One of the leading trends in digital camera technology this year is the convergence of tablet and photo technology. Basically this means the next wave of digital cameras will offer a lot of the touch and swipe technology common to tablets, along with the connectivity and Web browsing capabilities that create a window to the Internet. Samsung’s Galaxy Camera is a great example of this innovative hybrid design. It supplements its point & shoot prowess with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating environment, and 3G wireless connectivity.
DigitalCameraReview editor Laura Hicks spent some time with this innovative “camlet” (camera/tablet) and filed the following video report on its functions and capabilities.
Hello. Laura Hicks here, from DigitalCameraReview.com. I want to tell you a little bit about the Samsung Galaxy camera that we just got in the other day. I want you to have a hands-on look at it, just like I got to. What I am going to do is just show you a little bit about the details of this camera.
The first thing that we do – I already turned it on. I am going to show you, it is just as easy as hitting a button at the top and you will see the lens comes out. You are able to see that immediately on the front screen I have just a picture that I have already taken, but it will immediately show up on the camera screen. We have a camera screen and we also have the home screen. I am going to go ahead and show you some of the functionality of the home screen first. The home screen will pop up with the time and date; you can add different elements to this, to make it more personal for you.
My review unit has 4G access. I have a SIM card that is in here, I will show you where that is. Down here we have the battery and the SIM card. We also have the ability to have a micro SD card that goes in that spot, if you guys can see that. The battery pops out. It is a pretty sizable battery and locks in place. You can also see we have the ability to put it on a tripod if we want. On the side is where we are charging up our battery; it just pops open. This is just a little plastic piece, so it makes me a little nervous because it looks like it could be weak and easily fall off. It has a nice, soft, rubbery feel to it.
On the top, these are really our only physical buttons is the on/off switch. Hold it for a second and it will come back on. While it is getting ready to come up, we also have a flash button, it pops right open, very easy. You can easily push it down, pop it right back up, back and forth.
This is our shutter button and our zoom. I will show you, we can zoom it in. It goes all the way to a 21 X zoom. We have different modes on the camera; we have our auto mode, which is just our basic mode for any point-and-shoot-type of a camera. We also have the smart modes. We have anywhere from continuous shot, silhouette, sunset, night, fireworks, light trace, beauty face, and best photo, which you will select the best out of a couple of different pictures, you get to choose that. It is more of a continuous burst-type of mode, and then you pick the best from there. Continuous shot, best face is the same thing; you get to select from multiple pictures, the best face of the person. You can tell it is very easy to scroll through these options and pick the one you want.
It has a very easy user interface. The other mode that we have, that I really like, because I am a DSL shooter, is the expert mode. I am really a big fan of this user interface, because what we have is the ability to switch from program to aperture priority, shutter priority, and fully manual priority. We also have the ability, like I just hit, with the ability to shoot video. I want to pick shutter, it will go ahead and allow me to scroll through. I can just easily scroll through the different shutter settings. As you can tell, my white backdrop is getting very white down to a very dark white. We can scroll through that. If we set it on fully manual mode, it will allow me also to adjust the aperture. I can adjust that up or down, the same scrolling motion like I did before. I am able to adjust the exposure compensation and also the ISO. It will allow me to scroll through and go all the way up to 3200.
If I have it set on manual mode it will then read me all of my information and it will tell me what my exposure compensation is. I am just a little too hot right now, so that will tell me all that information, just like you would with a DSLR camera, which is what I really like about it. I am going to set that back on the auto mode. Also, if you hit these buttons, this one is just a shutter button; you can hit the shutter that way or the shutter from here. You can hear it; it was able to take a picture both ways. Here is the video capability, and it will allow me to just record that way. Push pause, I can stop it.
I am going to show you how to access the gallery. Down here, it will show me the last image that I took, which is a video. I can scroll through this way and show you some pictures that I have recently taken, or I can also hit the button here and I can see a bunch of different pictures that I have taken over the last few days. It will show you the squirrel I took pictures of, birds, that kind of thing. The gallery, we can go back to that. It has several different ways that you can view the images. It has a circular scrolling option. It has it where you can just choose from whether it is the camera profile photos, videos, or you can go back to the screen and it will allow you to scroll through it that way.
We can connect to the Internet. We can go through and go to an app store; they call it the Play Store. It is just an app store, just like you have on any other Smartphone. Different categories, very user-friendly interface. You can choose the apps by just a slide of the finger. I went ahead and updated some apps. I put Pinterest on here, just to see how quickly it was able to upload. It comes up very quickly, you can tell. Facebook, we are able to access that. Google, lots of different options, YouTube.
I just wanted to show you a little bit about the phone. It has all those same settings that you have on any Smartphone or tablet device. You have the ability to update this as you wish and change your widgets.
I am coining this little camera a camlet, because I feel like it is a really great mix of a camera and a tablet device. It has a lot of functionality and it has a great user interface that I am really happy with. The images on this device are pretty good. It would be what you would expect out of a point-and-shoot camera. I was able to get some images in lower light situations that were pretty good. I did get some movement on them. Again, it is what you would expect out of a point-and-shoot, but I am pretty happy with this camera. I feel like it has a lot of fun options on it and definitely something that a lot of different age groups will enjoy. I had the ability to have several different age groups hold onto it, play with it, and see what they thought, and everybody was a big fan of it.
I just wanted to show you a little bit about it. I will keep going with my review and get you some more information. I just want to say thank you very much for visiting DigitalCameraReview.com. We will see you later.