Living and working in Seattle, I find it hard to keep up with local events happening during the week and was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted to attend the PIX 2015.

Not only was a photography conference being held but Samsung would be hosting its third #DitchTheDSLR event and its first one announced to a core audience of photographers. In prior #DitchTheDSLR events, people around a certain main attraction, like Times Square, were approached to turn in their DSLR camera to receive a Samsung NX500 mirrorless camera.

Would you turn in your DSLR for a mirrorless camera?

Canon Film Camera

My photography career started early with film cameras–4th grade to be specific. From rolling film to developing to printing in a dark room, I loved my elementary school after-art-class activity. I borrowed film cameras and took them on camping trips and around town. My passion for capturing moments in time was sparked and continued through high school. I was on the yearbook and photographed action sports games.

Canon 35 mm film camera

I have always been a Canon girl. My dad owned the above 35 mm film camera that now collects dust. But Canon wasn’t impressing me with its oversea mirrorless model, which is now available in the U.S. I could add a lens mount and keep my favorite lens but would loose the auto-focus function. Was it worth it if I was looking to shed weight, probably not.

I have been researching mirrorless cameras for months.

I took too long and the model I wanted was upgraded above my price point. Having a Canon T3i with a 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens. It has been my companion and co-storyteller on my recent adventures. I wasn’t willing to let it go. Queue Andy, my husband, who still uses a Canon XSi but wanted to also upgrade. He doesn’t carry a DSLR on every trip. It doesn’t make sense to lug the 2.5 lbs of extra weight around, but I did and was one of the main reasons why I was in the mirrorless market.


I didn’t know what to expect. I drove and parked on the street to find a line out the door. The line started at 9 pm the night before and now wrapped around the building. I am horrible at guessing how many people, but I would have to say there were 200 people when I arrived at 9:30 am–the doors didn’t open until 11 am for the general public.

Lucky for me, I had a VIP media pass. I went to check-in, but didn’t know where to go. I went to wait in line just in case and continued to ask workers to help me out. I felt the enthusiasm in line as people talked about wanting a mirrorless camera for ages and were finally taking the plunge.

A staff member finally told me I know longer had to wait in line. I walked to the front and entered the trade show. I didn’t know it was a trade show, but camera and optic companies had displays of their latest and greatest products. My first and only stop was Samsung. I took pictures with my cell phone as I handed over the Canon XSi and the staff tossed it over their shoulder into a bin of others. The camera now is being recycled.

The staff talked me through the functions of the camera. I haven’t had one that connected to my smartphone. Now sharing pictures to Instagram doesn’t require access to a computer. No more uploading the RAW image to my computer, processing it, uploading it to my photo portfolio, and then sharing on IG.

I toured Tony Spark’s house with Samsung’s virtual reality device and blew DSLR cameras. What an interactive experience.

#DitchtheDSLR GIF

I had to get back to work, so I missed the photography sessions throughout the day. Fortunately, the sessions were recorded, so I was able to watch at home. Watch them here.

Opening the Samsung NX500

Not wanting to deal with all the packaging at the event, I couldn’t wait to get home to use my new camera.

1. What’s in the box?
#DitchtheDSLR2. Unpacking the camera.#DitchtheDSLR

3. Unpacking the accessories.

4. Camera and accessories. #DitchtheDSLR

I am not a product tester by any means, but I plan on writing a future post on the performance of the camera versus using my DSLR.

I’ve had time to test the camera through out my travels and local adventures and am enjoying the capabilities of the camera, especially the size and weight. The zoom uses buttons on the side of the lens, which is taking some getting used to. I have been trying to get use to the different buttons to adjust the F-stop and shutter. I do like the auto focus and the kit lens so far. Most of the initial impressions will hopefully fade away as my muscle memory takes over.

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