In late Spring I was asked to participate in a fun little program to help get the Samsung NX300 some increased exposure. The reviews of the camera are uniformly good but it never hurts to have some additional traction in social media and what not.
About 25 of us in the U.S. were asked to use the cameras and post interesting images. People in different corners of the country are shooting and uploading some really fun work and it seems like the camera is doing well. I've done quite a few shoots with the camera and shared a hundred or so images over the last two or three months. One of the benefits I get from the program is to keep the NX300, the kit zoom lens and the 30mm f2 pancake-y lens.
Then, a little while ago, I was asked by Samsung if I would like to try their newest camera, the Samsung Galaxy NX. If you aren't familiar with the specs it's understandable, the camera hasn't launched in the U.S. yet and just launched in the U.K. this week. Here's a microsite about the product:
While I've always thought of myself as a traditionalist I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to mirror less in 2009. And how quickly I've become interested in the intersection of flexible immediate uploads and social media. The new Galaxy camera is all about two things. One is the always on nature of its wi-fi and cell capabilities. Basically, the camera can upload images from just about anywhere to just about anywhere. If you can get a signal you can probably get to your folder on the iCloud or other service. The second aspect of the camera is one I haven't explored yet. That the Android system and the potential for an open systems approach to creating apps for the camera and apps that will run on the system backbone of the camera. Not interesting on a 3 inch screen but more interesting, by far, on a five inch screen....
When Samsung approached me to shoot with the camera before the rest of my fellow American photographers I did one quick check to make sure the camera shot video and I accepted. I couldn't see any real downside and maybe I'd wind up with a camera and some lenses that would be fun to shoot and helpful to my business. Then they presented the "carrot." Would I like to fly over to Berlin on their dime and shoot my test images over there? I was delighted. I am delighted.
Samsung is bringing in photographers from all over the world in conjunction with the IFA show which is a big consumer and industry products trade show. I have a suspicion that the camera will be "presented" to the world at the show and will start to ship soon afterwards. It will probably be available near the end of Sept. This would be an opportunity for me to see Berlin, shoot fun stuff with the new camera and meet with interesting photographers, bloggers and photo-bloggers from all around the world.
The camera and some choice lenses are due to arrive in the studio next week. I'll do a training course aimed at teaching me how to operate the camera with an app as opposed to the usual dedicated buttons and dials and then I'll do a few long walks on the boiling pavement around Austin to get up to speed on the interface and the nuances and then, off to Berlin!
I'll be flying out of Austin on the 2nd of Sept. and arriving in Berlin on the 3rd, in the early morning. For the entire week I'll be prowling the streets, cameras in hand. I'll be soaking up all the new inventions and photo stuff at the trade show and wining and dining with fellow Samsung Galaxy shooters. Of course I want to see as much of Berlin as I can before I fly back out and arrive home on the 8th.
In this bold product centric experiment I'll be blogging as much as I can. While I'm sure Samsung would love for me to concentrate on the things that differentiate the camera (apps, Android, always connected) I'll be working harder to see, primarily, how it operates just as a camera. How does it feel in my hand? How conducive is it to shooting fast? In the street? How stealthy can it be? How do the files look? I'll lean on the techie features to get images up for my blog as quickly as possible but that will be in the service of finding out just how good an imaging tool the camera is.
If you've been to Berlin I'd love to hear what you found most visually captivating. I'd also like to hear where you think I should find coffee and if there are any great camera stores left. I want to know what parks are filled with interesting people and anything else you might think of to help me make the trip more efficient and fun. Feel free to clog up the comments. You know I'll read every single one.
I hope my clients have a big pile of work waiting for me when I re-open the studio on Sept. 9th....
Do I get to keep the camera? I sure hope so!