Galaxy Camera

Android is a Linux OS -- just like countless other Linux OSs you use without knowing it every day with "not-smart" consumer electronic devices. Because it's easily scalable and simple to modify, Android is a no-brainer way to make these not-so-smart devices a little smarter and add a network-aware user interface to them. This means televisions, Blu-ray players, stereos, and cameras.

Samsung is going about it in a big way with their Galaxy Camera, which looks to be a pretty impressive personal media player with a quality point and shoot camera attached. Nikon is also at the bat, but they look to have built a point and shoot camera first, then added the Android operating system to it rather than build the camera around the OS. There's good to be said about either method, and as always it means a choice for you and me. We love choices.

But are you interested? Is there going to be a market for this type of camera? That's where the poll comes into play. You'll find our polls in the sidebar now, where they won't get lost in the onslaught of Android news and end up buried before you get time to vote. We'll let them run about a week, then come back with the results when we post a new one.

Speaking of results, last week's poll was "Has the patent-infringement lawsuit changed your view of Samsung"? Here's your results --

  • I'm a bigger fan than before (51.05%; 1428 votes)
  • Nope. It's still the same (41.51%; 1161 votes)
  • I now think less of Samsung (3.79%; 106 votes)
  • Didn't like Samsung before, don't like 'em now (3.65%; 102 votes)

Clearly, most people aren't too affected by the verdict. Be sure vote in this week's poll, which you can find after the break or in the sidebar to the right.


Reader comments

This week's sidebar poll: Are you interested in a dedicated camera running Android?


Nope, my phone is an Android with a camera, my camera is a camera... I point and shoot then turn it back off again.

I might when it's income tax time because I think it's pretty sweet. The accessories for it make it even sweeter in my opinion. But I'm still wanting a DSLR though they're really...REALLY expensive still with lenses and all. To the 208 people that now think less of and don't like samsung now....there are two words for you and one of them starts with an F and the other with a Y.

Honestly, I don't care, as long as my dSLR still works the same way as the current proprietary software works, and the images are still clean, crisp, etc, I don't care, if it's a droid, Canon, Nikon os, etc.

It's probably safe to assume this is the future. Cameras will adopt better software features and larger displays, while at the same time smartphone cameras will improve upon image quality.

I'll take that bet.

I don't think this goes very far. Major companies have billions invested in the software and processors for their cameras, and handing that all over to Android is no saving. It just makes it easier for the competition to steal a march.

For samsung, maybe. They never had a significant portion of the camera market anyway.
For them its a cheap foot in the door. But it came off looking cheap as well. The posted images looked like crap.

I doubt the big 4 camera makers are rushing to dump years worth of investment to adopt Android when they could have long since adopted Linux.

The Android cameras are handing ALL the processing off to the built in functionality of the Main ARM Processor. Go read the specs of those processors and you can see they are doing ALL the work. Makes it easy to get a camera out the door, but surrender all your freedom to innovate to who ever made the ARM processor, which in far too many cases comes down to, wait for it: Samsung.

Just because the only tool you have is a hammer, is no reason to look at every problem as if it were a nail.

I see a huge market for it. Like it or not, cell phone cameras are going to be playing catch-up to dedicated digital cameras for some time. Being able to write custom software for the device will make it a big hit among those who need to be able to take photos under precise conditions, for example those who send cameras up into space.

Even for the average person, the cloud syncing options (if that individual trusts the cloud... I personally dont) would make it a viable option since you wouldn't need to worry about file management. And photo editing being doable directly on the camera, or even at the moment the photo is being taken, is a huge plus that non-smart cameras cant hold a candle to.

Yeah Phones are the new Point and Shoot. I think Android software on a bridge camera like the Sony Nex would be the way to go.

I have OneX phone. The camera is quite awesome outdoors. In low light, it kinda sucks. People rave about the camera on it, so either I'm doing something wrong or people don't judge the low light capabilities. I think that's the gap where point and shoot can be better, due to the large sensor. Also, the zoom. On most (if not all) phone cameras, it's a digital zoom.

I think here will be a market. Look at the note, when it came out nobody expected itcto become what it is today and not everyone wants a big screen bit over 10 million gs3's sold worldwide? Big screens are in I would say. The camera will have its share of buyers. Don't think samsung would put out a product that it though wouldn't sell. Just not good for business. Would I get one? Depending on price just like everything else. I would spend 500 bucks on the note Tablet but not on this. 250 would be the max I would pay.

I might be interested if the image quality is much greater than my phone. If it is anywhere near close I'll just use my phone. It would be one less thing to carry.

