My favorite camera

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My sister was the one that piqued my interested in a smaller, more portable camera, and I have to say that it has been one of the smartest purchases I’ve ever made.

Other than cheap point and shoots, my Nikon DSLR was one of the first big purchases for Justin and I. We were inspired after seeing my cousin Kelley around the holidays back in 2009/2010, and she showed us the capabilities of the Nikon that she had. It goes without saying that you can’t really do much with a great camera unless you learn how or have natural ability.

Justin and I had absolutely zero ability with our new DSLR, but we had two small kittens, and were planning an upcoming ski trip, so Justin pulled out the DVD that came in the box and put it in our DVD player. I’m sure I laughed at him because WHO ACTUALLY WATCHES THOSE THINGS (that falls into the same category of “registering” your new dishwasher. . ?!)? But as it turned out, he learned a lot and actually taught me how to use the camera and get a nice blurry background.

He took these photos of baby Gravy and our first cat Biscuit!

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Over the years I got a little more comfortable, but it wasn’t until my girl Jordan sat down with me and REALLY taught me why and when to adjust the settings in manual that it clicked. I still feel like there is so much to learn, but I can say I’m pretty comfortable behind the camera these days.

So I had this enormous DSLR and then I had 2 kids. And pretty quickly I realized that I didn’t just want iPhone photos of my boys, but I also didn’t want to lug around a big DSLR.

My sister, like I mentioned, bought a similar Samsung and I played around with it when I visited her last December. It was exactly what I was looking for. I ended up buying the Samsung NX500 because it had better video capabilities than the version she had.

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I use this camera much, much more than my Nikon, and if I could go back in time I would have bought this one first. My Nikon is essential for shooting for the blog (both video and stills) but if I wasn’t a blogger, I wouldn’t even think twice about getting a larger DSLR when I could have so many great features on a smaller camera.

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I almost never use the kit lens my Samsung came with, and between my 16mm + 30mm, I use the 30mm 90% of the time. I only shoot in manual and find it really intuitive to manipulate the settings on the camera to get the look I’m going for in the photo.

It has a really easy to use wifi function that allows you to upload photos you take directly to your phone. So any instagram pic that looks a little bit crisper than an iPhone photo is likely shot with my Samsung! You can certainly upload photos to your computer like normal, but I find that more often than not I simply upload them to my phone.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

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Justin and I shot David’s birthday video with this camera, and my only complaint is that I should have used a different lens for some of the shots, but otherwise the clarity and color was great!

I’m no photographer, but I do love having nice photos of my kids, and cannot recommend this camera enough if you are in the market!

More camera recommendations? Check out the one I bought for Justin and a great camera for catching fun everyday moments.

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Michele says · 08.19.16

I’m a terrible photographer. The sole reason I got a digital camera (other than wanting to be one of the cool kids in high school, a dream which totally was out of reach and went woefully unrealized) was because when I got my junior prom photos back from CVS in 1999, they were awful. So I rationalized that I was wasting money on film and development, and my mom and dad got me my first digital for the following Christmas so I could just delete my sadder shots (they also upgraded me a couple of times over the years).

Now, married with a one year old, I am still terrible at photography. I had thought I might take an amateur photography class at the learning annex so I could at least learn how to maximize my cameras potential, but then reality set in…who plans to do things during their maternity leave???

Long story short, I admire your photography skills. I know most readers want you to come to their houses and do their hair, but if you are ever in Oramge County, New York and want to stop by my house to show me how to take a decent picture of my child or dog, my Keurig is all too willing to produce coffee for you:)

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Torri says · 08.19.16

I am going to look into this camera! How do you upload the photos to your phone?

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Kate says · 08.19.16

The instructions come with the camera. I’d recommend just reading that instead of me trying to walk you through the steps! Justin paired mine with my phone and it was pretty seamless.

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Amanda Lander says · 08.19.16

I am definitely going to check this camera out! I have a little girl who will be 3 in November and a 5 1/2 month old girl. They both move so fast that it’s so hard to get good photos on my iPhone. I have been thinking about getting a dslr but I really don’t want to be lugging it around to the playground lol. Your kiddos are adorable and I love watching them grow!

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Alyssa says · 08.19.16

This looks like my kind of camera! I’m certainly no photographer either but would love something to be able to take better pictures with.

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Erin S says · 08.19.16

Hi Kate!!! Love your blog! I have a Sony Mirrorless (very similar to your Samsung) and I LOVE it! I got it for the same reasons as you–I wanted a more professional camera for better quality pictures, but didn’t want a bulky camera with two kids. It is fantastic! I enjoyed today’s post! 🙂

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Kate says · 08.19.16

Nice!!

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Kate D. says · 08.19.16

I’m pretty sure that Samsung does not make cameras anymore. I can vouch for the Sony A6000 though, it’s a very similar style mirrorless camera with video taking capabilities. It is very compact and easy to carry along, especially with kids!

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Kate says · 08.19.16

Mine is less than a year old, and it’s still for sale!

