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CameraZOOM-20140206190906648I’m not a big fan of Las Vegas as I’m not a gambler, not a big drinker, and really don’t like being in massive crowds of people I don’t know.

But being a mobile DJ, the best way to test new equipment was to head to Las Vegas for the Mobile Beat conference held at the Riviera. So I grabbed my new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and jumped on a plane to spend a bunch of money on sound and lighting equipment, and play with stuff I couldn’t afford.

Of course while I was at the conference, I had to test out the Note 3’s photo and video capabilities, right?  Click on the photos to see full-size images.

Let’s start at the hotel.  The photo above was taken outside the Luxor at night.  All of the photos taken were in just stock auto mode, but using an app called Camera Zoom fx.  Even with all the ambient light from Vegas the the Luxor, this photo turned out pretty well.

But inside the Mobile Beat conference the Note 3 showed off.  Check out these two photos of the Chauvet (IDJNow) and American DJ booths.


 Chauvet (IDJNow)


American DJ

That these photos turned out this well on a phone just blew me away.  Both captured all of the light and motion extremely well with no tracers or much blur.  And I can’t forget to mention all of the haze that was in the air from the various vendors.

CameraZOOM-20140208145020218So what about outside?  My wife and I took a trip with some friends out to the Valley of Fire State Park NE of Las Vegas. We took a ton of photos of the red rocks and stunning landscape consisting of vast expanses of mountains and desert.  For much of the day the sky was cloudy and the red rocks didn’t pop against the grey skyline and dark mountains.

But this photo of Elephant Rock stood out as one of the best.  Resolution was great, edges were sharp and the colors were on par with dedicate cameras.  Here’s a tip on Elephant Rock, by the way.  The “marked” trail will take you on a winding trail over and around rocks and desert for about an 1/8 of a mile.  Just walk a few yards off the road towards the SW for about a hundred yards from the parking lot and you’ll find yourself standing in front of the Elephant Rock.  We felt we were punked by the Nevada State Park system by walking all the way around… once.

And finally, we were at the Stratosphere for bit, and while we were at the top of the tower, a few brave souls decided to do the Sky Jump, which is more or less a controlled fall from the viewing deck down to the rubbery viewing patio at the base of the tower.  What a perfect opportunity for video, right?  So I present, some guy jumping off a 1,000+ foot tower with nothing holding him other than a thin cable and a motor.

I can’t say enough about the Note 3’s camera. Our friends were taking photos with their DSLR, and while they were able to zoom in a little better with a telephoto lens, their photos weren’t much better than what we were seeing with my fancy little camera phone.

To add to the camera abilities, I got unbelievable battery life from the Note 3.  We were gone all day in some very remote areas.  Normally the battery would have failed quickly as the device searched for a better signal, but I was using the GPS, social media, camera, Google Maps and more apps all day long and when we returned back to Las Vegas for dinner, I still had 40% battery life left.

The more I use the Galaxy Note 3 the more I love this phone including its size.  I can’t imagine going back to my Galaxy S3 anytime soon.

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with line of service from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own.



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