Android-powered cameras are not exactly a new thing, as proven by the recent launch of Nikon’s Coolpix S800c. With Samsung having a strong presence in the digital camera market and also a very strong Android smartphone business, one might wonder why the South Korean firm has not yet released their own.
It turns out that an Android-powered digital camera is actually one of the surprise announcements Samsung has made at its pre-IFA 2012 event in Berlin, Germany, just as rumored a few days ago.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is a point-and-shoot digital camera that’s as feature-packed as any mid-range to high-end Android smartphone. The Galaxy Camera actually introduces the term “smart camera,” which is how Google senior VP for Mobile and Digital Content Andy Rubin envisions the next level of digital photography to be.
Being a connected device, the Galaxy Camera focuses on making photo sharing easier. Gone are the days when you have to wait to plug in your SD card into a computer to share photos from a decent digicam. Sure, you can upload photos directly from a smartphone, but a dedicated digital camera has better optics and image processing. You can now directly upload photos via Wi-Fi or through the camera’s built-in 3G and 4G connectivity.
Samsung Electronics’ Mobile and Communications Division President JK Shin highlights how communication has become lightning-fast with the prevalence of mobile devices and social networks. In being able to share photos in an instant, “[c]ommunication becomes more vivid and lively with high-quality images and instant sharing anywhere, anytime.”
The screen itself has a pixel density of 308 ppi, which is almost the same as the Samsung Galaxy S III, but a bit behind the iPhone 4S Retina display. The big 4.8-inch screen is big enough to do basic editing, tagging and controls. Being a full-fledged Android device, the Galaxy Camera will come with standard Google Apps built-in, including Search, Maps, Gmail, Latitude, Books, Movies, Google+, YouTube, Google Talk, Places, and Navigation. The Samsung Galaxy Camera will support app downloads from the Google Play Store.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera itself has a Smart Pro feature that involves adjustments using an easy-to-navigate menu system for choosing preset scenes. For instance, the Rich Tone setting captures image with greater intensity, which is a good way to reduce overexposure in bright environments. The Light Trace effect can be used in automatically adjusting shutter speed to capture light trails.
Zoom control can be done by dedicated button, through the touchscreen, or via voice control.
The camera also offers 35 built-in power features through its Photo Wizard that enable precise detail edits straight from the camera’s touchscreen. The built-in Movie Wizard also offers video editing straight from the camera’s interface.
Smart Content Manager, meanwhile intelligently organizes photos and videos according to tags, folders and faces. The app even recommends unwanted photos for deletion.
Samsung’s S Suggest will also provide recommendations on additional apps or features that can be downloaded for added photo-editing capabilities.
Being a connected device, the Samsung Galaxy Camera enables users to be able to automatically share pictures as they are captured, or at least store these in cloud backups through AllShare. Photos can then be shared through social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Photos can also be shared instantly with other Android-powered Galaxy devices like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera comes in two variants: 3G and WiFi version and a 4G and WiFi version. No pricing has been announced yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
Check out our Samsung Galaxy Camera gallery below that also includes hands-on images:
Samsung presents ‘Camera, Reborn.’ – the GALAXY Camera
The new device combines leading-edge camera capabilities with Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean and wireless network connectivity, letting users shoot, edit and share images easily anywhere, at any time
BERLIN, Germany – August 29, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, has today announced the launch of the GALAXY Camera. Developed to fit the changing ways we communicate, the GALAXY Camera combines high performance photography with the latest Android™ 4.1 platform, so called Jelly Bean, and wireless network connectivity, creating a brand new type of device. Samsung GALAXY Camera fits perfectly for those who wish to shoot, edit and share high quality photographs and video easily and spontaneously from anywhere, at any time.
“The GALAXY Camera opens a new visual communication era and shifts a paradigm in communication. With the growth of social networks and the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, people today communicate faster than words. As we increasingly articulate our experiences through pictures and videos the GALAXY Camera has been created to lead the way in this new era of visual communication. Communication becomes more vivid and lively with high-quality images and instant sharing anywhere, anytime,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.
Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content at Google, congratulated the Samsung team on their launch. “When we first started work on Android, we envisioned building a smart camera that would take digital photography to the next level. The GALAXY Camera is an innovative product that speaks to the openness and flexibility of the Android platform.”
