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Review: Mobile photographer puts Samsung Galaxy Camera to the test

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Noted smartphone photographer Oliver Lang explores Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Camera in this hands-on review. Our own Lars Rehm is also working on a review of the camera and sample gallery that we'll post on Connect soon.

Mobile photographer Oliver Lang puts his iPhone 4S, used for the shot above ... 
 ... up against the Samsung Galaxy Camera. Images by Oliver Lang.

I’ve been a mobile photographer for a number of years now. Shooting with a mobile device has changed how I use all my cameras, both film and also digital devices with higher quality sensors. Over the years I’ve developed specific processes for shooting and editing with a mobile phone. I have been invited to teach mobile photography at the Australian Centre for Photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales and also the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. In all my classes I try to emphasise mobile connectivity as a key factor in my growth as a photographer.

The connectivity of a mobile camera has allowed me to share photos with people from all over the world. Growing social photo sharing networks have exposed me to thousands of mobile photographs by others, which I’ve used as a source of photographic teaching -- both the good and the bad. The availability and convenience of the device has given me more opportunities and greater enthusiasm than I ever experienced when sharing images from a stand-alone computer. Devices that give you the freedom to shoot and share from any where at any time don’t have to be the best technical camera equipment; instead they need to be used in a way that gives you the best community experience possible.

Social media growth and mass adoption of mobile devices as “good enough” camera equipment has resulted in an influx of social and lifestyle photography online. Some have defined this as narcissism, but I see the sharing of real time social images as critical form of peer-to-peer currency. There remains potential for pure photographic experiences, beyond “selfie” or status update fodder. However, there is a definitive change in the nature of commonly used photographic devices, driven by the need to share a photo, or a photo of an experience. Even though I don’t photograph my food, my feet or some other banal object, I do shoot street, event, portrait and documentary photography with the purpose of sharing the image. My photography is about communication, and supported by the connectivity of the device. I shoot to share.

Mobile photographer Oliver Lang puts down his iPhone and picks up a Samsung Galaxy Camera.

Exploring the Samsung Galaxy Camera

Most recently, I’ve been shooting with the Samsung Galaxy Camera.

In a flash, this device has zoomed the point-and-shoot camera back into focus, and with a powerful 1.4GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system and 3G/4G as well as Wi-Fi connectivity (depending upon your provider and geographical location), the camera sets a new standard for the “point-and-share” market. 

Real time photography plays an essential role in sharing via social media, and this camera takes the potential for “mobile” photography to a new level. For avid mobile photographers, it represents a new range of shooting options and photographic potential, with the same mobile access to the photography communities you’ve discovered through your mobile phone camera. But if you’re not convinced why a 16-megapixel camera with 21x optical zoom would also need an Android operating system, with all the potential editing and sharing applications that are available, then please, read on.

For years the point-and-share market has been dominated by the mobile phone camera. Smartphones have stayed on top thanks to ever-improving camera quality and the ability to edit and share personal images in real time using the same device used to take the photo. Being able to shoot and share images from anywhere at any time has revolutionised the role of photographs in society. Yet, despite the improved mobile phone camera quality over the last few major releases, the mobile phone has always lacked both a decent flash and optical zoom. The Samsung Galaxy Camera has both, and along with its powerful processor, Android 4.1 operating software and connectivity, it’s a powerful device for shooting and sharing.

Clown at the Glebe Fair in Sydney. Image by Oliver Lang, taken on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. 
Performer at the Glebe Fair in Sydney. Image by Oliver Lang, taken on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. 

Personal, real-time imagery makes up the majority of photography created and consumed today. Most of that imagery is limited or constrained by the technical capabilities of today’s most popular device for capturing images: the mobile phone camera. In fact, using a device with greater technical capability, such as a DSLR, is seen as cheating by many Instagram users. With Instagram, the evenness of the playing field is a key reason for its success. As social media is the dominant platform for self-expression today, it is reasonable to expect that point-and-share devices will continue to be popular photographic devices for a long time. Although there is no ability to make phone calls from the Samsung Galaxy Camera (unless using a data service like Skype) this is a device primed for today’s popular one-to-many visual communication methods. But without a phone connection will it be able to compete with the mobile phone camera?

