Life Lately With the Samsung NX300 Smart Camera

Hello after more than a week-long absence! Haha.

I do apologize for having abandoned this space for a bit, but work has been really picking up and very exciting things are happening so I’ve gotten sidetracked a little. I don’t think this is my longest yet though so no worries! Like I always say, I’ll always find time for this blog, it’s only a matter of how often haha!

So what have I been up to lately that’s been taking up so much of my time?

Work. Yup, work and nothing else. The crazy thing about that confession is that I’m not the slightest bit bitter about it. In fact, I’m enjoying work so much that that’s a big reason why I’ve allowed myself to be sidetracked. The Ninja Rabbit has started calling me a workaholic lately because I insist on doing work even at night and on the weekends. Problem is, I don’t see it as work. I see my articles to be written and interviews to be transcribed and put up as really fun projects of my own that I want to see to completion as soon as possible. I actually enjoy and have tonnes of fun doing all these so they’re more recreational to me than anything.

To help you understand better what I’m talking about, I’m gonna bring you along with me on a a normal weekday so you get to see for yourself what a day in my life is like!

To make this possible I’m gonna use my new sidekick, the Samsung NX300 smart camera!

Fast and powerful, the Samsung NX300 allows you to quickly and perfectly capture spontaneous, even magical, moments throughout your day. In a nutshell, it is high performance made portable. It has everything a DSLR can do, but squeezed into a much smaller housing so you can easily bring it out with you wherever you go. For a petite girl like me who has at least 5 places she needs to be in a single day, that about spells perfection.

At the heart of it all, I’m gonna come right out and say it — I’m a DSLR kind of girl. I’m so anal with my photos that I need to be able to control every little thing about it, from the ISO to the shutter speed to the aperture width. I like my photos to be taken anywhere between f/2.0-3.5 for as bright a shot as possible, and a shutter speed of 1/30-40 for best clarity. Most compact cameras don’t allow me that kind of freedom (there’s nothing i disdain more than Auto/Program modes on cameras UGH). Even those that do, usually their sensitivity and low-light performance isn’t quite as up to par.

All that has become a thing of the past, however, since being loaned the NX300 for a couple of weeks to try out! Now I totally know what I’ll be getting if I ever want a camera that’s easier to carry and bring around, yet functions as good as my trusty old DSLR!

It is easy to work too, so no worries if you’re a unfamiliar with a DSLR. Its function buttons are positioned in such a way that they’re easy to understand and control, and at one glance, you’ll know what each button does. They’ve scrapped away all the complicated and redundant buttons commonly found in other DSLRs to provide as user-friendly an experience as possible. With basic camera knowledge, you’ll be able to figure out how to work this baby in under 20 minutes. It also comes in 3 different colours — black, white and brown — but if you’re to ask me, I’d say the white is the prettiest one of the lot hehe.  Black is cool too, giving the unit a whole Leica feel, but I generally prefer white  gadgets. You don’t see white DSLRs!

So what’s a day in my life like right now? Let’s let the NX300 do the talking!

Most days I work from home, so it’s right in my living room where all the creative juices start flowing. I write articles about anything and everything — so far I’ve done fashion, technology, beauty, health, entrepreneurship, even a couple or two inspirational human interest pieces (those are some of my favourite things to write, but also the most difficult) — and am given free rein to my choice of topics. This setting is great because I really get to exercise the writer in me, stretching her limits to levels she’s never even seen before. I’m not stuck just writing one thing either, I get to mix it around so it’s really fun. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can’t believe I scored my equivalent to a dream job at my first try!

Where do I work?

OK it’s been about 2 months now so I think I can safely say I won’t be getting fired anytime soon so maybe it’s time to reveal it lol.

I’m a writer for Emmagem.com, an e-magazine for career women and entrepreneurs. Yes, we’re basically a women’s magazine, but our niche are businesswomen and entrepreneurs so our articles are on the heavier end of things with business tips, entrepreneurial advices accompanied by the occasional style and beauty guide and health pointers. Think of us as Harper’s Bazaar microwaved together with The Edge, if you will. We have your usual lady stuff covered, from clothes, make up, health, and other womanly stuff, but injected with a business streak. We seek to help you become the best you can be in the workplace, and your career.

When I’m not at home writing, I’m usually out covering events, scouting for new things and news that might interest our readers. This part is really fun too because I get to dress up and go out to meet all these other amazing writers from different publications.

