At the end of August, Samsung invited me out to Berlin for IFA. What’s IFA, you ask? I also asked that question. James looked it up and found out it was basically a huge electronic playground. I swear his palms started to sweat and his pupils dilated as he read about all the cool products that have been unveiled at IFA. He would have loved to go. Shame they wanted me!
However, I was pretty thrilled, especially because I’ve never been to Berlin before. The last time I was in Germany was when I was backpacking in my sophomore year of university. My friends and I wiled away the time at the Hofbräuhaus, drinking beer like all good backpackers do (at least they did in 1994), and then stumbled to the train station, where we were catching a train to Salzburg. Too bad we woke up in Budapest.
Samsung wanted me to have a play with their NX1000 camera, a pretty little white number that fits conveniently into my handbag. I was part of the “Imageloger” programme and my mission was this: to take images around Berlin and upload 10 images per day to the Samsung website. (And also to hear the news about their new Galaxy Camera, but I’ll write about that in another post about IFA).
I was joined by bloggers from around the world, mostly Korean, one Chinese, and a Brazilian. To aid us in our mission, the lovely chaps from Samsung whisked us around Berlin in a full-size tour bus, despite our small party of 14, and pushed us out the door at interesting sites. Berlin Wall: check! Museums: check! Brandenberg Gate: check! I feel that I’ve thoroughly seen Berlin, but I haven’t really experienced it – a good reason to go back with James and Baby.
The NX1000 is a fun little camera, with 20.3 megapixels of image-tastic power. As I said, it’s quite portable and has a nice range of interchangeable lenses. It comes with a 20-50mm lens (f3.5-5.6), but the Samsung chappies also lent me a 50-200mm lens to play with, too, so I could zoom in nice and close.
As a professional photographer, I’m always on the lookout for a good compact camera that I can use when I’m out-and-about and on holidays, so I don’t have to lug around my heavy pro Canon kit. The NX1000 is a good option and I enjoyed shooting with it. The only thing that I didn’t like was that there is no viewfinder. I’m kind of used to using one, but I suppose that the compact consumer market has decided against them. That being said, the “viewfinder” screen on the back is a good size.
Another thing that I like, as a professional, is the retention of a professional-style “wheel” at the top for choosing modes – and they are all modes that I’m used to, including Aperture priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual. And if I’m feeling lazy, there is the Programme mode and the Magic mode, which has a bunch of filters in it that you can use. I was playing around with the Old Film Filter. Used it on this picture of a sex shop (sorry – “erotic lifestyle”). What do you think?
The camera also shoots HD video, which is handy, but the only annoying thing is that my finger kept hitting the red “switch to video mode” button on the back by accident, so I’d think I was taking a picture, but was really recording a movie of my picture. After using the camera a while, I learned to hold my fingers to avoid this, but it’s something to keep in mind when using this camera. I’m sure they meant it to be a helpful button, but they way I hold the camera just didn’t work with it.
One feature that I didn’t get to use because I didn’t have Internet access most of the time, was the WiFi. You can upload photos directly from the camera to the Cloud, your email, Facebook, or Twitter. I thought this could be a useful and nifty feature – especially if you are travelling around (like a backpacker) and need to back your images up easily and regularly. Having been robbed while I was traveling in South America and losing a number of rolls of film, I think it is a great asset.
So without further adieu, here are some of the shots from my time in Berlin with Samsung. I hope you like them. I’ll write about IFA and the Galaxy Samsung Camera in a separate post.
I love the signal for “walk” at the traffic lights. It makes one think of a very efficient German man with someplace to be. Perhaps the Alps, in leiderhosen.
There are some beautiful museums in Berlin, including the Pergamon which houses this entrance mosaic from the eighth gate to the City of Babylon (bottom right).
A trend that I’ve seen in a few places is for lovers to write their names on locks and attach them to various places, like this bridge. I think it’s a cute idea, but not when they lock them to stone structures as above. I imagine they are hard for the city to remove without damaging the stone. Stick to chain link fences, people!
Here is the lovely Joanna Moura, who runs a blog in Brazil called Um Ano Sem Zara, which translates as “A Year without Zara”. She started the blog when she realised she had a shopping addiction and decided to buy no new clothes or accessories for a year. Not only that, but she would not repeat the same outfit twice in that year. She did it and has continued to offer the ladies of Brazil advice and tips on how to dress fashionably without breaking the bank. Her blog gets 20,000 hits a day.
The above images were taken at the Berlin Wall museum. There are pieces of the Wall all over the city, a reminder of a history that should never be repeated.
Near the museum, there are images printed onto the walls of what that road looked before and after the wall. In the second image, it shows how the Wall just suddenly started being built one day, dividing friends, neighbours, family and lovers.
In another part of Berlin, pieces of the wall have been turned into artwork by artists from all around the world.
Graffiti in general is a big think in Berlin.
Next time, it would be nice to do a bike tour of Berlin, instead of seeing it from the inside of a bus.
Just a pretty shot of a bike and a lifesaver ring.
Getting abstract with my NX1000.
These paintings adorned the doors to the toilets in a restaurant where I ate a lot of meat, potatoes, and sauerkraut.
Last but not least, here I am with some of my fellow Imagelogers at The Blue Man group. The Korean girl next to me, also know as Alps Rabbit on Flickr, was pulled up on stage to be the Blue Men’s “Wife”. Very funny. They gave her some tupperware full of squashed banana as a parting gift.