Camera for hunting?

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Royal27, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Things have changed.

    I had to get another camera body before the last trip because the old 20D was having some depth of field issues on macro shots and it was not going to be acceptable to have anything out of focus. It can be corrected, but why should I have to take a picture twice?

    I appreciate the discussion.
    From my experience I am now going to get a small pocket (cargo pants pocket) camera to take along while I am out stalking around.
    I'll have to seriously review your suggestions.

    The "big white gun" Canon 6D, L70-210 2.8 IS USM with 2x Doubler is the current big gun and is in the pack and it gets taken almost everywhere. It is the tool for camera hunting. All I can afford.
    I'd love to get an 800mm but, that will have to wait for a long time.

    It would be nice on those stalks where you just run into something cool to be able to take a picture on the run.
    Currently the iPhones job. Not the best but it works in a pinch.
  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    After reading up a bit more on this camera, I am less enthused due to the fact it uses rechargeable battery packs and needs a charger to go with it. I like using AA batteries and use Lithium for long life. A less expensive model, the Canon SX160 has a useable 16X zoom and still has the 16mp, but uses AA batts, and its about half the cost and gets similar reviews, both high. I also looked at a Nikon Coopix L820, but again, battery packs! There are sooooo many different models out there!
  3. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Outfit yourself with 2 cameras for Africa - a "decent" DSLR with either a couple lens (close and very long ranges), or invest in a "wide-range" lens that will cover most situations (I carry one, a 18mm - 200mm lens). For a little more, you can get an attachable flash unit to help get rid of the shadows in bright sunlight (like under the brim of a hat), or to better illuminate night photos of trophies or celebrations. This one goes out everyday, but stays in the truck most of the time. Photos of the camp, the terrain from vantage points, wildlife sighted from the vehicle, and most trophy photos will be taken with this camera. I presently carry a Nikon D5100. I guess this probably qualifies as "decent", but I'm sure it's obsolete.

    The second should be a decent point-and-shoot that you can carry with you everytime you leave the truck. Like previously mentioned, one that runs on AA batteries (Lithium) is a plus (long life, easy to carry another set, use the same batts in flashlights and GPS units, etc). I've carried a Nikon Coolpix L100 for years (obsolete). It's been to Africa 3 times, and it was the only camera I carried during 2 of my fly-in trips to Alaska where weight is a real issue and electricity to recharge packs is not an option. This one "only has" 10 megapixel resolution and a 15X optical zoom, but some of my favorite photos were taken with this camera (some of which have been printed 11" by 16" and framed).

    While rare in Africa, there can be times when the "big camera" can't be accessed before the trophy needs to be skinned. In Zim a couple years ago, the apprentice PH dropped us in an area and then left to drive around to the far side where we were to meet again. 20 minutes into the walk we were surprised by a group of Kudu and I was fortunate enough to kill one. Due to the topography, we couldn't raise the apprentince on the radio until he reached the pickup point (three hours later). By the time we raised him and he came back, it was way past sunset and we were discussing the southern cross. We skinned and packed the kudu out to a point he could reach us before dark, but I still have some very nice photos thanks to my point-and-shoot. Likewise, as in the case of elephants, things can look considerably different immediately after the kill vs. hours later, or the next morning as can often be the case. I had dozens of photos taken with my DSLR on my first elephant, but the first ones with the point-and-shoot, as the elephant fell, are by far the best. Also, as time goes by, the photos taken while walking of the team, the wildlife, that baobab tree torn apart by elephants, lunch being cooked over a mopane fire - these become some of the most cherished photos.

    I'm not a photographer, but I love good photos. Often the experience is so memorable that you want the photo to be "perfect" so that in some small way, those looking at the photo get some sense of just how special it really was. IMO you can't accomplish this with a damn iPhone.
  4. desertloper

    desertloper AH Veteran

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    You'll be happy with that. This is from my SX30IS

    wide angle
    [​IMG]

    250yds away
    [​IMG]

    500yds away full 35x optical zoom

    [​IMG]

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  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    [​IMG]

    This was a visitor today. Sparrow Hawk hen that had managed to find a Hungarian Partridge to munch on in an old Elm tree out front.

    Without the big gun I would have had nothing better than a bump on a tree limb.
    This was taken at about thirty feet and I cropped it as well.

    The iPhone just would not do.

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  6. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    I have lots of thoughts on this. I've gone through point and shoot cams, Pro-sumer cams, DSLR's, enthusiast cams and now I've come full circle.

    There's a question of what the camera is supposed to do. That's the starting point. And what I want it to do, and how I want it do it. Here's my qualification list:

    1. Must be pocketable. I have had DSLR's, ProSumers, the Nikon P510, an old Fuji?hey weren't pocketable. I hated carrying them on the hunt - it was something swinging around. I also figured out that if I didn't have it with me I wouldn't take a picture anyway. Pocketable size wins big for me.

    2. 10 megapixels is good but Sensor SIZE is more important. The bigger the sensor (4/3, etc.) the better the quality of each pixel taken and the better the performance in low light, faster pix.