Look, I can actually easily hold the entire camera in one hand and take outfit photos! I was never able to do this with my DSLR because it’s so heavy and bulky, I risk dropping it and having it smash to a million pieces everytime I don’t hold it with both hands. The NX300 is light and small enough for me to easily take photos with the other hand free to do other things, something I’ve never been able to accomplish with my DSLR! Picture quality is amazing too because it was rather dark in the early 8am when I was taking this photo, yet it turned out bright and nice. Its detailing is also so sharp, you guys now know I need to clean my mirror haha. It caught even the fingermarks and other stains on the mirror! Oops.

I get to wear whatever I like to work — Thank God — so I’m not stuck wearing boring and drab corporate work clothes. Pin-striped blouses and pencil skirts that has to cover the knee… EEEK!  Sometimes, if the venue of the event I’m going to is casual enough, I’m even allowed jeans! Most days I like to dress up (because the other fashion writers do come to the events dressed to their nines) but other times I prefer comfort and practicality over looking too chic. Yes, I really do enjoy my job, both the home part and the going out part.

The NX300 has up to 1/6000 shutter speed for those of you who have terribly shaky hands. That kind of speed is currently the fastest of its class. With that kind of shutter speed—and the fast autofocus system—you can capture a skater whipping by or a snowboarder in midair, without a hint of motion blur. How about capturing a quick selfie before going to work? Most of my in-the-car selfies often turn out blur because the whole damn car is usually vibrating. I took this quite without any problem and I love that it’s so clear, you can see the blemish spot on my chin hahaha.

The part I hate most about my job is being on the road. I hate driving, and I hate the traffic jams of KL even more. Unfortunately most of the beauty and fashion events I have to cover are mostly held in the heart of KL in places like Pavilion (which people are calling the heart of fashion) so many times have I had to endure standstill jams. I spend a quite a big deal of time on the road on certain days so selfies help to take the tension off things considerably, hehehe.

What are some of my favourite parts of my job?

Writing aside, it’s definitely got to be meeting all these amazing lady entrepreneurs whom we try to feature on our magazine. This is Low Ngai Yuen, if you did not manage to recognize that smile lol. Last week, we did an interview with her and I’m still all kinds of starstruck! She shot to fame as one of the 3 TV hosts on 3R, that show about women empowerment, if you remember? She has since gone on to do tonnes more since then, and now is the managing director of Kaki Seni, the organization that tries to help struggling performing artists in Malaysia.

I’ve had the chance to meet the most incredible individuals, be it male or female since starting with Emmagem. We have a section where we feature entrepreneurs and business people who have not only single-handedly started up their business, but are doing return-to-society goodwill programmes through their businesses. I’ve met people who use their organizations to better the lives of the hardcore poor, help orphans and all kinds of inspirational things! At the end of every interview, I’m always so buzzed with inspiration that I feel like I want to start and do something of my own. They’ve taught me that we can do anything we put our hearts too. No dream is too big and if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. And there is no rush like an inspiration rush to push you to become the best you can be.

I hardly felt the weight of the NX300 at all even when I bring it along to interviews or events for work. It’s small enough to fit into my handbag and light enough to not hurt my shoulders. Yet it is powerful enough to capture the best moments of my day without fail.

This was taken with the Beauty Mode that automatically fixes my complexion for me hehehe. The NX300 really just fits into the busiest lifestyle whilst helping you freeze and preserve precious moments on the go.

Working is great, really. I’m meeting more people than I ever dared dream and I’m doing and writing about things that actually matter. I go to sleep feeling all kinds of accomplished every night.

At the same time, it’s making me appreciate the little things more too, simple things like having the time to grab lunch with the Ninja Rabbit.

He’s also enjoying his work tremendously and sometimes, we do both make the mistake of getting too caught up with our jobs and that’s when the fighting ensues haha. So lately we try and make it for lunch together so we get to see each other as much as possible.

This is my current favourite thing to eat right now — spicy soup pan mee!! It is spicy in just the right amounts (most other pan mee stalls go no where near spicy despite calling it spicy pan mee -.-) and its noodles is chewy and springy, not mushy and gross. I’m salivating just looking at this photo!

We eat simple most days because we both unanimously agree that hawker food is the best kind of food. Where else can you get palatable offerings that are both cheap and good?? I also am becoming rather sick of restaurant food because at most events, we do get served all the expensive foods and they’ve all started tasting rather bland to me. Hotel buffets are the worst. They all have this hotel-food taste to them, am I the only who feels that way?

There are still a few gems here and there of course.Like the other day when we had a media review with Tonkatsu by Ma Maison.The food there was amazing.

I also learnt that day the NX300 photographs incredibly well under low-light! The place was rather dim with only the occasional orange spotlights lighting up small corners of the room, yet the NX300 managed to capture every small breadcrumb our Tonkatsu came in, not to mention every grain of our multi-grain rice lol. It got every sliver of the chopped cabbage too!