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Kelly says · 08.19.16

Hi Kate! Where can I find this camera to buy? I have a DSLR too and never use it. I would love to have good compact camera.
Thanks 🙂

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Kate D. says · 08.19.16

You might be able to find it on Amazon through a 3rd party seller (just search for Samsung NX500) but reputable photography equipment sellers such as BH Photo or Adorama have it listed as discontinued on their sites.

http://www.photographybay.com/2016/03/08/samsung-nx-is-fading-nx500-discontinued-nx1-on-life-support/

I highly recommend the Sony line of mirrorless cameras or the Fujifilm X-A2. They are definitely comparable to the Samsung NX line.

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candice says · 08.19.16

It takes such great photos I currently just use my phone to take photos

Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

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Lauren says · 08.19.16

The links to the one Lauren bought and yours are the same – which one did she get? If it’s cheaper, I would be interested in knowing the model number.

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Kate says · 08.19.16

Oh sorry about that! I think hers was the nx300

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Kait says · 08.19.16

I would love to see a post either by you or Joradn, sort of a basic how-to, or simplistic descriptions on what all of those letters on the cameras mean! I know every camera is different but there has to be a general principles that stay true across the board right?
I’ve been admiring your camera for quite some time. With our first baby due soon, we decided to take the plunge, but when I went to purchase it, could not find it. I ended up the Sony a6000. It looks pretty…I can turn it on…
Maybe I should see if a DVD came with mine! 🙂

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lauren says · 08.19.16

Kate – where did you get David’s 2nd birthday shirt? I have a little guy obsessed with trucks who is turning 2 soon. Thanks!

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Kate says · 08.19.16

Etsy!

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Rachel says · 08.19.16

Very high-quality photos. Love the shots of the kitties 🙂

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Kelly says · 08.19.16

Hi Kate! Where can I find this camera to buy? I have a DSLR too and never use it. I would love to have good compact camera.
Thanks ?

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Kate says · 08.19.16

I linked to it in the post, but I would just search the name in google and see where it comes up!

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Debbie says · 08.19.16

I would love some advice on a camera that does not break the bank. These, yours and Justin are expensive!

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Kate says · 08.19.16

I find that you really get what you pay for, and since I use it to much I was happy to make an investment in it. Any camera that has detachable lenses is likely not going to be very cheap, but Best Buy often has a nice range on display so you can handle them and see what the features are/how it feels in your hand!

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Andrea says · 08.19.16

I haven’t ventured out into the world of mirrorless cameras yet. I’m still holding on to my bulky dslr. I love the fact that you can get the same quality as a dslr with these cameras and that you can change the lens!

http://www.thebeautydojo.com

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Lindsey Owens says · 08.19.16

I love your pictures! Is this camera “fast” like a DSLR?

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Anna says · 08.19.16

Love this post! I’m in the market for a mew camera before our little one arrives in December. What is the difference between mirrorless and point and shoot?

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Diana says · 08.19.16

I own the NX300 and I am so happy with it!! I’m actually thinking about getting another lens ( I own a 20-50 but I want something else. I sometimes like to do shoots at landscaping or more detailed work)
I like how this came has the quality look of a DSLR but the simplicity of a Digital Camera. One of the best investments I ever made.

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Ashley says · 08.20.16

I am looking at purchasing a camera for my blog as currently I am using my iPhone. Would you still recommend your DSLR camera for blogging over this new one? Any advice much appreciated. Thanks so much.

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Mel says · 08.20.16

This post couldn’t have come at a more better time! I’m hunting for a new camera. I know nothing about cameras but I want something quick and easy for my blog photos. I’m checking this out.

Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

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Ana Stefan says · 08.21.16

I have recently bought a Sony a5100 beside my first DSLR a Nikon d5100. I must say the Sony its so much easier to carry on, and it’s perfect for selfies while traveling and no one around for helping us. But when I have space in my luggage I surely bring my DSLR with me. I simply cannot replace it. Good article on this subject.

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Caitlyn says · 08.23.16

I’m so happy I stumbled upon this post! I am pretty new to the blogging world and have primarily used my iPhone camera because my point and shoot photo quality was below par. Do you think the Samsung camera produces photos of equal quality to the DSLR? In the coming months I intend to buy either this or the DSLR but I am definitely leaning towards the Samsung because of its portability. Great post and I look forward to reading more from you!

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Kate says · 08.23.16

Yes for sure!

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Jen says · 08.23.16

These are gorgeous photographs!
Jen / Velvet Spring x

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Amanda Franks says · 08.23.16

Hi Kate! Your blog is one of my favorites. Would you recommend your camera to take videos of your kids as much as pictures? I’m looking for a portable camera to video random moments. Thanks in advance!

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Tarryn B says · 08.24.16

I know this is a photography/camera post but I just wanted to say… Your cats are so beautiful! *heart eyes*

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Mia says · 08.24.16

Do you have a recommendation for a simple digital point and shoot camera with wifi?

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Sydni says · 08.24.16

I agree!! My first “real” camera was the Sony NEX-3. It’s long been replaced by better versions and now there are many others like the (pretty!!) Samsung. So easy to learn to shoot on, and so much better to carry on. And still great pictures!

