We are off to Leopard Hills on the 1st April and wondered if anyone could advise me about cameras. I intend to get a new one, but am not very good with them so are looking for one which is simple to use but will ensure I take good photo's while out on the game drives. I assume i will need one with a good zoom, but as far as anything else goes, i am hopeless. Can anyone recommend one which would be suitable for a dummy like me? I don't want to spend too much, probably around 120 (GBP), maybe a little more if it was a good one.
Also any tips would be really appreciated.
Also wondering about vaccinations I should get, if any?
Have a look at it. It is probably a little more than a 120 pounds, if the price is too much, have a look at the TZ3 model. This little handy digital camera (TZ5) has a high quality 28mm Leica lense, a 10x digital zoom and 9.2 mega bite pixels, a 3 inch window in the back and it is really easy to handle, and to upload your pictures, all you have to do is to stick your SD card into the computer slot and it will automatically upload your pictures, no extra gadgets or usb cords to use. It's super easy, and the pictures all turn out great.
Good luck with your trip and with your camera search.
Message Edited by LL_Travelfan on 01-18-2009 07:37 AM
that is so weird!! I was just speaking to someone a few minutes ago and they recommended that camera too. They have the TZ3 and highly recommend it and said the TZ5 is the newer version. I am just going to go and check out the link you gave me. As I said, I am jopeless with cameras but so want to be able to take wonderful photo's on what is hopefully going to be a once in a lifetime experience for us. if I happen to take photo's in low light, will this camera be good for that too? I know the game drives are early in the morning and in the evening but don't know how dark it will be. Maybe all you experts on safaris can help with that question? Travelfan, is that camera lightweight or is it quite heavy? We are restricted to 20kgs for the flight to the game reserve sohave to be careful as I know I'm going to be struggling to keep it to 20kgs. Mind you, I will probably be better taking the camera in our hand luggage anyway.
Yes, the TZ3 is the older version of the newer TZ5. The camera is light weight, (260 g or 9 1/8 oz) and fits into your coat pocket. As far as the light situation is concerned, the camera setting is quite versatile. I sometimes shoot night pictures on just the regular setting and they come out perfect. You have 3 different settings. The first one ist totally automatic, the second setting is mostly for portraits but you can adjust for other situations as well and there is an advanced setting where you can choose from many different lighting situations. This is the one I use most of the time. It also has a built in stabalizer, so your pictures won't wind up blurred. It has a built in flash and a self-timer. You will love this little camera. I take it with me everywhere I go.
it certainly sounds as though it is just what I'm looking for and if I get it now,that gives me plenty time to use it and try to get used to it before we go. I have read on the Leopard Hills website that most of the guys who take you out on the game drives are professional photographers too and I'm sure they will be happy to help me if I have any questions.....actually, i know i will have lots of questions as I am just hopeless with cameras!!!! Definately not one of my strong points!!!LOL
Sorry Travelfan, just one other question.....what about taking pictures of moving targets? is this a good camera for tasking those kind of photo's?
I will let you know how I get on with the camera if I do buy that one and will probably have some more questions for you, if you don't mind.
The choice of camera to take on safari can be a tough one! Safari photography does have somewhat different requirements than normal travel photography, as you'll be shooting in diverse lighting conditions (from bright daylight to spotlit night drives) at a considerable range of distances, often from a moving vehicle.
Fortunately there are a number of very good options available. I used a super-zoom like the ones you've been looking at before I bought my DSLR, and I got some very good photos with it. I'd recommend a minimum 10x optical zoom (12 x is better). Don't bother with digital zoom -- it's useless (it's not really zoom at all -- just cropping the image to a show only the part you've selected). The Panasonic and Canon super-zooms are particularly good -- I had a Lumix FZ20 before I switched to a Canon DSLR, and my sister still has an FZ20.
One thing I'd definitely recommend is getting a camera with a proper viewfinder that you can look through with the camera held up against your face, not just an LCD screen -- using the viewfinder will help you keep the camera steady, particularly for those action shots when the vehicle is moving. Shooting at maximum telephoto with the camera suspended in the air in front of you so you can see the LCD is a recipe for a lot of blurry shots no matter how good your image stabiliser is.
On a similar note, IMO image stabilisation is not an option -- it's a necessity. You will be doing much of your shooting at maximum telephoto, which will magnify any shaking whether from your vehicle or your hands.
Some people make the mistake of choosing a camera on specs alone -- don't do this! Go to a store and play with the different models -- see how they fit your hands, whether the menu is intuitive, and whether you like the way the buttons are organised. Just because a camera gets good reviews doesn't mean it's the best option for you -- you may find that it is awkward to hold or that your hands are too small to easily reach the buttons.
A few other things you may want to consider:
A lot of people don't bother with filters for their super-zooms, thinking they are only for SLR users. A UV filter helps cut glare and protects your lens, and a polarising filter is great for shots where you want to minimise reflections from water or glass. Ever wonder how people get those shots of streams where you can see straight to the bottom? Chances are they were using a polariser. It's great for taking pictures of colourful fish in the tropics as well.
Super-zooms tend to really eat battery power (probably because the zoom is incorporated into the camera body itself) so this is particularly important. If your camera uses special lithium-ion batteries, youll want 4 camera batteries (1 in camera, 2 spare, and one charging in camp). If your camera uses AA batteries, youll want to get long-life rechargeables and have the equivalent of four sets of batteries (1 in camera, 2 spare, and one charging in camp), or bring A LOT of spares.
