Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Samsung GALAXY CAMERA Review

Samsung Galaxy Camera review

Part smartphone, part camera – could this have the best of both?
The 4.8in screen has more than twice the surface area of many compact cameras

Today's smartphones take photos that are good enough for casual snaps and it is great being able to share photos to Facebook and elsewhere within seconds of taking them. However, one feature they lack is an optical zoom.
Cue the Samsung Galaxy Camera. You can think of it as a smartphone with a 21x zoom lens, or as a camera that happens to run the Android operating system. The latter is more accurate, because one thing this device can't do is make calls. It can access the internet, though, either via Wi-Fi or 3G. Bear in mind that you will need to pay for 3G internet, though – data tariffs start at around £7 per month.
There are some big advantages to the hybrid design compared to conventional compact cameras. The 4.8in screen has more than twice the surface area of other cameras' 3in screens. Its sharp 1280x720 pixel resolution is great for viewing and editing photos and videos. Basic editing apps are included, but there are a number of other editing apps available for download from the Google Play Store.
Because this camera connects directly to the internet, it's easy to share photos via email, Facebook, Picasa, Instagram or virtually any other online service. It's also possible to back photos up to Dropbox as soon as you have taken them. The built-in Gallery app not only shows all the photos stored in the camera, but it also shows photo albums from Facebook and Picasa accounts.
There are downsides to the hybrid concept too. The power button merely puts it to sleep, but after 24 hours it switches itself off completely, whereupon powering up takes almost 30 seconds. Even with this and various other battery-saving tricks, battery life is shorter than with a conventional camera because of the big screen and wireless functions.
Then there's the price of £379. Compared to more conventional but similarly priced cameras, image quality isn't good enough. It's roughly in line with what we would expect from a camera costing half as much. The lens delivered reasonably sharp focus throughout its generous 21x zoom range, but subtle details such as skin texture and foliage were lost. Low-light shots tended to be blurry because the camera chose slow shutter speeds. It is possible to adjust the shutter speed manually, but these controls are cumbersome.
Even with manual intervention, this is not the best camera for low-light photography. The autofocus was also very slow, taking noticeably longer than other similarly priced cameras to focus on objects and people.
There's a lot to like here and combining phone and camera technology is much more than just a gimmick. However, people who already own a premium smartphone will find many features duplicated. They might be better off with a cheaper or higher-quality camera that includes Wi-Fi to transfer photos to their phone. 

Our verdict
Boldly innovative but not the perfect union of phone and camera technology.

Good points

Runs Android apps; Internet access via Wifi and 3G; 21x zoom lens; Huge, detailed screen

Bad points

Disappointing image quality for the price; Slow autofocus
Best price on the web
Best price:£ 384.98


Suggested retail price


Galaxy camera 

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