Samsung Android Galaxy Camera Review

It’s time to take your food and party Instagram photos to the next level. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is the world’s first camera with a mobile operating system and full mobile connectivity. It runs on Android and uses a SIM card for mobile service. For this review, Samsung provided a camera that works on AT&T’s 4G network. Mobile connectivity means you can upload photos no matter where you are – no Wi-Fi necessary. As long as you’ve got a mobile signal, you can share photos and videos, just like you would with your Smart Phone.

What makes the Samsung Galaxy Camera different from a Smart Phone is its larger 1/2.3-inch point-and-shoot sensor and a 21x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization. Basically – Samsung put an Android operating system into a camera, instead of putting a camera into a Smart Phone. The Samsung Galaxy Camera also has a pop-up flash and a custom camera app that offers full manual controls as well as a suite of scene modes. And of course, since it’s an Android device, you can install whatever apps you want for social networking, photo editing – even music or games. The only thing the Galaxy Camera can’t do is make phone calls – although if you install the Skype app and use a headset, it can do that, too.

    Samsung Galaxy Camera Camera Pros
    • 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS point-and-shoot camera sensor
    • 21x 23-483mm optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization
    • Android OS with apps
    • Full 4G mobile connectivity
    • Cool custom camera app with P,A,S,M manual controls
    • Beautiful Super AMOLED touchscreen display
    Samsung Galaxy Camera Cons
    • Image quality is disappointing
    • No mobile phone functionality
    • Big compared to comparable point-and-shoot cameras
    • Slow startup
    • Touchscreen controls aren’t as quick as dedicated buttons
    • Saving images to the MicroSD card is confusing
    • Flash is harsh
Samsung Galaxy Camera Key Features and Specs:
  • 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS sensor
  • 1920 x 1080 full HD video
  • 21x 23-483mm (equivalent) f/2.8-5.9 optical zoom lens
  • 2.35 x 4.16-inch HD touchscreen display
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS
  • Pop-up flash
  • Full maunal exposure controls via Samsung’s built-in camera app

  • For the most part, I’ve been using it in place of both a regular point-and-shoot camera and my Smart Phone since then. I’ve even taken skiing a few times. But for the most part, I used it so I could have more control with my Instagram photos. Having that 21x image-stabilized optical zoom lens and manual exposure controls means I can take way better food photos than I can with my camera phone. And having the Android OS, apps and 4G connectivity built right into the camera means I can post photos right from the bar or the ski resort. As much as I love my Eye-Fi wireless SD card, not having to transfer images from my camera to my phone is really nice. I really love being able to zoom to whatever focal length I want, choose the exposure settings myself, process my photos (mostly with Snapseed) and then upload to the Web – all from one device. That’s the perfect workflow!

    Other than it not being a phone, the Samsung Galaxy Camera is an awesome mobile device. As a mobile device, that’s actually my biggest issue – that it’s not a phone. If you’re going to make the effort to design a camera with an Android OS and 4G connectivity, why not just make it a phone, too? The Samsung Galaxy Camera currently costs $499 with a two year mobile contract (AT&T). That’s over twice as much of an initial investment as an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S III. For that kind of scratch you shouldn’t have to pay for and carry two mobile devices.

    As a camera, there’s no doubt the Samsung Galaxy Camera is better than a Smart Phone. It’s got a large 16-megapixel (for a mobile device) 1/2.3-inch sensor that has almost twice the surface area of the sensor in the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III Smart Phones. And more sensor surface area almost always means better image quality – especially in low light. So you can see for yourself, I’ve included Galaxy Camera and Samsung Galaxy S III Smart Phone comparison images in the Image Quality section of this review. The Galaxy Camera also has a 21x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, a pop-up flash and a really nice custom camera app with excellent manual controls as well as scene modes like Landscape, Night, Sunset, Panorama, Action Freeze and Macro. I’m a manual exposure guy so I really like the P,A,S,M manual shooting modes. 

    I think the biggest benefit of the Galaxy Camera compared to a Smart Phone is the lens. The 21x (35mm equivalent) 23-483mm zoom offers an incredible range allowing you shoot everything from wide group photos of people to wildlife photos. The two photos below show the huge difference between shooting all the way wide and zoomed all the way in with the 21x zoom lens. Both photos were shot from the same spot at the same time. You’ll have to click on the first photo and zoom all the way in to locate the people in the photo on the right.

    The 21x zoom lens also allows you to take advantage of the optical affects you get from using different focal lengths. It’s true you could just crop your fixed lens Smart Phone images to match different zoom lengths. There are two problems with that, though. First, you lose resolution and that degrades image quality. If all you’re doing is posting to Facebook or Instagram, the loss of resolution probably doesn’t matter much. But the different optical affects you get from changing focal length are very important. Taking a picture at 200mm and cropping to frame your subject the same way do not give you the same picture. Using a telephoto lens (or zooming in) flattens the space and makes the background appear closer to your subject as well as dramatically changing the depth-of-field. Experienced photographers use telephoto focal lengths to pull the background in closer and isolate their subject against a soft, out-of-focus background. You just can’t do the same thing with a fixed lens Smart Phone. Check out the three photos below to see what I mean. The photo on the left was taken zoomed to about 170mm. The photo in the middle was taken at about 35mm – comparable to a Smart Phone camera lens – and then cropped. For the photo on the right I “zoomed with my feet” and walked up to the house to try to frame it the same way I did in the first photo. You’ll notice each of the photos is very different. This is why I think having a zoom lens is so important. 

    Everyone knows that size really does matter. And the Galaxy Camera is too big. At about 5 x 2.75 inches, the back of the camera – the touchscreen – is about the same size as a Smart Phone (see photo below of my Samsung Galaxy S III phone next to the Samsung Galaxy Camera). That doesn’t take into account how thick the Galaxy Camera is with the grip and lens, though. Plus, all the big camera companies now make pocket superzoom cameras with smaller bodies and a comparable zoom range. For reference, take a look at the second photo below of the Galaxy Camera with a Canon PowerShot SX230 HS. The current version of that camera, the PowerShot SX260 HS, is the same size, has a 20x optical zoom lens and better external controls than the Galaxy Camera. What it doesn’t have is an Android operating system, Android apps, or 4G mobile connectivity. On the other hand, put an Eye-Fi card in the Canon and you can wirelessly transfer photos and videos from the camera to your Smart Phone and have all the functionality you’d have with the Samsung, but with a smaller, better camera. And any of the current pocket superzooms from Panasonic, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus and Fujifilm will easily fit in a pants pocket. You actually don’t even need the Eye-Fi card anymore. Most of the camera companies now make a pocket superzoom camera with built-in Wi-Fi. But the Samsung Galaxy Camera is the only option with a SIM card and real 4G mobile connectivity built right into the camera.

    source: http://reviews.photographyreview.com/samsung-galaxy-camera-review/

    Title Post: Samsung Android Galaxy Camera Review
    Rating: 100% based on 99998 ratings. 5 user reviews.
    Author: hadhie s

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