The GALAXY Camera makes outstanding photography on the go. Users never again have to sacrifice picture quality if they want to edit and share their photos instantly. It easily outperforms any smartphone camera. The GALAXY Camera, boasting a 21x super long zoom lens and a super-bright 16M BSI CMOS sensor, delivers pictures in brilliant quality. The device also features ‘Smart Pro’ technology, a series of modes that make professional-looking photography easy for anyone to achieve. What truly revolutionizes this photography experience is Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean and wireless connectivity, which opens up the device to applications for photo-editing, sharing, and much more. Users will experience all of GALAXY Camera’s great features on a market-leading HD Super Clear LCD. With stunning clarity, incredible ease-of-use and unparalleled connectivity, the GALAXY Camera is the next step in imaging innovation.
Shoot stunning quality images
The GALAXY Camera’s ‘Smart Pro’ feature makes it easy to recreate advanced photographic setups in just a few simple steps for stunning artistic results. Using the easy-to-navigate menu system, users can choose from a series of preset scenario options which will automatically adjust the camera’s settings in order to capture the perfect photo. For example, the ‘Rich Tone’ setting delivers images with greater intensity – particularly effective for reducing overexposure in bright surroundings, while the ‘Light Trace’ setting automatically controls shutter speed for atmospheric night scenes full of light trails.
The GALAXY Camera’s 21x optical zoom can be controlled by either button or touchscreen, rendering long-distance pictures in a quality that users will be proud to share, while OIS ensures that images stay clear and crisp. The camera’s 16 Megapixel 1/2.3” BSI CMOS sensor captures images in brilliant color and resolution, while the 23mm aperture lens delivers impressive wide-angle shots incomparable to smartphone pictures.
Enjoy your photos and video on a world-leading display
The GALAXY Camera boasts large and vivid enough camera display – a 4.8”(121.2mm) HD Super Clear LCD screen, which makes it a pleasure to shoot, share and edit images from the palm of the hand. Another advantage of smartphone technology is the Voice Control option which allows the user to control a number of functions such as ‘Zoom in’ and ‘Shoot’ through voice. All these features are housed in a beautifully designed, ergonomic body with the GALAXY Camera’s minimal, organic design complementing its easy-to-use professional features.
Edit and perfect images on your device
The GALAXY Camera includes a comprehensive set of 35 powerful photo editing features through the ‘Photo Wizard’, allowing users to make professional quality edits on the go. The new features take advantage of the ultrafast quad-core processor and HD Super Clear LCD, giving access to a feature like Auto Face Calibration so edits can be made in precise detail and with ease. The ‘Movie Wizard’ also allows users to create and edit expert-quality videos easily from the touch screen.
The GALAXY Camera also features ‘Smart Content Manager’, an innovative on-device organization tool which intelligently creates folders, tags faces, and even suggests which pictures to delete when they don’t come out as desired. Thanks to the combination of wireless connectivity and Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, the internet capabilities of the GALAXY Camera are equal to those of the latest smartphone so that users can get even more enjoyment out of their device. In addition to the pre-installed applications from Samsung, users can browse the web and enjoy any applications from Google Play or Samsung Apps stores. If users are not sure which app to download, ‘S Suggest’ will help them recommend a new photo editing app or fun game to download.
Share your images anywhere, anytime
The camera’s convenient ‘Auto Cloud Backup’ feature will automatically save precious photos into the cloud via Samsung’s AllShare the instant they are taken. The GALAXY Camera also allows users to share photos at the same time as they shoot them with ‘Share Shot.’ As well as sharing to social networks and cloud services, users can also connect to a range of GALAXY devices including the GALAXY SIII and GALAXY Note II for effortless and automatic sharing of pictures across the GALAXY family. The new device enables connection to 3G or 4G, allowing photo sharing and browsing anywhere. The GALAXY Camera also functions on Wi-Fi with Dual Band and Channel Bonding for extra speed. Connectivity is supported by a quad-core processor that enables fast web-browsing and multi-tasking, as well as high-speed image processing without a significant impact on battery life.
The GALAXY Camera comes in two connectivity options: a 3G and Wi-Fi version or a 4G and Wi-Fi version.
Samsung GALAXY Camera will be on display at the Samsung booth #20 at IFA 2012, Aug 31 through Sep 5. For more information on GALAXXY Camera, please visit www.samsungmobilepress.com
Full details, video content and product images are available at Samsung’s IFA 2012 microsite: http://samsungifa2012.com or mobile site: m.samsungifa.com