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Aïchatou Bella says · 08.24.16

Love this post! Great shots, this camera reminds me of my SONY A5100. Having good images is so important as a blogger so I absolutely get your post.

xx,

Aïchatou Bella
http://www.stilettosandstandards.com

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Michelle | Birds of Berwick says · 09.01.16

I bought one of these Samsung cameras after your video talk on it the first time and LOVE it! I’m learning all sorts of tricks about aperture settings and shutter speed to make manual shooting more fun (come on, it can be stressful when you know nothing!). It takes beautiful pictures and I just love I can slip them into my phone so quickly and share them on instagram in just a few minutes. Thanks for the recommendation, Kate!

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Paige says · 09.16.16

Important question – if you were going on vacation to Disney would you take this camera or your dslr? I’m guessing you don’t have the zoom on this as you would a dslr with a mid size zoom lens.

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Kate says · 09.17.16

I’d take this and use my 30mm and 16mm!

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Kris says · 09.18.16

I love photography and you’re right, carrying around a huge DSLR is a pain sometimes. It may be time to upgrade to a smaller Point and Click. The cameras on our phones can only do so much! Great post!

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Samantha says · 09.20.16

I am thinking about buying this camera but am seeing that it doesn’t have flash. Has that been a problem for you? What is the quality of low light photos taken on it? Thanks!

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Ashley says · 11.23.16

Hi Kate!

I have this same camera, and I love the quality. However, I can’t seem to get it to send pictures to my phone with the WIFI feature. I have an iPhone. Do you have any suggestions or tips on how to make that work?

Thanks!

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Kate says · 11.23.16

UHG I know. Samsung has YET to release an update that will allow the camera to sync to the phone. It’s so annoying. Meanwhile I’ve been using an EyeFi card which gets the job done but it isn’t cheap!

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Megan says · 11.28.16

Kate! I just bought this camera after your high praises couldn’t get it to connect to my iphone and came to your page hoping to find something. With the eye fi card does that take care of the problem?

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Kate says · 11.29.16

I know-I have the same problem. And Samsung has NOT fixed it yet! VERY frustrating. The Eye Fi card does fix it, but it wasn’t fun to spend an additional $90 on something that should work on the camera.

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Megan says · 11.29.16

Ugh! I found a eye fi card for around $50 is there anythings specifications on it I need to make sure it has?

Kate says · 11.29.16

I don’t think so! It was pretty straight forward for me!

Megan says · 11.30.16

I found a way around it! Try this!

Follow this http://osxdaily.com/2014/08/08/change-dns-settings-ios/ guide on the AP_NX500 network after you have already connected with the nx wifi, and then, add the 8.8.8.8 to the DNS setting in the wifi. Then you will be able to browse your camera’s photo again. Let alone the control of remote viewer.

The problem may be caused by the mechanism changed by apple. iOS will not consider your phone as connected to a wifi if there is no DNS provided in the network. Hence the smart camera manager could not grad the wifi control from iOS since iOS don’t think the wifi is usable.

So after setting the DNS, the iOS thinks that the wifi is working and hands the control to the smart camera manager app.

Guys, don’t need to wait for the app update to use the app again, just change the DNS setting!

Katrina says · 12.06.16

Megan (and Kate), you are both life savers! I bought this camera after seeing it on a few blog posts and also haven’t been able to get photos uploaded after I updated my IPhone. I was seriously considering buying a Samsung phone after searching for a work around.
Thank you for posting and Kate, making mention of it on your insta-story or snapchat (i don’t remember which)

Sara says · 12.20.16

Omg you are the best. This has been driving me nuts! I wonder why just putting that 8.8.8.8 solves the problem? But I can’t believe it’s working now thank you for sharing!

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Jen says · 01.22.17

Hey! Are you still loving this camera?!? I think I’m ordering it this week…..would you buy it again? I have a big dslr but I’m looking for something smaller to take on a cruise! Thoughts?!?

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Kate says · 01.23.17

Very much yes!

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Jen says · 01.23.17

Thanks!

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Jen says · 01.25.17

Quick question! Do you use an iPhone with yours? I have the iPhone 6 and the Apple Store couldn’t even get it to link…. just curious if you use iPhone?!? Thanks!!!!

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Katrina says · 01.25.17

Jen, look at the post from November. Another reader Megan explained the work around to the iphone issue. It has worked for me since she posted this.

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Jen says · 01.25.17

Oh wow!!!! That worked!!! Thank you!!!!!!!

Codes says · 01.23.17

However, I can’t seem to get it to send pictures to my phone with the WIFI feature. I have an iPhone. Do you have any suggestions or tips on how to make that work?

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Ashley White says · 10.11.17

Hey Kate!

Do you use a microphone with this camera when recording? I find the sound is a little off when recording with the camera audio alone. Any suggestions are helpful! Thank you!

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Kat says · 11.06.17

What do you use for a tripod? I am looking for one that can hold an iPhone and a DSLR but doesn’t cost a million bucks!

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