Saturday, August 08, 2009

Safari photos

A reader mailed me and told me he is going on African safari for the first time, and did I have any tips for photographing. He says his camera is a Pentax M30, a typical compact camera with a 3x zoom.

I told him:
David, honestly I don't think that'll get you very far. The animals are usually too far away, they'll be small dots on your pictures.

Ideally you'd have professional gear, but that weighs many kilos and *costs* many kilos! (Really, the kind of lens sports photographers use easily costs over five grand.)

What you might consider is something reasonable, like what I have on my desk here: a Canon 500D with the tele-zoom consumer lens 55-250mm (stabilized). Get the kit lens (18-55mm) also for closer work, it's cheap and excellent (it probably comes with the camera).

It's a step up from a compact, but if you like photographing, you'll love a camera like this, I promise.
I've not been on safari, but perhaps you'd want to wrap the camera/lens in a plastic bag, it probably gets rather dusty. You'd better Google safari photography for beginners.


Uncle Ron said...

Personally, I think your friend David should look into buying a Canon Powershot SX1 IS...It has a terrific optical zoom lens(20X)and many more features which he would find beneficial to wildlife photography without gouging his wallet...I own a Canon Powershot SX10 IS which is it's predessor and have enjoyed using it for almost a year...Just my opinion...

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It's possible you're right.
I think though that the exchangeable-lens cameras are superior in speed and in low light.