But it does not end there!
Many excellent photographers besides Lillian STRONGLY suggested that I should also take a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera to Africa. Dan Tallman (one of South Dakota's top birders) said "If you are going to Uganda, you should buy the best camera you can afford, even a heavy one. The Cannon 100-400 lens with stabilizers is a thing of beauty, especially with a 1.4 tele-extender. It can be hand held. Buy a light-weight monopod so you can carry it over your shoulder."
Another reader said "I know you said you didn't want a DSLR, but I think you will be disappointed with anything less." Yet another reader said "In my opinion, any of these cameras are NOT up to the task. Birds are small and fast moving and at some distance making them hard to capture with a slow to respond shutter time. Spend the money!"
For me the final straw was listening to Kevin Karlson, professional bird photographer, author and lecturer who said "You have to get a DSLR camera to take to Uganda." He strongly recommended the Canon EOS 7D and the 100-400 lens combination. The camera body weighs 2 pounds and the 100-400 lens weighs 3 pounds. As a professional, he did not consider this "heavy" at all and the price is under $3,500 (Camera body plus 18-135mm lens $1,600 and 100-400 lens $1,700.)
To me this seems very heavy, but I found the solution. The SpiderPro Single Camera System ($135) lets you attach the camera to a special belt and carry it at your side. When you are ready to shoot, the camera unclips in an instant and is ready to use - you feel just like a gunslinger in the old west. I first saw this in action in Colombia a few years ago and I have been looking for an excuse to buy one ever since!
|Canon EOS 7D Camera|
|Canon EF 100-400mm |
f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens
Alert: The upgrade for the Canon SX50 (called the SX60) and the upgrade for the Canon 7D (called the 7D Mark II) are both coming out in the fall - maybe.
Below is a photo of a Lewis's Woodpecker taken with the Canon SX50 by Bonnie Clarfield-Bylin (WildBird magazine birder of the year.)