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The Samsung Galaxy Camera was announced in August 2012 and has a massive 4.8 inch screen, 1.4Ghz Quad-Core processor, voice control, runs Android 4.1 and has Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity. It's an extremely unique camera and is available for around £400, although you'll have to sign up to a mobile phone company for a sim card to use 3G/4G.
There are a whole host of features which set the camera apart from the competition. Firstly, it runs the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, meaning you can download apps, check your email, browse the web and much more. There are plenty of apps for editing pictures, such as Snapseed, and plenty for sharing as well, such as Facebook.
This can all be done via a Wi-Fi connection, or you can get yourself a 3G/4G sim card and be connected everywhere you go. You can use Dropbox to automatically upload your pictures to the cloud, they will then automatically download to your computer. Pictures can also be automatically uploaded to Facebook, they'll be added to a private album for you to move later, just in case it uploads a picture you don't want others to see.
When shooting, you can use Auto mode, which changes the camera settings automatically, or you can use Smart Mode which gives you a number of modes to choose from such as landscape, macro, panorama and much, much more. If you want even more control over your pictures, there are full manual controls, allowing you to set the shutter speed and aperture.
There are a number of filters available to add a touch of creativity to your pictures, but you'll find many more editing options via the apps you can download. You can also takes pictures when using apps such as Instagram, then instantly edit and share.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD at 30fps, you can also record Slow Motion Videos which are recorded at 120fps and played back slowly.
- 16.3 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
- 21x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 23-483 mm)
- Optical image stabilisation
- 4.8 inch HD super clear touch display
- Runs Android 4.1
- Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- ISO 100-3200
- 10cm minimum focusing distance
- Smart mode
- Voice control
- Panorama mode
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 setting cog to access the other options, which are split into three headers; camera, share and general. Once you're used to the camera, you'll soon find it a simple task to set the camera up.
The camera can also be voice activated, switch it on and you can adjust the zoom, take pictures, record videos, zoom in / out and more by using your voice. It's impressive, if not always 100% responsive.
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.
There's no CIPA rating provided for battery life, but with use of the camera, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G and apps, you'll soon find the battery is ready for charging, in all likeliness you'll want to charge it every day. This isn't unusual for smartphones, so it's nothing to be concerned about.
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||0.175 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.4 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.7 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.4secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||3.6 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||3.9 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 fps|
Continuous shooting records up to 20 pictures at full resolution. It's worth noting that the startup time is from standby. This is the ideal state to keep your camera in between shots. You can turn it completely off, but this takes a while to startup, but saves your battery when it's not in use.
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Samsung Galaxy Camera Sample Photos
Samsung Galaxy Camera Portrait | 1/50 sec | f/4.0 | 11.4 mm | ISO 100
Landscape | 1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 4.1 mm | ISO 100
Fast Shutter Speed | 1/1000 sec | f/2.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 400
Pet Portrait | 1/50 sec | f/3.8 | 13.9 mm | ISO 250
Sample Photos - The Samsung Galaxy Camera takes portraits which are free of red-eye and have good skin tones. Other images are well exposed, with really good colours. You can obtain a fast shutter speed in order to capture fast moving subjects.
Samsung Galaxy Camera Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/250 sec | f/4.0 | 4.1 mm | ISO 100
Some Optical Zoom | 1/160 sec | f/4.8 | 38.6 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/100 sec | f/5.9 | 86.1 mm | ISO 160
Macro | 1/60 sec | f/2.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Detail is good throughout the images at both ends of the lens, with a decent control over purple fringing in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 10cm, this makes it a little difficult to take well detailed macro shots.
Samsung Galaxy Camera ISO test images
ISO100 | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 13.9 mm
ISO200 | 1/25 sec | f/3.8 | 13.9 mm
ISO400 | 1/50 sec | f/3.8 | 13.9 mm
ISO800 | 1/100 sec | f/3.8 | 13.9 mm
ISO1600 | 1/200 sec | f/3.8 | 13.9 mm
ISO3200 | 1/400 sec | f/3.8 | 13.9 mm
ISO Noise Performance - Images are noise free at ISO 100, there is a little appearing at ISO 200 with images becoming softer at ISO 400. Images are even softer at ISO 800 with a little detail lost in places. Noise becomes a significant issue at ISO 1600 with quite a lot of detail lost, and more so at ISO 3200. As the Samsung Galaxy Camera is geared towards sharing images on the web, it's unlikely you'll find noise too much of a problem, particularly as colour reproduction is good throughout the ISO range.
Samsung Galaxy Camera White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/40 sec | f/3.4 | 6.2 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/40 sec | f/3.4 | 6.2 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.0 | 6.2 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent H - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.0 | 6.2 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent L preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.0 | 6.2 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the AWB and incandescent presets perform well, both taking a similar image. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB again performs well, with both of the fluorescent presets producing a colour cast.
Panorama mode - Panorama images look OK when saved at a size suitable for saving on the web, but if you view them full size, you can see that detail isn't great and there are clearly some stitching issues.
Samsung Galaxy Camera Digital filters
Filter Effect None | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Black And White | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Comic | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Faded Colours | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Gothic Noir | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 500
Filter Effect Impressionist | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 500
Samsung Galaxy Camera Filter Effect Negative | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Nostalgia | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Old Photo | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Pastel Sketch | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 500
Filter Effect Retro | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Sepia | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Sunshine | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Filter Effect Vintage | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 20.3 mm | ISO 640
Digital Filters - There are a number of filter effects available to make your pictures unique. As well as these you'll also be able to edit your pictures using Android apps.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. You can use optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be found on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page. We have also recorded a video using the high-speed video mode.
Value For MoneyThe Samsung Galaxy Camera is available for around £400. There aren't many cameras that run Android, the alternative is the Nikon Coolpix S800c, available for around £300. There are a number of cameras that have Wi-Fi to make it easier to share your pictures, such as the Canon IXUS 510 HS for £220, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 for £145 and Fujifilm FinePix F800 EXR for £180.
For more cameras with a similar amount of zoom, read our Top 10 Best Pocket Zoom Digital Cameras article.
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.
Generally, image quality is good, but we found the panorama shots weren't stitched together well 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 and is therefore recommended.
|The Samsung Galaxy Camera boasts a massive screen, Android operating system and good image quality.|
Samsung Galaxy Camera ProsAndroid 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
Plenty of optical zoom and optical image stabilisation
Rubberised hand grip
Good image quality
Samsung Galaxy Camera Cons10cm minimum focusing distance makes detailed macros difficult
Needs regular recharging
Panorama shots aren't great
There are cameras with similar zoom available for less
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Samsung Galaxy Camera Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.8 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||23mm - 483mm|
|CCD pixels||16.3Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||308 ppi, HD Super Clear Touch Display|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||16sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 3200|
|Continuous shooting||No Data|
|Video FPS||30fps, 120fps at 720x480 slow-motion|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||1650mAh Lithium Ion|
|CIPA Rating||No Data|
|Box Contents||No Data|