Planning this trip was an adventure in itself. And while I’m not new to travelling (or planning!) this trip in particular took special considerations, especially when it came to packing. If you have been following our blog, you know we had weight limits to consider, so after all our clothes and essentials, every other thing we brought had to be carefully planned out.
When it came to choosing a camera for this great adventure, I knew I needed something light, reliable and fast. Given the scenery and wildlife we were going to see, versatility and quality were also important, and I didn’t think a point-and-shoot would cut it. I have a digital SLR but there is no way my luggage could accommodate a heavy camera body and an assortment of lenses. My staff recommended a Nikon 1 J3 camera with a powerful 10-100mm lens. I certainly didn’t want to worry about changing lenses in the middle of a safari. The 10-100mm can shoot landscapes from afar, or do close-ups. My brother-in-law, an avid photographer, has the Nikon 1 J1 and he has nothing but great things to say about its capability, so this seemed like a great choice.
You’ve probably noticed we captured some great moments on our journey. All the photos featured in our blog posts (save for the food pics) were taken with the J3. This lightweight, interchangeable lens camera was the ideal travel companion and fit perfectly into my day bag.
Early in our trip Michael and I visited the Dance for All studios in Athlone. As you know, we have a special interest in this wonderful organization which makes dance accessible for many deserving youth. In short, missing a single shot during this meaningful visit was not an option. The camera’s lightning-quick sensor didn’t miss a chassé! The shutter was extremely responsive and I was able to preserve many beautiful moments such as the one below.
As many dancers will attest to, sometimes even the most stunning of stills just can’t do a movement justice. For moments like these, I took advantage of the camera’s Full-HD video-making capability, which allowed me to capture the students’ powerful yet graceful movements.
I also discovered I was able to take a still while simultaneously shooting seamless video. I was able to capture images I wanted without having to stop a video already in progress.
One thing I strongly recommend for those travelling, is to consider investing in a spare camera battery. Plugging-in while you’re on the move simply isn’t possible. While the J3’s battery lasted a considerable amount of time and I charged it every night, it would be a good idea to have an extra handy. As you can imagine, when you’re out on safari, the last thing you want to have happen is to run out of juice just when the perfect shot presents itself.
A variety of lenses are available, but this particular J3 kit is equipped with a NIKKOR 10-100mm zoom lens which has been perfect for documenting our many wildlife encounters. With this lens, we’re able to get up-close-and-personal with these beautiful animals…from a safe distance.
The images and video I captured on our trip have allowed me to bring a bit of the safari home with me to Canada. I am already planning (in my head at least) for our next African adventure. I hope these photos are just some of my many safari collections to come.