Point and Shoot: Safaris

Whether on safari shooting wildlife or visiting landmarks or Disney with your kids, most travelers want to capture moments in a memorable way. So much of doing so depends on your equipment. While iPhones these days take great pictures—and can be enhanced with great apps like procamera7, afterlight and snapspeed—there are times when you want more options than they offer. We asked some of our favorite travel and lifestyle photographers for their advice on the best cameras.

What do you recommend as a great all around point-and-shoot camerafor an avid traveler who wants a light-weight model that can be thrown in a bag or pocket?

Nils Schliebush: I like the Lumix GF camera that has a very bright 20mm lens and an interchangeable zoom lens as well; also easy to use is the Canon G12.

Rob Howard: I’m not a point-and-shoot-camera guy, but I absolutely love shooting with my iPhone. It’s the best; terrific resolution, works well in low light, and I can easily upload my favorite images to Instagram. What could be better?

Miki Duisterhof: Canon Power shot is small and efficient for small snaps.

Graciela Cattarosi: I think the Canon G series are great pocket cameras.

What do you recommend for amateur photographers going on safari who are looking for a quality—but not too complicated—camera that will take really good wildlife shots?

Nils Schliebush: Stick to full-size reflex and the Canon 5D or 6D with both zoom lenses of 24-70 and 70-200. The new lenses are super sharp.

Rob Howard: On safari, I always bring two Canon 1DX bodies, with a few lenses, but my favorite lens is the Canon L Series 300MM F2.8 lens. It just feels right in my hands, and I’ve been able to get some wonderful images with it over the years.

Miki Duisterhof: The Canon Rebel is what I recommend to many of my amateur friends, and they love it. A bit more than a snap-shot camera, but not quite as complicated as a professional camera. 

Graciela Cattarosi: I have always been a fan of Nikon, it was my first camera. I love the fact that all their lenses are compatible even if you have an old film camera. The Nikon N series are great.

What are your tips or apps for non-professional photographers? Nils Schliebush

: Keep shooting raw and keep your images organized and cataloged.

Rob Howard: I keep things very simple; I always shoot in raw format, then edit in bridge. Any enhancements that I want to do, I do in Lightroom or Photoshop. Simple.

Miki Duisterhof: Be in your experience what ever you are shooting! Observe.

Graciela Cattarosi: I use Aperture from Apple. It is pretty good and not too complicated.

What camera are you never without?

Nils Schliebush: Iphone and Lumix G.

Rob Howard: My wife just bought me a Lecia M body with a 35MM summicron lens for my birthday, and it’s very quickly become a “must have” accessory, whenever I get dressed in the morning. It looks cool, and shoots great pics.

Miki Duisterhof: My trusted little Leica.

Graciela Cattarosi: I really only use cameras when I work. My favorite camera in the world is the medium format PENTAX II. It is the one the Bruce Weber uses. I have three, and they are heavy but so worth the weight. The portraits you can get with this camera cannot be compared to any other, especially with black-and-white film.

Any other advice?

Rob Howard: My advice is not to worry too much about the technical aspects of photography; just pay attention to the light and shoot, shoot, shoot! I guess you could call it the “kiss” method; keep it simple.

Graciela Cattarosi: My best advise to anyone wanting to shoot better or who has a passion for Photography is to buy a FILM camera, (medium format or 35 mm ) and use the camera ONLY with a normal lens (50 mm for 35 mm and 90 mm for medium format). This was a prerequisite for a photo class when I studied at Parsons School of Design.

Never use a zoom lens. Having instant access to images does not allow you to focus well on what you are doing at the moment. Leave the image selection and edit for later. You learn from your mistakes when you get film back and you see that you messed up an image, angle or exposure. Experience the feeling of getting film back from the lab and being as excited as getting a birthday present. Don’t be afraid of film; it is the most beautiful thing ever.

If you want instant images, get a Polaroid.

Think in the moment. Don’t think you can fix anything post production. This will make you work harder for a better image and also be more creative.

Published onJuly 18, 2014

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