Good Camera for Hunting & Photo Safari

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by sdh56, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. sdh56

    sdh56 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    RMEF, DU, NWTF, WU,
    I will be going to Namibia for a 7 day hunt and hope to spend another 7 days observing other wildlife and some of the sights. Can someone recommend a moderately priced digital camera for this trip. I have a $300 point and shoot that works well, but I'm thinking that I should have an SLR with a better lens and zoom capability.

    Thanks for your input.

    SDH56
     
  2. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    28
    Member of:
    Peninsular Firearms Academy
    Hunted:
    Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malta
    Hey there sdh56.

    I've done a few trips and each time the cameras get bigger and better. Unfortunately, as they get better, they really do get bigger! Keep the point and shoot in your pocket as that is easy to handle while hunting.

    For the photo safari, you really want a DSLR. For my money, the Canon EOS 450D was good value and one of Canon's fastest shooting cameras which is great when photographing wildlife that doesn't necessarily stand still and smile at you. Canon market a kit that includes the camera body and two lenses, both are "image stabilising" at 8-55mm and 55-250mm. This is a top set up and very reasonably priced. If you're lucky you may find a kit with the 18-55mm and a 75-300mm lens which costs basically the same price, but gives you a bit more zoom. If you have a few dollars to spare, then get the 10-400mm lens; it's an amazing bit of gear!

    Note that the DSLR will be a pain in the arse to carry around while hunting, so leave it in the truck and when the vehicle is brought in to recover your trophy, pull it out for a few serious pictures - assuming you've already been snapping away with your compact.

    If the DSLR is too much for your budget, you could try the Canon Powershot G10, which is a bit of a hybrid: more than a compact but not a DSLR. You can get a lens adaptor for this camera to double your zoom length. This will probably cost less than half of the DSLR price. We have the same setup in an older model, a G6, and it is a very handy camera with all of the features other than the removable SLR lenses.

    I've owned and used cameras by Minolta, Sony and Canon and to date, nothing beats the Canons. We have four in the house so that when we're in Africa and we go our separate ways for a few days, we both have a compact and a full function DSLR. Have fun.
     
  3. PAGuardian

    PAGuardian AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hunted:
    Namibia
    Before our trip to Namibia we picked up the Nikon D40 (an SLR) and it has been a great investment. It takes great pictures and it is pretty easy to use. The camera body is not terribly expensive and there are plenty of lens options out there (you can certainly find good deals on ebay). While I don't have this lens personally, I've been told the 70-300mm with vibration reduction is a great lens. I'll definitely agree that it would be a pain to carry around all day but I took 95% of my photos with it compared to the point and shoot we took along.
     
  4. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA
    sdh56................I would have to second what Schembridan said. I always end up with a Canon as well and use a Canon EOS for my big camera as well as a little Cannon SD770 IS for my pocket, go everywhere camera. The Nikon D40 is a good camera as well. The G10 is a good camera as well but I found it to be a bit too big for a pocket camera and not really what I want for taking wildlife shots with big lenses..........but it would do both jobs quite well for most people if they wanted to just take one camera for everything.

    I also agree with Ebay, I bought my last EOS via Ebay and saved a bundle.
     
  5. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    4
    My Photos:
    41
    Member of:
    Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, Boone & Crockett Club, PHASA
    Hunted:
    Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, New Zealand, Argentina and throughout North America
    Hi, I have a Nikon D80 with a Tamron telephoto 75-300mm lens and a 28-80mm wide angle lens that I can't live without for group photos, trophy photos, etc. Just be careful if you make the investment in this type of camera that you get good quality lenses - the mount on my wide angle is plastic instead of metal and I have sent it back in for repair twice now as it just doesn't hold up over an extended period of time. I agree that you should carry your point & shoot digital in the field and leave your good camera in the vehicle for those trophy field photos.
     
  6. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    25
    Member of:
    SCI Northeast Wisconsin Chapter, NRA, Local Sportsmen's Club
    Hunted:
    South Africa
    sdh56:

    The advice from schembridan to take a good SLR and a good quality pocket camera is spot-on. For our hunt in RSA last year, we took a small 7mp Sony with a Zeiss lens and a Nikon D60 SLR with two VR lenses and were very pleased with photo quality from both of them.