Being out in the bush means being exposed to quite a bit of dust while you're driving around. At minimum, you'll want a blower (Giotto Rocket or similar NOT a blower brush, which will blow dirt all over your lens) and either a Lens Pen or cleaning solution and lots of lens tissues. Make sure to clean your camera every night, as there is a lot of dust on safari.
You will take more photos than you ever dreamed on your first safari, so you'll either need lots of memory cards, or a few cards plus a portable storage device. If you dont want to invest in a dedicated storage device, an iPod with Camera Adaptor can work well as an all-in-one solution if your cameras files arent too large check for compatibility with your camera. The Panasonics are compatible with iPods.
Let me know if you have more specific questions.
Message Edited by jashermd on 01-27-2009 11:17 PM
I was just about to go to bed whenI saw there was a reply tomy question about the camera. I haven't even started to read it yet, but certainly looks very impressive reading. I'm off to bed now but i will read it in detail tomorrow and I'm sure I will have more question for you if you don't mind.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question in so much detail. It is very much appreciated.
This is the new Cannon DSLR Camera Julian suggested. Of course he is right that this much more advanced camera would give you better pictures, but, only if you are very familiar with your new camera and know how to handle it well, know which settings and filters to use, etc. This takes time to get familiar with such an advanced piece of equipment and since you said you are not too technically inclined, I think, a point-and-shoot lightweight camera which gives you excellent pictures, a small camera that you can stick into your pocket, and would not break the bank, would serve you better. I know from my own experience that I am still learning everytime I use my little Lumix DMC-TZ3 camera and I have had it over a year by now. Don't get me wrong, the DSLR camera is a beautiful piece of equipment and has all the advantages a Pro would want, but it also has its disadvantages if you are not a Pro. It is bigger, costs more and is more difficult to handle and to figure out, IMO.
The only negative feature I can see on the Lumix DMC-TZ3 or 5 is that it does not have a viewfinder to look through. Julian is right, looking through the LCD 3" screen at arms length keeps your camera less stable, but you get used to it since the stabilizer works quite well and even if your camera has a viewfinder, there is still no guarantee that you won't wind up with a blurry picture if the truck bumps along, or you yourself move.
Yes, you should go to a photo store and look at the various cameras, handle them, note how they feel in your hand, see if the buttons feel right for you, see if the images that denote the functions are easy to understand.
Filters are great, but you are probably not going to use them when you do action shots, the same goes for changeable lenses. It simply takes too long to put them on. Your Zoom is probably all you want to use. You might consider filters for later when you really want to take time out and experiment with light changes, etc. However the Lumix has no possiblity to use filters or change lenses.
Batteries are very important, do get an extra battery or two, and be sure you have the proper currency adapter for your battery charger in the country you are traveling in to recharge your batteries at night. I have managed with two. One in the camera, the other one charging over night and with me in the morning. If you are shooting a lot get a third battery to be sure. Lumix takes Lithium-Ion batteries. I have found my Lumix Lithium-Ion battery takes about 3 to 4 hours to charge. Be careful when you buy replacement batteries, some Lithium-Ion batteries recharge faster than others.
A cleaning kit sounds like a good idea, safari or not, you always want to keep your lense and camera clean. The cleaning kit often comes with the camera.
Photo Storage, yes you do not want to run out of disk space, take a couple or more of 8 Gigabite SD memory cards with you. You will take an ungodly number of pictures on your safari. It is great to be able to just snap away without concern for memory/storage space on your SD card or battery power. The new highspeed SD cards have become relatively cheap. If you have enough memory cards you can probably safe the cost on an iPod to offload your pictures.
In this post below, you can also click on the Lumix DMC-G1, the smallest DSRL camera just to see the difference.
This is the new Canon DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera named, EOS Rebel XSi (Canon EOS 450D in other area).
Outstanding Image Quality: New Canon 12.2-megapixel CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor, DIGIC III Image Processor, 14-bit conversion for smooth tone, gradations, extensive noise reduction technology, and new Auto Optimization for superior highlight-shadow control.Fastest Rebel model to date, excellent performance with 3.5 fps continuous shooting, up to 53 full-resolution JPEGs or 6 RAW images in a burst, and reduced shutter lag time.Large 3.0-inch LCD monitor, with 170 wide viewing angle, superior viewing in daylight, and Live View Function.Fast 9-point AF system, and two types of AF during Live View Function.New advanced features include spot metering, external flash settings on the cameras menu, and a new higher-magnification viewfinder.Compatible with compact SD and SDHC memory cards.
[via mydigitallife.info] Bookmark this:
I tend to agree with LL_Travelfan. I have the newer version of Lumix DMC-TZ5. I love it. It is small and light weight and it goes with me everywhere I go. It takes great pictures without being complicated. It is really easy to use.
I just want to say a big Thank You to everyone for all your advice on the cameras. i just want to inform you that I have gone and bought the Panasonic Lumix TZ4. I assume this is better than the TZ3 but not quite as good as the TZ5? I was looking at the details of the TZ5 and the TZ4 and as far as I can see, the only difference seems to be the screen size. I got a good deal with this one including a spare battery and a charger. I oerered it online, so should receive it in 2-3 days. Can anyone tell mewhat sizethe battery charger is for these cameras? Or more importantly, do they weigh much. We are already struggling with our luggage weight so we are trying to keep the weight to as low as possible.
I'm sure I will have more questions when I finally get the camera. Hope you don't mind if I ask more questions as I'm sure I will be unfamiliar with lots of things with this one.
Thanks again for everyones help. It is much appreciated.