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Samsung Galaxy Camera in-depth review

84

Image Quality

On this page we examine the Samsung Galaxy Camera's image quality in a variety of real-life shooting situations. For our comparison shots under controlled studio lighting please go to the studio comparison page in this review.

Daylight, low ISO

The Galaxy Camera's 16MP sensor captures 4608 x 3456 pixel images with vibrant saturated colors, decent edge contrast and typically good exposure. However, at a 100 percent magnification the rendering of image detail is slightly underwhelming. Fine detail is blurred and smeared by heavy noise reduction. At the same time blurred luminance-noise speckles are still visible in areas of plain color, even at base ISO. In combination with pretty heavy sharpening this gives the Samsung images a mushy appearance when viewed at 1:1 magnification.

The Galaxy Camera's 21x zoom lens also contributes to the general softness to the images, especially toward the edges of the frame. The degree of softness varies slightly with the focal length and is more prominent at wide angle, but the lens isn't perfect at any zoom setting. There are also some traces of fringing to be found in high-contrast image areas that are close to the edge of the frame.

Dynamic range is on par with other small-sensor compact cameras. There is a tendency to blow out overcast skies and the highlights in other high-contrast scenes, but it's not any worse than on most consumer compacts we have used. In static scenes the camera's HDR mode can help to increase the captured dynamic range.

In good light the Galaxy Camera captures vibrant colors and decent edge detail, but low-contrast detail looks soft and blurred by noise reduction.
Skin tones are pleasantly natural but detail at a pixel-level is not great, with noise reduction and sharpening artifacts.
100% crop
In good light the Galaxy Camera captures vibrant colors and decent edge detail but low-contrast detail looks soft and blurred by noise reduction.
100% crop
Like many compact cameras the Galaxy Camera has limited dynamic range which in high-contrast scenes can result in blown-out highlights. The lens is also very soft towards the edges of the frame.
  100% crop
Even in good light, noise reduction blurs fine detail but noise is still visible in areas of plain color.
  100% crop

Low light, high ISO

The zoom lens is, compared to a smartphone, one of the Galaxy Camera's unique selling propositions. However, you will have to use higher ISOs in anything but the best light if you are planning to make good use of it. While at its wide end the lens sports a reasonably fast F2.8 aperture, at the long end this goes down to F5.9. This is not unusual at all for a compact long-zoom camera but it also means that if you want to achieve a fast shutter speed, to freeze the motion of a player in a sports game for example, and you are shooting indoors or under a cloudy sky, you'll have to crank up the ISO.

In terms of image processing Samsung sticks to its approach: noise is eliminated by fairly ruthless noise reduction, at the expense of image detail. The loss of the latter is evident from ISO 400 upwards and at ISO 800 not much fine low-contrast detail is left. On the upside, high-contrast detail and color accuracy are maintained throughout the ISO range and the images are, for a camera in this class, relatively free of chroma noise.

At a 100 percent view the images might not look pretty, with a lot of grain and noise reduction artifacts, but thanks to low chroma noise levels, even at the highest ISO 3200 setting, the camera's output is usable at small print sizes and for web publishing. For static scenes, the Night Shot mode is a good way of capturing cleaner images.

Low contrast detail is visibly suffering at ISO 400.
100% crop - ISO 400
Shadow noise is well under control but this comes at the expense of detail in the dog's fur.
100% crop - ISO 800 
Chroma noise is hardly visible up to very high sensitivities but most fine detail has gone at ISO 1600.
100% crop - ISO 1600 
At the highest ISO setting virtually all pixel-level detail has vanished but the camera maintains good tonality and saturation.
100% crop - ISO 3200

Given that, at pixel-level, the rather soft and mushy image output of the Galaxy Camera and the fact that many users will edit their images on-camera to later share them online, there is a case to be made for not shooting at 16MP. When shooting at 5MP you don't actually loose much detail compared the the larger files and, as a bonus, upload to Dropbox or the Amazon Cloud is quicker. Below we have included a few 5MP samples.

5MP, ISO 100
5MP, ISO 100
5MP, ISO 800
5MP, ISO 3200

Flash

Flash photography is one of the areas where the Galaxy Camera gives you a real advantage over using a smartphone. The Samsung comes with a Xenon pop-up flash that has maximum reach of 6.2m at wide angle and 5.1m at the tele end of the lens (using Auto ISO). While in camera terms this is nothing to write home about, it's way better than the tiny LED-flashes you find on most smartphones. Besides more power and reach, with red-eye reduction, fill-in flash and slow sync modes, it also offers more control over your flash images. The recycle time is approximately four seconds.