Smartphone comparisons

Dedicated iPhone users will also be challenged to decide if the Galaxy Camera is worth the leap to a new operating system. (See Connect's guide to the Android operating system to learn more about it.) It’s worth noting that the level of photographic control in Android phones has lagged behind the iPhone. Only in later models (such as the Samsung Galaxy S3) have you been able to separately control and lock focus and exposure with apps like Camera FV-5. These controls have been available with numerous apps on iPhone for some time, which has helped make Apple’s model a favourite among mobile photographers. Could the photographic potential of Samsung’s Android-driven Galaxy Camera start a sea change?

Koala sleeps in Sydney. Image by Oliver Lang, taken on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. 

I've heard people say for years now that they will not need to buy a new compact camera because their mobile phone camera is "good enough" for their purposes. It will be interesting to see if the range of camera and mobile sharing functions offered by the Samsung Galaxy Camera will cause people to think twice about whether their mobile phone is the right camera after all.

The noticeable differences in feel between the Samsung Galaxy Camera and a similar sized mobile phone include a dedicated finger grip and the raised shutter button. The finger grip is appreciated, and the wrist strap (included with the model provided) provides added security when holding in one hand. A comparable grip is only available for mobile phones with the addition of a case. The Galaxy Camera grip allows access to the zoom control and shutter button with the same hand, and with a free thumb you can freely access the main icons on the display screen to help change shooting modes easily with one hand. When you rotate the device to review images, the camera lens makes a nice finger hold and feels comfortable.

Street portrait at the Glebe Fair in Sydney. Image by Oliver Lang, taken on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. 

When you first turn on the Samsung Galaxy Camera it may feel slower than another compact camera as the device is booting the Android 4.1 operating system. The device opens directly into the dedicated camera mode, a standalone camera application similar to the native camera app in a smartphone. At any time you can select the Home icon and be taken directly to the Android screen to access all applications and widgets. Whenever you leave the camera mode for the Android home screen, the camera will close the lens for comfortable handling. The initial shooting mode selected is Auto, although after you have changed it to another setting it will usually remember that mode the next time it opens. Occasionally it defaulted to f2.8 when I had closed it at f8, but the settings are displayed on the screen for you to check. Selecting Mode gives you quick access to three shooting options of Auto, Smart or Expert. I’ve tested most of the Smart functions and they’ll certainly suit general needs for certain situations, including Night, Action Freeze, Rich Tone and others.  I’ve usually gone straight for the full control over ISO, exposure and aperture in the manual setting under Expert mode.

In Expert mode, you can select ISO, exposure and aperture settings.

The lens offers 21x optical zoom, which is so far beyond anything offered on a mobile phone camera that there is simply no comparison. I’m really excited by the zoom as I’ve seen countless mobile images with horrible noise created by the digital zoom of smartphones. At full zoom, I found the camera must be held steady to frame accurately, and this is where the large display screen helps.

The touch screen covers the back of the camera, with no protruding or recessed buttons or dials. The large 4.8-inch display does help to compose images. The onscreen icons are large and responsive to touch.  In Expert mode the screen displays ISO, aperture and exposure for adjustment in a screen overlay that looks somewhat like a manual camera lens. I found this animated overlay frustratingly slow and tacky.  The real potential in any Android device is in the development of third-party applications that can capitalise on the hardware capabilities of the device and create alternate user interfaces. I’ve always preferred third-party applications on my smartphone which offer more control when shooting with a mobile phone.

Excited Emu in Sydney. Image by Oliver Lang, taken on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. 

A camera with apps

Many photography apps for Android will work with the Galaxy Camera, though these are not specifically designed for this device. Some functionality won’t work properly, and none are yet available that aim to take advantage of the device’s zoom lens, flash and high resolution output. I don’t expect  applications targeted toward the Galaxy Camera to appear overnight, but I’m hopeful for one that allows faster and more accurate photographic control, while harnessing the device’s best features.

To get the most from the Samsung Galaxy Camera, you should explore the large range of free and paid applications available for the Android operating platform. Both the Google Play store and Amazon Appstore for Android offer large dedicated photography application categories.

Many of the photography apps you can install will allow you to edit your image, but it’s important to note that many applications will not save an edited image at maximum resolution (3456x4608). To check that the saved image is the same resolution as the original, review the application settings or the image properties. Smaller resolution images may not be as nice to view as full resolution on a larger screen, and printing sizes and quality will also be limited. One of my favorite photo editors is Snapseed, recently released for Android.

