Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I finally bought a new camera. My old Canon Powershot A80 from about 6 years back finally gave-up the ghost. It's front lens ring fell off, the battery and memory card housing were both cracked and taped-up, and the top panel was ready to pull completely off. It wasn't that I mistreated it - it had just been around enough. Not the years, honey - the mileage. The things had been with me through nearly 7000 shots from home to Korea, Japan, Thailand and Cambodia. It owes me nothing.

I was pretty pleased when mom and dad decided to leave me a fairly sizable chunk of change as a Christmas/birthday gift before they went back to Canada. It was specifically to buy a new camera and so that's where it went.

After deliberating a bit over whether or not I would "jump ship" and go the DSLR route or not, I decided to remain on-board and go for the G11. Like a million people who have "always wanted to get into photography", I too have been hankering to invest in a real DSLR camera. I love taking pictures. I love looking for a good story in a single shot and I have always been a bit frustrated when I want to capture something and I don't even bother trying because I know my camera just isn't up to the task. I think that I would actually invest the time and energy necessary to learn a DSLR capabilities properly, and I'm sure that for me photography would become a great and rewarding hobby - large start-up cost, but portable and enjoyable from that point on.

As it turns out though, I realized that I am all grown-up and stuff and decided to go another way. The DSLR model I would have wanted: the EOS 7D would have run me around $2,600 Canadian. Extra lenses bringing that total to much more. Really - cool as it is, I am not in that tax bracket. Talk about an impulse buy - however cool.

So, I did a lot of research and spoke to a few photographers I know and the G11 it is. I stopped by Youngsan electronics market last night and made the pick-up, after having gone there twice previous to scout the best deal from all of the booths. In the end, I paid 680,000 won including a case and an 8 gig memory card. That's a pretty good deal for a camera that came out in October of this year.

I love this little thing. It's bigger and bulkier than most "point and shoot" cameras and it's build quality feels like that of a DSLR. It's a little thing of beauty and I'm very pleased with my choice. Good thing I can download the manual in English though as my kit came with Hangeul only. I am looking forward to getting out and shooting some stuff soon. It's good to have a sweet camera at hand. It feels like I'm holding a baby DSLR - it's solid and full of cool tricks. It feels like quality, and I appreciate the flip-screen.

In other news, I've spent the last two weekend away with old friends and family farms - making kimchi, reconnecting, and loving the people I've met here. There's really nothing more Korean than eating together, sleeping on the floor, and gathering with an extended clan to take a mountain of 325 heads of cabbage, and cleaning and processing them into something the neighboring families will eat through the winter months. I even took some to school to share with my students.

I've also been meeting on weekend to do something I have wanted to get involved with since my first Christmas season in Asia. A few friends have been gathering to practice Christmas caroling, with the plan of singing in Santa hats at Cheonggye-cheon stream in December. Dark days are nothing that friends, Christmas songs, and hot chocolate can't cure. I had been a little bit apprehensive about my first full Christmas in Seoul, but now I'm sure it will be a grand one.

All of these are things I would like to write about more. I will find time.

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