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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old March 12th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #1
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Africa, advice needed.

I am going to Africa with my family in the summer and, whilst I am focussing on still photography, my borhter will be filming. He has a JVC D340EK, which has a great zoom but is pretty limited on almost everything else. However, that is not the problem, our biggest issue is what accessories to take and how to support the camera whilst on safari. So far what I have come up with is the gorilla pod SLR zoom with the head from his tripod attached. This way we can wrap the legs around the bars down the side of the vehicle (the lodge uses land rovers with raised seats and awnings with bars beside each seat). Hopefully this will give a solid support. This is the best idea we have come up with, if anyone has any other options for supporting a camera whilst on a vehicle safari then please let me know, however please bear in mind our budget is low as we are buying with our own allowance.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #2
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Location: cape town South-Africa
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Africa / Support

Toby /

The favourite for land rover support / =

a) A Beanbag / You can fill it on this side / The ammount of people on the
vehicle restrict your views. A device attatched to one side of the vehicle
has the same implications / Free yourself to work in a 360 degree enviroment.

b) Monopod

c) Tripod / if permitted / Belt strapped to nearest seat rails.

The animals and scenery evolves around a 360 degree workarea from a
landrover. Your operater will stop , turn the engine off . The lion could be
behind you !! Ha ! Ha ! Ha !

More serious / Google search - Safari tripod /
Pages 1-5 carry numerous African safari reports / Equipment and support.

Remember the DUST !

Enjoy your trip.
Herman van Deventer / South-Africa.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 06:43 AM   #3
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Just to reiterate Herman's comment about dust - take his advice seriously.

African dust has a knack of getting into everything; be prepared to drive through clouds of the stuff (unless it's the rainy season) and have sealed storage ready for rapid deployment.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #4
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Toby, bring car chargers for both cameras, all land rovers will have 12 volt cigerette lighters. Also, bring a very cheap hair dryer or other electric gismo to test the power at hotels/camps. I always do this overseas. Oddly enough, I was at a world class hotel in Nirobi, plugged the hair dryer into the socket converter and BAME goes the dryer. Thank God it was not my charger. Bring a polarizing filter and ND filters as the sun there is BRIGHT. Also, cut the leg off an old pair of jeans, sow the bottom of the leg and use this as a sleeve to but the camera into while driving, it helps keep dust off. I agree with the bean bag. I used it in Africa and still take it on trips. I took a LOT of old T-shirts (especially with a sports logos) as they got dirty I would trade them instead of gifts rather then washing them. Kids and adults went nuts for them. A good photo/video vest is a must. A pair of binoculars is an excellant item. Get a pair small enough to stick in vest pocket. I always use a strong clip and actually hook my camcorder strap to my vest eye ring. This prevents it from falling should the driver have to make a quick get away, and beleive me, it happens. oh, figure out how many tapes you need and then add more. And, if shooting digital photos, bring more than one chip as you will be shooting like mad. And please do not forget to HAVE FUN. Bob
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Old March 13th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for the great advice, looks like I am going to have to be careful with the dust! I was aware of the problems I might face with my Canon 20D but I hadn't thought of how I was going to avoid it with the video camera. That's a great tip about the hair dryer!
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Old March 18th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #6
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Definitely get a rain slicker to keep out moisture and dust. When I was there a few years back we were out hoofing it (we did not use a guide or anything like that) and if you are crossing water on foot I would recomend putting your cameras in at least zip lock bags for a few minutes!!!!!
I was crossing what appeared to be two inches of water. I was the third person back and found the only waist deep hole just wider than my big foot and sunk my camera for a fraction of a second. No more video for the month trip!!!! Now if I am going to be croossing water the cameras goe in large zip lock bags, tape the seam too. then a fraction of a second wont matter!!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:32 AM   #7
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The best support in the Landrover is the cinesaddle,, tripods are too much clutter, take up too much space unless you have the vehicle all to yourself.
Protect your camera from dust, do not use compressed air, ever.

D Kane
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