When Samsung announced the Galaxy Camera, I'll admit, I laughed a bit. "Who needs Android on a camera?!" I exclaimed to an office that is sick of hearing my voice. The answer to that important question is: nobody. Nobody needs an Android camera, but if you want one for social sharing, by the power of Android, this one is amazing.
The Galaxy Camera is a curious little product. It's like a giant Galaxy Player, only with a 16-megapixel camera attached.
It's packing an f/2.8 wide-angle lens with a 23mm equivalent. It's got 21x optical zoom, a whole bunch of automatic, scene and manual shooting modes, a 4.8-inch touchscreen and it supports 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. Yes, you read right: a camera you can put a microSIM card in.
Optus and Telechoice will range the Galaxy Camera, perhaps even on plans, before the end of the year. We'll bring you more information on that when we have it. As for outright purchase price, you can expect to pay $599 when it lands in all major retailers before the end of the month.
The brain of the outfit is a whopping 1.4GHz quad core processor powering a modified version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. That makes it more modern than the Galaxy S III 4G and the Galaxy Nexus for pete's sake!
That means it has full access to Google Play and can install just about any app. Instagram? You got it. Image editors? You got it. Any of our favourite android apps? You betcha. That's truly incredible. Combine that with the weight and the speed of the unit and Samsung's really onto something here.
As far as the imaging is concerned, the Galaxy Camera takes a top shot. Different shooting modes are split across three sections: full automatic, smart and expert modes. Each offers different levels of customisation and control. Automatic is pretty self-explanatory, smart mode drops you into 15 different scene options, and expert contains all the nifty manual functions you expect from a digital camera these days.
My only concern with the Galaxy Camera is the battery life. The device takes the same 1650mAh battery as the Samsung Galaxy S II. Cameras are notoriously battery-hungry when combined with Android, and with the addition of 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, the situation becomes twice as dicey.
Samsung say the camera is good for 340 shots on one charge, whatever that really means. Let's say one shot takes me five seconds to line up, shoot and process before moving onto the next one, that means that by the time my battery goes dead, I will have been using the device for 28 minutes. I don't want to throw nasty words around here, but that's rubbish. We'll test that thoroughly when we get it, although if our maths is correct the tests wont take long.
So perhaps nobody needs Android on a camera, but with specs and features like these, it'd make sharing those selfies a lot easier...
Should Android be on a camera?