We handed over the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom to award-winning mobile photographer and Instagram sensation Ollie Lang for a two week test run. We asked him to simply get adventurous on the streets of London and do what he is good at using with the new hybrid device, which has both smartphone and lens camera living side by side.
Discover his thoughts on new features like the 10x optical zoom lens and the enhanced sharing capabilities, and also find out why he felt liberated by his Zoom experience.
But first, who is Ollie?
Ollie Lang is an Australian-born, London-based mobile photographer. Since becoming one of Instagram’s Suggested Users, Ollie has with amassed roughly 220,000 followers, a huge achievement for someone without any formal training.
“I always enjoyed using mobile phones for photography and then in 2008 I started to take it more seriously,” Ollie said. “I did this by getting involved with the online mobile photography communities.”
He has now set up the Mobile Photo Network, which is an online launch pad for mobile photography.
“Thanks to my followers, I have been able to start up this online community. As well as this, I have been able to partner up with festivals and professionals around the world, like the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney and the FORMAT festival in Derby.”
Ollie’s reach into the emerging world of mobile photography is now widespread. He recently lectured at the V&A in London on tablet photography and is cementing himself as one of the world’s leading mobile photographers.
Before delving into Ollie’s Top 5 reasons to shoot using the Zoom, we asked him to tell us a little about his methods to capturing such amazing shots.
“I consider myself to be a traditional street photographer, so exploration is at the heart of what I do. I am constantly trying to capture more than just images; I look for people, stories, emotions - there has to be something sublime about the moment,” he said. “In terms of the Galaxy S4 Zoom itself, my approach was to have fun with the lens and really try to create images using different focal lengths.”
1. Make sure that you are fully charged. Taking photos takes up a lot of battery and you can run out quickly.
2. Understand light and how it affects an image. Look at how the Masters used light as well, this can help.
3. Work with images that you enjoy taking and then use your editing suites and filters to make more of them.
4. Talk and interact with people who are as passionate as you are about mobile photography.
Ollie's Top 5 Tips
1. Take control
“I use a lot of mobile devices, and the Zoom’s full manual controls is something that I really enjoyed. Normally you can’t play around with photography settings like the ISO, shutter speed and aperture, but Zoom lets you take full control of these and, with regards to your creative side, it’s very liberating.”
2. Made to move
“One of the main parts of being a mobile photographer is being out and about. So, the Zooms compact size is a definite plus. Especially considering it has a 10x optical zoom, normally to get his kind of lens you are looking at a bigger piece of equipment.”
3. Get a grip
“A big concern I have when working is dropping my tools. The job involves getting amongst the action, so a less obvious benefit of having an actual lens ring on the front is that you have a very natural way of holding the device. Having the lens ring to hold is also useful for framing your shots when at full zoom.”
4. A new type of sharing
“Sharing is not new, but having a device with an actual lens and being able to share is something to enjoy. It opens up the possibilities of sharing in that your creativity is not limited to the usual digital zoom technology. It means friends and family can keep connected to more of your photos.”
5. Handling the light
“Capturing at night, or even landscapes, can be difficult with handheld devices. The smallest movements can ruin a great picture.
One thing I noticed about the Zoom was that it has a tripod connection, which is something most smartphones don’t have.
And add to this the S Voice capabilities, which means that I don’t have to actually touch the screen to take a picture, and the Zoom is set-up for taking these more difficult shots.”
The person who benefit most would be someone looking to take a step towards being a more serious mobile photographer
A perfect match
Finally, we asked Ollie to think about who would best partnered with the Galaxy S4 Zoom.
“I think anyone who is into photography will really get a lot from the Zoom, but the person who would benefit most would someone who is looking to take step towards being a more serious mobile photographer,” he said.
“The Zoom lets you explore and connect at the same time and can really help the dedicated photographers out there.”