    Megapixels ISN'T EVERYTHING. Seriously, don't buy into the hype. I've done quality poster-sized pix with a 6mp camera. Just how much do you really need 20mp? It's better to have a quality pixel than to jam a chip full of low quality pixels. I'll take a quality low light high performance 10mp chip over a 20mp + cheap sensor any day of the week.

    3. Understanding zoom length. It's great to look for a 40x lens but it usually comes with a very small sensor. That's how they get the massive magnification out of a small camera and small lens. A 10x lens with a full size sensor is 10x. Shrink the sensor and it turns into a magnifier. You get the magnification but at the cost of a lower quality sensor.

    4. You can have Zoom, you can have Quality, you can have Size: Pick any two

    5. How important is zoom anyway? The Nikon P510 is a 42x zoom - and I barely if ever used it. To get the most of the zoom it absolutely has to be on a tripod or a super stable platform. It cannot be handheld at 42x - stabilized or not.

    My absolute favorite camera - my go-to camera is an older Cannon S90. It's lacking zoom but it has the oversized sensor (good in low light, fast) and it's small (pocketable). I'd like a little more zoom but not at the expense of losing sensor size. The sensor makes the quality of the picture.

    My recommendation: take the time and really figure out what's important to you first. Then decide from there what you want.

    I'm rather lusting after the new Sony DSC-RX 100 ii these days. It's got the highest quality and largest sensor in a compact camera out there. That gives is superb low light ability with a pocketable size. Still, it's pricey...
  7. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Then I am sure you will also like the Panasonic GX7.
  8. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    Conceptually, yes. But it still won't fit in a pocket well enough with the 14-42 lens for me to carry it. I experienced that issue with the P510. It may be "small" enough but it won't fit in the back pocket of my pants.

    For that matter, I need to qualify my statement on the Sony: I prefer the first edition rather than the later edition. The pivoting back lcd is a useless feature for me and adds 1/4" to the thickness of the cam.
  9. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Man.....

    Buying a rifle and scope is easy. This camera stuff is hard!!!! LOL

    Out looking right now and I'm looking at the Sony DSC HX50V. It appears to be a pretty decent compromise between size, zoom, and quality. I don't like that it is rechargable battery only, but I guess that isn't the end of the world either. If I wasnt going remote in Zim I wouldn't even care, but I guess that is why they have generators, right?

    Time to go home and read some reviews!
  10. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I went with the Sony.

    Thanks for all of the help!!! I think all of the folks who suggested two cameras, including a full size, are right. That being said, I know myself. I would end up leaving it at the truck. At least with the Sony I will take pictures.

    Now I'm down to just needing to get some clothing and I'm ready to go!!! :)
  11. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    USB car charger?
  12. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Great idea. Not sure I would have thought old that. Thanks!!!
  13. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I looked at the Sony DHC-HX50V a very Slick little Cam,,nice in the hand, good zoom and Picture quality more features than i'll use ,as much as I wanted a Full size Camera they were just to big and you need at least one Tele lens ,,the way I look at it is,your carrying a Rifle and a pair of Binos allready how much more can you schlepp around,,
  14. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I just picked up a new Canon PowerShot SX160 IS 16mp, off Amazon for about 100 bucks. Neat little camera, uses AA batts., with optional charger if wanted. This thing takes a much better quality zoom pic than my older Canon A1000 10mp PowerShot. It maxed at 16X and image quality out there was lousy. This new one goes out to 64X and quality is amazing! In fact its better by far at max of 64 than the other at 16, not even close! Its macro is no better than the AS1000 but is as good. It only seems to want to use SuperFine compression in P mode whereas the older PS had it in Auto mode, not sure why. Still a relative novice in this digi stuff. For the price it appears to be a very good little camera. Its aspect ratio is at 4/3 which I think I saw mention of above as important, if thats the same as the sensor size? Beats me! It is pocketable but I bought a small belt case for it which I find easy to live with and did the same with the other PS in RSA and Zim. For a small outdoor camera for getting those far out shots of critters this will be pretty good I think.
  15. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    I have a Canon SX220 with a 14X optical. I take it I am severely under powered. What is the minimum zoom I need? I can Get a 30X Nikon L820 or a 40X Olympus SP-82OUZ for the same price

    Thanks

    Brian
  16. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    It seems that it varies my camera, and photographer... I've talked to some who think 14x is enough, I wanted more "to be safe." I also don't have a clue what I'm doing!!! :) So much depends on what you want to do... I think the Sony with 30x was a good choice for me. Others want a full size, as you see here in the thread.

    I'm going to try and take some longer distance photos this weekend with full zoom and see how it goes. The one thing about the camera that does concern me is lack of a viewfinder... I'm afraid the screen is going to be tough to see in bright light.
  17. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I opted for the Sony HX50V,,,it seems to fit my needs ,It set up real fast and the menu actually is EZ to understand,,I,ll be out with it this weekend and see how it performs,,30 day Money back guarantees are nice also
  18. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    I bought a Sony dsc-hx200v. The Canon will be backup. 30X should be enough I hope
  19. Biggdawg

    Biggdawg BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    has anyone used a gopro on their hunt?

    I have a eos rebel and an hd camcorder but i was wondering if the go pro would be a good choice?

    it takes stills and video and it is small
  20. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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