Howdy, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Long time no write/read huh? Yeah, I’ve been kinda busy. Arranging stuff for the television show I’m doing. Yep, that’s right: the.ego.tripper is gonna be on television! I’ll tell you more about the show later. But now you know what I’ve been doing instead of writing new blogposts. I’ve been arranging trips for tv. A sea cruise in Norway to be more specific. But as I said: more on that later!

So, what’s up for today? Well, I’ve got a toy. Yes, a gadget to test. The nice people from Canon Belgium offered me a brand new Canon EOS M, their first system camera, to test on a few future trips. And I said: “Sure, let’s have it!” But instead of waiting for my next trip – which will probably be the sea cruise in Norway – I thought I’d go and test my skills and the skills of this EOS M-thingy. But where? And then it dawned on me: I never told you about my favorite neighborhood in Antwerp, have I? Ever heard of Zurenborg? Of course you have, but next time you come to Antwerp, please skip shopping on the Meir and do something much more interesting: visit Zurenborg!

Alright, before I explain the magic of Zurenborg, I have to tell you I’m not a professional photographer. I know that’s quite shocking to hear, but it’s the truth. I’m a writer with a passion for photography. But not the kind of photography that requires me to know how the hell the word ‘diaphragm’ is written. Or with which ISO values you can use your shutter at 1/15 seconds. I’m already confusing myself. No sir, I’m the photographer who’s looking to point and shoot, but with some cool extras like filters that will make you believe I’m actually a trained professional. I’m looking for nice results, no matter how I screwed with the buttons on the camera. And it seems Canon has provided me with a toy that does all this. The EOS M is actually the compact system version of the EOS 650D (they have the same image sensor that offers you 18 megapixels) and it’s easy! By which I mean it doesn’t have a menu that requires you to be a brain surgeon, if you know what I mean. It’s made simple. For the simple man, like myself. It is even logical, the way this camera works. The lens Canon provided me with is the standard 18-55 mm (or to be technical: EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM), and also a pretty decent flash came along. Canon also came up with a new ‘pancake’ lens (EF-M 22mm f/2 STM), but they unfortunately didn’t let me have that one. Poor me!

To be a bit more shallow: the camera looks cool, doesn’t it? Nice and white! If you like grey, black or red you can get those as well. Obviously I still have a lot of testing to do, but I’m quite happy with the first results. And I looked cool making the pictures, which is important too. If there’s one thing that could have been better, in my humble opinion, it’s the grip. The body looks hipster sweet, but I’ve got a feeling I’m gonna drop it at some point, cause of my big clumsy hands and the slick exterior of the camera. Luckily the body and lens look quite sturdy and robust. We’ll see how they survive a future fall.

Anyway, back to Zurenborg. This area, my favorite to walk around in, has been developed in the late 19th century and it offers brilliant – truly magnificent – art nouveau and fin de siècle style houses. And by houses I mean mansions and castles only really really rich people can afford. In fact, I believe the famous Cogels-Osylei is the most expensive real estate street in Belgium. Zurenborg is located outside of the city centre, close to Berchem train station. And not only is it brilliant to visit, but apparently as well to live in. Zurenborg forms some sort of alternative community on its own. A small village inside the big city. That’s exactly the feeling you get while walking around in Zurenborg.

Oh Jeez, I’ve got so much more to tell you about Zurenborg, but look at the size of this blogpost already. I’m really sorry to offer you this much information. I know I had you at ‘Howdy’. So, let’s get to the pictures. And remember: I’m just getting to know my new toy, so don’t mentally shoot me (don’t physically either please) if you’re not really impressed with my photos. And one more thing: I usually ‘enhance’ my pictures with Photoshop or Pixlr-O-Matic. But this time I only added a black border on the pictures I took. So no cheating this time, just so you can get a good idea of what the pictures actually look like.

(obviously this picture has nothing to do with Zurenborg, but I thought I’d show you how pretty my Mao is when using the EOS M)

(I tried to do the same with myself, but instead of looking happy and awesome like my dog, I look angry. You have to realize this is the hipster translation of an actual smile)

the.ego.tripper loves family resorts, bingo, kids peeing in the pool, breakfast buffets, hotel animation, tourist traps and group day tours.

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