Mawddach Estuary with Nokia 1020 and Samsung galaxy 2

These are pictures taken on the extraordinary beautiful cycle trail alongside the Mawddach estuary in North Wales. And to me this shows exactly why Nokia and Samsung's approach to the development of camera / smart / phone technology is more useful than Sony's QX1 idea. 

Since I was on my bike, I wanted to travel light. But I also wanted to get decent pictures. In the past I've come up with all sorts of carrying contraptions for cameras when I'm cycling, but the Nokia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy 2 are far better solutions. I get ease of use, decent image quality and there is no problem carrying them safely. I get the really impressive image quality of the Nokia 1020 with it's panoramic wide-angle capability and the incredible zoom range from the Samsung. As you can see I took full advantage of all that.

Ultimately, I think Samsung have the right idea. Enable a camera with 'smart' technology which allows access to the internet, the cloud and is loaded with apps. for processing pictures on the move. If I so desired I could have transferred images very quickly to the Nokia and sent them wherever I wanted. Though yesterday I didn't and in fact posted a few pictures to my Instagram / facebook / Twitter accounts using just the Nokia. 

As I indicated in my post yesterday, for me the whole point about using smartphone cameras is the speed, ease of use and the ability to carry something light and simple to use that I can quickly get out to take pictures as and when. I can't see how an add-on camera module for a phone gives me that. If I want an aps-c sensor and interchangeable e-mount lenses I'll carry my Sony a6000, which gives me a much better 'photographic experience' as far as I'm concerned. Plus if I was desperate to post images to social media, isn't a smartphone by far the best option?

Technology however does take itself up blind alleys now and then and while the QX1 is probably a remarkable piece of technology, the question is does it benefit us as photographers? For me the answer is a resounding no. Yesterday the last thing I wanted to do was fiddle about with add on paraphernalia and lenses. Stopping to take a picture, slightly out of breath after cycling, the last thing I wanted to do was to mess around with a complicated piece of kit that is somewhat 'heath robinson' in it's look and implementation.

The Samsung with it's retractable lens and small compact size is an incredibly useful camera (if that's what it is) and lets me compose pictures using an incredible array of focal lengths. Small sensor admittedly, but in situations like yesterday it was absolutely perfect. 

I must admit the product I'm looking forward to most that is (supposedly) coming at Photokina is the Samsung NX1. Because of the possibilities that it offers. Adding all the smartphone technology into a camera (minus the phone of course) strikes me as absolutely the way to go. It's innovative and above all it's really useful. And it helps what I do, which is the important part.

Finally I have to return to my location and say that if you like cycling and you find yourself in North Wales, the Mawddach estuary cycle track is truly spectacular. A really special place to ride a bike. I will say however that in places like this I spend as much time off my bike as on it. But then that's no bad thing. I'm far from one of those lycra clad speed merchants with one eye on the tarmac and the other on their heart rate monitor and for me the pleasure of cycling these days is to give me access to places I can't reach by car. And rolling along on two wheels being more pleasurable to me than walking, I had a great afternoon. If you are in the area, treat yourself. 

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