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Old Sep 6, 2007, 12:52 PM   #1
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I am going on my honeymoon to South Africa in November and want to make sure I have the right equiptment to come home with great photos. I currently have an olympus stylus p&s which I will bring and my fiance has a Nikon Coolpix 5400. I am looking for something that is going to take vivid photos and will allow me to get close up shots of the animals.

Should I just buy a telephoto lens for the Nikon (if so which one?) or should I look at an ultra-zoom SLR like point and shoot such as the Canon S5?

My only parameter is for it to be around $500. I am not concerned with size.

Also another option is to borrow my brothers D40 but he just has the standard lens which I don't think is enough zoom. ALso I am unsure if I have the skills to handle an SLR.

Any advice is greatly appreciated as my knowledge of photography is very limited but I want to get great pics. Thank you in advance
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 3:14 PM   #2
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tekniq-

Firstly, you know this has already been discussed several times. You might check out those threads. One is still on the fron page of this folder, so it will not be a chore for you to do.

Most folks who have safari experience feel that you need at least 300mm (in 35mm terms) and 400mm (again, in 35mm terms is even more desireable. That means that with your expressed budget of..."around $500..." that a DSLR is probably out of the question due to money and having sufficient experience with a DSLR equipped with a lens such as the Nikon 70-300mmVR. It takes some practice to become skilled with the camera while using it in a bouncing Land Rover.

That leaves the ultra zoom cameras. The new Panasonic FZ-18 ($399) is a possibility, but it is mainly a daytime camera, it does not do well in low light levels. The Canon S-5IS ($350) is another good possibility, and when equipped with a good external flash is does quite well. Forget the Sony H-7 and H-9, they have problems. However, the Sony H-2 is an awesome camera and officemax is closing it out at $199.

A lot will have to do with your experience and being able to shoot smartly under much less than ideal shooting conditions. I would recommend getting the camera quickly and getting very, very comfortable with the new camera before you depart on your honeymoon. here is a sample of the kind of photos that you will be hoping for from your honeymoon.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 3:59 PM   #3
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Thank you, I did notice the other post right after I made this one as well as some others that have been helpful. I do like the Canon S5 and am definitely considering that. As you said my goal is to get it a.s.a.p and learn how to use it before hand.
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 4:15 PM   #4
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teknique-

That is exactly correct. The photo shooting conditions on a safari are very demanding. Just imagine shooting from a bouncing Land Rover when it is nearly sunset. That kind of photo environment places high demands on the photographer.

You have to know your equipment very well indeed, and be able to shoot on the fly. The Canon S-5IS is a good choice, but be sure to get a very good external flash to go with it. I would also suggest using the LensMate adapter to protect that lens barrel on the S-5 IS from getting banged around in the Lans Rover. If you put a kink in that lens barrel, you would have an inop camera and a huge repair bill. I have attached a photo of my S-5 with the lens adapter and UV filter installed to protect the S-5's lens.

Sarah
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 9:14 PM   #5
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teknique-

Just in an effort at total fairness. Here is what the Nikon D-40 with the Nikon 70-300mmVR lens can do. But that lens costs $(US)459.00

Sarah Joyce






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