Q&A with SH Lim of Samsung about the Galaxy Camera
Will Samsung be putting 4G into all its cameras?
No.The consumers want to connect more and more, so that is the direction that we will be going in. Whether we add wifi or 4G will depend on the consumers needs. Wifi is a very stable and affordable technology now, and for some users wifi is enough. The Android and 3G and 4G connected devices will be the premium cameras because of the extra costs of fitting it.
Would you consider launching a Windows camera?
For the time being Android is the most popular operating system, so we are concentrating on that, but we would look at producing a Windows version if there’s a demand.
Will you be putting Android and 3G/4G into your NX cameras?
If there is a demand and this camera is popular we will look at adding it to our other cameras. It would be a natural progression.
The Galaxy Camera is relatively large. Will there be smaller cameras with 3G/4Gin the future?
The wide screen is one of the strong benefits for the consumer. It makes the camera more enjoyable to use. It makes it easier to appreciate the picture quality when they see it on a big screen and its much more convenient for editing. Its much more difficult to edit images on a small screen.
Smartphone screens are getting bigger and bigger, because people prefer them, as it improves the experience of using the Android operating system. We’re prepared the sacrifice a little of the compactness for a better user experience, and we see the Galaxy Camera not as a camera for the pocket, but for the bag.
How long did the camera take to develop?
Usually it takes around a year to develop a camera, and the Galaxy was created over a similar time period. But we had a bigger team for the Galaxy Camera project.
Do you think there is a demand for such a camera?
This is a new category of device. It’s not a conventional camera, or a conventional phone. The camera is based on a lot of consumer research. People told us they want good optical zoom performance; they want to be able to edit their pictures, and then they want to be able to share them with others. At the moment no other devices can satisfy that consumer need.
Our plan is to continually develop this Smart Camera concept continually, with our existing wifi cameras and the new 3G cameras.
Will you be working to with app developers to produce apps that take advantage of the camera’s features and image quality?
Yes. We have already released our SDK (software Developers Kit) and hosted a Developers Conference for those interested parties. and some have already started to develop exciting apps especially for the camera which we will see very soon.
What accessories will you be producing for the Galaxy? You displayed some in a glass cabinet at the launch event.
We showed a prototype ring light, a flashgun, a wideangle adaptor and an electronic viewfinder, but we have no definite plans to produce these at the moment. We will see what the demand is.
A lot of people in the forums are asking why Samsung didn’t put a phone on it too, since it has a sim card. Would you consider this for future models?
This is primarily a device not for voice communication but for image communication, but if you want you can make a phone call using the Skype app and a Bluetooth headset.
Do you worry that people will find the camera too complex?
One of our aims at Samsung is to make our cameras easy enough to use without having to read the manual, and even easy enough for a child to use. Anyone who has used a smartphone will find the Galaxy Camera very easy to use.
Would you consider adding a pen to any future cameras, as you do with the Samsung Note?
Yes we would. A pen give more precise control which makes it easier for editing the pictures, in particular.
Does the Auto Cloud Back up have a limit?
We provide three different types of cloud for users of the Galaxy Camera. For back up we provide 50GB of free storage for two years, and then we will give you 5GB. You can pay more to increase the size of the cloud.
How do you see the camera market developing in the next few years?
At the moment the smart phone market is five times bigger than the digital camera market. In one sense this is a big threat to compacts, but this also presents a great opportunity. Why? Because all smart phones have a camera, so all smart phone users are also camera users. Smart phone users who want higher quality pictures and features such as optical zoom we will convert many of them to our smart cameras, which we see as complementary to the smart phones. We see demand for traditional cameras decreasing as demand for smart cameras increases.