After a lot of pondering, procrastinating and preparation, I finally purchased (ok, I’ll stop that) a new camera. It’s a Canon EOS 50D SLR, and I love it.
However, the learning curve is immense, and I’m not ashamed to say that I was baffled about a lot of the terminology before I bought it, and I remain quite baffled now. A fact not helped by the fact that the instruction manual is in Japanese.
The lens selection was even more baffling, and with most of them costing more than the camera body, I wasn’t about to leap into a hasty decision. In the end I went for a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens
; what they call a “prime” lens, in that it is a fixed length with no zoom. It had monumentally good
reviews, and given it only cost 9,700 yen (67 GBP), was an easy choice. Cameras are one thing that are cheaper in Japan than in England – I got the 50D, body only, one year old but in perfect condition, sold boxed as new, for only 72,500 yen (505 GBP).
My favourite thing about the lens is that you can set it to have a very shallow depth field (as far as I know, this is related to having a low aperture setting and fast shutter speed) to create bokeh
, which is the name given to the blurred background. Although this lens isn’t as good as some of the more expensive ones, you can make images with a soft dreaminess, which results in even ordinary shots of food looking like porn:
My parents are actually in Japan with me at the moment, and here are a few more from our days sight-seeing:
Expect lots more flower shots too :)
Next step is learning how to accurately manipulate the shutter speed and aperture to get the most vibrant colours whilst remaining focussed on the subject (slow shutter speed + no tripod = blurriness). Then perhaps I’ll work on my ability to take photos of people when they have their eyes open!
For now, though, I must dash, for tonight we are having dinner with The Suzuki No. 1’s (my homestay family from Tokyo in 2008). Exciting!