Many current digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras have a built-in magnification or "crop factor", usually around
50% to 60%.
So on a Canon 600D for example, your 300mm lens gives you similar magnification as would a 480mm lens on
a 35mm film camera, while a 400mm lens is like using a 640mm.
Brings Subject Closer
This is a huge bonus for wildlife photography as it brings your subject that much closer. The picture of the lion
licking its paw (Row 3 middle pic) was not taken in a zoo, but from a game drive vehicle in Botswana with the equivalent of a
Although it is a crop of a bigger picture, this is the detail one can get with today's digital cameras.
Of course the downside with this degree of magnification is image blur from
To counteract this, it's advisable to push up your ISO rating and use as fast a shutter speed as possible, combined with a solid
tripod, or good beanbag if shooting from a vehicle.
Mutual Respect Is Advisable
Animals in game parks become accustomed to vehicles and it's tempting, when on safari, to approach ever closer.
It's worth remembering however that these are still "wild" animals and their space should be respected.
An elephant or rhino, if suddenly spooked or irritated by your presence, will reach a stationery vehicle in seconds.
Better to keep a safe distance and enjoy the sighting through binoculars.