The Galaxy Camera's pop-up flash delivers good flash exposure in Auto mode...
 ...and is more powerful with longer reach than a typical smartphone LED-flash. The color balance is a little on the cool side but within acceptable limits.

Overall image quality

In summary, the Galaxy Camera delivers pixel-level image quality that is typical for a low-end to mid-level compact camera. It looks perfectly alright at screen size, with punchy colors and good exposure but slightly limited dynamic range in high-contrast scenes. If you zoom in to a 100 percent view, things get a little ugly though. The JPEGs look overprocessed with visible noise reduction and other artifacts, even at base ISO. Things get worse at higher sensitivities with low-contrast detail being annihilated by noise reduction. There is also a lot of smeared noise but on the plus side chroma noise is well under control which makes even high ISO images still usable for smaller print sizes and on the web.

The crucial question is: how much does pixel-level image quality matter for a device like the Samsung Galaxy Camera? And for many users, the answer -- probably -- is not very much. The Galaxy Camera allows you to do two things you cannot do with a traditional compact camera: process images with an abundance of editing and filtering apps and share them on the go. Most editing apps limit their output files to smaller sizes and don't allow you to save an edited version of 16MP image. Pixlr-o-matic, which we reviewed recently on Connect, is an exception.

Sharing works pretty much in the same way. While some social networks and most image sharing sites allow you to upload full-size images, it doesn't make any sense to upload the Galaxy Camera's 16MP files, which range from approximately three to six megabites in size via a mobile device. Essentially this means that if you're using a Galaxy Camera how it is meant to be used, you shouldn't be too worried about pixel-level image quality.

Compared to a traditional compact camera, the Galaxy Camera offers very sophisticated sharing features and the ability to install apps, while compared to a smartphone, you get a 21x zoom and a decent flash. This combination makes the Samsung Galaxy unique and while it's certainly not appealing to everyone, despite its sometimes underwhelming image quality it's a great device for the photo-centric smartphone user who wants optical zoom and a better flash.

Comments

Total comments: 84
FoToEdge

Really.. for what it gives you with the View Camera Style Screen, Lens Length and Width, Internet Access, GPS Tagging and all the Android Photography Apps... it is Amazing and this Camera will become a Cult Classic!

0 upvotes
vlad0

In terms of IQ the 808 is still better..

The upcoming Sony Honami is the only phone that might push the 808 a bit..

And of course the WP 808

0 upvotes
grahamdyke

Ok so if I buy one I will have to carry a Phone (needs a sim for 3G/4G) that can't make calls, or texts, but can take good photos and video (Galaxy Camera) and a phone that can make calls and texts, but can't take great pictures, or video (Galaxy Phone).

I guess Samsung will just wait for someone else to jump first then!!!

0 upvotes
jaewankang

비교적 공평한 평가로 판단됩니다.

0 upvotes
jeffVader

Now only if Apple and Olympus would partner up and do something similar, and have it shoot RAW, we would have a winner! A PEN series with iOS. You would get great image quality, smallness, smartness and removable lens. That would be cool!

I think we just stumbled onto a way to save Olympus from their financial issues.

0 upvotes
photorudhra

Replacing my Galaxy Note with this camera.. is it worth it ?

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tan68

I also saw a conflict with the comment "...phone substitute (minus the actual phone call element)".

Being able to make calls natively is an essential element of a phone as popularly defined. VOIP isn't popularly considered synonymous with 'phone'. I think VOIP is considered an option to 'phone'. Otherwise, why make phablets? Just use VOIP.

Years ago, I used VOIP on my PC. My PC did 'apps' and I could make calls but it couldn't be a smartphone substitute. Holding a phone in your hand is a reasonable expectation...

This camera shares two elements of a smartphone: it can be handheld and it has the smartness. It still isn't a smartphone substitute without native calls.

Smartphones need to be portable, smart, and.. phones.

Is a 7" tablet the closest thing, by size, that doesn't make calls natively?

