- Sensor:16.3-megapixel1I 2.3·inch BSI
- (back illuminated sensor).
- Zoom and optics: 4.1 – 86.1mm lens
- (3Smm film equivalent : 23-483mm),
- 21x opticalzoom. PhysicalDimensions:128.7 x 70.8 x
- Weight: 300-grams
- Easy to use
- Numerous ways to share your image
- I t s an Androiddevice inside
- Powerful processor inside
- Mediocre image quality
The Galaxy Camera is a nifty little camera that allows you to share images and video instantaneously. The only catch is that you’llbe sacrificing image quality for the pleasure of doing so.
Announced at the tail-end of Samsung’s IFA unveil last year,theGalaxy Camera is a curious device. It’s the Korean firm’s first ever attempt at creating a point-and-shoot that’s completely poweredby Android.While the Korean firm isn’t the first company to out an Android-powered camera (Nikon was first with their Coolpix 5500c), Samsung’s attempt seems to be the most polished.From a marketing perspective,Samsung has always used the termuconvergence”when talking about the Galaxy Camera, which isn’t always a good thing.Converged devices usually aren’t the best when it comes to performing their primary purpose and frequently make concessions to either usability or primary function.
Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Galaxy Camera. It’s a camera first and foremost ,with additional functionality being added, courtesy of Android.
The Galaxy Camera is a substantial device-one of the biggest point and-shoot cameras we’ve ever handled .Measuring at 128.7 x 70.8 x 19.1mm,it’s pretty hefty.The Galaxy Camera has a prominent front grip that helps you keep a handle on it while you’re shooting pictures. On the top of the camera lies the zoom rocker as well as the shutter button, along with the power button and the recessed flash, which you can pop up via the dedicated flash button on the right ofthe device. Flip the camera upside down and you’ll see the door that hides the1650 mAh battery, micro SIM slot and microSD slot.
The Galaxy Camera uses a 4.1 – 86.1mm lens (35mm film equivalent :23- 483mm) that’s capable of 21x optical zoom .As far as the image sensor is concerned, the Galaxy Camera utilizes a 16.3-megapixel 1I 2.3-inch BSI (back-illuminated sensor).
The Galaxy Camera is powered by Android4.1 Jelly Bean. Inside its bulky frame rests a 1.4GHz quad core application processor paired with 1GB of RAM. The device is driven almost entirely by its large 4.8-inch HD Super Clear LCD (TFT) touchscreen.
Whenever you switch the camera on, you’re taken directly to the camera interface. Using it is pretty straight forward, and there’s even a helpful on-screen guide that pops up each time you power on the camera. As in most cameras, there are also different shooting modes available on the Galaxy Camera, which include Auto, Casual, Smart Pro and Expert.
In Expert Mode, the camera allows you to mess around with the shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity, much like a dedicated DSLR would.
The Galaxy Camera can take full high definition video (1920×1080,30fps), high-definition video (1280×720, 30fps), slow motion video (768×512,
120fps) as well as video optimized for sharing (320×240,30fps).On the Android side, the Galaxy Camera functions much like any other Android 4.1 device. Samsung decided to put their TouchWiz U lon top of the stock Android experience (naturally) with a few tweaks thrown in especially for the camera. Things like the camera widget that allow you to change the shooting mode of the camera, without actually going into the camera function right away
help you get things done faster. Aside from that, everything is undeniably Android-down to its access to the Google Play store.
As far as performance is concerned, the Galaxy Camera can keep up with the best of them. On AnTuTu’s benchmark, the Galaxy Camera was
able to notch a score of 1S782,which is just a hair lower than HTC’s One X+ and the Samsung’s own Galaxy SIll. That means it’s more than capable of running whatever app you throw at it.
Because of its Android core ,the
Galaxy Camera is the ultimate sharing device. It’s capable of sharing images as soon as you take them through a variety of means-Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Google+, lnstagram, Picasa
or Wi-Fidirect. You can even edit your pictures before actually uploading them to wherever you choose. No
Wi-Fi? No problem. You can stick a micro-SIM in there and use a data connection to upload your pictures.
As far as image quality is concerned, the Galaxy Camera is a bit meh.
The camera’s auto mode doesn’t do enough to correct white balance problems in pictures ,and we noticed that the noise is certainly a problem, even on lower ISO levels. At lower resolutions, the images produced by the Galaxy Camera seem decent, especially when viewed on the 4.8-inch touchscreen. But If you take those same pictures and put them up in a 24-inch monitor, then you start to see imperfections. It’s a decent camera, yes, but at its price point, we were expecting something more.
Battery life has always been a concern when it comes to reviewing Android devices, and that hasn’t changed with the Galaxy Camera. Thankfully ,the camera goes into deep sleep mode after a period of inactivity which preserves whatever juice is left in the camera for later shenanigans. You’ll only notice the hit in battery life once you go out and use the camera for extended periods of time, or if you try to use it as an Android device (browse on Facebook, play Android games) which isn’t the point of the device.
So, should you buy the Galaxy Camera? Well, that depends entirely on how immediate your sharing needs are when you take a picture. Multiple connectivity features allow you to share your images as soon as you take them, but you’ll be sacrificing image quality for the privilege. Make no mistake-the Galaxy Camera’s image quality isn’t bad per se. It’s just that we were expecting quite a bit more especially when you consider its steep, PHP 23,990SRP.
First published in Gadgets Magazine February 2013
Words by John Nieves