As a free-lance photographer myself, the chance to test out the new Samsung Galaxy Camera was a welcome offering. It’s a well known fact that Samsung is offering hugely innovative products onto the market, and the Samsung Galaxy Camera was one that I was sure wouldn’t disappoint.
At a quick glance, the specs seem to stack up rather well. Much like a Samsung smartphone it comes packing a 4.8in, 1280x720-pixel LCD, quad-core 1.4GHz processor, 3G, Wi-Fi, and GPS. It runs Android 4.1, with full access to the Google Play app store, all for an RRP of $749.00.
Once I got hold of it, the first thing I noticed was size and weight. The Samsung Galaxy Camera isn’t a feather-weight, and it’s packing a little ‘junk-in-the-trunk’.
Obviously the 4.8in screen lends it to be larger than most compact cameras that use 3in screens. Also, the 21x zoom lens means it's bulkier than any smartphone that I know of, at 35mm from lens to screen. It’s twice the weight (300g) and over twice the thickness (19mm) of the Samsung Galaxy S3 also.
Battery life is quoted at being up to 280 hours standby – longer than my smartphone!. I was able to take 150+ shots and 8 videos of various lengths on one charge. This was without utilising the connectivity of the device too much, as I would imagine using the added functions (Wi-Fi / 3G / Apps) of the Samsung Galaxy Camera would raise the need to charge more regularly, but this is to be expected.
Camera wise, the Samsung Galaxy Camera comes packed to the gunnels with features and options. I would imagine that most people will probably be happy to stick to the Auto mode and scene presets as they work great. One of my favourite presets was called “Best Face” mode. It captures five frames for a group portrait, and then lets you choose the best shot of each person by tapping their face and then selecting from five headshots. The camera then generates a composite shot of your chosen faces. (Seriously helpful for wedding shots!)
The Samsung Galaxy Camera comes with editing apps Photo Wizard and a Video Editor as well. Of course, if you’re after something more, the app store has thousands of other Android Apps available at your finger tips. My partner loved the ability to share photos to Facebook / Instagram / Twitter all direct from the camera itself. You will need an additional SIM card to get the most from the Samsung Galaxy Camera.
A function that we found rather great was the voice control. Voice commands such as "zoom in", "zoom out", "shoot", and "record video". It even takes a photo when you say "cheese".
Overall the image quality on the camera I found to be amazing. Obviously, if you pushed the limits of the camera when it came to location / lighting then, the camera struggled, but this is to be expected. (Remember, lighting is everything).
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is equipped with a massive 16 Megapixels, 21x zoom, all backed up by a 1/2.3in sensor. This camera is more than just your typical ‘handbag camera’ / ‘compact camera’, and it’s just streaks ahead of any smartphone camera.
- Brilliant Best Face mode
- Excellent image quality
- Handy Voice Commands
- Could be a bit lighter
- Struggled with some more complex lighting shots
All in all, the Galaxy Camera undoubtedly shows us the direction of where things are going with Smartphone-Camera technology. I’m the first to admit, the Samsung Galaxy Camera isn’t perfect, but nothing ever is. The thing to remember though... it’s not just a camera. You can use this camera to check emails, update your Facebook status, Tweet your friends, listen to your favourite artists new song and also upload a picture of your what you’re eating to Instagram. What it can’t do though, is make phone calls. In saying that, can you imagine holding a camera to your ear and talking? No, neither can I. So for now, the Samsung Galaxy Camera will live alongside your smartphone