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  1. #1
    willow839 is offline I'm new here!
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    Default Best camera to take on a safari?

    Hi

    I'm spending 2 weeks on a game reserve next year and want to buy the best camera that will allow me to take photos from a distance.

    Can anyone recommend one please?

    Thanks

    Michelle

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    OsmosisStudios's Avatar
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    Will you need the camera for anything afterwards, or are you buying one just for the trip? Keep in mind that you'll likely be dropping about $1000 on a body and then additional for lenses.

    If you just need the camera for that one trip, I'd be tempted to suggest renting a body and lenses instead.
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    oldwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
    Will you need the camera for anything afterwards, or are you buying one just for the trip? Keep in mind that you'll likely be dropping about $1000 on a body and then additional for lenses.

    If you just need the camera for that one trip, I'd be tempted to suggest renting a body and lenses instead.
    with insurance.
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    gturner is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Quote Originally Posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
    Will you need the camera for anything afterwards, or are you buying one just for the trip? Keep in mind that you'll likely be dropping about $1000 on a body and then additional for lenses.

    If you just need the camera for that one trip, I'd be tempted to suggest renting a body and lenses instead.
    absolutely, the problem though is that you will not know how to use it in time to make it work for you on tour.

    My suggestion, unless you want to start a photo expedition - get something that you can use easily, that carries and packs easily AND you can get charged. That way you can be sure to collect great memories of your trip.

    For pictures of the animals, but a coffee table book. Most reserves have books of the area done by people who spent months working on them.

    You will get home and have 1000 pictures of whatever animal and none will be as good as the book.

    Apologies if this sounds negative... but I do a heap of safaris and unless you have really good kit and know how to use it, it is not worth the hassle of carrying it all.

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    OsmosisStudios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gturner View Post
    absolutely, the problem though is that you will not know how to use it in time to make it work for you on tour.
    The tour is 2 weeks; even renting the gear for an additional week or two would allow for at least effective general use. User just needs to know to set the ISO to a reasonable level for the light conditions, set the aperture in A, and set the camera to continuous.

    Let's assume you're going with the basics: 2 bodies, a few basic safari lenses (24-70, 70-200, 200-400).

    D700: $2700
    D300s: $1700
    24-70: $1900
    70-200: $2400
    200-400: $7000

    Even cutting that down to a D300s, 16-85, and 70-300 VR you still have a tab of almost $3k, you lose out on the long end and low-light, have to swap lenses a LOT more often (not a good idea on safari) and are STILL costing a helluva lot more than a rental:

    30 Day Rental: (Lensrentals.com)
    D700: $560
    D300s: $370
    24-70: $230
    70-200: $280
    200-400: $970

    $2410

    Include a fairly comprehensive insurance rider for a month, and you're probably still under $3k, and if not, you're not off by much. This is, of course, also for top-end gear: switch it up to a lower-rent version and you're really saving.

    That allows for 2 weeks of learning and practice and 2 weeks of use. Pretty much a slam dunk if you ask me.

    Buying a coffee table book is all fine and good, but I'd feel much more accomplished showing off a book of my OWN more mediocre photos than having guests come over and go "Oh, look at the animals some other guy saw in the same park!"
    Last edited by OsmosisStudios; 12-12-2011 at 02:42 PM.
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    wildbird is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
    Buying a coffee table book is all fine and good, but I'd feel much more accomplished showing off a book of my OWN more mediocre photos than having guests come over and go "Oh, look at the animals some other guy saw in the same park!"
    Buying or renting top line equipment still wont make person a better photographer, especially in 2 weeks. A valid option is take a superzoom point and shoot - easy to carry etc, cheap, and will get photos, certainly good enough to show your friends. If its a tour, there will likely be someone along with a good kit. Befriend them, get copies :-) Buy the book as well, good for local economy.
    Digital SLR vs Digital Super-Zoom Cameras on Safari

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    OsmosisStudios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbird View Post
    Buying or renting top line equipment still wont make person a better photographer, especially in 2 weeks.
    Perhaps not, but if someone is coming here asking for that kind of information, I assume they at least have an eye for composition and are willing to learn the camera.
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    gturner is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    To me it looks like the OP has zero idea, just by the general nature of the post.

    I move hundreds of people on safari every year... I stand by what I wrote.
    Get the easiest camera to use (at your comfort level) to capture the human moments and landscapes. The coffee table book is the best way to get great animal shots.

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    gturner is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbird View Post
    Buying or renting top line equipment still wont make person a better photographer, especially in 2 weeks. A valid option is take a superzoom point and shoot - easy to carry etc, cheap, and will get photos, certainly good enough to show your friends. If its a tour, there will likely be someone along with a good kit. Befriend them, get copies :-) Buy the book as well, good for local economy.
    Digital SLR vs Digital Super-Zoom Cameras on Safari
    Exactly my thoughts - interesting to see another safari spe******t with the same opinion.

    Of course if the OP is competent, then you can ignore our suggestion and go with OS... because he is correct on that end of the debate.

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    wildbird is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gturner View Post
    get something that you can use easily, that carries and packs easily AND you can get charged. That way you can be sure to collect great memories of your trip.
    My point and shoots used AA batteries, which were great for travelling, can buy them almost anywhere and cheaply. Carrying spares is good, but when you are in a foreign place, last thing you need is running out and having nowhere to charge batteries.

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