Saturday, 16 February 2013

What Camera gear am I taking on my African Safari to Tanzania?

"The number one question I get when someone registers for an African Safari is….. “What cameras or lenses should I bring?

It’s a great question, and one that I pay close attention to… people have different expectations, aptitudes and pocket books… If we all could afford two full frame $5000 cameras and a 600mm f4.0 or an 800mm f4.0 we wouldn’t ask the question. We would flip open the wallet and throw the credit card down on the counter and say, “Hook me up!”

But that isn’t the case for most of us… we have to be smarter with our money and get the gear that fits within our budget, but also take the shots that are going to exceed your expectations… and that is where this post comes in… what camera and lenses am I taking to Africa…

Camera Bodies

Olympus E-30 – it’s the digital camera that I have used steady for the past two years…

Nikon D7000 – a really good crop sensor camera that will give me more focal length for my telephoto lenses, has the focus modes I want and does a decent job in low light. This is an extremely affordable crop sensor camera that is priced under $1000

Nikon D600 – a full frame camera that surpasses anyone’s expectations in low light situations, does a commendable job in a motion photograph, has all the functions a photographer would need and is extremely affordable at right around the $2000 mark. 

People often ask me why I do not shoot the higher end cameras... after all, I run workshops for a living... My answer is that I want to use the level of camera that the majority of my students shoot with. The high end crop sensor and affordable full frame cameras....

I want them to see that its practice and the six inches behind the camera is what takes that great photo, not always the more expensive camera.

Not to take anything away form the higher end cameras... if you know the functions, they have the potential to take a better photo.

Accessories for the cameras will be…
Each camera will be accompanied by a minimum of three camera batteries with two chargers and one extension chord with three plugs to charge multiple batteries at night if needed.
I will take at least one 8gig 400x and 600x Lexar PRO memory card for every day that I am there. I will not generally need them when I am leading the workshops. I do not take that many photos when leading a workshop, I am there for my clients. But, I will generally be there before the workshop attendees arrive, or will remain after to take my own photos.

One lens cleaning / sensor cleaning kit.


Wide Angle for landscape
Zuiko 11-22mm F4 for my Olympus camera

Telephoto zoom lenses
Zuiko 14-54mm f2.8 – f3.5 for my Olympus camera
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 for my Nikon cameras
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 for my Nikon cameras

Specialty Lens
Lensbaby Composer PRO for my Nikon cameras

Longer Telephoto lenses
The new Sigma 120-300 f2.8 for my Nikon cameras
Sigma 150-500mm f5.0 to f6.3 form my Nikon cameras

I will also have an Olympus 2.0x teleconverter and a Sigma 1.4x teleconverter for my Sigma lenses.

But here is the kicker for anyone deciding on what camera gear to take on safari... there is a weight restriction on the regional flights back to the major airports... generally they are around 30lbs. While its tempting to take all your camera gear with you, be selective because you still have that tripod, laptop and clothes to pack...

I hope that helps you with your decisions. There are lots more items to consider like tripods, bean bags, camera bags, memory backup, rain and elemental protection gear… If you would like to learn more about those items please email me.

and we do still have one spot on our african safari... take a look and contact me if you are interested...

Asante sana,