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Android to expand to digicams with Nikon Coolpix S800

August 8, 2012

I’ve always thought that cameras in mobile phones are an interesting evolution. But what if it were the other way around: mobile phone features in cameras? It seems digital cameras are already mutating into mobile phones, too. Or at least with Nikon using Android to power their upcoming Coolpix S800, the platform is starting to go beyond smartphones and tablets.

Android has actually made an appearance in some cameras like the Polaroid SC1630 announced at CES this year. However, Nikon may be the first to market with such a consumer device.

In a regulatory filing in Indonesia, Nikon has registered what may be named the Coolpix S800 or S800C, which is undergoing tests as of end July. According to Nikon Rumors, the new digital camera will have the following specs:

  • 25-250 mm lens
  • 3.5-inch OLED screen
  • Google Play apps
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • GPS, WiFi

Nikon is rumored to make a formal announcement of this new digital camera by August 22, 2012, says Nikon Rumors. But since Photokina this year is set to be held in Cologne, Germany, September 19 to 23, we think it’s either that Nikon will make an early announcement prior to the trade show, or we’ll have to wait another month before we get confirmed details about the S800.

Another concern is the choice of OS, as Gingerbread is considered dated with today’s fast-paced platform development. The use of an older Android version might be due to limitations in the camera’s specs. It may not make sense to use Jelly Bean on a device that is likely to have limited capabilities, anyway.

At this point, people will wonder about the kind of things one can do with an Android-powered digital camera. For one, a connected OS will make it easier to automatically upload photos to photo-sharing services like Flickr and Picasa, or to cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Android apps like Camera Zoom FX or any other photography app will be supported by the platform.

At the very least, it’s a great way to share photos via Instagram with a capable point-and-shoot camera.