As you experiment with third-party apps on the Galaxy Camera, be wary of those that open in camera mode. Camera mode on a mobile phone can easily be closed down, but on the Galaxy Camera, the lens will open and need to again close before you can edit or share an image. To avoid this unnecessary opening and closing of the lens, you can send an image directly to an application from the photo album; this avoids any unnecessary opening and closing of the camera lens.

Sydney favourite the Lorikeet Image by Oliver Lang, taken on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. 

Conclusion

The rise of the smartphone camera has spawned a global mobile photography community whose members share a passion for participative, photographic creativity. These communities share tips and tricks for shooting and editing images using an array of photo editing applications via numerous social networks, blogs and other outlets. As more photos are shared from the Galaxy Camera and devices like it I believe that we’ll see more communities appear around the apps, technical capabilities and limitations of this new genre of connected cameras, and I hope app developers will respond in turn.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera is not the first Android back-ended camera, but it is certainly the best fusion of a point-and-shoot camera and Android operating system that I've seen. This new type of camera may beg the question: is this the end of smartphone mobile photography? My simple answer is no, mobile photography just has some new options. For me, the basic principles remain the same: it’s the use of a singular device with the capability for shooting, editing and sharing photography in real time. And the Samsung Galaxy Camera fits that description perfectly.

Enter our Android Talk Forum to discuss this topic further.


Oliver Lang's (@oggsie) mobile phone images have been show in exhibitions and press both locally and in Europe. He currently teaches mobile photography courses at the Australian Centre for Photography. He is exploring the growth of participatory photography and the innovations that the connected culture of mobile photography is driving.

Comments

Total comments: 75
Then4
By Then4 (Feb 28, 2013)

I think it's strange that Sony Xperia Z is not mention in camera review DPR Connect. It have allot better Camera(sensor) + screen then any competitor i have tried photo with.

0 upvotes
KiwiKaw
By KiwiKaw (Jan 9, 2013)

Do you think the rubber grip on the camera(White) will turn yellow easily?

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Feb 5, 2013)

No

0 upvotes
Oleander
By Oleander (Dec 29, 2012)

As others have mentioned, if you just compare it to a P&S, it will fall short. But this is so much more! It's a Jack of all trades, master of none. I have it and love it!

Yes it certainly isn't a very good camera, and yes it's not a "real" phone as well. I've installed CSIPSimple to do VoIP and with the added benefit that, that makes it useable in pretty much all of europe (just swap the data SIM).

Going on vacation I don't want to carry a lot, and this does it all. Takes pictures for instant uploads, makes calls, show me the way and browse stuff.

Attending rock festivals in all of Europe I can actually bring this (DSLR's not allowed, heck sometimes even big P&S aren't allowed) and via Google+ instantly upload pictures to the Event-page, show my position via google maps to my friends and use the festival app.

If you start out fussing over IQ you are so missing the point, and this device is probably not for you!

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Dec 24, 2012)

Oh, I just loved the bird shots - superb!

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Dec 24, 2012)

Nice review, but not for me ;-)! Heck, even my mobile lacks a camera, and I haven't missed it yet. But I often carry a camera with me, a Nikon V1, or an Olympus ZX-1, or something more substantial, if I feel the need for it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

0 upvotes
somiksharma
By somiksharma (Dec 22, 2012)

Wow great device to have with yourself. It is Digital camera with Android operating system. Nice story presented. Thanks!

Check my review on this one....

http://technozmania.blogspot.com/2012/12/samsung-galaxy-camera-review.html

0 upvotes
tommy leong
By tommy leong (Dec 20, 2012)

my quick hands on:

1)Nice and big LCD

2)LCD will have big problems in the sun

3)Screen area is too big, so much so that there is no place
to land your thumb. I keep activating some of the keys while
trying to hold the camera.

I am surprised the short review didn't cover these points

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 20, 2012)

Hi Tommy, I had no problems holding the camera, I suggest you grip with your fingers and anchor it in your palm. That way your thumb won't be in contact with the screen unless you want it to be.

The Android drop down menu offers a simple way to adjust screen brightness, so I did not find seeing the screen difficult. Maybe you didn't get to test this solution?

