We briefly got our hands on the Samsung Galaxy Camera at the Samsung event last week in New York. When the Android powered camera was announced at IFA we were pleased to see that our prediction finally came true: many devices should be connected, especially cameras, and Android is currently the best available software to get the job done.  Check the video demo above.

The 16.3 MP shooter powered by a 1.4 Ghz Quad-core Exynos processor runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and allows users to access all the Android apps they love from a great 4.77” HD touch display (302 ppi).

The advantage of this camera compared to the ones found in the Galaxy-series Smartphones is certainly its F2.8 23 mm 21X Optical Zoom Lens and the ability to access manual controls (Expert mode). The physical shutter button is also a feature that many people like. Unfortunately, there is no digital shutter button available for still image capture, you only get it for video recording. [Update – 12/24/2012] In the final product that we have, there is a shutter button. The unit we tried at the evnet in NYC might have featured the final software for the camera application.

I tried briefly the expert mode where you can select the ISO, the aperture and the shutter speed, however, I did not find a way to get a scale with numbers for the exposure (like in my DSLR). In manual/expert mode, you can check the exposure of your photo visually on the left side of the screen, if the image is too dark you change the settings accordingly.

The quality of the pictures I shot looked good in the screen (I could not email them to my account to check), and the shutter was responsive. I wish that the Galaxy Camera interface would be more similar to the one featured in the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, it would make Samsung customers happier. It is obvious that the device needs a specific interface for the expert mode which is absent in the smartphones.

For a point and shoot this camera is good and it offers tremendous competitive advantage by running Android inside. The Samsung Galaxy Camera will be available for the Holiday season, no word on exact release date and pricing from Samsung ( I asked).

Samsung Galaxy Camera features:

Sensor: 16.3 MegapixelBSI-CMOS 1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Lens: F2.8 23 mm- 481 mm – 21X Optical Zoom Lens
Display: 4.77″ HD Touch Display (308ppi)
Processor: 1.4 Ghz Quad-core Exynos processor
OS: Android 4.1
Storage: 8GB + microSD card slot
Network: 3G / 4G/ HSPA + 21 mbps depending on carriers
ISO up to 3200
Video Full HD 1080p @ 30 fps

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