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Samsung Galaxy Camera First Look Preview
by Laura Hicks -  11/21/2012


[click to view image][click to view image]Connectivity is the name of the game. Samsung's new Galaxy Camera is the first camera in the United States with an available data plan. Complete with an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, this device is far more than a point and shoot camera. The Galaxy has created a class all its own - a hybrid breed combining the best features of a camera and a tablet. A "camlet", if you will.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera is on the larger end of the point and shoot class. It measures 70.8x128.7x19.1mm and weighs 300g. The design of the camera is simplistic and clean and it is everything we have come to expect from Samsung and its Galaxy line. A huge 4.77-inch screen encompasses the entirety of the camera's back. The screen is crisp and sharp thanks to the HD Super Clear LCD. The images come to life with the depth and richness of the full spectrum of colors. 16.3-megapixels work in harmony with the BSI CMOS sensor, and the 21x optical zoom lens amasses the majority of the camera's bulk. However slim this camera is at 19mm thick, though, fitting it into a pocket is out of the question.

[click to view image]Out of the box, my unit was charged at a little over 50% and was ready to use immediately. After a few quick language and time settings, I was able to take the first image in less than a minute after turning it on. As a DSLR photographer, I immediately search for the manual settings on any camera. I was highly impressed by the user interface of the Galaxy; I have yet to see a point and shoot camera so seamlessly interact with the photographer. This is where Samsung nailed it. Many other brands should take note of this feature since user experience can make or break the success of a product.

For me, this camera had me at  its manual functions. Most point and shoot enthusiasts forgo the manual setting however, and go straight to the auto and smart functions. No less than fifteen smart modes are available on this camera including best photo, best face, light trace, waterfall and silhouette. It also comes equipped with fifteen image effects including vintage, black and white, comic, retro and impressionist. If you do want to shoot in manual mode, all of the traditional settings are available including aperture priority, shutter priority, program and fully manual. Exposure compensation is available in 1/3 steps.  Full HD 1080p video recording and playback are available at 30fps.

[click to view image]Editing your images in-camera is an additional benefit of the Galaxy Camera, with sixty-five editing features included. These features make it possible to never have to download your images to your computer for post-production enhancing. Organizing your pictures is seamless, too. The Smart Content Manager allows you to create folders, tag faces and view your photos in a variety of ways.

But to judge the Galaxy solely as a camera is missing half the picture. The Galaxy Camera is powered by a 1.4GHz Quad-core processor.  It reacts quickly to the touch or swipe of a finger. And again, I revisit the simplicity of the user interface. The camera's intuitive functionality is observed while viewing the gallery, surfing the web or searching for apps. Once set-up, the Galaxy can automatically save your images to the Cloud Back-up feature. In addition, the Galaxy has the capability to connect, upload and share to an endless lineup of social media sites and apps. Although the Galaxy has been reported to have 3G wireless, I was able to experience 4G connectivity.  

[click to view image]Being able to use the same device to search the web, upload photos, watch YouTube, edit your images and play Angry Birds as you do to actually take the pictures has its advantages. But if the Galaxy is unable to deliver quality images, this camera is all for not. Stay posted as we spend the next week delving into all of the Samsung Galaxy's photographic features. Find out if this camera is worth the hefty price tag and, if chosen, the reoccurring data plan.


 


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