1 upvote
DoctorZick
By DoctorZick (Dec 18, 2012)

Samsung Galaxy Camera: What's the point? [One more angle]
Part 2
On the other hand, the thing that does bother me at this point is the constant getting-out-of-focus while zooming, as well as the JITTERS that are obvious when the zoom extensions move (forward or backward) and hit the mechanical limits--it all STAYS on-the-record. Tell me what to do about THAT? Just don't say I should first zoom, and then shoot. [As the jitters are more pronounced at wider angles, it could also be that the image processor is not on par for smoothly recalculating 30fps of the greater number of objects in the wider picture. – A possible improvement is, obviously, to use the zoom from 4 to 21x, instead of 1-21x.] The other pain-in-the-ass defect has not been solved in HDV video either—and probably won't be by any upcoming G-cam upgrades: the video pan movements are more than noticeably rickety! I gave up on that one, but still have to ask: does anyone have any tips?
Zick

0 upvotes
DoctorZick
By DoctorZick (Dec 18, 2012)

Samsung Galaxy Camera: What's the point? [One more angle]
Part 1
I was looking for a cheap MID, like a 7" tablet, on a cell phone-company plan—the likes of S3 or Note or OneX were better factor for pocketability, but out of price range. Then I realized the G-cam hit the stores, and went for some hands-on experience: the 4.8" screen is pretty much enough for my browsing [AND email] needs, and—guess what—costs the same as a 7" tablet in the plans! > So, ta da!, I get the P&S camera for free—no extra cost! I'd rather see it slimmer, but it's more pocketable than a tablet [in terms of (gorilla) glass breaking], and besides, I still have in the closet all those leather belt-bags from when cell phones were a different form-factor [I kinda miss that going-for-the-gun movement].
Also, no one of you guyz thought of using this camera for video streaming? Like, on Ustream, Livecast, etc. Somebody is probably already working on a G-cam optimized video-streaming uploader.
Zick

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (Dec 17, 2012)

for the price of admission, surely any sane person would get one of the more recent and VASTLY superior mirrorless cameras like the Nex 5R, which incidentally is about the same size roughly (possibly even smaller). the price is about the same and you have some connctivity options as well as options to change your lense specific to your style of shooting.

these phone cameras, the thing is, you must work around the tool. i have always felt tat the tool should work towards my needs, especialy if i'm going to spend half a grand upwards for it.

the quality of the picture is poor even by modern phone camera standards and the price high for a poorly performing superzoom.

what i don't understand is, why are mobile photographers not more discerning or critical about their tools? i think it's a valid form of photography and i enjoy viewing it, but one should not be so dismissive about the critical flaws of a product you're about to spend money on.

4 upvotes
sportyaccordy
By sportyaccordy (Dec 17, 2012)

Wrong, wrong, wrong

I have a Nex and I rarely bring it out. On the flip side I have my Galaxy S on me every time I leave the house. The best camera is the one you bring with you.

Not to mention there's no mirrorless camera with a 21x (that would be a 16 to 336mm lens on a Nex- how portable would that be???) zoom lens anyway. Now would this have the IQ of a D800E? No, but do you carry your big fancy camera everywhere you go? Come on.

I was peeved about this device not having voice, but with Talkatone that's not really an issue. I think you're blowing things out of proportion

3 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (Dec 17, 2012)

No, I'm still correct. I'm talking about this Samsung camera specifically. Your phone is always going to be with you. That is a given. However, If you can't even bring your NEX with you, you're not going to bring the Samsung with you. Why would you?

It's the same size as a Nex. Same price as a Nex. Has vastly lower image quality. Has features that are 99% replicated on your existing smartphone. Has poor battery life (200+ shots to the Nex's 700 shots if you don't chimp). Your only benefit from owning this camera is a crappy 21x zoom... for $500.

Critical analysis will come to the conclusion that this is nothing more than a money grab by Samsung.

Even a $250 S100 with Eye-Fi card is signifigantly cheaper than this camera. It's also smaller, easier to carry with much better image quality. It also has a collapsible power zoom that while it may not be 21x, it doesn't suck.

3 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 18, 2012)

Good points raised here, and there's certainly people who would prefer one option over the other.

