Check out our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Camera.
For the better part of the last year, digital camera talk has shifted from being focused entirely megapixels, sensor sizes, and lens quality to connectivity and OS concerns. The digital imaging industry was turned on its head not by a revolutionary new pocket point-and-shoot or a faster-than-fast DSLR, but by a dark horse known as the smartphone.
Appropriately, manufacturers are responding with all sorts of experimentation to keep digital cameras competitive in their own right. Wi-Fi connectivity is starting to become a more popular feature, although it’s being implemented to varying degrees of usability, and several names have tip-toed into Android integration.
And the trail blazer is proving to be Samsung. In addition to bringing a bevy of connect cams to market this year, the manufacturer recently unveiled its Galaxy Camera at IFA. The part-camera, part-smartphone device is the first to really bring this sort of hybrid to the mainstream.
Today, Dropbox announced it would integrate its cloud storage service into the Galaxy Camera, giving users the ability to sync their images to their other connected devices. And then there are the expected features you’re going to get with this thing, such as instant Instagram posting – which there should be some mixed feelings about. Personally, I’m anti-non smartphone-captured images making their way to Instagram, but to each their own. But there are other apps which will have easy access to the Galaxy Camera’s photos, most notably Facebook and Flickr.
When it comes down to it, Samsung took their Smart Camera lineup (16.3 megapixel sensor, 21x optical zoom, manual controls and pre-set modes), and attached a Galaxy phone to it – complete with Jelly Bean and 3G/Wi-Fi or 4G/Wi-Fi connection options. I was a big fan of how easy the WB150F’s Wi-Fi settings were to navigate, but this is a whole other level of easy use.
It’s certainly exciting, and the newly announced Dropbox integration is extremely promising for where this thing can go. But it begs a really big question: Why isn’t anyone else doing this? I can’t help what’s happening with Polaroid’s ambitious SC1630 Smart Camera – last I heard, back in March, the camera was still in production and samples were unavailable for reviews. And where are Nikon and Canon? Clearly, Samsung’s mobile prowess is giving the brand a serious leg up, which is at once wonderful and frustrating. Samsung’s never quite been a digital camera powerhouse, offering up decent but never cutting-edge quality devices. As a user, I want the best of the best of the best and I want it to have every featured I crave – and that now means connectivity for cameras.