A good way to think of this camera is just 'mobile device' rather than 'smartphone'. I see it more as a 7" tablet substitute minus 2'2" than a smartphone substitute minus calling.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
emilclick

I don't andertand what exactly the level of remote control of the camera is posible with an android device like a phone or tablets. I see in all the demo and review that it posible to remote control the camera by voice, that is very nice feature. But we can't see the composition of an picture in life view to adjust and optimise it, in case we make group autoportret, that mean it posible to have a half of head in final picture.
I see this feature is diponible in panasonic sz10. An accesible price camera with wi-fi feature like this. And posible in the future avaible in tz40.
I don't tolk about the eye-fi card witch all the camera can share the picture and movie instantly. I own one and try it with an old nikon d40 or compact camera like panasonic tz1. And work. But I want to know what is the level to control the camera. The shooting parameters and, very important the zoom of the lenses remotely by an wi-fi device like a tablet. Of corse compact camera with fixed lens.

0 upvotes
jamesH23543

One thing samsung didnt think of and perhaps you didn't experience , the camera lens protrudes on boot up/start up. Or when an app activates the camera so if you are holding it as you are on the third photo in the article you have a big problem? This is a hybrid device, a tablet camera if you like, so if you are holding it like a tablet or have it mounted in a car , or sitting screen up on a table the lens will still protrude and either break the plastic internals OR push its self out of the car mount and onto the floor, just paid $200 to have mine fixed. Quite a few apps activate the camera programatically .Samsung could have thought ahead and either made the default to not protrude on startup or they could have mounted a proximity sensor on the lens side of the device to check for obstructions, but they didn't. Nor would they accept a warranty claim. Be very careful about this if you buy one.

0 upvotes
Razor512

At nearly $600, I would feel insulted reviewing it. at that price, get your self a DSLR and enjoy like 20 times the image quality.

I have a $65 canon powershot that I carry around and it's image quality is better.

and on my $100 powershot which I use for more of macro shots and squirrel pictures, the image quality is multiple times better.

The people at samsung must be insane pushing out that crap (I can understand if it was like $150-180 (since you are basically getting a device running full android), but if it did not have the android OS, and was just a basic point and shoot then it is not worth any more than $50.

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Calm down, you are totally missing the point here and you'd be aware of that if you actually had read the review. By the way you got your pricing wrong. An unlocked Galaxy S3, which most of the Galaxy Camera's phone components come from, will set you back almost $600 on its own. With the Galaxy Camera you basically get the lens and camera features thrown in for free. Also, any 21x zoom compact will cost you at least $250 or so. It might not be your sort of thing but at least try and get the facts right. I did actually enjoy using it quite a lot. No, its IQ isn't great but you simply don't care about that if you then instagram/snapseed/pixlr-o-matic the image. Would I spend $600 on it? Probably not, but this is a first generation product and the prices will come down as they always do.

1 upvote
Razor512

I understand that it has some features of more expensive cameras, but it mises out on the most important feature which is image quality. furthermore, it lacks the features needed to be used as a smartphone so it fails in both of the categories it tries to insert it's self in.

1 upvote
mauijohn

.....and also make the LCD tilt and can make phone calls... that will be a perfect single device to carry around as a phone, a zoom camera and a music player. its bulky but that's okey... i'll buy it.

3 upvotes
mauijohn

If only they incorporate a phone capability on it.. it would be a perfect to carry alone device for a phone, camera, and also a music player....i hope they will someday and i will buy it and sell my canon S100.

0 upvotes
Dédéjr

So lots of gnashing of teeth and wailing i see. Not such a bad first effort though to be honest. Still not really good enough to make anyone but fashion whores buy it though one would hope.

0 upvotes
jj74e

So, it's basically a smartphone. Except instead of making calls you get a better lens. Slightly chunkier. Lower battery life. Some more features like 120fps video.

But in the end...it's a smartphone that's not good enough to replace a smartphone.

Good try though.

Honestly, going Android is not the way to save compacts, if compact cameras aren't already an inevitably lost battle.

Manufacturers need to prioritize convenience, fun, real new features (not just coming out with 20 more crappy scene modes that apps easily outdo), lens and IQ flexibility.

1 upvote
Xajgyk

I've heard that some hacking will provide the working phone app in this camera but paired bluetooth handset is necessary to place a call. I'll check and let you guys know. Might be just a rumor ...

0 upvotes
chadley_chad

Fail!

They should stick a phone in a camera instead of trying to stick a camera in a phone!!!

0 upvotes
jj74e

Uhh....you mean they should stick to putting a camera in a phone instead of a phone in a camera?