Yes but if it has cellular, make it work as a phone also. Then if I was doing tourist stuff I could just use one device.

Yes. I'm actually waiting to buy a dedicated cam until Canon puts one out with Android. I may consider Sony if they bean Canon to it (which is realistic, since Sony already has experience with Android).

I see no reason for cameras anymore.....just about everyone has a cell phone and the cameras in them are good enough and always getting better. We now have HD video as well, you have everything in your pocket in one device. Why have two maybe three devices to do what one can do these days.

I love the idea, and have to say the Galaxy Camera is my highlight of the show, however I really wish they have gone with a bigger sensor instead. Small sensor point and shoot simply don't offer that much improvement over a good camera phone. What they need to do is to make a NX based Android camera with APS-C sized sensor to give better dynamic range, shallow depth of field and low light performance. As it stands, I don't think the advantage over a good camera phone is big enough. At the very least, they should have gone with the Sony RX100's approach and put in a 1" sensor at the very minimum.

I'd also like to add that they should've gone with a WIFI only model to cut down on the cost of the 3G chipset. I'd much prefer to get a cheaper WIFI only model and use tethering to my phone to upload photos.

I'm interested, I assume uploading your pics to picasa web albums will be easier than your camera without the android os. That being said I usually just snap pics with my phone now anyway.

As long as it is waterproof, shock-resistant and pocketable like my current camera.

Plus I want NFC/wifi direct so I can take the nice pictures while out and about keeping my expensive power-hungry phone safe from the elements then transfer and share once I get back to the network.....

With Eye Fi my dslr camera sends pics right to my phone already.

Id like to have it just to tinker with it but I dont NEED it.

I don't know how you can conclude that "most people aren't too affected by the verdict" Jerry. About 51% of the responders say they like Samsung better versus only a bit over 3% who say they like Samsung less. Sounds to me like "most people" feel better about Samsung. I'd be really curious to see the complementary poll on people's perception of Apple in light of this litigation. Then again - despite what the pundits predict - many people may vote with their wallets. Let's see if the new iphone hits the 6 million units being ballyhooed. I'm skeptical.

Not currently interested...more like intrigued. I have a does fine for what I need it to do...I know it isn't the greatest phone camera out there, but it gets it done. If i want to take "really nice" pics, I have a Canon that I just bought last year. So, I'm just not in the market for one right now. Maybe when my Canon craps out, I'd give it a look.

As long as the sensor and lens are decent, I would be interested. I was not impressed with the image samples from the Samsung Galaxy Camera. I would be looking for something like a Canon S100 with Android. I would only want WiFi because with today's data plans, it does not make sense to buy a separate data plan for a camera.

If Android becomes familiar to everyone because Android is in everything from phones to fridges I don't have to ask people whether it is a good thing or not.

This is good for everyone... Except Apple I guess.

I want one, but only if it has a nice sensor. My Galaxy S III takes nice pictures but lack of a real zoom kinda stinks.

I'm interested in a camera running Android but only if it's like Samsung's with the mobile radio it it (not like Nokia's with just wifi). I want to be able to put my SIM in it and immediately upload high quality pictures as if I took them from one of my Canon point and shoots. Which, now that I think of it, means I really want Canon to make one of these! And make it pentaband HSPA+ so I can use it on T-Mobile. I have a StraightTalk SIM as well but I only use it a couple of times a year during the summer when I travel to rural areas with poor T-Mobile service. If I read the specs right on the Galaxy Camera there's no HSPA+ love for T-Mobile.

I'm guessing that a lot of the nayers here must not have kids, or already own a DSLR. If you have kids, you'd know that no camera on any phone is sufficient simply because they have no optical zoom. Sorry, but when your more than a few rows back at your kids's Kindergarten graduation or school play, you'll quickly discover that your camera phone takes crappy photos from a distance and also in low-lighting.

However, many point-and-shoots have powerful-enough zooms, take quality photos, and can fit in a jacke pocket... unlike a DSLR. Adding Android just makes it that much simple to edit and share. I am not interested in 3G however. Wifi is fine for me.

I would most definitely put a phone/camera hybrid in my pocket. I had an old point and shoot that just died (old Kodak 5MP that even had a metal body), and cell phone cameras just aren't up to par with point and shoots yet. Plus, the added size of the phone would be welcome, as I don't like holding on to these paper thin phones, as I'm too worried I'm going to drop them. There isn't enough bulk to hold on to. Maybe this will end the "sorry for the crappy pics...cell phone camera" that I see on message boards.