Home Icon
samsung-galaxy-camera-review-08

Samsung’s Galaxy Camera reviewed

By Leigh D. Stark | 6:26 pm 10/12/2012

Samsung’s Galaxy brand is about to extend past the whole smartphone and tablet thing, marrying the screen and processor technology from its phones to a new breed of camera that lets you jump online and share right after you’ve snapped the shot.

Features

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, we saw the first cameras to be shown that ran on Google’s Android operating system, potentially opening up the world of Android apps to a device that could take quality pictures, not just images from yet another smartphone camera.

Think of the potential: high-quality Instagram images, Photoshop editing on the camera, and tweeting with a capable camera.

It's Android... on a camera!

Now at the end of 2012, Samsung has released its first attempt at this new area, and while it’s the third camera we’ve heard of to incorporate Android, it’s the first to bring with it an insanely recent version of Google’s operating system, with Samsung equipping it with Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” which is so new that it’s not even on most of Samsung’s phones and tablets.

There are more smarts to this camera than just the operating system, though, with Samsung literally combining a smartphone and a camera to make this device.

There’s the 4.8 inch 720p HD Super AMOLED screen sitting on the back, and a quad-core Exynos CPU sitting underneath alongside 1GB of RAM.

Those specs are literally found on the 3G Galaxy S3, and this camera even supports WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, a microSIM for connecting over 3G, Bluetooth, microSD, and a GPS, cementing our belief that Samsung pretty much just strapped a phone to the back of a camera.

That camera is obviously different from the one inside a smartphone, however, supporting optical zoom, something no smartphone has had before this. The lens in the Galaxy Camera is of the 21x variety, supporting a whopping 23-481mm when compared to a traditional 35mm camera, and shooting on a 16.3 megapixel sensor.

RAW functionality isn’t expected here, but ISO is supported from 100 to 3200, as well as Full HD 1080p video capture with a stereo microphone and 8GB of internal memory that can be expanded easily through the microSD slot.

A pop-up flash is included, activated by a button on one side, and the zooming can be done through the ring around the shutter. You can turn the camera on and off at the power button on the top.

There's a microUSB port under that flap, and a 3.5mm headset jack to the left of that.

Charging the device is handled through the microUSB port on the side of the camera, another mainstay from its smartphone heritage, close to the 3.5mm headset jack.

Underneath the camera is a tripod screw hole, as well as a door that opens up to reveal the 3G microSIM slot, microSD slot, battery, and a proprietary HDMI port.

Performance

Upon first glance, the Galaxy Camera is the sort of gadget that you would expect from Apple: it’s a camera with an operating system that supports the apps you know and love.

If you’re a fan of social networking apps, you can share your images shot in a high resolution and with more reach, thanks to a long lens. Emails can be received on the device, as can messages from Google Chat, Skype, and even SMS sent directly to a phone.

The Galaxy Camera next to its brother, the Galaxy S3 smartphone.

In the hands, this isn’t a small device by any stretch of the imagination. With a screen nearing the five inch mark, the Galaxy Camera features one of the biggest touchscreen displays we’ve seen on a compact, and this adds to the size.

While the lens does fold into the camera, it’s not the flat slate that a smartphone is, and there’s still a camera grip and reasonably thick lens protruding from the camera, so you can’t just pocket this and hope for the best. No, you’ll want to throw this in hand luggage or a backpack, since it tends to make pocket look clumpy, weighing them down with a body that’s as heavy as the iPad Mini.

The Galaxy Camera is a little front heavy, something you’ll notice if you switch the camera on when it’s standing up and it leans forward, settling on the lens that has just automatically come out.

Using it is more or less like using a Samsung phone, and if you’re at all familiar with the Galaxy range of smartphones – especially the S3 – you’ll be at home on this device. The power button on top lets you into the camera, and the controls – which are almost completely touchscreen based – will allow you to wander through the operating system and change camera modes, switch into manual, and swipe to and from photos you’ve taken.

Pages: 1 2 3

Price (RRP)

$599

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Great combination of technology; You can use it to send and receive SMS; Macro ability is actually decent; Long lens;

Product Cons

Battery life is poor; Reasonbly bulky; Not exactly the fastest camera to switch on; Proprietary HDMI port; Many apps aren't really designed for a camera with optical zoom; Can send texts, but not make phone calls;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Ease of Use

Design

Latest reviews

  • Review: HP ElitePad 1000 G2

    When you talk about business grade tablets, there aren't a lot of choices, but HP's ElitePad 1000 G2 looks to provide a dose of shiny silver aluminium professionalism to…
  • Apple's iPhone 6 Plus reviewed

    Apple has steered clear of tablet-sized phones for a while now, leaving it to Samsung and other manufacturers, but now Apple is here with a phablet of its own.…
  • Review: LG G Pad 10.1

    LG's G3 really grabbed our attention earlier in the year, so we're expecting good things from a tablet launched around the same time, but is the G Pad 10.1…
  • Review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro headphones

    Headphones that cut out the noise from the outside world generally require you to be tethered to your phone, but not a new pair of cans from Plantronics, as…
  • Review: Moto G (2014, G2)

    Big phones are in, and to go with that trend, Motorola is upgrading one of its entry-level handsets, increasing the screen size of its G series phone to make…
  • Review: Acer Aspire Switch 10

    Acer's 10 inch Windows tablet hasn't been updated since Windows 8 first came out, and that was two years ago, so what has Acer been cooking up, and does…
  • Review: Dyson Cool (AM06)

    Here come the warmer months and that reason to get the old trusty fan out. But before you do, you might want to consider a healthy update of the…
  • You little beauty: Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact reviewed

    Smartphones may well be getting bigger, but Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact aims to show people that a smartphone doesn’t need to be big to be powerful, boasting high-end specs…
  • Review: Bose QuietComfort 25i (QC25/QC25i)

    If there's one company that tends to do well in the field of noise cancellation, it's Bose. We've seen its headphones used by so many on overseas trips, and…
  • Review: Oppo N1 Mini

    Do you like selfies but are sick of the one or two megapixel cameras smartphones are coming with? Oppo's answer to this is an interesting one, putting the 13…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More