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jb3
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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-08-2017

best camera for low light and wildlife?

What is the best camera for shooting in low light and for shooting wildlife? As well as shooting wildlife in low life? I am planning a safari trip to Africa and would like to make sure I have a camera that does it justice. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,485
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?


jb3 wrote:

What is the best camera for shooting in low light and for shooting wildlife? As well as shooting wildlife in low life? I am planning a safari trip to Africa and would like to make sure I have a camera that does it justice. 


The best?  You're asking about action photos under low light conditions.  The best DSLR in Canon's lineup is probably the EOS 1Dx II.  It's predecessor, the 1Dx, is no slouch, either.

 

But, you also need lenses to go along with the camera body.  Wide apertures or super telephoto focal lengths make for costly lenses.  Combining the two features into one lens adds up to the most expensive EOS lenses Canon sells.

 

Both the high performance camera body and high performance lenses have steep learning curves.  Because of the nature of your question, I am going to assume that you will need to learn a lot about using them.  I suggest lots of practice.

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Posts: 3,739
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?


jb3 wrote:

What is the best camera for shooting in low light and for shooting wildlife? As well as shooting wildlife in low life? I am planning a safari trip to Africa and would like to make sure I have a camera that does it justice. 


For your purposes, the best camera is probably the EOS 5D Mark IV. The choice of a lens to go with it depends on whether the wildlife is the sort that will approach your vehicle for a handout or the sort that is wary of human contact but might make a meal of you if the opportunity arose. The best compromise between the two possibilities is probably the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.

 

But I haven't been on such a safari. Be sure to listen carefully to anyone who has.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

Easy!

5D Mk IV with ef 24-70mm f2.8L II and ef 70-200mm f2.8L II.  I would add the Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 Sport, too.

Matter of fact a friend of mine just got back from an African safari with that exact gear. Smiley Happy  His shots are magnificent.

 

 

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-10-2017

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

[ Edited ]

I am actually planning on going on one next year and have similar concerns since weight-wise I can only afford to bring one lens and one body.

 

I am looking at the Sigma 120-300 2.8 but I am still on the fence about if I should use the body I have - or should I upgrade. I am currently using the 5D Mk iii, but I was looking at the 1DX Mk ii. I may never get to do this again, so I want to make sure I don't make any compromises - but is the 1DX Mk ii complete overkill or worth the added expense?

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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

I can gladly say the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens is a great lens.  Absolutely fantastic, I love mine.  Down side is it is very heavy.  But for a trip like you are planning tough is on the menu.  And, brother, this lens is tough.  Might be a little short though?

 

If it were me going on this once in a lifetime adventure I would have the best gear I could manage.  That said your 5D Mk III should do a very nice job.  I used one for years.  Great camera.

 

I have a friend that recently got back from such a trip.  He took a brand new 1Dx and the Sigma 150-600mm S.  IMHO, that is what I would take too.  Except I would now buy the 1Dx Mk II along with the big Siggy S.  If he still has his shots up on his web site I can point you to them in a PM.

 

I also had another bud that did a tour of the US visiting all 48 states.  He bought the best and sold it all when he got done a month later!   So, that might be an option for you if the extreme cost is worrying you.

 

Keep in mind this level of gear is heavy. But it will take whatever you throw at it.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-10-2017

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

I was looking at the 120-300 along with a teleconverter to increase the range if needed.

 

It's a once in a lifetime experience and I don't want to regret not spending the money if it will make that much of a difference. I want to make sure I can handle the low light situations since I am told that very early morning and early evening drives are expected.

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Posts: 8,141
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

"I was looking at the 120-300 along with a teleconverter to increase the range if needed."

 

I think it will be needed!

On a 1Dx the 120-300mm and 1.4x will still only be 420mm.  Not a get deal of improvement.  I use the Sigma 1.4x converter on my 120-300mm f2.8 and I see some degradation of IQ.  See below.

Sigma 120_300_100 - Copy.jpg

 

IMHO, I still think the Sigma 150-600mm S is a better choice.  The two lenses are very similar physically. If you are not turned off by that fact, I would go for the big 150-600mm S lens.

 

I would also take my ef 70-200mm f2.8L II for the real low light challenges.  But a 1Dx or 1Dx Mk II is not going to be challenged by much in low light settings.  BTW, the 70-200mm f2.8L handles a 1.4x converter really well. But get the Canon 1.4x if you go that route.

 

In fact my goto bag currently is this;

ef 16-35mm f2.8L II

ef 24-70mm f2.8L II

ef 70-200mm f2.8L II

Sigma 150-600mm S

 

If that bag is getting too big, I would leave the ef 24-70mm f2.8L home.  It would kill me but it would be the one to go to lighten the load if necessary.  The others have to go, IMHO.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,739
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?


ebiggs1 wrote:

I can gladly say the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens is a great lens.  Absolutely fantastic, I love mine.  Down side is it is very heavy.  But for a trip like you are planning tough is on the menu.  And, brother, this lens is tough.  Might be a little short though?

 

If it were me going on this once in a lifetime adventure I would have the best gear I could manage.  That said your 5D Mk III should do a very nice job.  I used one for years.  Great camera.

 

I have a friend that recently got back from such a trip.  He took a brand new 1Dx and the Sigma 150-600mm S.  IMHO, that is what I would take too.  Except I would now buy the 1Dx Mk II along with the big Siggy S.  If he still has his shots up on his web site I can point you to them in a PM.

 

I also had another bud that did a tour of the US visiting all 48 states.  He bought the best and sold it all when he got done a month later!   So, that might be an option for you if the extreme cost is worrying you.

 

Keep in mind this level of gear is heavy. But it will take whatever you throw at it.


I'm embarrassed to point this out, Ernie, but the number of states is now 50. We added a couple a while back. How long this situation will persist, I'm afraid I cannot say, as we live in interesting times. But that's how things are at present.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,739
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?


ebiggs1 wrote:

...

In fact my goto bag currently is this;

ef 16-35mm f2.8L II

ef 24-70mm f2.8L II

ef 70-200mm f2.8L II

Sigma 150-600mm S

 

If that bag is getting too big, I would leave the ef 24-70mm f2.8L home.  It would kill me but it would be the one to go to lighten the load if necessary.  The others have to go, IMHO.


I think I'd omit the 16-35 before the 24-70. I've been using my 24-70 more and more and am quite impressed. A 16-35 is a great lens in close quarters, but I find I don't use mine much out in the wild.

 

That said, if I could bring only one body, I might choose the 24-105 f/4 over the 24-70, in the hope of not having to change lenses as often.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
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