Samsung sent me the Samsung GALAXY Camera just in time to take it around New Zealand during our Xmas holiday. Even though we had a Nikon DSLR and a Fujifilm point-and-shoot in the bags the only one I used during the whole time was the Samsung GALAXY Camera.
The Samsung GALAXY Camera packs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a quad-core processor and 8GB of internal storage in a 300g package that also sports a 21x zoon (F2.8, 23 mm, 21x Optical Zoom Lens) kit and a 4.77" 308 ppi touch display. You can expand the memory with microSD cards if needed - in our case I didn't add external memory and still have plenty of space for lots of photos and videos.
The camera in itself is pretty easy to use, and it will go straight to the camera app once you turn it on. The lenses will retract back into the body of the camera if you leave the camera app.
Wake up is pretty much instantaneous as it is the norm with smartphones, but if you have to start the camera from off it may take up to 25 seconds for it to be ready.
Knowing this I pretty much left the camera in sleep mode all the time. During our ten days trip I only had to recharge the camera twice. Having said that I had WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G off during the whole time.
Like any other smartphone the Samsung GALAXY Camera supports a variety of connectivity options, including mobile data using WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, making it compatible with all three mobile networks in New Zealand. And although you can't place a voice call (there's no phone app) you can send/receive SMS if you insert a SIM card. You could also use other messaging apps such as Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and so on...
Obviously the reason the camera supports 3G is to make it easier for users to share their images and videos with their social networks without having to hunt around for a WiFi hotspot. On top of this you can use the camera to run any Android app around, so it makes for a good general mini tablet thanks to the screen size - a bit awkward to hold though due to the lenses holder.
In terms of photo resources the camera is pretty loaded. The 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor has 16.3 effective megapixels and plenty of automatic effects, plus manual settings that allow you to set shutter speed (1/200 through 16), aperture (from f2.8 through f8) and ISO from 100 to 3200.
Having a dedicated zoom button and shutter is pretty good, and you still have the option to take photos by tapping the camera icon on the screen viewer.
Automatic settings include Beauty face, Best photo, Continuous shot, Best face, Landscape, Macro, Action freeze, Rich tone, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks, Light trace. Below you see some photos a 1x zoom, 21x zoom (for reference the zoomed image is from the supermarket about 1km away) and using the cartoon special effect.
You can automatically stamp photos with date/time and GPS coordinates as expected and share the images using different apps - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, emails, etc.
Think of this as a digital camera with smartphone capabilities, instead of a smartphone with digital camera built-in. The picture quality is pretty good for a general use device and video quality is excellent. Even low light pictures and video work well with this camera.
The Samsung GALAXY Camera overall performed well during our road trip and left us impressed with picture quality - even though some overseas reviews gave me the impression it would be the other way around.
- Android apps galore
- Full 3G support for mobile data everywhere
- Very effective manual settings
- Good quality pictures