I think that people who want simplicity are more likely to use a device that is essentially all in one. There will be others (including myself) who will use the Eye-Fi or similar connectivity between devices for real time photo upload/sharing.

I think the emphasis on the zoom is the wrong point to raise. Instead the flash unit is going to give people better social shots compared to any mobile phone camera with a LED based flash.

And "critical analysis" would lead to the conclusion that any camera manufacturer is interested in making a profit from releasing a device.

Personally, I'm excited by the innovations in these new devices and the potential for the future.

2 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Dec 18, 2012)

@wansai I think you're missing the huge point that for many people, this thing can be a single device to carry, rather than two (camera and phone). I have several ways to make and receive calls on Android with VOIP, and I use Android mainly for email anyway, so the lack of cellular calling is irrelevant to me. As for the price, it's cheaper than most smartphones.

1 upvote
zorglub76
By zorglub76 (Dec 18, 2012)

This particular camera is maybe not worth that kind of money, but if it paves a way to the whole new format of cameras, then it's very important. I can't wait for Sony to create such camera-phone with 1" sensor, and I'm pretty sure they are capable of doing that (rx100 + phone/3G).

0 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Dec 16, 2012)

Excellent photos, vibrant, spontaneous and as you say, participative. I'm sure a larger camera can have better IQ, but would it inspire the same photographic style, which even treats animals as part of one's social life?

My main thought here is the possible fusion of a versitile camera and various filtering apps, which would make for an exciting new experience. Technology's not inventing technology, but it's making it a lot less cumbersome and more sociable, too.

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 17, 2012)

Thanks for the comment, as for the animal photos, this was more of a test than a part of my social life. Although I certainly have friends that are much more wild than the animals pictured.

Filtering is not the aim of a camera with a quad core processor, instead there should be full resolution editing options available on android to enhance the quality of the images obtained.

And before this there should be options (apps) to shoot lossless jpeg or even RAW files for maximum editing potential.

We need to move away from filters and towards the concept of workflow on a single device.

1 upvote
Goodmeme
By Goodmeme (Dec 16, 2012)

Some nice photos and thought provoking comments. For anyone with a normal android phone who wants a shutter button, I recommend Camera Pro app which lets you use the volume buttons to lock focus and capture. I love it, and the developer seems to be listening to comments and making customisable options.

3 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 17, 2012)

Thanks for the tip, hopefully android developers include exposure lock in all shooting applications in future.

Shooting for highlights is a great way to get quality images from a camera phone, it usually results in a lower ISO and faster shutter speeds so the quality of the image is better.

0 upvotes
JeaPS
By JeaPS (Dec 17, 2012)

Couldn't find the camera Pro app you describe in the Play Store. Can you point me in the right direction please.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Dec 16, 2012)

So has anyone tried really using this camera to make Skype phone calls? Is there a special blocking circuit or firmware that prevents owners from using it like a phone?

If it works fairly well as a phone, this could be the paradigm shift—just as people used to say "who needs a compact camera when I can take great pix with my phone" maybe now we can turn it around and say "who needs a phone when I can make calls with my camera."

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 17, 2012)

Excellent point, but from the growing emphasis in visual information I see in social media phone calls are really a secondary concern (although possible).

And yes, I've tested Skype, and I can use the camera while still making a call.

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Dec 18, 2012)

People keep mentioning Skype, which is fine as Skype works well. There are dozens of options, though. Personally, I use RingCentral, Vonage and Skype. All have excellent Android apps. This lack of cellular calling is nearly irrelevant.

0 upvotes
Borozon
By Borozon (Dec 15, 2012)

no phone no problem. I download skipe,biver,line,heycall,etc...

2 upvotes
Borozon
By Borozon (Dec 15, 2012)

For me is an interesting camera,i spent allmthe time in the country taken photos and have all the tolls i need to editing and send to my blogs faster

1 upvote
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Dec 15, 2012)

Is it reasonable to say that most 'Images were by Oliver Lang, taken on the Samsung Galaxy Camera'?

LOL!

0 upvotes
ddtwenty
By ddtwenty (Dec 15, 2012)

I like the 4.8 inch display and ability to edit photo instantly.
I wish to see these features applied for high level or enthusiast compact camera in the very near future.

0 upvotes
GURL
By GURL (Dec 15, 2012)

Photographers are supposed to make prints and some of them never watch the rear screen of their digital camera.

