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What photographic equipment do you own?

Which camera do you take on safari?   144 members have voted

  1. 1. Which camera do you take on safari?

    • Digital zoom compact
      12
    • Digital SLR
      97
    • 35mm SLR
      2
    • DVD / Video
      0
    • Combination of above
      33

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337 posts in this topic

On safari, or travelling through Africa, what equipment is in your bag?

 

List your gear here: Make, model, lenses etc and your reasons for using it.

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On safari, or travelling through Africa, what equipment is in your bag?

 

List your gear here: Make, model, lenses etc and your reasons for using it.

 

I use a Canon digital SLR.

In terms of lenses, I mainly use a Canon image stabilised 100-400 zoom lens, and have a smaller lens for the occasional landscape type shot.

 

A flashgun is essential for photographing wildlife at night - I use the Canon Speedlite 580EX. Dont rely on the fact that most SLR's have a flash built in - it isnt going to be powerful enough. On a trip to Zambia in 2006, on the night drives I was the only person to get photos of most of the wildlife we saw as I was the only one with an external flashgun so I was the only one able to photograph animals more than a few feet away.

 

I've also started taking a backup device with me - a Jobo GigaVu Pro Evolution. I can put the camera memory cards (CF) into it and back them up to hard disk, leaving the card free to be re-used (if I fill all the memory cards - if not I have the card and the external backup for safety).

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Canon Powershot S1 IS ( 3.2 Megapixel CCD Sensor and a 10x Optical Zoom Lens) and a tele photo lens attachment taking it to about 32x I think).

 

Thank the stars for the electronic settings for fools like moi. Despite doing a digital photography course since our return, I still wouldn't know a depth of field or a f-stop from my elbow...

 

Powered by four AA type batteries which is a real bonus as one can recharge in ones own room or in the safari vehicle with a normal type battery charger (or if emergency and able, then purchase AA's).

 

As camera challenged as I am, still took some nice photos...point and shoot.

 

med_gallery_22_12_117390.jpg

Juvenile Bateleur Eagle - Linyanti, Botswana 2005

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I'm a bit of a camera nut when I go on Safari.

Here's a list of what I use and a photo I took of the gear I brought on a recent 17 night trip to the Sth Luangwa Nat Park- Zambia :o

 

Nikon D300 X 2

MB-D10 grip X 2

|Tokina 11-16 f/2.8

|Nikon 17-55 f/2.8

|Nikon 70-200VR f/2.8

|Nikon 200-400VR f/4

|Sigma 150 f/2,8 macro

|TC1.4 & 1.7E

SB 900 Flash + Better Beamer extender

Gitzo GT3540LS tripod

|Markins M20 ballhead

|W'mbrly Sidekick

Manfrotto 680B monopod

|Jobo GigaView Pro Evo 120GB

WD 250GB 2.5" USB HDD

Lowepro Bags

Kiboko/ Gura gear bag

Sony Hi Def Video| chargers | filters | etc.

 

Have since replaced the D2Xs with a Nikon D300 & the 300 f/2.8VR with the Nikkor 200-400 f/4VR :)

 

231346143-L.jpg

 

With a sample image from that trip

 

F Leopard from Mwamba bush camp

329489240_W9eve-L.jpg

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Thank the stars for the electronic settings for fools like moi. Despite doing a digital photography course since our return, I still wouldn't know a depth of field or a f-stop from my elbow...

 

I must admit to letting my camera choose the settings - its got a bigger brain than me, and I'd rather concentrate on what I'm photographing rather than worrying about apertures, shutter speeds etc

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I must admit to letting my camera choose the settings - its got a bigger brain than me, and I'd rather concentrate on what I'm photographing rather than worrying about apertures, shutter speeds etc

 

Hey - Predator - that is reassuring! I feel like an apologist but loved the photos Kaye and I took and the great memories.

 

We have two "gallery" boards up in our lounge room with a selection of the photos we took - and every day I gaze at them and some memory of our 2005 trip floods back and enlivens my spirit!

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I currently have...

 

- Canon EOS 20D and 300D, both with battery grips

- Canon 580EX flash and a Manfrotto monopod with speed-ballgrip

- Canon 35-350mm L F3.5-5.6

- Canon 70-200mm L IS F2.8

- Canon 100mm F2.8 macro

- Canon 17-40mm L F4

- Peleng 8mm fish eye

- Canon 1,4x TC II

- Jobo Gigavu Pro 60Gb phototainer

... and all that, including 8 spare batteries, loaders, 20Gb worth of CF cards, etc etc... in a Lowepro Nature trekker AW (I also have a Trim trekker for smaller trips).

 

Quite curious what other people's setup is...

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I currently have...

 

- Canon EOS 20D and 300D, both with battery grips

- Canon 580EX flash and a Manfrotto monopod with speed-ballgrip

- Canon 35-350mm L F3.5-5.6

- Canon 70-200mm L IS F2.8

- Canon 100mm F2.8 macro

- Canon 17-40mm L F4

- Peleng 8mm fish eye

- Canon 1,4x TC II

- Jobo Gigavu Pro 60Gb phototainer

... and all that, including 8 spare batteries, loaders, 20Gb worth of CF cards, etc etc... in a Lowepro Nature trekker AW (I also have a Trim trekker for smaller trips).

