Friday, 2 December 2016

Roadtrip with a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

We took Noah our 18 month old for his first road trip to Gandikota, a beautiful hill fortress 300 km from Bangalore city. We started from Bangalore at 6:30 am and in an hours time was out of city limits and cruising down Bangalore Hyderabad highway.
Roadtrip to Gandikota
Blue Sky and an Empty Highway 
Family Roadtrip
Lil Noah, Neeti and Me 
gandikota roadtrip
Soon we were off the wide national highway 
Since we were travelling with the little one we made a lot of pit stops on the way, the below image is from pit stop number 2. We stopped at a small tea stall in a remote village to ask for directions
roadtrip with my one year
Tea Shop Pit Stop 
Just before reaching Gandikota there was a very bad stretch of road, the asphalt had been ripped off and there was just rocks, mud and dust. Yes we ended up taking the worst road possible, bad job navigator !
Bad roads in Kadappa
And then there was no road 
We reached Gandikota by 1:00 pm and went straight to the fort but it was too hot so we decided to have lunch at a resort close by. The resort( not much of a resort) is run by the Andhra Tourism Department and is quite poorly maintained but there is nothing else anywhere nearby other than some tea stalls so.. 

We thought we will stay at this resort but when we saw the condition of the place decided to look around for another place. 70 kms from Gandikota is a town called Kadapa where we found another Govt run hotel Harita Kadapa. We decided to try our luck with that. It was nothing fancy but clean, very spacious but basic rooms. 
gandikota fort kadappa
Narrow passage that leads to the main gates
We were back at the fort by 11:00 am the next day. The pic above is the main entrance to the fort, you can drive your vehicle inside for about 800 meters but the road is very narrow and we got stuck for some time waiting for a on coming car to pass.

gandikota fort ruins
Charminar Tower at Gandikota
Charminar at Gandikota painted yellow 
The fort was built by Kapa Raja way back in 1123 and was later reinforced and made more impregnable by  Pemmasani Thimma Nayudu. Gandikota was under the Pemmasani for more than 300 years and played a vital part during the Vijaynar and Qutub Shahi periods.
Jamia Masjid Gandikoa
Jamia Masjid
 The Fort complex is made up of  thick stone walls surrounding the entire fort and inside lies a small village, a prison building, a large granary, a mosque and 2 beautiful temples.
Madhavaraya temple in Gandikota
Madhavaraya temple
Behind the fort is a huge canyon with a river passing through it, the view from up here is breathtaking! for this reason Gandikota is known as the Grand Canyon of India. The best time to see this natural beauty is around sunset as the rocks will be nice and orange and the greens around will contrast them beautifully.
Gandikota Grand Canyon
Gandikota Canyon
Gandikota Selfie
Gandikota Selfie 
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Camera Review
I bet a sun set would look amazing from up here !

Gandikota Fort
We went exploring outside the fort 
Mommy Love 
road trip in hyundai i20
Noah getting some shade 
My primary travel camera is a Fuji XE-2 which I kept aside this time since I wanted to test the camera on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I must say the camera performed extremely well especially at low light, I have listed down the pros and cons of the camera at the end of the post.
My Gear - Fuji XE-2 & Canon 50D + Tokina 11-16 mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens
My Gear - Fuji XE-2 & Canon 50D + Tokina 11-16 mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens  

Selfie Time 
We explored the fort and its surrounds for about 2 hours and started out journey back home. And this time we asked around for the beast toad to take to Bangalore and avoided the bad stretch of road. the drive back was lovely the weather was good and traffic was less, we made good time and reached Bangalore by about 8:00 pm. I would highly recommed anyone who is interested in photpgraphy to take this trip, you can take amazing landscape shots by the canyon or some street photogrpahy in Gandikota village or cover the ancinet fort ruins. You also pass though a lot of scenic spots on the way and back to Gandikota.
Fuji Xe 2
Fuji Girl 
Bangalore travel Blog
Way back home 
Late lunch at a road side dhaba 

Noah happy to be at the wheel
This trip was like a trial run, we wanted to see how our 1.8 month old would react to spending 6 hours in a car and we were pleasantly surprised . He actually enjoyed the trip a lot and did not fall sick and had a blast running around in the wide open grounds of Gandikota
Our trip ended with a beautiful sunset  

The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge really lived up to the hype, some of the best things about the phone were :

  • Focus was super quick ! faster I have seen on a cell phone camera . My son was running around all over the place and the S7 was able to lock in focus on almost every shot.
  • Low light is king on the Samsung Galaxy S7 , with its fast aperture of 1.7 combined with optical image stabilisation the phone can take some awesome low light shots 
  • Awesome depth of field with the 1.7 Aperture, you can really blur the background with this one
  • The camera can handle high dynamic range very well and I shot all my images on auto HDR mode 
  • Nice front facing camers with a wide angle lens 
  • The slow motion footage this camera produces can even beat the iphone  
Some things I did not like about the camera:
  • If you zoom in on a picture you can see that there is a lot of software sharpening going on 
  • Most of the images have a warm tone but this can easily bee fixed in post 
  • Tapping the heartbeat sensor on the back of the phone can be used to take selfies but most of the time my fingers kept searching of this sensor  and i ended up missing the shot
Hope you enjoyed this post, I will be uploading one more article on Gandikota with the pictures I shot with my big camera pretty soon. 
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