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bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

Ontario, Canada
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42 posts
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bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

I would like some advise from the any one who has used bean bags or sand bags or the Gorilla on safari. I know that a tripod is not as useful for a safari

What is the best for a "moving" safari? We used a tripod for our Polar Bear Safaris and they were good since those lovely animals just ambled along and we did have lovely shots of them But the Tanzanian safari is fast moving most of the time!!

How big or heavy should the bean/sand bags be and can I ask my tour operator to buy them for me? Do they come in cloth bags?

what is best? sand, bean or gorilla?

I am a novice camera lady and would like some advise from others for good safari shots.

thankyou

May 43

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,485 posts
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1. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

May... If you use a gorilla for the stabilizer then you might want to sedate him so he doesn't move on you. They tend to get nasty when the camera tickles their stomach.

All kidding aside, you will put the bean bag on the top of the vehicle. I would just bring a bag along (like a 15 lb four sack) and then go to the market and get some rice or dried beans and fill it 3/4 full and use that for a stabilizer. Typically when you are using this the vehicle will be stopped, otherwise you will be bouncing so much that you couldn't possibly take a photo.

When you are finished with the safari give the rice/bean bag to your driver/guide for his family's dining pleasure.

Ontario, Canada
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42 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

yes, it would be nice to have the gorilla sitting with us in the van!! I won't have to go to southern Tanzania to see him!!!

Thanks for your advice. I wonder if anyone has used the "gorilla" to secure their camera during a photo shoot on top of the van!!!

Montreal
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1,695 posts
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3. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

Hello: Where would one find this 15 pound flour sack, or something similar? Once this sack is partially filled, how does the sack close? What should the actual dimensions be (approximately)? I'm trying to picture it, but alas, cannot!! (Since the flour I buy comes in paper bags, I don't drink coffee, and the beans I buy come in plastic bags or tins.)

Thanks,

Kay

Toronto
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159 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

Dear May43: I used a commercially produced product Kinesis Safari Sack which I found very useful. Have a great trip. Bill.

Appleton, Wisconsin
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1,060 posts
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5. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

The other good piece of advice I received was to cut a small chunk out of one of the "noodles" that the kids use for swimming. Then cut a slit down the length of it. Put the noodle over the edge of the window and you have something to stabilize your camera for the "out the window" shots.

Toronto
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159 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

Dear may43 - Great idea - you could even cut a small piece out of the top in which to rest the lens barrel.

You should remember that if you're on safari in Southern or Western Tanzania that the vehicles don't have windows.

Best regards. Bill.

Stanley, Falkland...
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7. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

You could just roll up a fleece or another bit of spare clothing.

Sunnyvale...
Destination Expert
for San Jose
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8. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

Can your camera capture movies and sound? Safaris are kind of fun for quick films of giraffes moving about, or in our case, a Masai kid running around screaming enough to scare the giraffes. We also caught a bunch of bull elephants tusking each other and trumpeting. kind of fun.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,485 posts
8 reviews
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9. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

Where do you get a 15 lb four sack? Well any small bag of that size would work (we still have some food items which come in a small bag). How to tie it? If it didn't have a draw-string on the bag then I would get a shoestring and tie it off after I filled it. One of the small bags which I typically carry loose items there are those small bags which backpackers use to put in their backpacks, the larger ones would work great and they have a drawstring on them.

Ontario, Canada
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42 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: bean bags vs. Gorilla for cameras

Thanks for all the very useful suggestions given. I have now 2 months to think about them and decide which suggestion I will go with.

I am hoping that I can take some good pictures on the river safari in Selous too!!

Thanks again for all your advice. Keep them coming if there is more!!!

May 43