0 upvotes
XiPHiAS

The battery used in the Galaxy Camera is actually the same as the Galaxy S2.

0 upvotes
me_tarzan

Why, OH WHY, don't they offer a phone capability? - How much harder could it have been?

0 upvotes
mauijohn

it is a phone.. with camera.. read it again once more and one more time.

0 upvotes
mauijohn

@me tarzan.. sorry i have to take back my comments... it doesn't have phone capability. and you are right... and i am wrong and i'm very sorry for that.

3 upvotes
zaurus

It IS a voice-over-IP-phone.
If under "phone capability" you mean cellular calling, then yes -- it is MUCH harder because of the legacy obsolete sh*t piled upon it.
A 2-month test and certification with FCC, a minimum of a 3-month cert with AT&T the way it's done today would make it at least TWICE as expensive as it is now.
Are you willing to pay this price? I did not think so.
So accept it for what it is and learn to live in the modern times.
Voice channels should already die along with analog fax etc.
But they never do, don't they?

0 upvotes
Jim144

Thanks for the review. I found it very interesting. The more I use my Galaxy phone at work, I increasingly can see the use for a connected camera, even though for my own personal photography I value image quality above convenience.

0 upvotes
acidic

I didn't read the whole review because this product doesn't really interest me as it currently stands. With that said, I would consider a product like this if it had IQ comparable to say, an Oly EPL1 or better yet Canon G1X. Probably a couple years away for that. It would also have to accomodate a SIM card with phone/text functionality. It wouldn't replace my phone, but it would be nice to pull the SIM out of my phone and pop it into this camera when I plan to take it along in lieu of my phone.

0 upvotes
tkbslc

I think they probably left out the phone capability because they realized there are maybe 2 dozen people worldwide that would activate their camera for phone service. And it is pretty dang chunky to be an everyday phone.

0 upvotes
Rage Joe

"operates like a current smartphone, minus the ability to place phone calls or text"

Yeah, really, that's pretty much like a phone.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm

I never call anyone with my phone and nobody ever calls me...yet it is still in my hands and being used all the time :-)

3 upvotes
Photato

Cant make a phone call !? Thats what the carriers don't want you to know.
There are dozens of apps like Bria, Skype, Textplus, Zoiper,etc and hundred of VoIp providers such Callcentric, Voip.ms, Vitelity, etc that work in many mobile OS to make phone calls and send text messages.
Now, I'd have liked to see a more portable device. It seems that current choices are either a pinhole lens or a P&S super zoom.
When I heard the news about this android camera i was not that hopeful. Panasonic, Canon or Apple can do a better job.
Personally I'd rather have a better lens than zoom range along the lines of the Oly X10 or Canon S110 types. A 3X zoom large aperture lens with a 1/3.2" or smaller sensor. Hell even a fixed 35mm lens would be awesome.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Mhh, not sure if I agree with you, I think Samsung is a unique position to develop a great connected camera as they have both, mobile and camera knowledge. Apple doesn't (currently) have the camera side of things and Canon would lack the OS expertise. I think the Nikon S800C is a good example for a decent camera where the OS integration did not work as well as it should have.

0 upvotes
Photato

While is true that Samsung has Camera and Android experience, is also true that they are not that much of an innovator like Apple, Canon or Sony are. Samsung have to take a lot of iterations or copy others' ideas to get it right.

0 upvotes
Robert Steinman

Regarding Camera FV-5 app, you might have reviewed an older version. The last update (20th of January) actually supports the zoom wheel, as stated on the "What's new" in the Google Play site (http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.flavionet.android.camera.pro&hl=en). I also asked developers and ISO 3200 support will come with the next update.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

thanks, I'll add a line about that. Yes, I definitely tested before this update.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

I've just tried it out and while the zoom levers now make the lens move this doesn't work very well. the lens moves rather erratically, also focal length and aperture are not being correctly reported. It's still not really usable on the Galaxy Camera? Have you actually tried it? Does it work for you?

0 upvotes
Robert Steinman

Yes, maybe it is not so erratic for me but doesn't work 100% perfect, right. I will contact the developers to ask them about this. They told me they are working on the specific Galaxy Camera support, let's see...

0 upvotes
Pete_S

Sorry if someone's already mentioned it, but there's a factual error in the review:

You *can* control sharpness, contrast and saturation, in several steps, and it actually works well (in "expert" mode).

