Thursday, November 11

A wildly incoherent stab at a camera review

Grab a Red Bull and your specs for this one - I went off on a tangent (and committed 10 zillion copywriting crimes. This blog can never be used for work purposes!)

I only had three New Years resolutions for 2010: Buy a camera and take more photos, learn to make traditional South African thin and crispy pancakes, and learn to sew. My mom is probably thinking, 'Oh bless, look at Lauren trying to get her domestication on.' Ok. My mom doesn't speak like that at all but whatevz. (I've been reading so many Uni-going Brit bloggers and now I can't stop saying 'obvz', 'lols' and 'whatevz.' Desperately clinging onto my twenties.) (I hear a Twitter hasthtag for #desperatelyclingingontomytwenties. Too long?) I digress! What were we talking about? Pancakes? Bare with me, I'll chuck in something about cameras at some point.

So, I made a zillion batches of pancakes in January in anticipation of a sweet pancakey year ahead. I was gonna give those grannies at Durban's fetes a good run for their money. But dang it, those grannies know something I don't. After the 1000th batch, ok fifth batch, I was reminded that I can barely crack an egg, let alone flip a steaming disc of dough in the air. 

After that didn't work out, I tried sewing. I got as far as two meters of material, some elastic and a zip. These items rolled around in my car and now they roll around in my mom's car and one day, I, nay she, will make me something. Thanks mom!

I did, however, buy a camera. A DSLR if you will. No idea what that stands for. Digital something or other! Camera connoisseurs, feel free to fill us in with a comment. I was gonna go for the Canon 450D. Saving that much loot didn't work out for me. After four months, I wandered into a camera shop and in true Lauren style, asked 'What's your cheapest DSLR and tripod.' I am class personified. The chap behind the counter handed me the Canon 1000D. I eyeballed it sceptically. None of my fave bloggers were using this guy. Don't you just respect how I know zero photographers - only bloggers! Anyways, I snapped a few pics and I was impressed by how responsive the camera was. I believe they call this 'processing time.' (Not me, the camera!) I also loved how big and bright the LCD screen was. But, for a change, I managed to refrain from a credit-card swiping frenzy and decided to do some actual research. Well, the Canon 1000D got splendid reviews all round from pros saying it was a super entry level DSLR with the 'best kit lens that Canon had ever produced.' (That seems unlikely writing that but someone said that! Don't quote me on any of this, lols!) The next day I went back and bought that bad boy and we've been BFF's ever since. (Again with the Uni-blogged slang.)

This past weekend, I bought the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. I know nothing of the technical specs - all I know is that this lens is affordable and awesome. It also handles low light terrifically and gives great Bokeh. That weird word means 'depth of field.' That means when some bits are in focus and other bits are blurry. Hotdang, I'm a wordsmith. Not really. What I am, is a Bokeh nut , so this lens is right up my alley. It's also great for portraits. Only thing is, this is a fixed lens so if you want to zoom in and out, you have to erm, step forward or back.  Geez, this must be the most amateur camera review of all time. I cringe knowing that some of you pro-photogs may be reading this - Jenty, I'm looking at you!

Anyway, have I actually managed to scribble a single nugget of gadgetry wisdom? Probably not. What I am trying to say, very incoherently (that sounds like a sentence Hugh Grant might begin), is that, the Canon 1000D and the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens makes for a potent yet affordable DSLR set up for anyone but especially for beginners. In all, I think I got the camera, the lens, the bag, camera card and tripod for under R6500. That is not at all the same as 6000 pounds, British buds! I am not Rockerfellar, our exchange rate is simply shot to pieces.

The most hilarious thing is - arty design types will sometimes walk past me and mutter 'Cool camera, is that the 500D?' To which I reply, 'Why yes, yes it is.' No, I say it's the 1000D and it's all a bit awkward but I have the last laugh!

Anyway, (gotta stop starting paragraphs with 'anyway') I think I can safely tick off 'take more photos' on the resolution list. Can you believe it took me 27 years to buy my own camera? Well, I did it and I love it and I think it may even be a life-long passion! Probably just a touch healthier than eating one zillion pancakes.

I do apologise if this was 'death by slavishly long blog post' for you. I should probably edit out the pankcake bits now but Bedfordshire calls.


Before I go, I want to say thanks for your delish comments on the previous post. You lot are so encouraging and I really want you to know how much your kind comments mean to me - each one is like opening one of those cutie-pie things from Woolies. They're that good!

PS: I haven't even begun to touch on the whole Nikon vs Canon debate! It's about as ridic as the HTC vs Blackberry vs iPhone wars that break out on Twitter every day. I'm sure each brand rocks - I just went with Canon cuz it's what I knew. I would however, love to know what camera you use and why. I promise not to slag it off with a 'Canon roolz, Nikon drools!'
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