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Best Cameras for Safari: Super-Zooms

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18 Digital Camera for SafariWhilst there is no question that a Digital SLR camera is overall a better camera than the “point and shoot” super-zoom cameras that come with attached telephoto lenses, but unless you are either a professional photographer or you main intention for going on Safari is for photography, I suggest that the best cameras for safari holidays are digital super-zoom cameras.

I go into detail on this page: Best Digital Camera for Safari and Travel, as to why I say a super-zoom camera is ideal as a safari and wildlife camera but the main reasons are:

  • Digital SLR’s are very bulky and heavy compared to Super-Zooms, not great for travelling with.
  • The large Telephoto lens that you need for a DSLR camera is bulky, heavy and expensive.
  • Good Digital SLR camera’s are much more expensive than Super-zooms, making it much more painful if you camera was to get either broken, lost or stolen whilst travelling.

Which Super-Zoom camera for Safari & Travelling?

So for the average user, a Super-Zoom Camera with a good zoom makes an ideal camera to take on Safari, there has recently been an explosion of this type of camera on the market, so but which ones are the best for taking on safari and travelling with? To make it on the list of the best super-zoom cameras for travelling that I would recommend, they must meet some minimum requirements:

All the camera’s below have:

  • A zoom of at least 12x which is equivalent to 432mm
  • Have at least 8.0 million pixels (8 mega pixels)
  • Weigh no more than 600g including batteries
  • Cost no more than £400 / $600 US
  • Must have built in Image stabilisation to help with shooting without a tripod
  • Built in flash included – For dinner time photos
  • Must be able to also take films: Great for adding to youtube etc

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18Best Safari Camera Overall: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

First my favourite camera for safari, the 8 mega-pixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, I personally have one of these and I could not recommend it more, they come with fantastic Leica lenses and have an impressive 18x zoom which is equivalent to a 504mm telephoto lens. The Panasonic Lumix also included a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery with a re-charger, so no more having to buy batteries. Most safari lodges that you travel to will have electricity, so recharging will not be a problem. If it is you can always buy either an extra battery or an adaptor allowing your camera to be charged in a vehicle. Movies can be shot at The prices of the Lumix is really reasonable considering the power and features that you get.  You can shoot film in 640 x 480 @ 30 fps or  320 x 240 @ 30 fps. The one down side is you can’t zoom in or out once you have started filming which is a little annoying. At 407g the Panasonic is also the lightest camera on this page. To view a few sample photos from this camera, check out my Photographs of the Gambia all taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18.

UK: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 on

USA: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 on


Casio Exilim FH20 Digital CameraBiggest Zoom: Casio Exilim EX-FH20

At 20x (520mm), the Casio Exilim EX-FH20 has the largest zoom of all the best cameras for safaris, ideal for getting in even closer than all the others on this page. It can also shoot at a very respectable 15 frames per second helping you make sure that you don’t miss that action shot. The Casio Exilim FH20 also has a maximum resolution of 3456 x 2592 and an effective 9.1 mega pixels which is excellent,which only the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 can match.

UK: Casio Exilim FH20 on

USA: Casio Exilim FH20 on


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50Best Image Resolution: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 and the Casio Exilim FH20 have a maximum resolution of 3456 x 2592 and an effective 9.1 mega pixels which is excellent. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 has a good 15x Zoom (465 mm), but at 547g is the heaviest of the cameras featured on this page.

UK: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 on

USA: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 on


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