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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,423
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?


Hammer wrote:

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?


I have never used a 5D3, but it lacks the extra battery power of a 1D series.  I just spent the weekend shooting around 1200 shots over the course of two days with my 1D Mark IV, with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, and still have half a charge, according to the camera.  I'm sure it needs a recharge, though, after so many shots.  

You're looking at big heavy lenses that can use a lot of battery power.  Having the extra battary capacity will make a difference during a long day.  I'm not sure if a 5D3 retains most of its' weather sealing with a battery grip, or not.  I shot another 600 shots with my 6D w/grip, and the EF 16-35 f/2.8L II USM, and barely put a dent in the battery level.  It still shows a full charge.

 

I should point out that I have disabled the auto-preview after every shot, too.  I can disable the AF with a custom button, which also saves battery life.

 

 

No, I don't think a 1D camera body is overkill.  I think it would be a wise choice to have the body build and the extra battery power.  Whether or not you need the latest 1D body is up to you, though.  If you can find the predecessor, give that a consideration, too.

If the 5D Mark III can retain its' dust and moisture sealing with a battery grip, then go for that.  Whatever you choose, get a few thousand shots under your belt before you go.  You might want to look at monopods, too.

 

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,722
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

Changing the battery on a 5D3 takes about 3 seconds. You don't need a battery grip; I think it's a waste of space, weight, and money.

 

Remember, though, that you won't see American AC outlets on your safari. Be sure you have the appropriate adapter(s) for your charger.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,423
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?


RobertTheFat wrote:

Changing the battery on a 5D3 takes about 3 seconds. You don't need a battery grip; I think it's a waste of space, weight, and money.

 

Remember, though, that you won't see American AC outlets on your safari. Be sure you have the appropriate adapter(s) for your charger.


To each his own, I guess.  Personally, I don't want to be changing batteries in the field.  And, it takes several seconds to change out, but only after you have spent even more time fishing a battery out of your bag, pocket, or vest.  Oh, don't forget to put the removed battery away for safe keeping.  No, I'd say it takes more like a minute.  But, I really wouldn't know.

I have big hands, so I think a grip gives the camera body a feel.  The extra weight balances well with many lenses, most especially those with a tripod foot.  A battery grip can also use standard AA batteries, if you're in a pinch.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 8,110
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

B from B,

"I'm embarrassed to point this out, Ernie, but the number of states is now 50."

 

Hmmm, did not have the time to visit the more further away states that is why he only made 48 of them.  If they add Pureto Rico it would probably not be included it either.  All of us had limited time and expenses to deal with.  He pulled this cherry asignment. Smiley Sad

Another bud got the Alaska trip. One state, again because of time!  It was a two week job by itself. I pulled mostly western US as we have family out there so it worked out well for us.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 8,110
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

B from B,

"I think I'd omit the 16-35 before the 24-70."

 

From the shots Rob displayed, very wide, fast, lens is invaluable in Africa.  It is a moot point any way as the OP started another post about the exact same topic and says he can bring only one lens and one camera.  I think that is ridiculous and not what Rob had to do.

In that case, if it is true, I would do his 5d3 with the ef 70-200mm f2.8l II and a 1.4x converter.

 

 

Think about this.  Not all your photographic opportunities are in the field.  It's no different than any vacation spot.  Lots of opportunities for cool pictures that do not involve wildlife of the four legged type!

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-21-2017

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

Went to Arfrica back in 2011. I rented a car and spent two weeks in Kruger National Park.

At that time I had the 5D II, with the 100-400L and 24-105L. Over 90% of my shots were with the 100-400L.  Today of course the 5D III or even the IV would be better, however the II handled the job.  My personal suggestion, unless you have a lot of money to burn, would be to find a refurb 5D III and 100-400L.  

 

Extra tip, keep your phone charged, and use it for a backup.  The thing about Africa is you need to be reading for most anything! There could be those few moments when not having a second camera, will cause you to miss a shot! I had 3 of those experiences. I had a lion with his nose on the passenger side window, a rhinoceros leaning on my front bumper, looking over my hood and last nut not least baboons playing king of the hill on my car.

 

Also take more memory cards than you even dream you will need!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,722
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?


Robinpow wrote:

Went to Arfrica back in 2011. I rented a car and spent two weeks in Kruger National Park.

At that time I had the 5D II, with the 100-400L and 24-105L. Over 90% of my shots were with the 100-400L.  Today of course the 5D III or even the IV would be better, however the II handled the job.  My personal suggestion, unless you have a lot of money to burn, would be to find a refurb 5D III and 100-400L.  

 

Extra tip, keep your phone charged, and use it for a backup.  The thing about Africa is you need to be reading for most anything! There could be those few moments when not having a second camera, will cause you to miss a shot! I had 3 of those experiences. I had a lion with his nose on the passenger side window, a rhinoceros leaning on my front bumper, looking over my hood and last nut not least baboons playing king of the hill on my car.

 

Also take more memory cards than you even dream you will need!


It sounds as though National Park animals are the same everywhere. My wife and I learned on our honeymoon (if we didn't know it before) that National Park animals never overlook an opportunity to try to cadge a free meal, no matter how hard they have to work to overcome their initial fear of humans.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Super Contributor
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: best camera for low light and wildlife?

One thought that occurs:

 

If this is, as was suggested a once-in-a-lifetime event, what about renting the gear instead of buying it?  Then you can go for a 5DIV or the 7DMkII, plus the 100-400L MkII and the 1.4III adaptor - which I have and is a great kit.  I believe you can get them locally, which also saves the hassle of travelling with that gear.

 

Just a thought...

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy
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