mobile photography technology, culture and community

Samsung releases Galaxy Camera code, Android experts start hacking

The Samsung Galaxy Camera runs Android 4.1 but does not come with the ability to make calls.

Android experts are looking at the Galaxy Camera’s code to find a way to hack the newly released camera into a fully functioning phone.

Samsung officially released the open source kernel files for the Galaxy Camera to developers a few days before their U.S. launch. The camera, listed on Samsung's source code site as mobile phone “EK-GC100,” runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

The Galaxy Camera does not place phone calls even though it does blur the lines between camera and smartphone with 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, a speaker and microphone and the ability to run apps like Skype.

Over at the XDA Developers forum, Android hackers and developers are toying with the idea of turning the 16-megapixel camera into a fully-functional phone. General consensus on the forums is that it is just a matter of time before someone hacks into the core of the Galaxy Camera and enables calling just as the 3G/Wi-Fi iPad can be jailbroken to make calls. Despite the speculation and interest, no hacks have been posted.

If you could, would you use the Galaxy Camera as your phone?


Total comments: 24
By D-Man67 (Nov 20, 2012)

Antivirus software plugins for those type of cameras will be soon to follow..

1 upvote
By badgurll23 (Nov 18, 2012)


1 upvote
By alexmurphy48 (Nov 17, 2012)

id much rather have a video of a luminous arrow in flight from my bow superimposed on my liveview of any target. The perfect rangefinder!.

By Claghorn (Nov 17, 2012)

I'd much rather hack it to make it Wi-Fi only and cheaper :-).

By alexmurphy48 (Nov 17, 2012)

does this mean u cud modify the cameras image processing engine to do thy greenscreen bidding?. And nowt else!. Now all i want is a epson 3chip projector on it. Please.

By Kirppu (Nov 16, 2012)

This could turn out to be something as interestind as Linux ^^

By trevmar (Nov 16, 2012)

This would be a wonderful spare VOIP phone for my Google voice account. I would still probably use my Galaxy Note as a phone, and this as a spare, perhaps on T-Mobile's $3/day unlimited occasional use SIM card (pay only the days you use).

By dbateman (Nov 15, 2012)

Hacking is modifying the software so the thing works. Similar to modifying kernal, line code or settings that allow a linux OS to work correctly on your specific laptop or desktop.

Cracking is illegally breaking open the code that is protected to modify it in some way. Cracking is what happened to the GH2 camera to make it better than released. Cracking is also what most viruses do to break open your computer for the full access of the viral writer.

Thus hacking an open source is not bad and many good things come from it. Its good that they released it free. Nintendo released the Wii for a cost, as do others release their files for a cost.

Abhijith Kannankavil
By Abhijith Kannankavil (Nov 15, 2012)

now things are getting interesting. A day will come when you can use the software of brand "A" in brand "B" n stop complaining about stupid menu systems after changing over from one system to other.

By JCS56 (Nov 14, 2012)

"Samsung releases Galaxy Camera code, Android experts start hacking"

For this reason I have:
A cell phone only for receiving calls and SMS. Eventually photos.
LAPTOP: With updated antivirus.
CAMERA: Plain vanilla.
I would never do shoping or banking on my cell phone. Just imagine a day when discover a malicious code in your phone.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
By xMichaelx (Nov 15, 2012)

For what reason? Android is open source.

"Hacking" doesn't mean what you think it does.

Personally, I can't wait until more cameras move to Android. I'd love to be able to create my own menu systems that don't suck. (Thinking about buying this camera just to develop on. Ya know -- hack.)

edit: If you use your laptop on wi-fi, your phone is almost certainly more secure than your laptop (based on your clear lack of computer knowledge). Antivirus does nothing against man-in-the-middle attacks.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
By froggers (Nov 17, 2012)

I missed the part where he said he uses wi-fi.
I have my wi-fi on my laptop turned off in BIOS, he may too.

Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Nov 14, 2012)

While at it, maybe someone might find out if it's possible to hack the phone in a way that would make it work like a transceiver (for a paired-up, SIM-less full-duplex communication between two or more units within the reach of their signal strength).
This would enable occasional cost-free localized communication, such as between navigating vessels or cars traveling together, paragliders, hunters...

By jcmarfilph (Nov 14, 2012)

At least it has a true and more usable camera and not one of those crippled wannabees.

By RayUK (Nov 14, 2012)

To answer the question at the end of the article - yes, as I currently only have a simple mobile phone for making emergency calls plus the usual "I'll be home in x minutes". I hope to be picking my galaxy camera up tomorrow, which I purchased to replace my Sony HX20 plus old mobile, assuming that calls would be available on the camera eventually. Meantime, texting and skype will suffice.
I don't really see the problem with using it as a phone - it's the same width and height as the SIII, and smaller than the galaxy note.

Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 13, 2012)

A camera running Android - WITHOUT 3G/4G. Thanx! But with an extensive API for controlling the camera. And also with a really good camera. Now we are talking! And not talking in the camera, but about it! I have no need of talking in my camera.

By graybalanced (Nov 13, 2012)

Photographers love to make fun of smartphone cameras, but this is evidence of yet another shift that could upend "traditional" photographer expectations of what a camera is.

In a world where computers, phones, and other devices can be updated at any time, why are cameras still so tied to the hardware they were sold with? Why was it easier for me to make panoramas and HDR with my cheap, old phone than with my $450 "high-end" compact with manual controls? Because my crappy old phone could run purpose-built apps and take software updates. I could make the phone more useful, while the camera was no more useful than the day it was bought.

The next generation of photographers will expect to instantly upgrade their cameras with better features and entirely new applications (for example a sunrise/moonrise tracker for landscape photographers, tied into the camera's GPS), while traditional photographers will keep praying that their equipment might someday receive a minor "firmware update."

Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Nov 13, 2012)

An interesting approach, which might result in surprisingly new directions: one very good move!
It should be an example to others, too. CHDK has already made some Canon models do more than what you can buy off the shelf, and I wonder how come Canon isn't adopting those hacks. Especially when there is such a dog-eat-dog competition in the camera market...

By migus (Nov 13, 2012)

Cracks open indeed a big door!

By Combatmedic870 (Nov 13, 2012)

Very cool. This is going to be the best part of the android OS coming to cameras. Hacking can be EXTREMELY easy as long as it does not have a locked bootloader, Adding features, improving video(upping the bit rate), improving FPS....ECT....

Now it just needs to move to the NX line.

By mpgxsvcd (Nov 13, 2012)

First place prize goes to anyone who photographs someone else talking on their camera.

1 upvote
By ryansholl (Nov 13, 2012)

Wait... whose camera? Are we talking a mirror shot of someone talking into my camera as I hold it, photographing them?

By ianp5a (Nov 14, 2012)

Rubbish news! Everyone rushing to make a phone out of it already has an Android phone! As a photographer I'd want them rushing to make the most out of the 'camera'. Custom controls for the way different people work. HDR, panorama, program-shift, time lapse. Do "Photography" people! Not yet another place to play Angry Birds!

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By GURL (Nov 14, 2012)

This could result in a given camera (hardware) behaving differently depending on who is using it:
- the easier the best for some people
- a video oriented one if this is what you want
- a macro camera for stills if you need that
Etc, etc, etc...

:o) Digital camera are computers, for better AND for worst !

1 upvote
Total comments: 24
About us