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What type of camera should I get for a trip to South Africa?

What type of camera should I get for a trip to South Africa?

Nov 28th, 2010, 09:09 AM
  #1  
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What type of camera should I get for a trip to South Africa?

Now, when I have my plan ready for my trip to South Africa next Septemer, I realized that I would probably have to make some addional investment to buy a proper camera.

What I have is a very simple Canon Powershor SX 120 IS. It was enough for my former trips, but I am pretty sure it is no good for safari. I think I need a different camera with a large zoom lense.

Could you please suggest something decent and relatively inexpensive (or maybe the right word is reasonable)? I can not afford to spend too much money on it. I do not know much about it, but I thought with your suggestions, and holidays and my b-day coming, I can put something on my wish list.

As always, thank you for your help in advance!
helen63 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 09:12 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi Helen,

There are a number of people on here with good knowledge of the P&S super zooms. I would recommend one of those over any DSLR with changeable lenses, unless you are willing to invest a lot of time.

I think you can pick up a good camera for around $300.
lbj2 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 10:52 AM
  #3  
 
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I agree with lbj2. Invest in good binoculars for each of you and a good p&s. A DSLR takes great shots if you know how, but a good p&s is fine for most of us. It's about memories, not selling to NatGeo.
christabir is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 02:30 PM
  #4  
 
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I've only used P&S... too daft to begin learning to use a DLSR.

My first digital was a Fuji, 4mgp w/10X optical zoom in '05, then upgraded in '08 to Fuji, 8mgp, w/18X optical zoom... both provided great photos. Prices were just under $300. Today saw advertized a Kodak, 14mgp, 24X optical zoom, also for under $300. It's obvious they keep upgrading capacity and zoom and manage to keep the prices relatively low. Olympus is also know to produce at good camera.

In addition to the camera, you'll require digital media which stores the pics (no film anymore), which are reasonably priced and due to the high mpg, are available in 2Gb, 4Gb and maybe higher... you should have a few of these. Also need extra camera battery/ies (type varies depending on camera manufacturer) and battery charger which please make certain is dual voltage. And, for all your electrical items, you'll need a 3/flat prong UK adapter plug.

A good camera shop can certainly assist to meet your needs.
sandi is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 03:53 PM
  #5  
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Sandi,

I do have the digital camera. This is what I said in my original post. It is P&S Canon PowerShot SX120 IS with 10 mega pixels and 10x optical zoom. I just did not think it was good enought for safari shots.

Lbj2, Christa, Sandi, Do I Need a better one than what I one for Safari?
helen63 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 06:17 PM
  #6  
cw
 
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I think my camera (bought 4 years ago) had a 10x optical zoom. It's a Canon.

It was fine for my needs but more zoom might be better. Just depends on what you want. If you click on my name you'll find my trip report with links to photos. They're purely p&s fun photos, but maybe it'll give you an idea of what you need.
cw is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 06:48 PM
  #7  
 
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The Canon SX120 has a zoom range of 36mm-360mm (35mm equiv) which is fine for safari. But you might consider an additional camera as back-up to it. I would be "lost" without a camera on safari and thus have more than one spare!!!

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 07:52 PM
  #8  
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Well, I am glad to hear that! So, it looks like I do not need much investment. So, maybe then I get something a little better than I have, and let my husband have this one as a back up ...

Thank you so much for your answers!
helen63 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 08:37 PM
  #9  
 
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Oh yes, wondering if you were solo, sounded like were ("my trip"). A camera for each would be best and then you also have a back-up. For the other camera I'd get one of these super-zooms -
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q110superzoomgroup/
Average price is $300. Some model numbers may have changed by now (new every year). Also since you're not going until next Sep. current models will be $$$ discounted before too long.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 11:04 PM
  #10  
 
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reminds me of the safari I was on before I had a DSLR. I used my P&S and shoot through my binoculars to get the zoom range
Worked quite well; example here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikao/7...n/set-1627852/
Nikao is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 07:34 AM
  #11  
 
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Sorry to misunderstand.
But although I had the 10X in '05 which was fine, I didn't hesitate up upgrade to 18X a few years later, especially since the price was what I could handle. Still even with the 18X as my primary camera, I take the 10X along as back-up (and still a small packet Canon of about 5X... just in case)... never know when a camera will die or digital media gets mucked up in one or the other.

And, while I don't use nocs, I do find looking thru the viewfinder on either of my cameras does a darn good job seeing things at a distance.
sandi is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 07:40 AM
  #12  
 
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be aware to not focus to much on the zoom.. just like everyone was crazy for more megapixels a few years back. Dont forget about quality and sharpness etc.
Nikao is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 09:35 AM
  #13  
 
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Last camera I saw browsing my local camera shop was already up to 14megapixals, which unless you plan on enlarging (really large) your pics, is lots more than most of us need to produce a decent photo. But the manufacturers can now easily do so (enticing users to purchase a new camera), but know the more megapixals, the more memory they take up on whatever digital media you use. Easy enough these days to find 4Gb media at reasonable prices, when only 5/yrs ago finding even 1Gb wasn't and if you could was rather costly.

Just use your good judgement when upgrading a camera, if even needed. Especially if it won't be used on a regular basis... sit on a shelf collecting dust for a few years, then having to read the instruction book to remember how to use it; need to recharge batteries, etc. Though by then there will be a bigger/better one to tempt. But do have some back-up camera even if not the same quality as your primary.
sandi is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 10:36 AM
  #14  
 
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Good article about basic p&s buying:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.....html?hpt=Sbin

Minimum binocular - 10x42.
christabir is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 02:28 PM
  #15  
 
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Good deal if it's enough camera for you:

http://www.jr.com/kodak/pe/KOD_Z981B...onday.11292010
christabir is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 04:50 PM
  #16  
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Guys, as always, you are the best!!! Thank you so much for your advice! I was under impression that I might need to do more investment than this.

Now, as know my minumum requirements, I will put it on my holiday wish list... And will use mine as a back up. Super!

Thank you again and again!
helen63 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 10:49 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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you might also wanna take a look (and read) here
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/reco...ras.htm#pocket

great website for all kinds of photography gear
Nikao is offline  
Nov 30th, 2010, 11:36 AM
  #18  
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Nikao, thank you for the link! I will do some reading...
helen63 is offline  
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