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Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Review

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Review - The new Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is similar in many ways to it predecessor, but has a new design, new processor and Android v4.3.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Samsung Galaxy Camera 2
Price : £330
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 (10)

The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 was announced in January 2014 and is the successor to the original Galaxy Camera - it has the same sensor, lens and screen, but now has a new design and processor as well as running the latest version of Android, v4.3 (Jellybean). The new Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is available in white or neo black and costs around £330. 

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 (2)

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Features

The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 has a 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 21x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 23-483mm. It has optical image stabilisation, a minimum focusing distance of 10cm and can record full resolution images at 4 fps in continuous shooting mode.

The Galaxy Camera 2 has Android v4.3 (Jellybean) allowing it to connect to many camera and social networking apps for image editing and sharing. The Wi-Fi makes it easy to share pictures, but you can also use it to connect to your smartphone for remote shooting. There is 8GB of storage but the camera comes with Dropbox pre-installed and for two years you can get 50GB of free cloud storage - you can also insert a MicroSD card up to 64GB, so you should never run out of space!

The camera is packed with a number of modes including light trace, interval shooting, drama, action freeze, rich tone HDR and many more. For easy shooting there is an auto mode, or for full control there are full manual controls.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD at 30 fps. Optical zoom is available during recording and super slow motion videos can be recorded at 120 fps. Nearly the entire surface of the rear of the camera is filled with the 4.8 inch HD touch screen with a 16:9 ratio - ideal for watching movies.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 (8)

Key Features

  • 16.3 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 21x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 23-483mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 4.8 inch 1280x720 pixel HD screen
  • Wi-Fi & GPS
  • Android 4.3 (Jellybean)
  • Full manual controls
  • 8GB memory
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 10cm minimum focusing distance
  • Panorama mode
  • 4 fps continuous shooting
  • Available in white and neo black
Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 (5)

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Handling

The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 has a very cool looking white body, with the whole of the front of the camera rubberised to aide grip. It is quite heavy, but is around 20g lighter than the previous model. Making the Galaxy Camera 2 stand out is the absolutely stunning 4.8 inch screen which fills the entire back of the camera. It looks amazing and makes the camera an absolute pleasure to use.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Screenshot 1 | Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Screenshot 2 | Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Screenshot 5 |

 

Apart from switching the camera on and operating the zoom, you use the screen to access the settings, menus and everything else you'll find on the camera. It is responsive and the menu systems is easy to navigate. When using the full manual controls, the settings fill the screen, giving access to ISO, exposure compensation, aperture and shutter speed. You just hit the settings cog to access the other options, which are split into four sections; camera, video, share and general. As well as using the zoom rocker, the zoom can be adjusted via the screen by using pinch zoom. The pop-up flash is activated using the button on the top of the camera.
 
The camera can also be voice activated, switch it on and you can take pictures, record videos, go to the gallery and more by using your voice. It's responsive, but there are limited voice commands you can give.
 
When viewing your pictures in the photos album on Android, not only does it include the pictures taken on the camera, it also includes those from other services you've connected to, such as Facebook and Dropbox. They can also be edited on the apps.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Screenshot 6 | Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Screenshot 8 | Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Screenshot 9 |

 

Battery life is rated at 400 shots according to CIPA test results, which is excellent for a compact camera, but with use of the camera, Wi-Fi and apps, you'll soon find the battery is ready for charging, in all likeliness you'll want to charge it every one to two days.

We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response   0.09 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.4 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.4 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.2 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.2 secs
Continuous Shooting - P mode   3.7 fps
Continuous Shot Mode   4.0 fps

You can switch to continuous shooting via the drive mode option or you can use the continuous shot mode, both modes record in full 16.3 megapixel resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 (1)

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Images are well exposed and are very colourful. Are portrait shot above was taken using the beauty face mode - it does a good job of softening skin, but is maybe too much for males subjects. Portraits are free of red-eye when using the flash. Both the Rich Tone HDR and Low Light modes combine shots and produces good images.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail at both ends of the lens, but they are much softer in the corners. There is a little purple fringing, but its kept quite low. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 10cm, so it's difficult to get close for a good macro shot. 

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100, 200 & 400, with a little noise appearing at ISO 800 and less detail. Noise causes images to become soft at ISO 1600, with quite lot lot of detail missing at ISO 3200.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) takes a good picture, with the incandescent preset taking a very similar image. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB performs well again, the fluorescent preset takes an image with a slight colour cast.

Panorama | 1 sec | f/3.5 | 4.1 mm | ISO 100
Panorama | 1 sec | f/3.5 | 4.1 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - Panorama images are disappointing - they lack detail and the camera struggles to produce images with an even exposure throughout.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Digital filters


Digital Filters - Within the camera app there aren't any filters you can use before or after shooting. There is the Photo Wizard app which you can use to edit pictures (image size is limited to just 1280x960 pixels), which we have included examples of above. You can also install apps such as Instagram or Snapseed to further enhance images.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. When using the zoom during recording, it is quiet but the focusing takes a while to readjust.



Value For Money

The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 costs around £330. Other options with a similar amount of zoom include the Fujifilm FinePix F900 EXR at £167, Canon PowerShot SX280 HS at £189, Nikon Coolpix S6800 at £170, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ40 at £210 and Sony Cyber-Shot WX300 at £199. All of these cameras also have Wi-Fi, but none of them have Android. 

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 hasn't change much from the previous version - there is a new processor and the body has changed - the whole of the front of the camera is rubberised, but other than that it looks much the same. 

It is an extremely ideal travel camera, when in use the zoom allows you to take wide landscape shots, or zoom in for close-ups. When you're not shooting you can use Android apps to edit and share your photos, play games, check your email, browse the web and much more. The HD screen makes the camera look extremely cool and will be a wow with your friends.
 
Generally, image quality is good, but we found the panorama shots are poor and with a minimum focusing distance of 10cm it's difficult to shoot close-up macros. There are full manual controls so you can set your own aperture and shutter speed, with auto mode if you'd like the camera to adjust the settings automatically, making picture shooting easy. Although a little expensive if you're looking for a travel zoom, there is plenty to love about the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 and is therefore recommended.


 
 
  The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 looks great, has a massive screen, Wi-Fi and the Android operating system.  

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Pros

Android operating system makes it much more than just a camera
Wi-Fi, 3G / 4G and apps make picture sharing easy
Massive 4.8 inch HD screen
Manual controls
Plenty of optical zoom and optical image stabilisation
Rubberised hand grip
Good battery life
8Gb internal storage with the option to insert a MicroSD card

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Cons

10cm minimum focusing distance makes detailed macros difficult
Needs regular recharging
It is quite heavy
Panorama shots aren't great
There are cameras with similar zoom available for less

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Specifications

ManufacturerSamsung
Lens
Max Aperturef/2.8 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent23mm - 483mm
Optical Zoom21x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor4.8in
Screen resolution308 ppi, HD Super Clear Touch Display
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest16sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting4fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
Video FPS30fps, 120fps at 720x480 slow-motion
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • Micro SD
  • Micro SDHC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion (2000mAh)
CIPA Rating400
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight283g
Width132.5mm
Height71.2mm
Depth19.3mm

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Comments


Glynn e2
8 1.2k 1 England
16 Apr 2014 12:49PM
Can you clarify please concerning the battery because the verdict states:

Pro - Good battery life

Con - Needs regular re-charging

Which one is it?

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