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Camera for safari

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Astaroth, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    'ello folks.

    First of all, sorry if I get my lingo wrong but I am not majorly into my cameras

    A few years back I went on safari in Kenya and had a very old non-digital camera with a lense that went up to about 300mm. Unfortuantly the whole thing was manual operation and most the photos taken from the top of a vehicle with the engine still running.

    The outcome of this exercise was that I had a lot of photos that weren't great - many blurred or exposure problems - but those that did come out well looked so much better than my partners 150mm point and click type thing.

    I have since moved into the digital world and bought a nice little compact point and click type thing and am exceptionally impressed (many thanks to you all with your advise) but I have just booked another trip on safari and dont think the x3 optical zoom will be sufficient.

    I would appreciate your recommendations on a camera to get to take with me. I will have some time to play first but would like the camera to be able to take good photos with point and shoot but have scope to grow into. Whilst I would like a decent zoom on it I dont want to have 2 meters of white lense sticking out the front of the camera (and is there anything that can be done to stop my unsteady hands/ vehicle vibrations bluring pictures?). Taking into consideration the corporate discounts I can get I would probably go up to the £1,500 mark (at average high street prices)

    Many thanks
     
  2. Johndm

    Johndm
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    Well a 300D will work as a point and shoot on 'full auto'
    You could stick a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens on it to avoid the 25 feet of white tube..... :rotfl: but still get image stabilization.

    Total cost at Jessops today would be £1498.....sorted???

    regards
     
  3. dolph

    dolph
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    Now that is a nice lens - not really sure if it's worth a £600 premium over the 75-300mm IS lens just for the size saving though....!!
     
  4. condyk

    condyk
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    You're right that 3x zoom won't be enough. I've travelled a lot through Southern Africa and managed to take a few decent shots with a similar 3x camera. However, I also had a 400mm zoom lens and SLR with me and I had loads of great shots with that from the vehicle.

    I kinda agree with John's suggestion if you really want to spend the cash ... not because I'm an expert, I'm definately not, but because I have done a huge amount of research over last two weeks in advance of my own next trip. You won't go far wrong with that kit.

    My own conclusion tho' was slightly different (call it the tight-fist version!!) i.e. to look for a Canon 300D, which I have now bought with the included lens kit, and a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM EX zoom with Sigma extender.

    I am also getting a battery grip to both better balance the camera with a bigger zoom lens (lens size is not necessarily an issue if you're in a vehicle, unless crowded, but camera balance is) and also to allow me to take more shots. This latter is only an issue if you won't have access to mains recharging. Second hand or shopping around you can get all this for £1000. Jessops have the 300D with lens kit for under £500, there is a great Sigma 70-200 on ebay for £350 Buy Now price and ebuyer has the grip for £70! Add extra battery, tripod, fast Compact Flash card (4x 500MB for 'redundancy and storage space) and a bag and that's the £1000 spent! Bargain ...

    No image stabilisation with my choice of Sigma lens though, as I can't afford it without compromising lens quality ... and I wanted f2.8 because I think it'll work better in dawn and dusk conditions. Many of the 'more interesting' animals come out at those times, as you probably know. However, from experience in these conditions you can develop a camera holding grip/stance which minimises shake. You can also use an unextended or part unextended tripod in the vehicle and this adds good stability. There are also bean bag type supports you can use on the door edge. Of course, with lots of battery and storage you can snap loads and select just the best ones ... maybe IS is not QUITE so important as when you're stuck with film :)

    Finally ... I am going to suggest an alternative!! If you're happy with point and shoot style and performance then check out the Panasonic FZ3 offer on the forum ... a few places below your post at the moment! I believe the offer is now off their web site but they have a few left at £199.99 if you ring them. This is a great camera, I had one and so do lots of friends now, with 12x optical Leica zoom AND image stabilization that really works well. From memory, it is equiv. to around 430mm or so lens! It is small and practical and the buy of the year in my view. Normally £349 and great reviews. The next model up is the FZ20 which is also great and higher resolution ... though resolution isn't a big deal unless you want huge prints!

    Of course, you could get both as that's the perfect combo. I don't like walking around developing countries with a massive, expensive camera. Just personal. The FZ3 is ideal for town use.

    Hope this is helpful ...

