Samsung Galaxy Camera
It is not a secret that Android is one of the most flexible mobile operating systems and that it can be installed on pretty much everything: smart-phones, tablets, multimedia players, laptops, consoles, car media systems, E-readers and even refrigerators. But this time I would like to draw your attention to a special item called Samsung Galaxy Camera. I have to warn you that this is not exactly the best offer of Android based cameras on the Market but so far it is the only one worth customer’s attention.
Samsung Galaxy Camera has been announced at the end of summer, 2012 and it was a pleasant surprise for those at the presentation and those watching it online. Yet, no one before dared to materialize an idea like this. A lot like with the Galaxy Note, so far the Galaxy Camera project has very contradictory feedbacks: some say that this is a breakthrough, others claim that smart-phones should be smart-phones and cameras should be cameras. Well, it looks like we have to do a little investigation on our own to find what we are dealing with.
So, let’s start with the specs. If I was asked to describe the Samsung Galaxy Camera in a few words, I would call it “an Android based media player with a 16.3 MP shooter on the back.” Under the hood you will find a 1.4 quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, GPS module (mostly for geo-tagging pictures but will work for navigation too) and all the other features one can find in a regular smart-phone (aside camera look and shutter button). On the back of the camera you will be treated with a 4.8-inch touch-screen display with a decent 1280 x 720 resolution capacity. The Galaxy Camera will also come in Wi-Fi+3G or Wi-Fi+4G versions but those can be used for data transfer only – no voice calls and whatsoever.
As you’ve probably guessed already, when not using it as a camera, Samsung Galaxy Camera turns into a regular media player with a great 720p display. Together with the access to Google Play and Jelly Bean on a board you can download and launch all the possible applications available on the market and enjoy them when bored or not taking pictures. Endless lists of editing applications offered for download can turn your camera into a portable editor running Android. For instance, you can use Instagram to add some filters and share a decent photo with your friends on Facebook.
Now – the most important part of the camera – the lens itself. Of course, it is an unmovable Samsung 16.3 MP Lens with 21x Zoom and F/2,8-5,9. The camera has a picture stabilizer and offers 100-3200 ISO. As far as the camera is navigated with the help of a touch-screen only, Samsung customized the original TouchWiz UI in order to make things comfortable in everyday usage. However, you can use voice commands to change focus distance, set timer and do other simple stuff. And the last but not the least – Samsung Galaxy Camera can shoot pretty decent videos with 1920 X 1080 resolution capacity with 30fps.
I do have to admit that the idea materialized by Samsung deserves a certain appreciation but as long as it’s the first product of a kind, it has a number of issues that will probable convince you to buy something else instead, especially with a $350 price tag. You do have to understand that a greater part of the final value belongs to Android OS and Google certification and the other part of the sum covers the camera expanses. HD Super Clear display with 720p resolution capacity and a quad-core processor are still things that are not given for free. In other words, 16.3 MP sensor leaves much to be desired. Of course, it takes a lot better pictures than any other smart-phone or tablet available on the market but it still can’t compete with photo-cameras of the price range mentioned. After a couple of test shots you will notice that sometimes noise can be seen on the pictures taken with ISO 100 and even for a regular amateur like me this is not acceptable.
In general, you still get an Android based media player with a satisfactory camera and not a good camera with Android OS in addition. Sure, cropping pictures and using different filter will come in handy to make your photos look better but I do believe that in this case camera’s quality should be a serious matter and the first thing to stand out. So, let’s hope that the next Samsung Galaxy Camera will be more about the camera and, probably, a bit less about Android. Though, I would like those to come along.