    Keeping the long-range zoom lens on the SLR while riding makes it handy for quick shots of sunsets, herds of animals and close ups of individual animals. You can quickly switch to the wide-angle lens when it's time for the beauty shots of your trophy.

    Having the smaller camera in your pocket is really convenient when you are a long distance from the vehicle and want to capture quick images of a successful hunt.

    If your spouse goes along and decides to take a side trip instead of hunting one day, two cameras are a necessity.

    - browningbbr
     
  7. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    202
    Member of:
    SCI and PHASA
    Hunted:
    South Africa and Zambia
    Hi Sdh56

    I can recommend the Nikon D3000 it is not the most expensive SLR but it sure does a good job.

    Now in saying that I am still learning a lot about the SLR’s.

    Have fun when you’re over here and take loads of pictures that is really the one great thing with digital cameras.

    Cheers Louis


    DSC_0005..jpg

    Zebra..jpg
     
  8. monish

    monish AH Elite

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,400
    Likes Received:
    3
    My Photos:
    1093
    Member of:
    AfricaHunting.com
    Hunted:
    Tanzania, Nepal, Canada,
    Hi sdh56

    Nikon D80 SLR with 50 MM and variable 75-300 lens would be optimum for your usage .

    Monish
     
  9. 375lvr

    375lvr AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    SCI, NWTF, RMEF
    Hunted:
    US, Canada, RSA
    As others have stated, Definately take 2 Cameras with you. A good SLR type and a pocket camera. Take a look at what Kodak has to offer.
    http://store.kodak.com/store/ekconsus/en_US/list/Digital_Cameras/categoryID.28887600
     
  10. speedbump

    speedbump AH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    9
    Member of:
    Rowland Ward Guild, NRA (Life Member), ISRA
    Hunted:
    Namibia
    sdh,

    A good 35mm plus a digital, PLUS a pocket camera. Wish I'd had one in Namibia - had a black rhino broadside at 120 yards and my camera was in the truck 2 miles away!:eek: The 35mm was in the rifle case LOST in a different country, so all was not well. Take some black and white for the 35mm, as they make superior trophy photos ... very classy. Bracket your pics for exposure and zoom. You might be surprised at the close-up gems that pop up too. Don't forget lens filters, since the Namibian sun can wash out colors in some situations.

    My (lost) 35mm is a Canon Eos Rebel II. Great older camera with good zoom.

    My go-to for the trip by default was a Sony S700. Solid little piece for the money and it takes good photos. I'll try to attach a few for comparison:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  11. sdh56

    sdh56 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    RMEF, DU, NWTF, WU,
    Thanks for the advice on cameras. Do anyone have experience with the digital superzoom cameras, like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 or Cannon PowerShot SX20 IS. They look like an alternative to SLRs, but do seem to have some disadvantages. Thanks again for all the input.

    SDH56
     
  12. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    3
    They shoot good pics....but you lose the portability of a slimmer point and shoot....and the ability to change to a better lense.I like Canon products but my XTi is basically the same body size.

    Here are some examples of a Canon 100 sx...10x zoom.Nice pocket size (although not a slim line) runs on easy to get and carry AA's...
    [​IMG]


    ....and now zoomed most of the way; same shot.....there is a welder working in the steeple; top portion of the third "window" from the bottom, on the right.
    [​IMG]


    These are from a 70-300 on the XTi body.....just some J-pegs,nothing special, but they show good relative ideas of reach you could expect in Etosha or Kruger....in general....these are basically at either end of the zoom.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Note the far brush line....
    [​IMG]

    This group came from the far left....
    [​IMG]

    And zoom in....
    [​IMG]



    A lone bull....this gives a good contrast....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If I go again I would like a 100-400 and a 70-200 on 2 seperate bodies.Switching lenses in the dust is not a great idea on a game drive.IMO The size is reasonable as is the cost for me.

    A big advantage to the Canon is the battery charger runs 110/220/50-60 Hz so any plug anywhere in the world (with a configeration adapter) charges you up.(and I have a cig. lighter 12v car deal too).Don't know about the other brands???? I have 3 batteries (belt and suspenders approach)

    You can rent lenses cheap and they are a very good way to stetch your budget.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page