Not many people go on vacation without taking a camera. The incredible opportunity of experiencing a safari in Africa is no exception. With the advent of digital technology, there are dozens of cameras on the market that suit every skill level and budget. The ideal camera is the one that tourists have on hand to capture the moment when the elephants gather around the watering hole or the big cat pounces on its prey. The device should also create the images desired in the quality expected while not exceeding the skill of the user.
The DSLR Difference
While many are accustomed to relying on a basic point and shoot variety camera, for many reasons, this type of camera will soon prove inefficient when photographing wildlife. The time a typical digital camera requires to power on, focus and take the picture after depressing the appropriate button wastes time and will undoubtedly fail to miss the action. Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras, on the other hand, are compact, portable and start at prices comparable to a high quality point and shoot camera. However, the performance is much more rewarding.
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Inexpensive Beginner DSLR
Canon, Nikon and Samsung make a variety of cameras having anywhere from 12.3 to more than 20 megapixels. Inexperienced photographers might try a Nikon D3100 and advanced beginners might prefer the Canon 50D or the Nikon 90D. Some are equipped with an automatic motorized lens that zeroes in on the image target and adjusts to take the best picture. Flip-out screens provide users with live-viewing and the ability to engage a 1.5x crop that enlarges the desired region of the scene. However, picture quality varies between models. The 90D and the more expensive D7000 do not have program dial locks, which means having to continually check and turn the dial to the correct aperture, manual, program or shutter setting. This drawback is not a problem on the substantially more expensive Nikon D3S, D300 or the D600.
Whether wanting to print pictures for personal enjoyment or enter images into a competition, photographers suggest opting for a camera having a minimum of 10 megapixels. In this range, the sensitivity of the pixel sensors ensures clear, crisp images that may be enlarged to poster size without sacrificing quality. When trekking around camp or across the environment in the heat of the day, light-weight, smaller cameras are more accommodating. The Canon 50D, Nikon D90, D5000, D7000 and D600 series cameras capably fill the bill. If planning on capturing live action video, the Nikon D800 and D7000 offer the best HD performance. Lens options are another consideration. Naturally, more expensive models offer higher zoom capability combined with more megapixels.
Additional Features to Consider
While the images taken during the day may not differ greatly between one camera and the next, during a nighttime excursion, the quality of photographs may prove vastly different. Most cameras come with low-light or night settings, along with adjustable shutter speed. Nonetheless, unless also equipped with noise reduction technology, the camera may produce images having undesirable artifacts. In this instance, if price is not a problem, professionals recommend the Nikon D300 series or the D3S.