Other camera users on the contrary often watch their camera rear screen and enjoy LARGE, bright, crisp ones. Most of them are not really interested in recording great images they will never see and large amount of megapixels they could want to use some day.

Trying to avoid any sarcasm, I would say that we don't alway realize nor accept that fine screens exist just like great printing paper and well printed books. This camera is not the first from Samsung where I'm seduced by rear screen displayed images (I used this camera to photography a vendor and a customer in rather difficult lighting conditions and was really impressed.)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Knallberto
By Knallberto (Dec 15, 2012)

4.8" display is okay and very good. Yesterday I used it - sun/snow/bluesky - UNUSABLE ... like any camera display. Even super hyper ultra amoled ... best thing is a VIEWER!

Cameras without viewers are TOYs !

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 17, 2012)

Having used several devices without viewfinders I understand the preference, but having seen quality work by award winning photographers from such devices I'd have to disagree that this makes the device a toy. As they say, a bad tradesman blames his tools.

2 upvotes
GURL
By GURL (Dec 14, 2012)

@Oliver Lang - about image quality

The most important point is whether or not what you see with your eyes and want to record is really recorded. Blur or "excessive contrast" of the subject sometimes cause that unexperienced users are betrayed by the camera where experienced users would find a technical solution or would wait for a better light (learning photography includes learning when and where any attempt is useless!)

Another important point is that for each new photographic process we learn to reconstruct the reality from the resulting images, as this was the case for the "false colors" of early color films. People accustomed to current phone cameras are certainly happy when what they get matches what other phone-cameras produce. Imitation of early color photographs by dedicated apps looks like a pleasant solution to follow this way and get around some color inacuraccies...

0 upvotes
GURL
By GURL (Dec 14, 2012)

Finally a proof that no camera is perfect is that no sparkling diamond images are available (you can put a CD-ROM in a sunny place to test that) and that no image recorded in a dark place or during the night looks really like what our eyes are seeing...

0 upvotes
gopiqpp
By gopiqpp (Dec 15, 2012)

So what's your point? Don't get any camera, or don't get this camera? Did you like this camera, or did you not?

0 upvotes
grahamdyke
By grahamdyke (Dec 14, 2012)

No phone = No buy...

1 upvote
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (Dec 14, 2012)

There's no reason that an Android-based camera should be at all phone like. Just as there's no reason that an Android-based (or iOS-based) tablet/laptop/TV/MP3 player/toaster should be at all phone-like.

To limit the OS simply to phones shows a serious lack of vision -- one that (hopefully) a better camera maker will not share.

0 upvotes
gopiqpp
By gopiqpp (Dec 15, 2012)

Do you live among the Amazon Indians? You seem to be very odd, compared to the majority of other normal humans who buy phones, cameras, or a combination.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Dec 14, 2012)

I said this before and I'll say it again. I want a RX100 merged with an iPhone5. Why put a 21x zoom on a "compact" camera "phone" is beyond me.

4 upvotes
sergueis
By sergueis (Dec 15, 2012)

Just because it's the only good this one can say about this p.o.s. - big zoom number. And because super zoom is the easiest to make for tiny sensors.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 14, 2012)

"But without a phone connection will it be able to compete with the mobile phone camera?" --- DPReview

In one word: GELDED

Had there been a telephone facility on this gadget, it would have certainly rocked the boat...

.

2 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

I have to agree, but then with an Android OS, there's always this:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1864609

0 upvotes
zlosyn
By zlosyn (Dec 14, 2012)

sorry, but for the size of the lens, the image quality is RUBBISH. Am I the only one not seeing any sharpness in the pictures at all ?

3 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Dec 14, 2012)

Doesn't look very good at all but then look at the target market, it's for people upgrading from phones not downgrading from SLR's. Shame because I might have brought one. Early days, all this tech will be in every camera soon.

3 upvotes
Ian M.B.
By Ian M.B. (Dec 15, 2012)

I agree. I am aprofessional photographer and have an iPhone 5 using Snapseed to edit and I think the image quality is better than this Samsung Galaxy when zoomed in. . . for the size of the camera etc the quality should be much better. . and no phone facility, what's the point Samsung?

