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Thread: From DSLR to Super Zoom for safari..hmm. What do you think?

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    Member macca87's Avatar
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    From DSLR to Super Zoom for safari..hmm. What do you think?

    Hi everyone I need some help,

    I have a Canon EOS 350D (which i suppose is quite old now). I don't have many lenses I have the normal kit + 70-300 tele. I'm not really too much of a photographer I just want a camera which will take great photos.

    I'm off on an African safari for a month this year and was going to take my Canon but I think it might be too annoying carrying extra lenses (for close or zoom) and have been looking at the super zoom cameras such as the Panasonic DMC-FZ100 and the Canon SX30 IS as I don't really want to spend more money on a bigger and better lens (it seems the super zoom cameras x24/x30 would be better on safari than my 70-300?)

    I'm leaning towards the Panasonic but do you think I will be dissapointed going from the EOS SLR to the super zoom?

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    I'd suggest getting a 2x or 3x tele-converter to extend zoom of your current 70-300 lens. Keep in mind however, a 2x teleconverter will lose one one effective f stop and a 3x will lose you two effective f stops (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

    To avoid camera shake, make sure you use a shutter speed 1.5x to that of your focal length (Reason being is that you're using a camera with a cropped sensor). For example, if you are using a 2x teleconverter at 300mm - making it effectively 600mm, you'd want to shoot at a minimum of 1/1000sec - but don't take this as bible as it's just a rule of thumb. I wouldn't recommend cheaping out and getting an inexpensive teleconverter however as it may significantly reduce the speed of your autofocus.
    -Alan

    D700 | D80 | 16-35 | 24-70 | 70-200 | 30 | 50 | 85

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I will have to correct lay-z,
    a teleconverter of 2x or 3x magnification will cause you more grief than good especially at the long end of your lens.
    The reasons are that --
    A 2x converter will make you lose at least 2 stops of aperture.
    If your lens has a minimum aperture at 300mm of F/5.6 you will more than likely loose the autofocus function of camera and lens combination.

    As for wanting a "camera that will take great photos", you already have one in the 350D. That camera is capable of excellent results with good lenses and most importantly, a bit of knowledge under the belt of the user. I would suggest sharpening your skills with the gear you have, maybe buying a decent compact to compliment it and then go forth and take good photos.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    As another suggestion, the best thing you can do is take me. as it's already on my shortlist to do in the next couple of years.

    Failing that, as with what Andrew said, brush up on your skills and stick with what you've got. Besides a bit of convenience, I can't see any of the superzoom cameras matching what you have.

    A trip like that deserves some quality recording of it. If you really want a it more length and image quality how about go to ebay & buy a used 100-400mm, say around $1500. Use it before you go to get the hang of it, take it on the trip then offload it on return. I doubt you'd lose more than a hundred, or 2. Cheap rent. Most good glass holds it's value well.

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    Hi macca,
    1. Is this likely to be a "once in a lifetime" opportunity? If so you will want to get the best photos you can...

    2. When you say "I'm off on an African safari for a month" do you mean you will actually be out bush the whole time or just going on one (or more) short safris during that time? This relates to the number of sightings/potential "good photo opprtunities" you will have (i.e. animal close to vehicle, not in thick bush etc.)

    3. Is it an organised safari or are you self driving? A pro guide will find you more animals, get you closer and/or in best position for photos.

    4. If organised, is it a dedicated photo safari or just a "general tourist" one? A good photo safari will mean plenty of room to move and for equipment, 2-3 fellow photographers that don't jump around while you try to take a long shot, are prepared to sit and wait for the right moment etc. On a general one you will be packed in tight, flat out trying to swing a 70-300, people moving about and as soon as they've seen an animal wan to move on.

    5. Are you going to be in private reserves of national parks? Generally national park means designated roads only, so if the animal is 1000m away, that's super telephoto territory. Private reserves will often go off-road and "chase" the animal.

    In general I'd say stick with DSLR. The 350D has a larger sensor, better ISO capability, higher FPS and, in a lot of circumstances, the lenses you have will probably be adequate. Better to crop a good photo than have a zoomed in crappy one. If you want the the option for longer range, you could buy a Sigma 150-500 for not too much more than the SX30 or arrange to hire a "Big White" telephoto lens over there.

    As a minimum buy some spare batteries & memory cards and basic cleanng gear.

    In the end it comes down to skill of the guide, time spent in the field and a certain amount of luck. I was in South Africa for 2 weeks last year, I had photographed "The Big 5" (plus many other animals) in my first two days and 3 out of the 5 were within 10m of the vehicle!

    Cheers
    John

    p.s. expensive glass is worth it...
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/gal...imageuser=3257

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Unfortunately I will have to correct lay-z,
    a teleconverter of 2x or 3x magnification will cause you more grief than good especially at the long end of your lens.
    The reasons are that --
    A 2x converter will make you lose at least 2 stops of aperture.
    If your lens has a minimum aperture at 300mm of F/5.6 you will more than likely loose the autofocus function of camera and lens combination.

    As for wanting a "camera that will take great photos", you already have one in the 350D. That camera is capable of excellent results with good lenses and most importantly, a bit of knowledge under the belt of the user. I would suggest sharpening your skills with the gear you have, maybe buying a decent compact to compliment it and then go forth and take good photos.
    Cheers for the correction Andrew, I wasn't 100% sure on the information I had given

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day macca

    This bit of info may be of assistance
    http://www.safari-guide.co.uk/panaso...rsion-lens.php

    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    You will get better results spending more on a good guide and using your 300 mm zoom than you would skimping on the guide and spending any money on a new lens. 300mm will normally be long enough. Enjoy

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    Member kmcgreg's Avatar
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    I have to say stick with your camera- I use a Canon 100-400 - plenty of length and flexibility on a crop. You will be disappointed going back to a P&S.
    Hobart Camera semi newbie


    Canon 50D
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    Canon 10D EF 100mm 1:2.8 Macro Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX
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    Member cfm's Avatar
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    You will most likely have a mix of up-close animals next to the vehicle, and far-off animals difficult to photograph through the bush, requiring a manual focus option.
    You might be packed in to a vehicle, difficult to swing a big lens around.
    Quite a few early-morning/late-evening photos, so light levels might be low.

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