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Wildlife Camera » Camera Reviews

Archive for 'Camera Reviews'

Wildlife from the car window

24 November 2009
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Pere David's deer

Victorian books on shooting had whole chapters devoted to “Getting Close to your Quarry”, complete with illustrations of hunters disguised as buffaloes or hiding themselves in haycarts. The trick was to get inside something that animals and birds were familiar with, and would ignore.

Today’s equivalent to the peasant’s haycart is the family car. It is the perfect mobile hide for the wildlife photographer. 

Whether you are hunting down lions or herons, the car is the best place to go into hiding. It is comfortable and, if you’ve got nerve, it will go almost anywhere.

Animals and birds, large and small, tend to ignore vehicles. And you can usually open the window quietly without spooking your target. It is very unlikely that the birds or animals will try to come in, although safari park monkeys are an exception — they will reach into the car and grab your camera and probably your sunglasses as well …

Elsewhere in these postings I have mentioned the rival philosophies of two types of birders, the leggers and the arsers. The leggers keep moving and hope to find something; the arsers sit quietly and wait for the birds to come to them. The leggers don’t want to get bored. The arsers are allergic to perspiration. (more…)

Go early, stay late at the zoo

18 November 2009
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white-faced saki monkey

I recently asked a well-known wildlife photographer if she had any tips about taking animal portraits in the zoo. Her answer was brief: “Go early, stay late, and don’t be ashamed of taking zoo shots, we all do it.”

She told me that most of the finest pictures of large animals are zoo shots, or at least safari park portraits. “You can go on shooting, day after day, until you get it right,” she says. “A shaft of light, a brief change in the animal’s position, two animals interact or one of them yawns, and you’ve got a picture which will sell and sell.” (more…)

No worries — zooming on safari

16 November 2009
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safari cameraman

A famous traveller once said that the best advice he could give to anyone setting out on a trip abroad was very simple: “At the last minute, throw out half the clothes and pack twice as much money.”

For wildlife photographers, it would be much the same: “Throw out half the gear and pack twice as many cards.” (more…)

Easier bird photos in the aviary

14 November 2009
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Barn owls

Birdkeeping is much the same as ever it was, but taking photographs of aviary birds has changed dramatically. Today’s digital cameras make it wonderfully easy.

I was thinking about this when comparing the price of a couple of pairs of canaries I had been offered with the price of a new camera. The birds – sight unseen, no pedigree, no guarantees – were £30 each, plus £65 for the courier, a total of £185. The latest zoom camera would cost about the same, and it’s guaranteed to arrive alive! (more…)

Kodak Z980 zooms like a ’scope

6 January 2009
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kodak z980

The latest Kodak superzoom has a lens so l-o-n-g that most wildlifers can hardly believe such an amazing chunk of glass could reach the market at an affordable price. It stretches out from wide-angle to 24X – more like a telescope than a telephoto — with a specification which would have seemed like fantasy only a couple of years ago.

The Kodak Z980 was revealed to the world earlier this year in a series of leaks and bungled Press releases, but despite its muddled arrival on the scene, it has proved to be a big step forward for the long-lens enthusiast.

The only early criticism seems to be of its appearance, one commentator suggesting that the price of $399 should include a paper bag to put over its head. Apart from that (and who cares?) it is creating all the right waves. (more…)

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