The gear • June 2017
Looking to give your next expedition into the wild some serious wow factor? From night-vision goggles to iPhone mobile lenses, The Club’s tech expert Derek Adams picks the niftiest gadgets for a safari
The Sony RX10 III (£1,549) is arguably the world’s best high-level, do-it-all travel camera right now and perfect for capturing wildlife from afar. It has every conceivable photo and video opportunity covered, from an amply wide 24mm for landscapes to an incredible 600mm for capturing that elusive leopard hundreds of metres away. Its large sensor delivers amazing shots with fantastic sharpness and detail, and the 4K video quality is equally astounding.
Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TZ80 (£330) is a more affordable option. Its 1/2.3-type sensor isn’t as large as the RX10’s, but its 25mm-750mm Leica zoom lens is equally adept at photographing and videoing game from a huge distance. It also allows the user to adjust focus after the shot has been taken – very cool. Simply tap the part of the image you want to tweak, and that section springs into sharp focus.
A camera is a must for a safari, but don’t underestimate the practicality of binoculars. The Steiner Safari Ultrasharp 10x26 (£120) have 10x magnification and are perfect for safaris. Their objective lens measurement is 26mm so the image won’t be super bright during dusk, but in good light these binoculars excel. They’re also small enough for a jacket pocket and have a comfortable, grippy coating.
The USB-rechargeable 800 lumen MecArmy PT10 (£58) is just 7.7cm long and bright enough to illuminate a tennis court. Its wide-diffuse beam is perfect for those late-night walks from the camp’s restaurant to your lodging. The PT10 features three LEDs and four beam strengths, from gentle glow to outrageously bright.
There’s not much point in using your iPhone on a game drive – unless you’ve packed the Moment Tele Lens (£80). Clip this high-quality 60mm lens to the front of your phone and you’ll be able to capture far more close-up detail. The Moment even comes with a useful free app for adjusting focus and exposure.
Take the Bushnell 6x50 Equinox Z Night Vision monocular (£272) on your next night-time game drive and you’ll be the envy of everyone. While your fellow guests peer out into total darkness, you’ll be spotting animals left, right and centre, albeit in black and white. The Equinox Z has six times magnification and an infrared illuminator capable of highlighting anything with a heartbeat up to 300 metres away. What’s more, it’s also capable of capturing both video and still images.