Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

New camera plus food

The day after I arrived in Toronto, I purchased my first DSLR, the Nikon D5100. Now, I know about 6 months ago I said I wasn’t going to get one any time soon. I guess I lied.

It wouldn’t be completely correct to say I’ve been saving up for one, because I had the funds that I needed this entire time, so money wasn’t the biggest issue. As I had mentioned before, portability and convenient was perhaps the thing that stopped me from making the purchase much sooner. What, then, changed my mind? Perhaps the more relevant question for me was, why Nikon?

I realized that I had never actually put my hands on a DSLR for a long period of time, even though I said I wanted to try it. When I saw my friends who owned one, I would occasionally ask to take one or two photos without really taking the time to figure out what was going on outside auto mode. On a recent trip to St.Emilion, I asked to hold onto a friend’s Nikon D7000 as I experimented with the settings a bit and took pictures here and there. Bingo – versatility plus image quality equals instant love.

That was probably the event that made me decide to let go of my excuses and settled for a DSLR. If I ended up with no neck pain after carrying a D7000 the entire day, a lighter D5100 would be no problem at all.

As for why I chose Nikon in the first place, well, let’s just say I’ve always been a fan of Canon. My first two cameras were from Canon, and I’ve never used a printer that wasn’t a Canon, so it would make sense that my first DSLR would be a Canon. I suppose I wasn’t as loyal as I thought I was. Then again, I never gave Nikon a chance until that fateful day when I laid my hands on the D7000, and it all changed from then on. (Sorry Canon, I’ll still keep my A2000 with me all the time, I ensure that; you won’t be abandoned.)

Deciding on the Nikon model to purchase was also no simple task. As a complete DSLR newbie, I could definitely do with some advice and suggestions. And certainly help was there from various friends who had been doing DSLR photography for a long time (oddly I think the three people I often go to for photography advice started around the same time). I played around with the Nikons at the camera shop and with the budget in mind, the D5100 seemed to be the most appropriate choice – and recommended by almost everyone – although the D3100 was the less superior and less expensive alternative, if I did want to save the $200. Then again, I figured that the camera would be staying with me for (hopefully) a long, long time, so why not invest in something that I would feel most comfortable with?

So, I have been the proud owner of my Mr.Nikon for a little more than a week, and I am loving every second of interacting with it so far. The art of photography is something that had been tempting me to immerse within its glamour for a long time, and all of a sudden a whole array of new possibilities seem to have opened up just now. I still need to take time to seriously learn how to use this baby, but I am sure the process is one that I will enjoy dearly and the investment is something I won’t regret.

Enough about Mr.Nikon. 11th day back in Toronto, and boy, did I miss those yummy Asian delicacies when I was in France! I might have lost some weight in Europe, especially during the period of time when I was in Belgium, but I have most likely gained it all back upon my return home. Here’s the reason why.

Maki roll at a certain place in Richmond Hill. I’ve had Japanese food so many times this past week that I’m starting to get sick of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still amazing, but everyone loves it so much that whenever I ask people to go out, their suggestion is almost always Japanese. Next time I’m gonna say no thanks…

Salmon rose sushi, one of the prettier sushi varieties that I have seen. The other must-get is the eel sushi.

Okonomiyaki, or Japanese pancake. I had it once last year and it was oh-so-tasty, so it was definitely on the list for the downtown food hunt this year. I’m actually quite tempted to get it one more time before I leave…

Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls. My first encounter with this little snack was during last year’s Toronto night market, and as someone who likes anything with squid or octopus or cuttlefish, this was the perfect appetizer, even though it served as a dessert on this particular day.

Grilled squid that was so good my friend and I ordered another one. All this delicious Japanese food is making me consider Japan as my next big travel destination after exploring all of Europe. I wonder what authentic Japanese food in Japan would taste like compared to the stuff here catered to the taste of the Chinese population.


Fried shrimp dumpling

And how can I call myself a true Cantonese without going for some good ol’ dim sum? The other more popular term we use is “yum cha”, which literally means “drink tea”. It is generally a habit of ours to yum cha as lunch, although amongst the Cantonese, morning or afternoon tea is perhaps much more common. Toronto is loaded with Chinese restaurants with an amazing variety of dim sum, and this is just a very small selection of some of our favourites. I can never get enough of them!

Beef in Portuguese sauce, which is a mix of curry and coconut milk. I generally prefer Portuguese sauce – which in fact is from Macau – over pure curry because of the thicker texture and the richer, creamier taste. Yum yum!

For something that is truly Canadian, why not grab some poutine? I’m a little ashamed to say that I don’t really know what else is “Canadian”, but you can’t go wrong with poutine. Who doesn’t like those crispy French fries topped with fresh chunks of cheese curds melted in smooth, hot gravy? Yes, one portion probably exceeds your daily fat and calorie limit, but it is just soooooooooo good that you’d have to indulge and have it JUST THIS ONCE…:D

Alrighty, friends, I think if I continue writing this entry I’ll start to get hungry, even though I had dinner not too long ago. See you in the next entry!

5 responses to “New camera plus food

  1. Joshua August 9, 2011 at 04:37

    Great shots! The D5100 was worth it. It has the same sensor as the D7000, which is almost considered a professional camera. It’s not about the megapixels as much as the fact that you’ll be able to use it more in low light settings – my D5000 has the same great low-light capability and is awesome.

    A few points of advice: find a way to shoot in RAW and process it yourself. This way, you won’t be wasting precious image data when you shoot. I’ve saved pictures from being under or overexposed without ruining the image.

    Also, invest in a 50mm f/1.8 or 35mm f/1.8. I like the 35mm personally. You’ll have to get the AF-S version of the lens which means that it has an autofocus motor in the lens (I’m 99% sure your D5100 doesn’t have one)… each lens is less than $300 US – maybe cheaper than that and is worth it because of the amount of light you can get into the lens and the quality of the lens itself. It doesn’t zoom, but a non-zoom lens has helped my photography in amazing ways.


    • Annie Bananie August 9, 2011 at 06:21

      Thanks for the suggestions Joshua! Right now things seem to be in a blur as I am diving into everything all at once so I will definitely need to take time to figure out how to learn things step by step. I haven’t tried shooting and processing in RAW yet, though I will certainly give that a try once I am more comfortable with the basics. As for the lenses, it’ll probably be at least another few months before I consider them, but I will keep your advice in mind!


  2. Geoffrey August 10, 2011 at 21:56

    FFFFFFFFFF, sudden hunger strikes.


  3. OH? August 31, 2011 at 21:30

    There are no cheese curds in burger palace poutine!


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