The Samsung Galaxy Camera is the first camera to offer not only Wi-Fi functionality and 3G data connectivity. This is combined with the 4.8in touchscreen, 21x optical zoom and Android OS, meaning the Galaxy camera truly bridges the gap between smartphone and traditional digital camera. We see if it's the future of digital photography in our Samsung Galaxy Camera review...
The Samsung Galaxy Camera looks to bridge the gap between smartphone and compact camera with an impressive imaging specification and unprecidented digtal camera connectivity.
There’s no denying that smartphones are becoming the take-everywhere camera of choice for many photographers. Of course, there are still limitations to conventional smartphones, and this disparity between smartphone and full-blooded digital camera has created a gap in the market for a marriage between the two. In to this gap arrives the Samsung Galaxy Camera.
Samsung Galaxy Camera review – Features
Dubbed the ‘Connected Camera’, the Samsung Galaxy Camera boasts the bare bones to rival many a conventional digital camera. At the core of the model sits a back side illuminated 1/2.3in CMOS sensor, the same found standard compacts like the Samsung WB850F, and larger than that found in a smartphone. The sensor offers full HD video capture at 1080p and 30fps alongside traditional stills capture.
As mentioned, an area in which the digital camera still trumps the smartphone is with regards to optical zoom. This is a fact Samsung is clearly aware of, as the Samsung Galaxy Camera packs quite the optical punch. It features a 21x optical zoom that covers a focal range of 23-483mm in 35mm equivalent terms and has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the zoom’s wide angle. The lens is also supported by optical image stabilisation technology.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is, in many ways, the epitome of convergence technology. It could be described as a smartphone with a serious digital camera, or a digital camera with smartphone technology – both of which themselves are convergence devices. In no area is this more apparently than on the rear of the camera, where the largest and most high specified screen ever found on a digital camera resides.
Impressive LCD screen
The Samsung Galaxy Camera’s screen measures in at 4.8in and features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, thus gaining the HD moniker from Samsung, while it also benefits from full capacitive touchscreen technology. The screen features a 16:9 aspect ratio that, while perfect for HD video capture, does mean that if you’re utilising the full resolution of the camera’s sensor you will have to shoot with black tramlines down the sides of the image.
Samsung has placed an emphasis on connectivity in its compact and CSC cameras of late – such as the Samsung NX20 – as is evident in the incorporation of Wi-Fi in these devices. The Samsung Galaxy Camera also benefits from integrated dual-band Wi-Fi technology, although that’s just the start of its connected capabilities, as the Galaxy Camera is the first digital camera to feature integrated 3G technology and offer cellular network connectivity.
Google Android OS
It does so through the implementation of the Android 4.1 – also known as Jellybean – operating system, thus offers access to the Google Play store and over 600,000 applications sold therein. Not only does this mean that you can finally play Angry Birds on your camera, but you can access a wide range of photography applications to both edit and share images on the go, as well as expand the functionality of the camera and keep it up to date.
When you purchase your Samsung Galaxy Camera it’ll come boxed with a micro SIM card on the 3 network, complete with 30 days of data usage. Furthermore, purchasers will be given 50GB of Dropbox storage for two years, to which you can upload your images remotely from the Galaxy Camera.
Samsung is keen to push the serious photo capabilities of the Galaxy Camera, and as a result it features full PASM image capture functionality. Alongside this advanced functionality are the traditional shooting modes to make life easier for the relative novice. This includes the default ‘Auto’ settings, as well as a range of Smart settings including ‘Action freeze’ and ‘Rich tone’.