Nikon's New Camera Is Powered By Android

Think your HTC One X or iPhone 4S can take a pretty picture? You ain't seen nothing yet. Nikon just announced its new Coolpix models, and within the new range lies the S800c: a 16-megapixel camera that is powered by Android, and comes complete with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities. The best part is that it is coming to Australia and it's a few hundred dollars cheaper than those aforementioned smartphones.

The Coolpix S800c is powered by Android 2.3.3, meaning that most apps from the Google Play store (which you'll have access to) will work on the device. It's got a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen that shows off both the Android operating system and the photos you're taking. It shoots 1080p video with continuous auto-focus so nothing drops out into blur-town and it comes with built-in wind noise reduction, too.

It doesn't have a 3G radio built-in though, which means you can't use it like a conventional smartphone, but it's compatible with a companion app for both Android and iOS that lets you pair with the camera and transfer photos wirelessly for saving, storing or printing.

That Wi-Fi capability in the camera, coupled with access to Google Play, allows you to install apps like Instagram for fast photo sharing. You could even load something like Wordpress mobile onto the camera, snap photos from an event and upload them via Wi-Fi hotspot. No computer required.

It goes on sale locally on 27 September. Nikon won't come clean on an RRP, but we've been given an indication that this thing will set you back around $449 t0 $499. Compare that to devices like the HTC One X and the iPhone 4S which both cost around $800-$900 each and you're coming out ahead with the Nikon. You'll still have to weigh up what's more important, though: built-in 3G radio or a nice camera.

This whole proposition stacks up in such a way that the company with the best Android camera phone on the market right now is Nikon. Did anyone see that coming?



    With 3G, this could really flip the cameraphone market!
    Sure it's bulky, but not outrageously so and it's going to take a significantly better photo in significantly more scenarios.

    This seems odd. The priorities of a camera are instant on (like actually instant)and instant response. Unless the camera "app" operates seperately to android, i don't see this as being a great regular camera...

      The camera could last a couple of weeks in standby, with all radios & screen off. Bringing it out of standby would be instant.

    I know i am most probably going to get shot down for this so here goes...

    In my honest opinion i dont really see the point to this camera? is it aimed at serious camera users or smartphone users? serious camera users would have their own dedicated cameras and smartphone users would just use their cameras on their phones.

    Not having 3G really limits this thing down quite a bit, not everywhere has free wi-fi so instant uploading is going to be an issue for some people.

    I suppose a lot of peoples mindset would be why buy this thing when my phone does it just as well?

      i think waiting until you got home / work or hotel is a given here

      Instant upload can be had with an eye-fi anyway. I think the main draw here is the wide array of camera apps available - Instagram, Paper Camera, Zoom FX, Lomo , various apps for timelapse & burst shot, basic colour, crop fixes, on-camera video editing etc etc. All with a far better lens, sensor and flash than any phone.

      Big question for me would be how good is the UI. Nikon would reskin the standard Android touch UI, to some extent at least (Android isn't particularly camera-focussed), so how good a job have they done?

        Again my honest opinion the average camera users dont care about all that stuff, and the ones that do already have dedicated cameras.

        Its one of those things that look good on paper but in real life seems a bit useless.

    IS this article tongue in cheek or serious? I can't tell... Really hoping it's not serious...
    Personally, I have an HTC One XL, but I bought it to be a phone, not a camera, like most people I expect.
    When I buy a dedicated camera, I buy it to be a camera.
    People generally don't go "I need a new phone, but the HTC One X and iPhone is too expensive... Oh I know, I'll buy a camera!"

    If it had 3G, that would mean uploads to social media, cloud accounts (dropbox etc) and accessing Google Play for updates to apps etc. That would've been really good.

      I Don't understand why you would want this to have 3G it makes no sense, just use your phones wireless hotspot for that.

        Or better yet just use your damn phone.

      And you can't do that on Wifi because?

    Ah, I thought it was going to be a phone camera. It surprised me that the feature phone camera fad started right at the birth of the modern smartphone and never transitioned over to smartphones. I had a friend who had one and it took great shots for nights out, wasn't too massive either, but the software was rubbish making it an awful phone.

    This would be the perfect camera to do timelapses with. Since all you need to do is download a timelapse app ....

      You get it.

      Of course, the other bonus (for Nikon) is they don't need to maintain an entire custom camera OS any more, just a couple apps and/or UI skin for Android, and a driver or two.

    I've wondered how long it would take before camera makers started getting in on Android as the potential for apps is amazing a few times i've wanted to be able to quickly stitch a panorama or mega photo with out transferring to a computer and now I can with apps!

    If only it had 3G!!!

    Yeah, if this had 3G I would ditch my Samsung Galaxy S in a second and use this as a phone. Sure you might not be able to receive calls on it, but that is easy fixed with a Skype account or something similar.

    People saying this is is a dumb idea and no market for it are clearly missing the big picture (pun totally intended)

    Smartphones usually don't have the greatest quality (and almost non have optical zoom), they are great for random photos.

    If you want a proper camera this is great, as others have said can have the after market functionality added to it like the custom cannon camera firmware hack, except it would be sanctioned. Its really a new genre, a Smartcamera.

    I would totally get this (assuming they do it right). I imagine if this catches on Android based DSLRs would be around the corner. If they put a USB host port on it, you could plug in a 3g dongle or usb stick. Wifi/bluetooth could allow sending photos to other peoples cameras, remote control via iPhone/Android app for lining up group shots instead of a timer and running to jump in frame.

    I know its only a camera but im a little puzzled at why only Android 2.3 and not ICS or JB (there would most likely be some added functionality there that would be beneficial, though ram and cpu was probably a factor)

    I think this is fantastic - provided that the camera quality is good (ie. camera quality). The thing i hate about my camera is having to find the cable and upload the photos to my pc. With android, i can install an app so that as soon as it hits my home wifi, it uploads everything automatically (i have this on my phone, its awesome, but phone doesnt take good pics). Win. Im sold

    instead of this i would prefer to see all cameras adopt some kind of industry standard phone sync functionality. then you could keep your camera as a dedicated camera and your phone as a dedicated phone, but if you wanted to instantly post your camera photos, you simply sync them to the phone via NFC or something and upload from the phone instead.

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