Samsung Galaxy Camera – a camera running on Android firmware, sounds cool eh?
Samsung Galaxy Camera announced way back at IFA Berlin 2012 is an Android device with a 16MP 21X zoom digital camera with DSLR like features.
If you own or use a digital camera you may feel the need to tinker with the firmware or maybe not. This happens usually with hackers, who wish to get most of everything. This might be a good option for them as Android being the operating system but what about the picture quality? How good is it comparable to a DSLR? What price is available at? Is it worth the money spent?
If you too have these questions arising in mind, stay tuned to the review below.
Samsung Galaxy Camera was launched in India on 23 November 2012 for 29,900 INR. Samsung Galaxy Camera comes in a small package which contains the camera, 1650mAh battery, USB cable, power adapter and a wrist strap. We have already posted a unboxing video which you can view here.
Samsung can never improve on builds. Samsung Galaxy Camera measures 128.7 x 70.8 x 19.1 mm (5.07 x 2.79 x 0.75 in) and weighs 300 grams (10.58 oz) in a plastic body. It is available in two colors: white and black. We got a review unit in white which is not bad, but the black one has its own beauty. Comparing to the usual point and shoot cameras, this one is quite thick but still portable. It can be difficult at times to carry around, so its better to buy a carry pouch for travelling purposes.
Talking about the design, it has been designed very well keeping all the aspects of a camera. On the front, there is a 21X zoom 23mm wide angle zoom lens on the right hand side with a Samsung branding in the middle along with a AF-assist lamp and a rubber grip with Galaxy branding on the left hand side to provide a good hold.
Left edge has the 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB port and a hook for wrist strap whereas the right edge houses a flash pop-up button and the loud speaker.
On the top, there is the zoom adjustment with the usual double tap click to shoot button on the top of it along with the power button.
At the bottom there is the battery panel with the micro sim and microSD card slot along with the HDMI port. We can also mount the camera on a tripod by a screw.
The back sports a much needed 4.8-inch (12.2cm) super clear LCD corning gorilla glass 2 capacitive touchscreen display for a camera.
DSLR or any camera always lack these big displays and moreover, 720p (720×1280 pixels resolution) HD display like this which provides a better view of the clicked picture.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera features a Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU and a Mali-400MP GPU by Exynos 4412 Quad chipset. The camera runs Android 4.1 Jell Bean by 1GB RAM and 4GB internal memory with an option to upgrade via a microSD card slot supporting memory upto 64GB. This camera supports internet connectivity by Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot and 3G HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps to share pictures instantly on the go. It also has Bluetooth v4.0 and microUSB v2.0 for data exchange.
Adding to it also has support for Accelerometer, gyro, compass sensors and GPS. Samsung Galaxy Camera is powered by a 1650 mAh battery which we think is not sufficient while on the move. In our tests, we shot about 50-70 photos and 2-3 full HD videos 10 min each with some 2-3 hours of screen time and the battery came down from 50 percent to zero.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that pretty much suffices the software part with a huge app ecosystem.
Samsung, as usual, has bloated the operating system with some of their built-in applications along with Dropbox and Instagram which sounds sensible. Dropbox provides two year of 48GB with the camera and Airtel being the carrier partner in India provides 2GB of 3G data for the first two months.
Samsung Galaxy Camera is after all a camera so it has to perform well in order for its success and it actually does. The 16.3 MP camera with 23mm wide angle lens, xenon flash and 21X optical zoom clicks brilliant pictures which are obviously not what we can get with a DSLR but still comparable to them. We thought the best part of this camera is the 21X optical zoom by which we can capture clear pictures even if we are at a distance.
There are three modes of the camera:
- Auto mode
- Smart mode
- Expert mode
In the auto mode, the camera takes all the commands by itself. It adjusts everything according to the surroundings to capture the best shot possible.
The smart mode, somehow enhances the auto mode. After all nothing beat the human creativity. So if we add-on something to the auto mode in order to match the situation then we might get a better click than the usual auto mode. These modes are especially developed for n00bs who know what to use when but don’t know how to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, etc. Macro mode, action freeze, rich tone, and few more enhancements are included in this.
And lastly the expert mode which provides full DSLR like experience with the power of adjusting shutter speed, aperture, etc. all by yourself with program, manual and aperture mode alike what we have in a DSLR.
Sample clicks from the camera can be viewed here
You can see our Nokia Lumia 820 unboxing video which has been shot from Galaxy camera. To watch the video click here.
Samsung Galaxy Camera is more than just a camera. With the power of Android, the camera has the capability to share pictures as we click directly to the social networks. It also has the huge application ecosystem along with it which provides every kind of accessibility possible. The different camera modes makes it damn easy for anyone to click brilliant pictures without any knowledge of operability. Though the 16.3 MP camera can click shots lot better than the usual point and shoot but at this price tag we can get a basic DSLR which any day takes pictures better than this. The ease of operability makes it a win for n00bs who don’t want the hassle of adjustments or don’t know how to make the adjustments for a perfect shot at a perfect timing. So if you have money and don’t know about the adjustments spend on this, it’s worth then.
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