#1 1-8-2017 3:26 PM

weekend_explorers
Amy
Florida, United States
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Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum and wanted to get some advice on a camera upgrade within the next year. I'm still fairly new to digital photography and currently have a Sony A6000 mirrorless. With my 55-210 zoom I can get pretty good pictures from our kayak or anytime we're able to move closer to wildlife. However, it is just not enough zoom for the pictures we really want to take. We have a trip to South Africa planned for Dec 2018 and plan to upgrade to a camera with higher zoom potential before then (with time to practice). I just don't think our camera would be best for a safari. Does anyone have any recommendations of cameras? Thanks!

 

#2 1-9-2017 2:53 PM

lauro
Germany
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

you need a powerful zoom lens with macro capability like 18-270mm, faster shutter speed and point/center to the eye/s of the animal/s for a good/near perfect shot. dont get distracted with too much animals, lets say a herd of elephants - concentrate on only one - click and click continously - 50-100 shots - then one or two would be your money shot.

practice at the zoo! you must not shoot at auto, remember slr camera is built for different settings. practice the M (manual) and use the full capabilities of the shutter speed and exposure. good luck and blog about your practiced shots.

 

#3 1-10-2017 12:12 AM

stefmuts
Stefanie
Neerpelt, Belgium
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Don't focus on a camera with zoom potential, focus on a camera with separate lens options, you can buy one with a basic lens and hire a big zoom lens for your trip
Lots of camera shops offer lenses for hire, this way you can try lenses and don't have to spend a lot of money on one you're only gonna use once or twice

And as Lauro says, practice manual shooting instead of the Auto button!

 

#4 1-10-2017 6:14 PM

tenaka
Shane
Chicago, Illinois
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

I don't follow why you need a new camera. It sounds like you need/want an additional lens. While better cameras exist, the A6000 is great and with adapters there are a wide variety of options. There are also attachments to double an existing lens' zoom if you prefer that route.

 

#5 1-10-2017 11:19 PM

Sept922
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Getting one soon Shane. Impressed by them as a small travel option.

 

#6 1-12-2017 11:23 AM

jethanad
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

As a wildlife enthusiast, I know several friends who own the A6000, it is an awesome camera, now it is an even better bargain because the A6300 is available. Switching lenses outdoors is not my idea of a good time. Given that you and your wife are travelling together, I would buy an additional body and an additional zoom lens, but above all, you will benefit most from lauro's suggestion - lots of practice and knowing your gear. The brand and model are less important. Because you might be aiming at moving targets from a moving platform, I would strongly recommend image-stabilized bodies and lenses.

For outdoors, landscapes will call for a wide-angle lens. For wildlife  photographing,you will need zoom lens and for smaller birds, you will need high-speed auto-focus lenses paired to the body.   Birding enthusiasts are known to carry very heavy equipment , long lenses and tripods.  You should not want all that in one lens.Yes, adapters are available, they will increase your reach at the long-end  but they will limit your range even more.

Last edited by jethanad (2-22-2017 8:45 PM)

 

#7 2-20-2017 11:56 PM

borisborough
Auckland, New Zealand
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

I went through several of the national parks in Tanzania (including Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Ngorongoro), Uganda, Namibia and Botswana last year with a Canon D70 with the standard 18-55mm lens along with a zoom 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens (both with image stabilizer).  While in the back of a jeep, I had the zoom on pretty much constantly.  Because the animals aren't too scared, I got some great shots of birds, gorillas, hippos, lions, cheetahs, elephants and giraffes, a video of a spitting cobra devouring a chameleon and lots of zebras, antelopes and buffalo.   The 70-300 is enough but the image stabilizer is important as is the f/4-5.6, otherwise there's not enough light and the slow shutter speed means the images are blurred.

 

#8 2-21-2017 1:55 PM

khalilamod
Khalil
Cape Town, South Africa
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Just remember that taking shots from a moving vehicle with a long lens could mean unsteady or blurred shots. A long lens requires a steady hand, or best a tripod to get crispy clean shots, especially if you zooming in for a tight shot.

 

#9 3-14-2017 6:01 PM

milestx
Miles
Austin, Texas
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Nobody here would recommend a point-and-shoot with an ultra zoom (e.g., 24x) lens? They can really reach out, and perhaps overcome the small sensor in the camera.

 

#10 3-14-2017 10:02 PM

jethanad
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

my experience with Ultra zooms (30X and 50X) - I will not hesitate to carry a UZ as my 2nd camera, but if the shot is important to me, I trust my DSLr to be ready every time.

Quality-wise UZs are not comparable to high-end cameras and they are not much help when shooting from a moving platform or at small moving objects or in poor light

UZs are inexpensive, produce good quality images given adequate light (this is true for almost all cameras, not just UZs), most suited for large objects and stationary scenery, very easy to carry, excellent substitutes for bulky tripods, cameras and lenses

Last edited by jethanad (3-15-2017 10:33 PM)

 

#11 3-16-2017 4:13 AM

jacobi
Bendigo, Australia
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Like some have already mentioned, it's all about the lens rather than the camera. I practically use just one lens now when I travel, a Nikkor DX AF-S 18-300mm 3.5-6.3 G ED VR on my Nikon D7100. I have thought about getting a 400mm or 600mm lens, but honestly, I don't think I would use it enough to justify lugging it around.

 

#12 5-4-2017 2:53 AM

tadcaster2014
San Francisco, California
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Nikon D3200 with 24 Megapixels, 11 point AF and 4 frames per second or the Canon T5i with 18 megapixels, 9 point AF and 5 frames per second

 

#13 5-5-2017 2:21 AM

pfsmalo
Paul
Saint Malo, France
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Someone mentioned a tripod for stabilising all that weight, but when you are in a van or jeep with perhaps another 5 people or more there won't be room. I'd recommend a monopod over a tripod any day, or at worst a bean-bag or something similar to rest on the sill or whatever there is to rest upon.

 

#14 5-5-2017 2:25 AM

pilgrim68
Chris
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Re: Camera recommendation for wildlife photography

Bean bags for safari vehicles are a must have accessory.

 
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