And since a recent firmware update, it now even remembers settings between reboots.

Although sadly you can't adjust noise reduction, I'm convinced the latest firmware has reduced smearing. There seems now to be more noise and less smearing. Also, the interface has speeded up a bit.

Otherwise I agree completely with the review. Stills at full resolution are let down by a so-so lens, maybe not surprising considering its zoom range, max aperture, and size. And over zealous image processing, although now slightly improved.

Videos are superb. Zoom, stabilisation, and the huge 16:9 screen make it great fun.

Around the home, as a tablet, it's great. It stands upright without a prop, has a loud good quality speaker, the wi-fi is strong, and the power means any video plays with ease.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

thanks for pointing this out, and apologies, you are indeed correct. This was either added with the latest update or I failed to realize that's it's only there in Expert mode, not sure what happened. I'll correct now.

0 upvotes
CollBaxter

I would like to ask the question why the Nikon S800c gets reviewed as a camera and not on the connect side. We are told the Samsung is a camera with wifi and cloud connection. Theoretically they are basically the same thing so why the difference in designation and the difference in scores. Do we need a newer version of of android and a smart looking phone to transmit very poor images. The nikon get less score but has far superior images. Its also one hell of a lot smaller and a lot cheaper and a better picture taking device. This looks like an expensive toy to transmit images that are very poor and as I have said before it can't even make a call or send a SMS.

2 upvotes
marike6

+1. The s800c review failed to view it's IQ in the context of a "smart camera with connectivity", but instead seemed to make a more strict comparison with other 1/2.3" sensor cameras. What's more the s800c review asserted that it tested well in the studio scenes but did poorly outdoors, but the review samples (at least the ones below ISO 800) totally contradict that premise as IQ in the outdoor "real-world" samples looks similar to other small sensor compacts.

I haven't used the s800c, but I think the reviewer missed the mark in that sense.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

To be honest, I am not sure if it makes that much difference which site the device is reviewed on. The test methodologies are the same and both sites we are as comprehensive and thorough as possible. We've also added dpreview scores for the Galaxy Camera to our database, so you can use our comparison tool.

1 upvote
schaki

The usual Samsung detail-destruction NR. Hardly a surprise... How long can it possibly take until them learn from that mistake.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
zonoskar

If you compare it to the NX210 (whixh is also Samsung), you get an idea of what this Galaxy camera could have been. So it's not like Samsung cannot make decent camera's. I'm not saying the NX210 is the best camera, but is is very much better than this Galaxy camera.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Well, this uses a tiny 1/2.3' sensor, like many compacts whereas the NX210 has an aps-C sensor. If you'd make a NX210 with Android it would be a much bigger and much more expensive device, it also would have a much shorter zoom range.

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan

I was excited when this device was announced, but it's too big to become the single device I carry. Even the largest smart phones still fit in my pocket. This doesn't. It's less fuss to carry both a small camera and a phone than this one large device.

PS: Too much fuss is being made of the fact that it doesn't make calls using the cellular network. Use Skype or Vonage. It's a non issue. I hope future Android cameras don't waste time on cellular network calling, either.

2 upvotes
jtan163

Would it kill them to enable voice?

FFS If they want to compete with phone cameras, then they gotta have a phone in them.

I imagine that you can install since it apparently has sound in and definitely has a 3G modem, I presume you an make the phone work if you try hard enough - but Samsung is already a phone manufacturer - they have the relationships with phone companies, so why not just make the phone work?

It's almost like they are too scared.

To me it is inevitable there will be phone's with something like real cameras, so lets cut to the chase, make like a Nike, and just do it.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm

I would expect future devices of this type to be voice-enabled but for now you'll have to carry a phone as well if you want to call home. We don't really know the reason, could be Samsung doesn't want to cannibalize their phone sales, could be licensing or patent issues...could be anything...

0 upvotes
mauijohn

I'll wait for the tilt or flip up version of this camera to buy it.

0 upvotes
dark goob

It sets a terrible precedent to have this review as part of DPReview Connect instead of standard DPReview. ALL cameras in the future will have WiFi built-in, along with some form of an operating system (whether it be Android or something else).

You should review this with other digital cameras in the main site. IT'S A CAMERA.

0 upvotes
Serenity Now

A terrible precedent? Jeez dude - relax!?

1 upvote
neo_nights

If this was at DPReview, there'd be people complaining "Why are you reviewing this toy/piece of junk? Why aren't you reviewing REAL cameras?" and blah blah blah.

