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Thread: Video gear for self drive safari in Kruger Park (SA)

  1. #1

    Default Video gear for self drive safari in Kruger Park (SA)

    Hello everybody,
    this is my first post
    Soon I will be in Kruger Park (South Africa) for a self drive safari. Going out of the car is mostly not allowed except for some specific areas. Perhaps I will also make 1 or 2 night drives and it might be nice to make videos in the dark with infrared
    I kindly ask your advice on the gear to bring and perhaps to purchase before going
    Right now I have:

    1) Iphone 6s
    2) Iphone Xr
    3) Boya By-MM1 external microphone with "deadcat" for wind noise canceling and a sort of "cage" to hold the smartphone
    4) Canon Powershot 60 SH
    5) Nikon D3100 + Sigma 5,0-6,3/150-600 DG OS HSM Contemporary
    6) Bean bag
    7) Go Pro Hero 6 Black

    A) Do you think it's necessary I buy a camcorder or the results could be more or less the same with the gear I already have?
    B) Do you think I could take night videos using a camcorder with infrared or using and infrared light as I learnt from some threads on this forum?
    C) Any suggestions on how to shoot animals in the Kruger?

    Thanks for any advice

  2. #2
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    For the shots of yourselves as narrators/commentators any of the cameras will do. For the shots of wildlife, by far the most impressive shots will be taken with a long lens - and thus a very stable camera.

    It is true that sometimes the animals come close to the vehicles, but these are generally not nearly as interesting shots as those where they are in their own groups some distance away as these are more natural looking shots.

    These comments are not from experience of shooting wildlife, but watching many amateur safari films - the quality (at least photographic quality) of which seems to have improved dramatically over the past 10 years.

    When it comes to the edit you need to be really strict. Only use as much footage as contributes to the film. 5 minutes superb footage of a pride of lions culled from 2 hours worth of footage of the pride of lions, is fine for your "personal memories" film, but an audience will lose interest in even the best footage very quickly unless it supports the story.
    Last edited by TimStannard; 04-25-2019 at 07:39 AM.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    For the shots of yourselves as narrators/commentators any of the cameras will do. For the shots of wildlife, by far the most impressive shots will be taken with a long lens - and thus a very stable camera.
    Thank you. I know that cameras need specific lenses for videos I can't afford to buy right now. So my best choice will be simply Nikon D3100 + Long 150-600 mm lens for photography, to be re-used for videos. To keep the camera stable I have a bean bag, provided in Kruger it's mostly forbidden to go out of the car and use tripods
    Do you think for videos it would be better some kind of mount like this one?
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...dow_Mount.html

  4. #4
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    I'd stick with the bean bag. Anything which fixes you camera to something (like the grip you linked to) even for half a second means may miss out on a shot. With a bean bag you have the flexibilty of hand held but the ability to stabilize fairly quickly. Also, with a "grip" any movement of the vehicle (people shifting around) will translate directly to movement in the camera. Whilst a bean bag will not avoid this it should damp the movement somewhat.
    Tim

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbiriguda View Post
    I know that cameras need specific lenses for videos I can't afford to buy right now.
    By the time you can actually afford them you may want to upgrade your gear twice before you actually buy it. Honestly you won't even get much of your money's worth putting a dedicated video lens on a high range consumer level camera. Better invest that money in a camera upgrade

    As for the other questions, Tim has given the best possible answers I can think of. The only thing I could add is, yes infra red camcorder plus IR light can help you shot in the dark. weather it'll be useful and a worthy investment is another question which I cannot answer for you.
    The cats are watching us...

  6. #6
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    This may be obvious but the most important thing is to get out there and shoot with whatever gear you've got. Once you're there worrying that you don't have adequate gear is just wasted energy. Practice with what you have and learn it's (and your) limitations. Try to work within those limitattions but don't be afraid to push them every now and again (but not on that once in a lifetime shot of a lion catching a gazelle).
    The main thing is - ENJOY!
    Tim

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