Backup camera for Africa

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
frenchy01
Regular MemberPosts: 240
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Re: Backup camera for Africa
In reply to mfouks, Apr 13, 2013

I have been to Kenya with D300 + Sigma 500mm f/4.5 and D200 + Nikon 70-300mm AF-S VR. I took about half of my pictures with each camera, which means you definitely need a shorter telephoto lens. Neither of above camera's is very good in low light (my standard limit with D300 is 800iso, with some exceptions at 1600iso), and you are definitely better equiped with the D800 (which I have also now and would use up to 3200iso).

In your case I would rent the 200-400mm f/4 to put on the D800 and buy a D7200 or D600 to put the 70-200mm on, so you would have:

D800: 36MPix 200-400mm with good low light capability (up to 500mm in x1.25 crop and 600mm in DX crop). Eventually to be combined with TC1.4 to extend the reach to 280-560mm in 36MPix (up to 840mm in DX crop)

D7200: 24MPix 105-300mm equivalent with average low light capability (I have the D5200 and would limit iso to 800, max 1600 in "good light") or alternatively a D600 which would give you 24Mpix with a reach of 70-200mm with good low light capability.

And of  course you'll need a standard lens (24-85mm FX or 16-85mm DX) for a few landscape pictures...

You could also rent the 300mm f/2.8, and use it with TC1.4 (or even TC2.0 if you really need more reach) on the D800, but then you'll loose the flexibility of the zoom. I would not use a TC2.0 with the 70-200mm.

Regards,

Frenchie

P.S.: D7200 vs D600 is your call, depending on what you generally shoot. D7200 has the better AF system, but D600 has better quality 24MPix... You still have a few month before your travel, if you know some friends having those camera's just try them out (also in low light) to get a better idea of what you can expect.

P.S.2: during safari you are in a car, so the weight of the gear is not a major problem (you just need to move it from room to car and back...). Just check that the hand luggage weight allows you to take the gear with you (most international flights are at 10-12kg, but if you take small national planes this can go down to 7kg?)...

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