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Which canon camera for a beginner to use on safari?


I am looking for a relatively budget friendly camera to use while on safari and occasionally some motorsport. A little background, I’ve borrowed friends DSLR’s with a lens reach of either 200/300 I can’t remember which, and felt I needed that little bit more. So I have a tiny bit of experience however I didn’t mess around with any settings. 

I have been looking at the canon 250D, both new and used are in my budget, however to be able to get a better lens I would more than likely purchase used. My budget is ideally under £1000 for both body and lens, I know both will more than likely have to be used. 

I was wondering if anyone has any other camera suggestions around the same price point, with an explanation. Also which lens’ people suggest? I’ve been looking at the sigma 150-500, but I’m not sure which being a beginner whether that would be too much?





Where are you located?  Hard for us to make a used recommendation for out of country buyers.  UK?  Brian is in the UK and can help with recommendations if that's where you are.

I'd look at the R10 with RF-S 18-150.  Its at the top of your price range new.  It would be a great start for someone looking for a complete kit.  Now is not the time to start investing in DSLRs.

The list of pros a mirrorless body offers over a DSLR is quite large.  With a budget of approx $1250, you don't get to leave the country with a new body and lenses.  You will however have an excellent foundation to build upon.

Ready to shoot
Better performance
Future proof

Here in the US, a 250D is the SL3.  Here's a side by side comparison.

Canon R10 vs Canon SL3 Detailed Comparison (

A sigma or tamron 150-600 can be next.  You can also rent one or more lenses for your trip until such time you are in a position to buy more lenses.

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Thank you! 
Yes I’m in the UK. 
I’ve also just been looking into the Canon R50… is this one you’d recommend? This would be new currently on sale at £589 which leaves £411 for a used lens, I wouldn’t mind going slightly over budget but ideally want at least 400mm to 600mm reach. 

I think I’d rather spend more on the lens than the camera if it means I can get more reach. 

If this helps the photos will only be used for social media and to print small photos for a photo book. 

There’s so many options and I’m so confused as to which I should spend more on, the body or camera. 


Hi and welcome to the forum:
To echo what Rick, my respected colleague, has said, your location is a significant factor in allowing us to consider budget for your lens and from your post it appears you are in the UK.  Given that, it is harder for us who are not there to give precise suggestions that might be within your budget, but we can give advice on the characteristics of gear according to your brief. 

General Gear Advice, ignoring your budget:
Normally, for safari work, one wants a lens with a long telephoto capability, something like the Sigma 150-600 lens, which will work on a DSLR or on a new R-series (via an adapter), and for the two applications you have mentioned - i.e. motorsport and wildlife that range should work well - it will not work for day-to-day photography - for that you need something much more compact and with a much smaller focal range.

Possible Gear within your budget:
I spent the last 30+minutes looking on UK sites for a series of possible camera bodies and lenses with little luck,  but to stay within your budget, the best deal I can find is this.   If you are prepared to stick with a DSLR, then I came up with is the following, from London Camera Exchange:  check out their website.
Canon Rebel T7i (EOS 800D) Body - Low 5.8k Shutter Count
Condition: ****
Location: Hereford
Price £ 299.99
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary * BOXED *
Fitting: Canon
Category: Lenses
Condition: *****
Location: Derby
Price £ 679.99

That combination would be just within your budget guidelines.  Make sure it comes with a battery and charger (they have a universal socket in them, so you can use different cables, or a travel adapter with your UK cable).  You will need batteries - several of them, and several FULL SIZE SD cards (don't get micro SD cards with adapters, they don't work reliably)  from reputable manufacturers like SanDisk or Lexar - also from reputable dealers - avoid cheap deals off the web unless they are a well-known shop.  I would suggest several in the 32-64GB range.  By having several cards of that range you have a degree of redundancy over one larger card.

Whatever you get, you will need to put in considerable practise and and study to learn about exposure, then study the controls of the camera to become competent and make the best of your investment in an expensive safari trip.
1. You need to download a PDF of whichever camera you decide on and use it to study the controls.  The more you are familiar with them the less likely you are to lose a shot because you were fumbling for them.

2. You need to learn the fundamentals of exposure: Shutter speed, aperture and ISO and learn how to expose an image properly, while at the same time understand how each of those controls will have a different impact on the resultant image.  There is a learning curve here: getting a camera with the right focal range does not make  you a skilled photographer, and if you are new to using a dedicated camera, it is more complicated than a cell phone, but it will offer you the potential for better images, especially for the applications you mention.

Take a lot of photographs and look at them critically - make mistakes but learn from them.  Join a photographic club or society and learn from them.  There are on-line courses you can learn from as well:
Learn Photography [Full Course] by Australian Geographic Photographer Chris Bray (

If you decide to go the route of the EOS 800D, here is a tutorial on the controls:
Canon EOS 800D Tutorial - Tips and Techniques (  from Canon.
For more tutorials on the camera do a You Tube search for Canon EOS 800D tutorial

Finally, you need to learn about your subject: particularly for something that is an expensive trip, with no or little chance to repeat,  you need to study the animals you will encounter - look at the site of your safari company, check up the animals on websites and watch animal videos, like the BBC's Attenborough series.  Doing so will help you to are doing and anticipate what the animals will do - that has the double benefit of keeping you safe and getting potentially better images.

When you get into motorsport check out the sites and tutorials of those photographers who specialize in that genre.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris



I think you're looking at two different types of photography. For motorsports, you'll probably going to want a camera that can take pictures at a high frame rate so you can fire off a burst of shots. The R10, as Rick suggested, can take bursts of 30 frames per second, but if you want to use the 150-500 lens, you'll need an adapter to mount the lens to the camera.. The T71, as Trevor suggested, can only do 6, but you won't need an adapter.

The adapter is not really a big deal. I think they run about $130 USD.

The 150-500 runs about $1,000 new. You can get one used for about $5-600, but most of them seem to be on EBay. There seem to be a couple at MPB and KEH. This is a rather specialized lens, not really geared towards everyday use.

Since your safari will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, My suggestion would be to rent that lens, if you can, and put your money into cards and batteries, as Trevor suggested.

You can always buy a smaller lens like the 55-250 and crop your photos later. The Irfanview photo editor program is free and it's easy to crop jpeg photos.

Both Rick and Trevor have given you good suggestions, and even your own is a good one.  Take Rick's suggestion and go to that Camera Decisions web site.

Steve Thomas



I like the previous suggestions.  Judging from your budget and experience, I am inclined to also suggest a “point-and-shoot” camera, such as the SX70 HS. 

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