1 upvote
JonHob
By JonHob (Dec 14, 2012)

I've had one of the Samsung Galaxy cameras since October and LOVE it! It does everything I need it to do as a point-n-shoot camera with great interaction with social media.

LOVE IT!

4 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Dec 14, 2012)

Global mobile photo community? That thing sucks at what it should do - taking pictures. With todays high bandwith connections there is no excuse for crappy compressed content. This device is insultingly overpriced especially if you look at the output of an Nokia phone cam... No go here.

0 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (Dec 14, 2012)

Yes, global mobile photo community.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

Mobile connectivity does not ensure high bandwidth, and the screen size of devices for sharing and consuming such content is smaller than maximum resolution.

I'm not sure how a comparison to a image from a Nokia determines the price point validity, considering this device has several more specifications than the Nokia which you've ignored.

You may have missed the growth of the mobile photography community, but as connected devices continue to increase in popularity I'm sure you'll be able to find it in future.

1 upvote
wakaba
By wakaba (Dec 17, 2012)

Connectivty is no excuse for lack of image-quality.

This device lacks all the ingredients of basic connectivty, to convey content in a message, unless you think your message needs pixelated, unsharp and horribly colourcoded.

Global community, my a--. I just see drones creditcarding the latest crap with lens stuck on and now with Wifi...

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 18, 2012)

Not sure how this device lacks connectivity, and these images are usually down-sampled for mobile sharing which means your issues are not the problems of the users.

And yes, global mobile photo community.

0 upvotes
capteneo
By capteneo (Dec 14, 2012)

FYI, "single" and "singular" are not synonyms.

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

Thanks for the point, the use of the word is a play on the synonym's of singular. Please forgive the artistic licence?

0 upvotes
PersonalTech
By PersonalTech (Dec 14, 2012)

It's an important device that shows the way of the future, even if I'm not interested in owning one myself. I look forward to the day that we can get a camera the caliber of the RX100 in a full smartphone, and avoid having to carry two devices. I would certainly be willing to carry a thicker phone if it had a great camera.

Until then, a Panasonic LX-7 with Eye-Fi card will take care of my mobile photography needs.

3 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

I also regularly use the X2 Eye-Fi card, but a full frame phone sounds like something we can both get excited about!

0 upvotes
avgcitizen
By avgcitizen (Dec 14, 2012)

Looks pretty marginal even at ISO 100...my Powershot S100 is leaps and bounds superior, which begs the question: when will Android provide for RAW file saving? Most of the bad in these Samsung shots are compression artifacts or noise that can be nicely post-processed out.

5 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

I am hoping that some app developer creates a shooting app that does just that. iOS developers identified a way to get lossless JPEG images out of an iPhone, hopefully equally powerful android apps will also appear soon.

1 upvote
avgcitizen
By avgcitizen (Dec 15, 2012)

BTW, the outgoing S100 can be had for US$250. You can put it in one back pocket and your Android phone in the other with just a little compromise to your drag coefficient.

1 upvote
bb42
By bb42 (Dec 15, 2012)

The S100 has a large sensor and is quite costly, so it makes more sense to compare the Samsung with an Ixus or HS220.
Even then the Samsungs image quality looks inferior, but that needs an extra survey with both cams side by side.

0 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (Dec 14, 2012)

The IQ is far better than the ones found on camera-wannabe like iPhones. Just put that real-phone functionality and it will be a real hit.

3 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Dec 14, 2012)

iPhone is a phone, not a camera, hence iPHONE. This Galaxy camera is a crappy phone by your standard as it cannot even make call.

1 upvote
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (Dec 16, 2012)

Then tell those delusional fanboyz to stop with their hallucination that they can use iPhone for serious photography.

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 17, 2012)

I've used an iPhone for serious photography. But I don't rely on the IQ of the device, instead I use as much manual control as possible.

But seriously, how serious does your photography have to be to justify or rule out a device?

1 upvote
GURL
By GURL (Dec 13, 2012)

OK ! That's a shoot&share camera, not point&shoot.

But, as sharing is not improved compared to cell phones, images quality should be the main point:
- is the flash good enough?
- what about indoor photo when the flash is not used?
- what about dynamic range compared to cell phones.

