It was Truffle Weekend this weekend, and Michaels Camera, Canon and Truffle Melbourne got together and put on a free photo walk around the Queen Victoria Market. You could bring your own camera, or try one of theirs. I got to try the Canon EOS 80D, which was much bigger than any photo camera I had used in the past, and I have never owned a DSLR before, so I was pretty intimidated by all the different controls.
However, there was someone from Canon, and someone from Michaels, and they gave us a quick rundown on how to use the camera. We spent most of the time in the P-mode, which is auto-mode, but allows you to manually override certain settings. Fortunately, as I was part of the 9am group, the market wasn’t quite that busy yet, so I got some time to try playing around with the shutter speed and aperture, but once the group started moving, there were too many things to take photos of!
Even though it was still somewhat dark (as it was early, and a bit overcast), I found the pictures turned out quite vibrant. They gave us an 8GB SD card, which we were allowed to keep (which was nice).
And the setting, with all the fruits and vegetables, made for some really colourful photos.
I think the real focus was the truffles though, and there were a few stalls selling various truffle-based things, as well as truffles themselves.
One of the stallholders explained how to tell good from bad truffle-products. He said that you’ll often find places that sell truffle oil, with bits of truffle in it. He explained that the fungus would actually go rancid if left in there, so those products are likely to be oils infused with truffle essence (similar to the relation between vanilla extract and vanilla essence, in that the extract comes from the original thing, but the essence is just a chemical compound that tries to reproduce the same flavour).
The camera was really nice to use, once I got the hang of holding such a large camera. It was pretty comfortable, with the right side of the camera having a comfortable grip, and the shutter button being pretty easy to reach from there so that you’re not holding the camera in an uncomfortable position.
I almost felt like buying one after the session, but fortunately, I had to rush to meet Pharmacist and redbeanpork somewhere else, and didn’t have time.
They also offered to make an A3 print of one of the photos each of us took, but I didn’t know what I would do with a print out of some fruits or a truffle, so I gave it a miss, but the printer (which I think was a Canon Selphy) seemed really nice, and the prints that I did see looked great. With the almost-auto mode, it seemed so easy to take great looking pictures, even for a photography noob like me.
The auto-mode did frustrate me at some points, as I had trouble getting the camera to focus on what I wanted it to focus on, but for the most part, the photos came out great, and it felt very quick to save a picture, so I could take quite a few pictures in succession.
I’m on the fence about buying a camera. I have been looking at buying a proper video camera for a while, and a lot of sites recommend just using a photo camera and buying a microphone, but I might wait until I have an actual need for a camera before committing one way or another.