 

Quite curious what other people's setup is...

 

Jochen --

 

I use Pentax medium format for landscapes in the US, and the following for Africa:

 

Nikon D200

Nikon D70

Sigma 500mm lens

Nikon 200-400mm (rented)

Nikon 80-200mm

Nikon 28-70mm

Nikon 17-35mm

14 GB of various CF Cards

Epson P4000

Epson P2000

Lowepro Photo Trekker bag

Bogen 3021B Pro Tripod

Adorama Bean Bag

 

Billy Dodson

www.savannaimages.com

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Panasonic Lumix FZ50.

About as near to SLR without the changing of lenses etc. (Focus & zoom on the lens barrel)

 

I'm not a photographer, more of a "Photo Memorist?" or a "Happy Snapper?"

 

My photographs are not to the quality of the hobbyist or professional photographer but are ideal for my purposes.

 

I'm no expert but as a word of warning to anybody contemplating buying a camera for safari Having all the gear does not guarantee the quality of pictures seen here & elsewhere.

 

Unless you are interested or intend to take up photography as a hobby I would steer clear of the advertised bundle offers. (Body, couple of lenses, bag, mini tripod, that sort of thing)

The items are normally entry level, unsuitable for your needs, & difficult to use for happy snapping, if you get the photographic bug you will soon want better! If you don't then into the cupboard it goes till next year.

Don't believe me?

Take a look at eBay!

Buy a good compact point & shoot with manual settings or a "Bridge" camera, all the leading manufacturers make them. (Called bridge cameras as they bridge the gap between point & shoot & digital SLR's)

They all have good zoom 10 or even up to 18x!

Good Manual settings & are relatively inexpensive compared to an SLR kit!

Easier to use than an SLR, no need for lens changes, with the manual settings you can go further into the hobby & if you decide you want to become a photographer & want to upgrade you've not wasted so much money & you now have a point & shoot as back up.

Beware also of falling into the "Mega-pixel" trap!

the higher the pixels does not necessarily mean the better the picture.?? It slows down the camera & fills the memory card quick.

Unless you want to enlarge a picture to fill a wall, for the average non hobbyist I would suggest 5 mege-pixels is ample & if your only posting to the web then even less.

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On safari, or travelling through Africa, what equipment is in your bag?

 

I have always been a Nikon user so the camera I use is the NikonD200

lens:

NIkon 28-70mm, f2.8

Nikon micro 105mmVR, f2.8

Nikon 80-400mmVR, f5.6

and the latest addition being the 70-200VR, F2.8

Nikon sb800 speedlight and a manfrotto monopod

5 extra batteries and usually 20mg of memory cards

when I was in kenya, I only used the 28-70mm and the 80-400mm but next trip I will be taking the 70-200mm for that extra sharpness

The lens I dream about are the Nikon 400mmVR, f2.8 and the Nikon 600mmf4

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Posted (edited)

The first camera I ever bought myself was a 35mm Film SLR - Pentax MZ 50 – it was a twin lens kit (28 – 80mm / 100 – 300mm) that I bought duty free as a spur of the moment thing, just before a trip to the Lower Zambezi. I still have it and it is a good reliable camera (though has sat in a camera bag all on its lonesome for a few years now).

 

On a trip to the Luangwa a couple of years ago we were riding around with an American photo journalist who had a couple of digital SLRs. And it occurred to me then that my days of travelling with about 20 – 30 rolls of film (in various ISOs with the obligatory couple of BW rolls thrown in) and having to be frugal with which shot I took, were soon to be over! There was I worrying if a particular shot was going to turn out alright, and whether I should take it again for good measure... whereas she was just firing off 30 to 40 shots with abandon. In the evening back at camp she would just do a quick edit and delete about 60% of what she had taken for the day, keeping only the best shots.

 

Thus... back in the land of shops, and before another holiday (it seems I only by cameras duty free) I got a 6 megapixle Pentax *istDs DSLR with a 18 – 125mm lens to go with my other 28 – 80mm / 100 – 300mm. This is a fantastic (and cheap) little camera that has served me very well for the last few years and which I still have. However have also added a 10 megapixle Pentax K10D (image stabilised, sensor cleaning & weather/dust proof seals) with 18 – 50mm and 70 – 300mm macro lens kit. The kit lenses are good enough to do the job, but I will be investing next (when Mrs ZaminOz isn't looking) in a higher quality lens... (edit: Mrs ZaminOz wasn't looking ):P

 

So my kit currently is:- (updated 3 August 2010)

 

Digital SLRs:

Pentax K7 (... You guessed it; bought duty free...)