I’m not exaggerating, look at the crumbs on the fried ebi tempura! It’s got the bokeh in the background down pat too hahaha. This is the most DSLR-like mirrorless compact I’ve ever had my hands on! I’m so thoroughly impressed by its sharpness and clarity.

It’s Night Mode is even more amazing.

This was taken with no help from a tripod whatsoever. I just pointed the camera, and took the shot. Amazing, isn’t it? It was close to 11pm at the time and usually with my DSLR, I would have to become a statue myself otherwise the smallest shake would be registered on the outcome photo. I took this with the NX300 without needing to hold in my breath, tucking my arms into my ribcage and all the other ridiculous things I usually have to do.

Here’s another sample of their Night Mode shot. The girls were walking at quite a brisk rate but the camera managed to capture them without the slightest motion blur, in Night Mode. That’s really saying something!

The colours that result are incredibly vivid too.

Its macro-function yielded even more delight.

Bear in mind this was all taken at 11pm at night, when most of the shops were already closed and the lights turned off. All we had to work with were whatever available light we could draw from streetlights and the moon.

I’ve developed this habit that annoys the Ninja Rabbit like nothing else since the NX300 came into my life hahaha. It’s all kinds of satisfying when I get to just point the camera at something and click on the shutter, and have amazing photos turn out without much tinkering of the shutter/aperture dial. It’s a point-and-shoot camera that gives you photos of DSLR quality, how cool is that? You can control it like a DSLR too of course but some moments are gone too fast and by the time you got all the settings right, you’re too late. It helps to have a point-and-shoot feature that delivers equally as great. I’m gonna miss it when I have to return it.

They also have this really cool Fireworks feature, that helps you capture, yup, fireworks hahaha!

I thought I was never gonna get the chance to use that feature since what are the odds that you’ll come across a fireworks display in the middle of August. Guess what! The chance turned out to be rather high! LOL

My jaw literally fell when I saw the outcome. Fireworks have always been one of the hardest things for me to capture, even on my DSLR. I could never get the light to look smooth and streaky like that. Mine always looks a little broken up haha. I just set the NX300 to Fireworks mode and pointed it at the show in front of us, and voila!

Here you go, a few more takes for your viewing pleasure ^_^ I certainly couldn’t get enough and would have taken even more had the fireworks lasted longer!

What about its flash?

Generally I don’t like using the flash when taking photos, but I guess there will be times when that cannot be helped. We tried that out, and I gotta say, it’s very natural.

Being a working adult has its perks. We can now afford a lot of other luxuries we never used to as students. I’ve been surprised by romantic dinners and a few gifts from the Ninja Rabbit that I’m still trying to get used to. This was our dinner at Victoria’s Station the other night to celebrate the arrival of August, or what I call my Birthday Month hehehe. For those of you who might not know, I celebrate my birthday all-month long because to only have one day to feel special kinda sucks.

The flash doesn’t leave everything in a horrid white-wash effect and my favourite part? With the proper setting on Manual, you can have the background light up too! I hate it when people take photos with flash and everything behind becomes non-existent, just this endless blackness. The NX300 managed to get me just what I want with a little Aperture adjustments.

Yes, Alfred came along on our little date too hehe. We snuck him in in my bag and brought him out jsut as dinner was served xD

Look how bright our background turned out and how pretty the colours melded into one another! No more stark contrasts and non-existent backgrounds with the NX300! You can almost see every glass and bottle lined up on the bar! The possibilities on this camera is truly endless if you know how to fully utilize its capabilites!

The Ninja Rabbit even got me a rose in my favourite colour — peach ♥

Outstanding photo quality and low-light performance aside, the NX300 is fully WiFi compatible too! What that means is that you can upload your photos to any social networking site or sync them with your phone wirelessly. Can you imagine the convenience of taking your photo now and having it on your phone almost immediately? Instagramming is now so much easier! Haha.

So there you go, an average day in my life right now, documented fully by the NX300. It is everything you’ll ever need in a mirrorless camera. Powerful enough to deliver amazing shots and freeze the most precious of memories, yet small and light enough to not have it get in the way of your hectic lifestyle. While the camera makes it easy enough for any user to achieve beautiful image quality, it gives serious photographers the tools they need to take their creative expression to the highest level.

They’ve even got a cute video to show just how at par it is with DSLRs in terms of performance.

Do big cameras really take a better picture?

I would have said yes, just like the rest of them in the video, but now, having tried out the NX300, I’m really not so sure…

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