People are never satisfied, are they?

4 upvotes
spidermoon

It's simple, the Nikon wifi android is a Nikon, so it's a camera and is review by DPreview. The Galaxy is made by Samsung and is more or less a phone with a big lense, so it's review by Connect :)

0 upvotes
JadedGamer

@spidermoon, I am sure users of Samsung's NX series of CSC cameras, or their many compact cameras prior to this one, would be surprised that Samsung does not count as a camera maker... :)

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Relax, for starters we use the same image quality tests on both sites, as you can see the usual box shot can also be found in our connect review. Also, this is a new product category and nobody really knows where it'll fit in in the future. But in any case, whether on dpreview or on connect, you can be certain to get the most in-depth reviews on our site.

0 upvotes
lightleak

Generally I think it is a good idea to combine high image quality and Android, and of course this will happen more often in the future.

The biggest problem though is the company producing the camera. I have had my painful experiences with the Samsung Customer Non-Service. They will tell you openly they cannot care for their customers because their company is so huge and ever expanding. That was the most shocking thing I have heard a service manager say to me. This happened at the Photokina 2012. How Samsung mistreats their customers who want to get something replaced that is obviously faulty to everyones eyes, is just unbelievably barefaced. In short: If you buy a faulty device from them, you have absolutely no chance they will do anything about it. My experience, and the experience of thousands of other people, if you do some research.

3 upvotes
In hydraulis

A lot of contructive and well-reasoned discussion here about this camera.

Where is the hate? Where are the flames!? What happened to DPR overnight?

0 upvotes
gl2k

At least this one has decent specs (compared to the poorly designed Nikon beast)
23mm wide angle is quite impressive !!!

0 upvotes
tjdean01

Wait a minute. I read all that and until the end must have missed the part where they say this thing can't even make calls? OMG why on earth would anyone buy it then??? You already have Android on your phone! All that and you can just go out and buy a P&S camera which not only has better IQ but tactile buttons and is also cheaper. Wow.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Lars Rehm

well, but the compact can't edit images, can't put filters on them, can't upload to the cloud, can't read your email, can't read the news, can't watch your team on NBA game time and can't navigate home for you...among other things....does anyone still use their phone for calling people? ;-)

3 upvotes
LensBeginner

I do... :-|

0 upvotes
neo_nights

Lars, you should know by now that your public is mostly formed by grumpy old me on their 60s which still develop their films in a lab.

Don't push them too hard saying that they can use their smartphones for other things than make calls only.

:)

1 upvote
Nerval

Well, you can't play angry birds on a RX-100 or an XZ-2, or D600 or a 6D can you? Now if your phone runs out, you can still play on the galaxy phone... That's enough of a reason to get it, isn't it? (joke)

0 upvotes
Phil Hill

If it made phone calls, wouldn’t that mean it’s really a smart phone that has a nice camera? And that would put it in a different category entirely, right. As it is, it’s a smart camera, not a smart phone. So it seems you’re being critical for it not being a smart phone, even though it’s not advertised as such. But this being one of the first smart cameras is why it’s getting so much attention, right? Would it get this attention if it was a smart phone?

I thought points were deducted for items listed under “The bad”. If not, then it seems like bad isn’t always bad, but instead can simply be wished-for features.

0 upvotes
rfsIII

Of course it costs too much. The first iteration of new tech always does. But it is the beginning of something very fun and useful.

1 upvote
jon404

This is the start of the future of photography.

0 upvotes
Phil Hill

Why is the inability of a camera to place phone calls listed under “The bad”? Is this really bad? Did Samsung advertise that ability? Do other cameras have that ability? I understand that most cell phones can also take photos, but I’m not aware of cameras that make phone calls. So how is that exclusively considered bad on this one?

I do get the point that the reviewer would have liked to make a phone call, but is it fair to deduct points for that?

1 upvote
Lars Rehm

We're not deducting points but I think it is worth mentioning. If you could use it to make phone calls that would mean you would have one less device to carry. It does everything a phone does apart from making calls. It also has all the necessary hardware components to make a call, so it seems an odd decision to not include this function.

