such as memory cards etc.

Anyway I take only 2-3 lenses and keep the camera on my lap with strap around neck when out on a game drive (or other tavel) I too keep the camera powered on but set it to go into sleep mode after 1 minute of non use and have had good luck at conserving battery power this way. This allows me to be ready at a seconds notice to shoot a photo.

Kugellager is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 49
Should of also said:

For game drives I only bring/use my 28-300 telephoto and keep it on my lapwith a lense cap.

Kugellager is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,252
If you only have three lenses a photo backpack is overkill and probably won't really get used. One of the small camera shoulder bags that open at the top to provide quick access might be best for home and in Africa (if walking over rough terrain and you want your equipment safe). Get something you might use after the safari. If just gentle walking and game drives, you don't actually need a special bag except for transporting it there and back. Anything at all that will keep off rain and dust when not in use qand that can be opened quickly will do.
kimburu is offline  
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