Besides that, this a touch-screen camera with no button but the shutter button: wether this will be used to create unusual apps designed for different kind of users (beginners, advanced) and/or different kind of photography is a very interesting issue (I imagine that night, action, landscape, indor, studio, HDR, panorama, close-up, etc, could use a dedicated control interface...)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Dec 13, 2012)

You can call it shoot & hoot or any other name if you like...The image quality is no better than your run of the mill point and shoot camera.

For $600 I'll buy the NX210 mirrorless cam which has wifi and share my DSLR quality pics that way. ;)

1 upvote
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

Great comment, but I'm not sure that the emphasis on technical analysis is necessary for this device. Image quality may be a moot point when you consider that this device is primed for online sharing, and that most of the images aren't being blown up full resolution, or printed.

Certain people define image quality by technical measures alone, but I'm not one of them. My experiences with photography have proven that great images are not reliant on image quality alone. Although I have to agree that if I was reviewing a camera that cost tens of thousands of dollars and was used in professional photographic situations I would certainly emphasise technical aspects to a much larger degree.

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

I've found that image quality is a relative term, what is good enough for you is maybe not good enough for someone else. Honestly I've taken bad photos with this camera indoors as well as good ones. The difference between the good and the bad photo was my ability to control the camera and compose a quality image, it was not the fault of the camera.

To answer one of your questions, I really like having the flash, but whether or not it's good enough will depend on your photographic purpose. As for indoors (is there an indoor standard?), the image quality can be good but this depends on the use of available light.

I understand that the existing dpreview audience wants to approach new devices from a technical perspective, but I'm more interested in the potential application of new devices in a highly connected world.

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Dec 14, 2012)

Great comments and I agree to a certain extent. However, if you say that image quality is not an issue because of online sharing, then why pay $600 for something that takes slightly better pics than your camera phone? Ok so it has the zoom advantage but is that enough to warrant the cost? Now if this was say $300, then it would be more tempting because it falls in range with other mid end point and shoot cameras.

My point was that for the price of admission, one can buy Samsung's own NX210 and not only have a camera capable of sharing images online, but also have the option of large prints if they so choose to. You get the best of both worlds. ;)

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

Yes, true. There's certainly options available for mobile photo workflows. I'd say it's not so much the zoom as it is the decent flash that will make this a desirable social camera. The ability to share photos after daylight hours is a key factor in the decision for people who want to be able to do just that.

There's certainly other considerations, but I'd say that for most people using two devices to shoot and share is one device too many. I've used Eye-Fi cards and other options in the past for moving images between devices, but I don't know too many people who are interested in any other process than pressing a couple of touch screen buttons.

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Dec 13, 2012)

$600 for a camera with the image quality of a $100 point and shoot is never a good deal. $300 and now you're talking. ;)

0 upvotes
Knallberto
By Knallberto (Dec 13, 2012)

GC100 price in Austria is € 299
I have it & I like it :-)

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
tombell1
By tombell1 (Dec 13, 2012)

In the UK the NX1000 + 20-50 comes with a Galaxy 7" for free at £379.00 .... thats around £200 for the camera ... not a bad deal
This is available from jessops, Amazon etc

0 upvotes
Oliver Lang
By Oliver Lang (Dec 14, 2012)

Thanks for the comment.

I think it's difficult to only compare a shoot and share camera device to a point and shoot camera without apps and connectivity.

If you simply take a technical photographic analysis of the device you're ignoring the potential of the connections and creativity via apps and services that are all within the one device. Of course not everyone wants these options, but, as the mobile phone is proving, many people do.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the price point over the next few years, although I'd assume that having a quad core processor is always going to make these devices dearer.

0 upvotes
imbimmer
By imbimmer (Dec 14, 2012)

If I'm into the apps then I'd definitely go for the iPhone. All the best apps are not to be found on Android ... period.

My iPhone+KitCam+Dropbox beat the GC100 every day for this exact intended purpose.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HippyChef
By HippyChef (Jan 4, 2013)

Thanks Oliver and everyone who contributed to this discussion, it really helped me figure out just how happy I will be with this purchase. I am buying because I want a communications device, gps, and camera to take along with me in the woods. Simple wifi would not do. I was thinking tablet, but this is just a little more portable and the camera saves me having to carry another device. I don't see what people are complaining about regarding the pictures, maybe that's because I'm used to point and shoot.

1 upvote
Total comments: 75
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