Samsung Galaxy NX Changes the Photography Landscape
Honestly, I never thought I'd be typing these words about a camera from Samsung. Yes, they make great televisions (I own several) and recently they've come on strong in the phone market, but the camera world has always been dominated by others.
The first camera they sent was the NX300. It is a good little camera with everything you'd hope for. Sure, I could connect it via WiFi to a device and transfer the files over but it wasn't something I needed in my workflow.
It is a good point and shoot camera that allows for interchangeable lenses, but it was in no way going to compete with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 that I rarely leave home without.
But, then late last week the new Galaxy NX arrived and everything changed.
As you can see it looks similar to any other small DSLR and comes standard with a 18-55mm lens. (Full specs here)
I haven't yet had the chance to really put the camera through the paces of image quality, focusing and all of those things. That will happen later this week when I'm attending IdeaFestival in Louisville and plan on shooting a lot with it.
The technology inside the camera is why I'm writing this post. You could say that this is a full blown Android based phone that you can attach a wide variety of lenses to, because that is what it is.
After setting it up with my Google account and installing a few apps I went about shooting.
Note: be sure to check everything when setting up. When gMail notifications and calendar reminders started popping up I realized I needed to change a few things.)
We were working on adding a backsplash in our kitchen and I wanted to document it. During each step of the process I'd take a couple of photos and go back to work.
Later, as I was having a beer and watching football I checked out my online accounts and noticed that I had a Google+ notification telling me that over one hundred new photos were ready for me.
Confused, I couldn't figure out what happened and worried I was hacked or something.
Jumping over to my profile I discovered it was all the photos I had taken earlier in the kitchen. Since the Galaxy NX is always connected, it had auto uploaded them to a private folder on Google. It had a Wi-Fi connection so it did exactly what it should have.
Think about this for a moment. In my world where I'm on the road, attending events and taking photos everywhere I go I could shoot all day and when I get back to the hotel all of the photos would auto upload for me to do with them as I wish.
Plus, now that Google has SnapSeed integrated into Chrome I can edit the photos from my iPad or other device quickly and easily. If I don't want to use Big G, I can just import them into Lightroom and go crazy editing as well.
My personal favorite feature is that I finally have a camera that tags all of my photos with GPS data.
Since many times when I'm traveling I don't know exactly where I am, I now will have no problem going back and matching up my photos with a map. I've been eager to find a camera with this feature that wasn't a point and shoot and finally I have it!
As if all this wasn't enough, the Galaxy NX also has a feature I've never seen on any camera at this level and that is the ability to put a SIM card in it.
While I don't plan on making calls from my camera, I do love this for the times when I can find a cellular connection, but no WiFi which in other parts of the world is very common.
I wish I had this camera with me when I was in Ghana because I could have shared many more photos in near real time from the field. In a few short weeks I'll get to test it out some more when I bring it to Istanbul with me.
While most photographers (including myself) probably wouldn't consider Samsung a major player in the space, they are are up and coming and I'm excited to see what they have coming down the line.
Packing so much technology inside of their cameras excites me and will force all other camera manufacturers to step up their game. It no longer is about how many more mega pixels can you pack in. We crave more technology behind the lens.
My one worry is what this will do to the battery life. I've been told that they thought of that and packed with solid battery life, but we'll see long I can make it in the field rather than in a lab.
Lots more details on the official Samsung Galaxy NX microsite.
Disclosure : I'm taking part in an influencer marketing program from Samsung. In exchange for them giving me cameras to try, I agree to share photos I take with them and my feedback on the cameras. All thoughts are my own. Images above provided by Samsung (except for the messy kitchen tiling ones which are all mine).