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Old Sep 1, 2007, 8:15 PM   #1
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HI, My husband and I are going to go to Africa next year and I'm looking to upgrade our cameras. I'm looking for advice on both digital SLRs and non-SLRs for this trip.

I know I won't find all my "wish list" items in one camera, but ideally I would like: a great zoom range (10x or more?)to capture animals in the distance, at least 6 MP, great low light or night capabilities (including image stabilization). Also, since we may be doing something really insane like shark cage diving, I'd like to find a camera that I can transform into an underwatercamera.

Iknow I won't find all of this in one camera, but ifI couldget some suggestions on where to start I'd be grateful. I was initially looking at the Sony H9 but I've read some very mixed reviews.

Iam thinking of getting both a SLR and a non-SLR so my husband and I can each have a camera- I'm a bit more savvy than he is butregardless we will both need to spend some time experimenting since its been awhile since Ihad anything other than a cheap consumer-friendly digital.

Thanks for anyadvice!
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Old Sep 1, 2007, 10:09 PM   #2
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discodog-

I have seen African Safari's done with a Sony H-2, that looked very good. The H-2 is selling on E-Bay for less the $(US) 200.00.

I have also seen one done with a Nikon D-40 using both the kit lens and the Nikon 70-300mmVR lens that was also quite good. I will attach a sample photo.

At this point you have plenty of time, whatever camera you choose, get well in advance and really get to know the camera before you head off for Africa.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 1, 2007, 10:41 PM   #3
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discodog01 wrote:
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... Also, since we may be doing something really insane like shark cage diving, I'd like to find a camera that I can transform into an underwatercamera....
I'd like to suggest that, since this is a consideration, you might start looking at housings. There are different manufacturers and different product lines, so you might do some shopping there, and then narrow down your selection of cameras to the ones that fit the type of housing you want.
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Old Sep 1, 2007, 11:00 PM   #4
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THANK YOU!!
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Old Sep 2, 2007, 4:24 PM   #5
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discodog-

Yesterday, I gave you a sample of the Nikon D-40 at work in the African Bush. Here is a closer to home sample from the Sony H-2.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 2, 2007, 7:52 PM   #6
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THank you very much- the samples are great!
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Old Sep 2, 2007, 10:01 PM   #7
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There is nothing better than a Sony DSC-H2 for the price. If you are in the U.S. and close to an Officemax store, you can pick one up for $200. (Store purchased only)
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Old Sep 2, 2007, 11:16 PM   #8
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I have done a safari myself in Kenya a few years ago.

Film choice therewas really smal, and in lots of hotels the power was cut at night to avoid power generator nuisances, meaningI could not recharge my batteries...

I was leaving very early for the best light, so I did not have the time to wait for the generators to start again to reoad the rechargeable batteries....Thanks god my camera was using AA batteries.

You can make your own deductions on what you need the most.

And do not underestimate elephant speed. If they fill your viewer when thelens is on 200mm, that means itmay betoo late... :-)The only deadly accidents I heard of where from elephants.

I am puzzled abouttheshark cave diving location though, unless we are talking about South Africa ?


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Old Sep 3, 2007, 3:11 AM   #9
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In your shoes I would go for...

DSLR...

Pentax K10D + kit lens (for wideangle shots).
Sigma 50-500mm.

You get a wide zoom range with a weather resisitant body and built-in image stabilization. With it's 1.5 crop factor the Sigma lens gives an equivalent focal length range of 75-750mm, which is a very nice range for wildlife.

You should also seriously consider a good external flash and a "Better Beamer" flash focusser if you plan on doing any bird shots. And in Africa you are likely to want to.

And finally look into some decent support for the camera that you can attach to a Land Rover if you are going to be out in one all day.


P&S
Canon G9

You don't give a specific budget but I think that this is a good mid-range combo which gives very good quality at a reasonable price. To step up much in quality you need to start spending a lot more money.
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Old Sep 3, 2007, 12:00 PM   #10
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With several trips to Alaska, I can only say - if you do not bring a laptop along to store your images on, then bring LOTS of memory cards - or some other storage device (remember batteries for them also). I have 20GB of SDcards and it was just barley enough. The idea on batteries is a good one. The AAs are easy and you can not take too many.....

I would also bring a point and shoot that EASILY goes into a pocket - like one of the Canon ELPHs - they are great (consider image stablization on that selection also) - and of course batteries and more SDcards (movie clips take a LOT of storage - for the charging elephant). For mine, I have one in the camera, one in the charger, and two in my pocket. Same thing for extra SD cards, select a P&S that uses the same storage media as the dSLR.

You might also consider looking into plugging your battery charger into the lighter outlet in the car/land rover, etc.

Also remember that you can stitch images together for panaroma shots.

Pictures when you come back = Please....
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