3 upvotes
CollBaxter

If it does not make Phone calls why buy it. You can get better wifi enabled cameras. I really can't see the point of having to take this camera and a cell phone with me. This camera just becomes a small tablet with a big lens aimed at the android market. Cameras with operating systems are not new. The Digita Operating system was used on some cameras up to about 2000 these being Hp/Pentax and Kodak. I could also play Doom on it (HP C618 ) or download a app to give a sophisticated time lapse sequence, programmable on the camera. The bottom line was most of these cameras where a bit slow at the time. The Pentax/ HP where OK but the Kodaks where slow.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
joe6pack

I also think that the Camera should be able to make phone calls. It does have a speaker and mic, does it not?

If it has a 3G. That means I can pair it with VoIP apps like GrooveIP to make and receive phone calls? Can it be done?

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Yes, you can use skype for example

0 upvotes
ivan1973

The product exist for the sake of existing. Its just like carrying 2 wallets in your pocket, except one has a coin pouch.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Jan, are you referring to any specific menus or just the Android OS in general? I did not find the menus slower per se but it's a little annoying that the lens extracts and retracts every time you switch from to/from the camera app. There should be an option to leave the lens extracted when you go the gallery app for example.

0 upvotes
Jan_Shim

I had read about the unnecessary lens movements so that's another minus for this camera, hopefully a firmware can fix. I love ICS and now Jelly Bean on the S3. I was referring to the the menu interface in general. I benchmarked how fast it is to get the shot: run camera, touch screen to focus lock, hold camera steady and capture vs additional time required on the G Camera. Opportunity permitting, I may re-evaluate the camera to get a better feel of its OS.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Yes, the camera app is a little laggy. It would be fantastic if some of the really good camera apps for Android would get optimized for the Galaxy Camera. At the moment they are not fully supported, I wrote about this on page 2 of the review.

1 upvote
Jan_Shim

Last December, for the first time I shot our family holiday in Singapore entirely on the Galaxy S3 smartphone (didn't feel like lugging an EOS) and loved how incredibly fast when it comes to toggling settings for the shots. I visited a Samsung store and checked out the Galaxy Camera as I was in the market for a Powershot G11 replacement. First impression: I was disappointed at how slow the Galaxy Camera when I tried navigating between menus - at the rate it was taking it sweet time, I would most definitely miss lots of moments the S3 was capable of capturing. Anyone with me on this?

2 upvotes
McCool69

I commend Samsung for taking the first step in a direction that many will find very interesting in the years to come - also in DSLRs.

Having the opportunity to do quick adjustments/crop/edit and upload photos (and short movie clips) directly from the camera anywhere you have cell phone coverage without any external units will be a major feature for lots of photographers. Be it event photography, sports, traditional photojournalism or those who simply want to share something without having to drag along a portable PC or tablet that adds bulk and an extra step in the workflow out in the field.

Love the idea, hope it makes it way to way more cameras in the future. Wi-fi connection alone - like several competitors already have built in - just won't cut it in my opinion.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

It is expensive no doubt. But I have to say in terms of connectivity the 'built-in' solution works much better than the camera tethering to a smartphone. The solutions I have seen so far are all a little clunky.

1 upvote
KoukiFC3S

I picked one up a couple nights ago. I have it hooked up to LTE, and it is great as an every day camera. If I want better quality pics, I will bring my SLR instead.

0 upvotes
donaldxr

I never had doubts about the camera itself(it's a decent point&shoot), I just never liked the price point. As a DSLR user myself, I'd be hard pressed to take this over an entry-level DSLR or a compact mirrorless like the Sony NEX-5R. The 5R even has Wi-Fi that let's it connect to a smartphone so you can upload it on the go. It just lacks the optical zoom range although I'm sure you could still crop or use it's fancy digital zoom and get better image quality over any point & shoot.

1 upvote
dpmaxwell

I don't like the price point either; I think this thing is doomed at $500. Will likely be $300 by Christmas if it's still around. That said, I'm not even convinced it is a decent point & shoot. The NEX-5R you reference is several levels above the Galaxy Camera, albeit admittedly a completely different animal altogether.

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung

Too big and too thick.

1 upvote
xMichaelx

Agreed. For that size, it should either have a viewfinder or a larger sensor or both.

Or be significantly cheaper.

0 upvotes
happypoppeye

Thats what she said

hoohoo

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Sonyshine

A tricky review to write I guess?

"Damning with faint praise" comes to mind.

Samsung will be a force to be reckoned with when they get this right....if Nokia does not beat them by coming at it from the other direction - a phone with a big lens - Pureview Mk 2 ?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 84
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