Friends and some readers have asked me for camera recommendations before, but I always ask them: What kind of photography are you planning to do? I am specific about a digital compact alternatives to DSLR because I know exactly the type of photography needs which I have. I don’t waste my brain capacity trying to figure out technical specs but I know what sort of functions and features I need in a compact camera that serves my purposes.
1. The compact camera has to have flippable display,
2. The lens must be interchangeable.
In this multi-part article, I am sharing my thoughts on the Samsung Interchangeable Lens Cameras aka the NX system cameras. To start, the camera in focus (heh) is the Samsung NX300M.
NX300M 20.3MP with 18-55mm Lens
I’d wanted to film short cooking demos on video for a very long time since I cook at home pretty much all the time. I didn’t have the right equipment to make this happen when I relied on my Canon 5DMkII. It is shyte when I had to go into LiveView mode to activate video and then that darned mode requires manual focusing too. I gave up DIY-ing it using a DSLR and sulked in a corner. All that changed when I purchased the Casio EX-10. I suppose I can get a proper video camera but since compact digicams are perfectly able to capture high definition videos, I’m saving money by using a great camera that can handle both photography and videography well.
Now that I’ve begun producing my food videos consistently, a flippable screen is absolutely a must-have as I need to be able to see immediately whether the camera’s focusing during my mise en place. The ability to focus quickly in various lighting conditions and responsive touchscreen are also features that are top on my wishlist. When I have both hands dipped in different trays of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs for a croquette recipe, I ain’t gonna press camera buttons with slimy fingers to figure out focusing!
The camera I’ve been using in the last six months or so is the Samsung NX300M which I purchased in the spur of a moment. I ended up being really pleased with its performance as it’s helped me capture cooking video footages quickly and smoothly. I’m having issues figuring out the proper exposure settings on video though. There are spots in my kitchen that always get underexposed even though the general space is bathed in natural light.
What I like about this camera is its portability, of course. I brought this camera with me during my trip to Seoul. Some pictures from that trip shown as examples below but feel free to view more at the individual travel post here, here, and here.
Sukiyaki Beef and Ricecake in a Shovel
Samgyeopsal… (Lawd Have Mercy)
Cuttlefish and Octopus Chips
Avocado Nacho Chips
Feels appropriate to bring the Samsung camera to Seoul and take photos of Seoul eats, doesn’t it? :9
And here’s me knitting in a parallel universe. I had to include this video because I did not expect it to fare so well in low light condition, that kinda took me by surprise.
The thing I don’t like about this camera is the position of the video record button. It has resulted in many unintentional recordings when my thumb brushes against it while gripping the camera. It’s too hyper sensitive and I have acquired many junk footage of the ceiling, or floor.
One question I get asked a lot online is, “What app do you use to create your food videos on Instagram?”. This post answers that once again: I do not use an app to film those snappy videos. I produce them the “old skool” way, ie. set up tripod to film with camera, upload to computer and edit using software, pick a soundtrack, followed by rendering the final cut and compressing files. At this point I’m not finished yet, I have to re-upload the file back to cloud, transfer it into my phone, and then share on social media as final step. It’s tedious so every “Like” I get is a virtual pat on my back and it makes me happy when people tag their friends, or leave comments letting me know that they enjoy watching the snappy vids. Thank you, y’all!
Having an app to to help me bypass many of these steps would be cool, but at this time I wouldn’t trade my workflow because I like having control over the art direction and style of the videos. For this intent and purpose, an indispensable equipment for me is naturally the right camera. The NX300M has done a decent job for me so far.
Find out what I think about other Samsung NX cameras: NX3300 and NX500. More articles coming up soon!