May 8, 2013

Mother's Day, my way plus a Father's Day bonus. Hello smart camera!

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. I was recently asked to check out a Wi-Fi direct smart camera and share my thoughts.  How convenient since it's almost Mother's Day! This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #pixbundle 

Mother's Day and I are what you might call frenemies.  On one hand I think it's a sweet holiday honoring a position in life that many women hold which goes unrecognized for all the sacrifices involved.  The few at the top of my list would be privacy, sanity and the ability to have even a fleeting sense of diminished responsibility.  All of those went flying out the 6th story hospital window the second Kayla was born.  And still, I wouldn't change a thing.

Mommy Testers Samsung NX1100 Wi-Fi Smart Camera bundle from Sam's Club #pixbundle #cbias


On the other hand I quickly discovered just how naive I had been in thinking that becoming a mother would actually make Mother's Day a holiday about me.   Yeah...not so much.  It's still almost exactly the same as it was for the twenty years prior. Scrambling around trying to find the perfect gift for multiple elders, racing the deadlines for all the photo gift sites and spending the day or surrounding days in transit either back to NY or up to my MIL's house.

Perhaps Mother's Day and I got off to a bad start.  It may have something to do with the fact that on my very first one, when Kayla was just 4 months old I had expectations.  I'm not big on receiving gifts, I prefer to give them. But I will say that after carrying a baby for 9 months on my 95 pound frame, staying up nearly all night every night for months with a reflux/colicky baby and returning to work after taking just 4 weeks off I expected something for Mother's day.

Mommy Testers Samsung NX1100 Wi-Fi Smart Camera 20-50mm lens from Sam's Club  #pixbundle #cbias

So I saw red when on Sunday morning Craig sheepishly admitted that he didn’t know what to get me, so he didn’t get me anything.  What?  No card? No framed baby hand print? No sentimentally void, yet still useful J.Crew gift card?  Nothing.  You can imagine how the rest of the day went...there were death stares and one word answers to questions.  Fast forward four years and things have changed dramatically thank goodness.  

He has become much better on the show of appreciation/not a completely oblivious man front.  Last October we took a little getaway to Cabo,  had one of the most amazing weekends ever and I happened to mention I loved the robes at the hotel.  I was shocked recently when he handed me a giant box and I found a robe inside that had been flown in from our hotel in Cabo because he remembered months later. 
 

Mommy Testers Samsung NX1100 Wi-Fi Smart Camera digital display from Sam's Club  #pixbundle #cbias

However, there are certain things I know are better left to myself to take care of, electronics is one of them.  We've got a 12 year age gap, maybe it's a generational thing...maybe it's just a Craig thing.  Regardless, as the reigning millennial I am tech support in this home.  What you may not know is that as much I love myself a designer handbag, I am a nerd at heart and am always wanting to tinker with the latest in consumer electronics. So when I started hearing about Samsung's new WiFi enabled compact smart camera the NX1100 I was interested.   When I heard that it could rival my bulky Nikon DSLR in image quality I was dying to check it out.  



You see, I love my current camera, it has literally transformed my blog with the photos it allows me to take and I have never taken a class or so much as read a real tutorial on using it.  However, there are a couple of things about it that drive me up a wall.  First, it's huge and heavy.  I've dragged it across the country at least a half dozen times now and each time I still feel mad that it weighs more than my laptop.  Second, it blows my mind that every time I shoot a series of photos for a project I have to go, plug it into my computer and wait for all the photos to load before choosing which ones to import.  Even if I just need one photo from the camera...tedious and stone age.  

I decided that this Mother's Day we'd take a trip of our own to Palm Springs to relax as a family and I'd actually treat myself to something I wanted rather than waiting around to see what Craig would come up with and quite frankly I think he was relieved when I stated it point blank last week.  So a few days ago I headed to Sam's club in search of the elusive NX1100 and found myself in shock when I saw that they carry the NX1000, the previous model for $549.00 yet were offering the NX1100 in a bundle that included a Galaxy Tab 2 and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for $599.00



You know I'm not a couponer at all.  But I am an Amazon price checker.  The Adobe program alone is $104 on Amazon.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab will run you $179, so now you get the idea of just how uh-mazing this bundle is.  Even the guy behind the photo counter was telling the woman next to me that "you're basically getting a free tablet" and it's true.  So without much hesitation I decided that this would be my gift.  A gift my husband would never come up with on his own but one that I really wanted.  Plus I had a plan for the tablet.  

