While there’s no doubting mobile phones have come a long way in the past few years, we’re yet to see the same leaps and bounds in compact camera technology. Megapixel counts have increased but the point-and-click has unfortunately remained more or less unchanged. To shake things up, here comes Samsung with its new Galaxy Camera, delivering the wireless network capabilities we’re used to seeing in smartphones.
Software & Apps
For now, the Galaxy Camera comes pre-installed with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, meaning it can run pretty much everything on Google Play (Google’s platform that allows you to browse and download music, magazines, books, movies, television programs, and applications published through Google). Like most Samsung devices the camera is skinned with TouchWiz, Samsung’s full touch user interface. Unique pre-loaded Samsung apps include S Suggest, Smart Content Manager, Paper Artist, Photo Wizard and Video Editor. There are also some nifty features such as Best Face, which allows you to combine different elements of individual photos for the best snapshots possible. Your Facebook News Feed won’t know what it has coming.
Performance in the Field
When it comes to taking photos, the Galaxy Camera gives you Auto, Smart and Expert Mode options that are conveniently similar to the DSLR or point-and-shoot experience. As you might expect, Auto takes care of all the details for you, for those who just want to get on with it. Smart Mode gives you 15 different pre-sets, for those who regularly find themselves in exciting scenarios like ‘Waterfalls’. Lastly, Expert Mode lets you adjust shutter speeds, apertures and ISO values. This one is for – you guessed it – the experts.
Pros and Cons
In terms of image quality, Android app access and support for 3G, 4G, WiFi and Assisted GPS, the Samsung Galaxy Camera is a winner, hands down. The fact that it’s capable of wireless networking means you can upload photos straight from your camera onto whichever social media platform takes your fancy: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Flickr. Perfect for the social media obsessive inside all of us. One thing the Galaxy Camera doesn’t feature, however, is RAW support. It’s also on the higher end of the price spectrum, coming in at $544.
Buy or Pass?
To put it simply: the Samsung Galaxy Camera’s photo capabilities fall somewhere between an entry-level compact and a low-end DSLR, with a price to match. If you fancy yourself somewhat of a semi-professional part-time amateur whiz photographer, this might be the camera for you; the picture quality is tops and you’ll be able to share your snaps with the world instantly.
Nitty Gritty Specs (if that’s what you’re into)
The Galaxy Camera features a 16.0MP sensor, a 23mm lens with 21X optical zoom, a 4.8-inch LCD with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and Xenon flash. All that goodness is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of dedicated on-board storage. In addition, it features microSD support for another 64GB and MicroUSB. Essentially, it’s a Galaxy S3 with a better camera and a 1,650mAh removable Lithium battery.