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Thoughts on Camera

New York
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Thoughts on Camera

I just purchased an Olympus Digital Point & Shoot camera for my trip in November. It has 24x optical zoom. The reason I chose that camera over the Canon P&S (36x optical zoom) was b/c the body of the Canon was bigger and I thought that after my safari trip I would get more use out of a camera that is smaller and can fit in my pocketbook than a bigger Canon camera (it's not huge though).

Think the 24x optical zoom is good enough for trip? Both cameras are also good in low light and multi-shots and have video capabilities.

Thanks ahead of time for responses

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Thoughts on Camera

You may want to check out dpreview for a good review of travel compacts, dpreview.com/reviews/….

To be honest I would never use a compact for any trip let alone a safari. While more expensive you would be better off with a low end dslr such as a NIkon D3100 with a 70-300mm telephoto (equivalent to 450mm on the far end). The picture quality will be so much better providing you take the time to learn how to use it. If you are limited in funds, then you will have to make do with what you can afford. I think the 24x is equivalent to somewhere around 384mm so overall you should be fine.

New York
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2. Re: Thoughts on Camera

Thanks for the link -- but those cameras have a lower optical zoom than the one i currently bought. I was going to buy an SLR but when I thought about it.. I realized that it would be a lot of money to spend on a camera I would probably not use again (or again in the near future). Most of my pictures are not wildlife on amazing journey's like this one but of friends and family and such that don't require a bigger camera or SLR. I also didn't think i would have the time to learn all the ins/ outs of an SLR so that I would be comfortable taking on safari. Thats not to say this camera was cheap - it was over $400(but it was less expensive than some of the SLRs I saw (like the new SONY that is small like a P&S but has detachable lenses and starts at $500 w/ a 3x zoom). I am still going to buy additional batteries and SD cards.

I am happy to hear that a 24x zoom is good size zoom though.

London, United...
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3. Re: Thoughts on Camera

I have taken great photos on my trips to Africa with a digital compact camera. It sounds as though you are looking for pictures to provide memories for you and to show family and friends , not to be published in National Geographic.

I entirely agree that you need something that you are comfortable with, and which does not detract from the main experience , which is seeing things with your own eyes. My current camera does not have the size zoom you mention but I am very happy with the results.

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Thoughts on Camera

I agree with Brit traveller. You are probably not going to enter into Wildlife Photographer of the Year so you will be quite happy with what your Camera will produce. With SLRs you have to have two of them as switching lenses is asking for dust to enter. as you say, A Compact will not expose you to that.

I use something similar at 22x which on mine works out at 800mm (the 35mm equiv depends on the sensor size ) and have no complaints. Anything bigger and you need a tripod anyway.

Just make sure you bring battteries and charger plus loads of memory and get clicking...

Have a good trip.

London, United...
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5. Re: Thoughts on Camera

The best times are those when you see something so astounding and wonderful that you forget to take a photo.

New York
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6. Re: Thoughts on Camera

thanks for all your opinons and feedback.. really appreciated it... I know I do have to invest in a LOT of rechargable batteries.. and large cards.. that's for sure. I did get camera envy though b/c I just saw that Panasonice Lumix is coming out with a new camera end of this month... may have to return my Olympus and go with the Panasonic b/c I think the battery life may be longer (very important).

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Thoughts on Camera

There's always going to be a better camera! If you are happy with what you have, don't worry about it. I always travel with two batteries and have never had a problem keeping them charged.

As to the memory cards, I generally buy more of smaller sizes such as 4GB or max 8GB. Wouldn't want to lose a card and lose so many of my pics.

New York
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8. Re: Thoughts on Camera

i know... that's the problem.. as soon as you think you are happy with one thing... something brighter and flashier comes along.. damn tech! i am rethinking the Olympus b/c many reviews have complained about the battery life.. including 1 or 2 people that said it lasted about 1/2 hour! No good! That's why I am looking at the Panasonic.

That's a good idea about the smaller sized cards though.. didnt' think of that. Thanks!

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Thoughts on Camera

Daniel. I agree about small capacity cards. I once mislaid an almost full 8GB with some never to be got again shots on it of Wild Dogs pulling down an Impala. I did find it the next day but I was not a happy bunny that night.

Battery life? I get about 5 days from my Fuji given normal use (not too many playbacks etc.,) I carry two spares but have never been down to the last one.

Re-charging takes 45 mins so I can do that while having lunch in a place with power.

redlionny. There are always replacements coming out to tempt you. Just like yours was last years 'must have'. Get a piece of kit you are happy with and run it for about three years. And if you are still happy with it. Keep it longer. It is not for us to help rebuild the worlds economy single handed. Leave that to some other mug!

Avila Beach...
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10. Re: Thoughts on Camera

OK I'm not a photography expert - I travel with two Olympus cameras, the older of which I really love and takes excellent pictures (SP 570-UZ) and a newer smaller camera that slips in my pocket if I don't want to carry the first in a large city or such. What I did want to share is in terms of capacity and protecting your memories (I've had experiences over the years from having my camera stolen to dropping it in a volcano!) is that I now take a small netbook and flash drive with me - I transfer the pictures from the memory cards to the netbook and then the flash drive - leaving me with limitless memory and two back ups so I never lose my pictures. And if you happen to find internet access in Botswana (not likely - I didn't!) you're all set! I bring two sets of rechargeable batteries and some back up non-rechargeable for those times there's no electricity (a definite consideration in Bots!)