Back at home there was no way the NX1100 was waiting in a box until Mother's Day, I had to give it a test drive and honestly, I was surprised by the results.  Ever the skeptic, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that something so much smaller than the typical Nikon and Canon DSLR's could produce similar results.  I had serious doubts about its ability to replicate the so-crisp you-can-practically-touch-or-taste-it photos from a DSLR, but here are a few shots I took with the NX1100.

 Dinner from last night...I don't know about you, but those pieces of avocado leap out at me.  


Food photo taken with the Samsung NX100 smart camera #pixbundle #cbias

The one and only sock stealer in our home...yes, you can see all the little hairs on his furry face and I love that the background blurs like with my DSLR.

pet photo taken with the Samsung NX1100 smart camera from Sam's Club #pixbundle #cbias

Even better than the fact that I truly felt the NX1100 could hold a candle to my DSLR is the fact that there are so many options for moving photos between devices.  You can download this free Samsung Smart Camera App on your phone that allows you to instantly upload the photos as you take them, choose ones you've already taken, or email them to yourself or another person.

I have a hard time taking selfies with my DSLR because I need to get a tripod and have been dragging my feet.  I could not believe when I saw that you could actually set the NX1100 up how you want and then use the screen on your phone to see what the camera sees and actually trigger the shutter for the shot like a remote.  How freaking cool is that?!?  I bet we will have more photos as a family with all 3 of us in it as a result of that function.

Mommy Testers Samsung NX1100 Wi-Fi Smart Camera mobile link sharing from Sam's Club #pixbundle #cbias

To get a shot of the Galaxy Tab 2 I had to pry it from Craig's fingers for 5 minutes.  That's right, I decided he should have the tablet.  I know it's Mother's Day and I know you often hear tales of my "really?" moments in our relationship but big picture I find myself in a place of thinking I could not be a luckier woman. 

Why? Because I married a guy who has allowed me to be the kind of mother and woman I want to be.  He's a guy who was never threatened by the intense job I held or the money I made before having Kayla.  He has his own amazing career yet is modest about it - a rarity amongst those who populate Wallstreet.  He has supported me, believed in me and picked up the slack while I was hard at work trying to re-launch a career that better suited our family and my personal happiness.  



Wrapping the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 from Sam's Club #pixbundle #cbias

We butt heads sometimes, as all couples do but there is a fundamental common respect and equality that overshadows any moments of insanity.   So if there is someone else who deserves a little thank you this Mother's Day, honestly I think it's him.  Plus I lack the self discipline to hold out till Father's Day with this one :)


I knew I had made the right decision when within seconds of the tablet being charged I started hearing the familiar Samsung noises that his Galaxy III phone makes followed by little declarations of "oh cool"  and "no way." Quite frankly, I'm an Apple girl and had my own "no-it-diduun't" moment when I saw the TV channels start changing and Craig scrolling through a photo filled guide displaying what was live at that moment.  

 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 from Sam's Club #pixbundle #cbias

I can't tell you how many times I've been curled up on the couch working away on my laptop or iPad and found myself hunting for the remote so I'm now fairly jealous of his new toy.  For someone like him who isn't particularly tech savvy, the fact that he was able to sync his smart phone and the Galaxy Tab within a couple of minutes and no help from me speaks volumes.  

So if you've been wanting to upgrade from a camera phone and take awesome photos or you've been thinking about downsizing from a giant DSLR to a compact camera for travel and on-the-go use but don't want to lose the quality you're accustomed to I'm going to say that I think the NX1100 is a pretty great option.  If you're a do it yourselfer when it comes to Mother's Day or are thinking it might be time to drop a last minute hint then by all means head over to Sam's Club and see if you can grab the Samsung NX1100 smart camera and tablet bundle at your local store.  
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