    PS I always take a small laptop on travels BTW as evening can be a bit dull at times, at least after the night drive and then dinner! You can check out your shots, store them on hard drive and edit/delete. Great fun :) You could get a cheap Acer or Dell new and still be just about in budget if you don't have one already!
     
  5. Johndm

    Johndm
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    Don't forget it will be a 112-480mm on a 300D... :D



    The Canon EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM telephoto zoom lens. A new triple-layered diffractive optical element (DO) has enabled Canon to produce a 70-300mm lens less than 10cm long. The lens also includes Canon's Image Stabilisation technology to dramatically reduce camera shake, compensating for approximately three stops in shutter speed without any perceptible increase in image blur. A virtually silent ultra-sonic motor (USM) gives the lens extremely fast autofocus. Full time manual focusing, a circular aperture diaphragm, and a zoom ring lock mechanism to fix the lens at the shortest focal length are all built in. The lens boasts image quality approximating that of Canon's L series professional lenses.

    It is likely to appeal to professional photojournalists and serious advanced amateurs with a need to contain the size and weight of equipment carried.

    DO Elements
    This is the first DO lens to be released by Canon since it astonished the photographic community with the award winning EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM: A lens approximately 26% shorter and 36% lighter than any lens of comparable specifications. Use of the new three-layer DO lens drastically reduces the overall length and weight of the lens system increasing the refractive power of each lens element and reducing the spaces between elements. Chromatic aberration normally associated with increased compactness was corrected by positioning the Three-layer type DO lens on the front lens side. This, coupled with the correction of spherical aberration through the use of aspherical surfaces, delivers high image quality and high levels of resolution and contrast, rivalling the performance of Canon’s legendary L-series lenses.

    Zoom lock
    The EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM features a zoom ring locking mechanism, locking the lens at its shortest total length. This helps to protect the lens from potential damage by preventing the zoom elements extending under their own weight. This might otherwise occur when the lens is mounted to a camera that hangs from a neck or shoulder strap.

    Image Stabilisation
    The lens incorporates Canon's renowned Image Stabilisation (IS) technology, compensating for approximately three stops without any perceptible increase in image blur when shooting static subjects or panning.

    This vastly increases the range of circumstances in which hand-held photography is possible, limiting the need to carry a tripod. During major movement in a single direction, IS Mode 2 technology automatically determines that the movement is conscious panning and halts correction in the relevant direction, thereby preventing shake-return. The IS system automatically detects lack of movement / vibration to prevent operation errors when a tripod is in use. IS efficacy increases and lower overall size have been achieved through improvements in the moving contact sections of the IS lens barrel, the IS lens group barrel locking mechanism and the shake-detection gyro.

    Fast AF
    A rear focusing ring type USM, high-speed CPU and new AF algorithms combine to give the lens extremely fast auto-focusing. The ring-type ultrasonic motor (USM) converts ultrasonic vibrational energy into rotational force to deliver high-speed, high-precision, super efficient and virtually noiseless auto focusing, with good holding torque for rapid response and accurate stopping. Full-time manual override is featured, removing the possibility of damage to the autofocus mechanism during manual focus. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1.4m throughout the entire zoom range.

    Ideal for digital
    Lens shape has been optimised and new coatings added to suppress ghosting and flaring. This makes the lens ideal for use with digital cameras that are more susceptible to reflections off the recording media than are film cameras. When fitted to digital cameras with an APS-C size sensor such as the EOS 10D, the lens will have an equivalent focal length range of 112 - 480mm in the 35mm format.

    Attractive defocusing
    Appropriate refractive and DO elements are combined to realise low distortion, high corner-to-corner resolution throughout the entire zoom range. As with all EF lenses, aperture is controlled with an EMD (electromagnetic diaphragm) for fast, quiet, highly precise control and the lens incorporates a near circular aperture diaphragm for beautifully pleasing background blur.

    Working with EOS
    The drive pattern of the lens is tailored to specifically match that of the latest EOS range, extracting maximum benefit from the lens’ speed advantage. The lens comes with a case LP1116 and an exclusive hood ET-65B for shading against unwanted direct light.

    In harmony with the environment
    In keeping with Canon's stringent environmental policy, only lead free glass is used in the lens’ optics.
     

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