If you haven't seen this new offering from Samsung, then allow me to sum it up in one sentence. A very good camera with basic smartphone features…as apposed to a very good smartphone with a basic camera.
Why would you want it the other way around? We will admit the idea had us puzzled at first, but once we got our hands on Samsung's latest bit of tech, all became clear.
A good few years ago I tried on a friends pair of glasses as a joke and it was only then that I realised how fuzzy the world had been before. I hadn't noticed my eyesight had deteriorated over the years, i now have the same prescription lenses as my friend. Similarly, after using the Samsung Galaxy camera for a day in Brussels I feel the same about a camera with some smartphone functionalities. Using the Galaxy Camera rather than my phone was an instant reminder of what real high quality visuals are supposed to be like.
Don't get me wrong, most phones offer impressive quality for their size, but with more and more people taking to things such as Instagram to share their photos with friends, its only natural for some of those people to realise that taking photos is something they really enjoy and want to take to the next level…enter the Samsung Galaxy Camera.
That is exactly who this Camera is made for, the people who want to take things to another level quality wise, but maintain the forward thinking of the smartphone's workflow in terms of sharing photos and video.
Thanks to its MicroSim slot, you can pop in a sim card ( it accepts Pay As You Go) and while you're out taking snaps, load up one of its Android apps and share your creativity straight away, be that on Facebook, Instagram or wherever else you want it to be seen.
It also connects via WIFI and uploads every photo and video stored on your camera straight to your computer via a Dropbox account in minutes. The connectivity alone makes me want to use this over my SLR mainly because I end up taking a ton of photos that never leave the SD Cards they are saved on.
I really could go on about how much I like this product all day and to explain all of its features you would probably need a full day, so I picked my top five.
1. Ease of use, most camera's will have automatic or advanced modes etc where you can decide how technical you want to get. But this is the first we have seen where (once in advanced mode) it explains in a nice little tab what each and every setting does, thus teaching the most basic photographer how to use the camera like a pro.
2. Slow Motion video, in a time where everyone and their Nan are making their own music & fashion videos, nothing looks cooler than slow motion scenes, and while smartphones boast of apps that can slow videos down, the software is still just slowing down footage shot at normal speed (which is around 30 frames per second), this results in the playback looking choppy and laggy. This camera can record at 120 frames per second, allowing your slowed down scenes to look so good you'll probably spend a day filming everything to see it slower…or at least I did anyway.
3. Effects before you take the photo, we're all used to taking a photo or video, then seeing how we can make it look with some effects in Instagram, Snapseed, 8mm etc. Well imagine being able to put the effects on before you take the photo and view how it looks live on the camera's display. The Samsung Galaxy Camera lets you add a number of effects from standard black an white, high contrast to popular favourites you'll find on photo editing apps, so no longer do you have to hope it will look good after, you'll know before you've even taken the shot.
4. Holiday Landmarks, imagine being on holiday somewhere and not knowing what the location really has to offer in terms of a photo opportunity, well with this camera running the latest android apps (such as S Voice and Google Voice) you can literally ask your Camera 'what are the best landmarks in Brussels' etc and it will connect to the net, then show you what's around via Google and its ever realiable Google maps. You can even have a Skype call on your camera and broadcast your finding to your friends and family in amazing high quality.
5. The Design, I was going to bang on about another of its amazing software features, but I have to give credit to the build of this kit. If like me you have used many an SLR in the past, you'll know that when it comes to really taking photos, you want something with some weight rather than a feather on a tripod…something that feels like its a professional piece of equipment. Also, you want a serious zoom lens on your camera, and the Samsung Galaxy Camera hides a massive 21x Zoom lens that comes to life once you turn the Camera on, as does its huge super clear HD screen.
With all of the above and great technical specs such as:
- Amazing quality with over 16 megapixels
- Just under 4gb built in memory and upto a whopping 64gb via MicroSD slot
- Android (Jellybean) operating system
- Full HD (1080p) video recording & playback
- Up to 280 hours standby battery time & usb chargeable
For it's price, this is the mid-entry camera from the future that anyone into photography would love to get for Christmas, hint hint Santa.