Pentax K10D

Pentax *istDs

 

Lenses:

PENTAX DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL [iF]

PENTAX DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 II APO EX DC HSM

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG

 

Plus kit lenses:

Sigma 18 – 50mm f/3.5-5.6 DC

Sigma 70 – 300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

Sigma 18 – 125mm DC

(and the 28 – 80mm / 100 – 300mm from my 35mm SLR which also work on my DSLRs)

 

Flash:

Sigma EF-530 DG SUPER

 

Tripod

Several dozen gb worth of SD cards

Lowpro Orion Trekker II / Tamrac Aero Speed Pack 85 / Tamrac Adventure 2 Day Pack

Batteries/Filters/Chargers etc

 

Wish List:

 

Sigma APO 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM

PENTAX DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM

smc PENTAX DA 17-70mm f/4 AL (IF) SDM

PENTAX ultra wide-angle DA 12-24mm

Sigma APO 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM for Pentax

Edited by ZaminOz

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I have, but will not take all of this on safari:

 

Two 35mm SLRs: Canon EOS1n, EOS3

 

Angle finder

 

One rangefinder: Fuji GS645S Wide 60 (6cm x 4.5cm transparencies)

 

Canon 300/2.8 L IS lens with 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, 25mm extension tube

 

Canon 135/f2 L

 

Canon 24-105/f4 L IS

 

Canon 100-400 L IS

 

Canon 100/2.8 macro

 

Monopod, tripod and a variety of other camera supports.

 

Speedlite 580EX flash with Better Beamer and various off-camera flash brackets

 

540EZ flash (in hibernation)

 

My wife Yvonne and I share equipment, though not our respective enthusiasm for film/digital. She has:

 

Canon EOS1D Mark 2 DSLR

 

EOS 5D

 

EOS 40D

 

EOS 630 SLR

 

Monopod, tripod

 

70-200/2.8 L IS, 2x teleconverter

 

24-70/2.8 L

 

85/1.8

 

50/1.8

 

550EX flash & brackets

 

Heaven only knows what else she has in her camera bags.

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For photography I always use SLR equipment. In my case Canon since I started with that brand almost 30 years ago.

 

My own equipment while on safari is:

EOS-1D mkII and 1Ds mkII

17-40/4.0L

70-200/2.8L

300/2.8L

500/4.0L

1.4x and 2x converters

Laptop with separate USB harddrive for backups

And too much other smaller stuff.

 

My wife uses her own camera, mainly with her 100-400L lens.

 

When I am traveling on my own and can't take all of the above, I leave the 500mm lens at home and only take the 300/2.8 with me.

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So, the brand count for cameras on African safaris so far is:

 

Canon in the lead with 6 users;

 

Nikon next with 3 users; and

 

Pentax and Panasonic joint 3rd with 1 user each.

 

[Probably reflective of each brands positioning in the market.]

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I just added some new babies. Now I got to take them on a test drive.

Latest addition the Apple Mac, 28-300 IS USM, and the 40D.

 

gallery_4095_84_151541.jpg

 

gallery_4095_84_59746.jpg

 

With that arsenal I should get one presentable photo finally. Now if the sun would just come out.. lets play.

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make that:

 

Canon in the lead with 7 users;

 

Nikon next with 3 users; and

 

Pentax and Panasonic joint 3rd with 1 user each.

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Dikdik

 

How do you find room in your vehicle for yourself with all those cameras? ... (and the extra camera that you used to take the photo of all your cameras!)

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make that:

 

Canon in the lead with 7 users;

 

Nikon next with 3 users; and

 

Pentax and Panasonic joint 3rd with 1 user each.

 

ZaminOz,

 

I use Canon kit as well.

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Another vote for Nikon

 

Two bodies : D300 and D2X

 

Currently happy with the 70-300 VR and 100-400 lenses.

 

Will look to invest in the 80-400 VR somewhere down the road!

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I'm a Nikon girl...

 

I have the D300 (just bought a month ago - I love it)

 

I bought the following Nikon lenses to go with:

 

16-85mm (great lens)

 

80-400 VR (off the scale - what did I ever do without it?)

 

 

I'm broke as a result of my purchases BUT they're worth it.....

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I slipped in the EOS 30 and another analogue camera that is now obsolete. The truth be said, I have to share these with my wife or she shares them with me. You would be surprised how much you can fit in a shoulder bag when you try. I take two cameras to the farm all the time. I also always take my notebook with me as well.

 

It’s kind of like lugging golf clubs round a golf course. Remember; just because I have a set of clubs don’t mean I am good at golf. Just enjoy playing.

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Thanks Geoff, Hari and Tanya.

 

The ranking still remains the same at:

 

Canon in the lead with 8 users;

 

Nikon next with 5 users; and

 

Pentax and Panasonic joint 3rd with 1 user each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[exciting trivia this isn't it ;) ]

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A vote for Canon

 

Currently using the 20D with a 10D as backup.

Waiting for a new version of the 5D to be released.

Lenses Canon 100-400mm L and Sigma 24-70 mm 2.8

Very happy with Canon, although the 20D had focus issues when I first got it

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Thanks mvecht.

 

Now:

 

Canon in the lead with 9 users;

 

Nikon next with 5 users; and

 

Pentax and Panasonic joint 3rd with 1 user each.

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canon digital rebel xt, and canon HDV CMOS video camera.. reasons. I bought them both on ebay fo a good price. Good enough for me quality wise, and with in my very low budget. And canon gear seems to still work after i drop it a few times and get dirt in the gear.

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