Somehow I managed to miss any rumours of a Galaxy Camera and so for once was actually quite surprised when it was announced during Samsung’s (rather dreadful) IFA keynote last week.
What a pleasant surprise it was. Although undoubtedly a niche product, I have to say I’m quite excited about the Galaxy Camera. We all know that Samsung is a proven copycat (I jest), but to me it does actually seem innovative and it’s great to see Samsung taking their expertise in one area and applying it to another. In hindsight it seems obvious, but then (like slide to unlock) I guess the best ideas always do.
Sharing photos is such a common activity on smartphones that it’s now simply second nature. Every time I snap my dinner I have an eye on artistic merit and whether said photo will liven up my Instagram feed. Surely I’m not alone? The problem is that while some phones have quite respectable cameras (Galaxy S3, iPhone 4, Nokia N8), most are barely passable (my Galaxy Nexus included). And all of them can barely hold a candle to the most basic point and shoots. Coming at it form the reverse direction thus seems to start making sense: a phone camera if you will.
That said, and as discussed on the (rather fabulous) Coolsmartphone podcast this week, I’m not quite sure who the target market will be for the Galaxy Camera. At £400, it’s two to three times the price of an average point and shoot and well into micro four thirds and entry level DSLR territory. Most people spending that much on a camera are likely to care more about image quality than connectivity. Or playing Angry Birds!
I very recently got a Canon S95 which retails for £199 and I’m fairly confident that it will comfortably surpass the Galaxy Camera when it comes to actually taking photographs. Although features like 21x optical zoom no doubt sound impressive, even the most amateur of photographers (i.e. me) knows that F2.8 is far too slow and that a 1/2.3″ sensor isn’t actually very large. But at least you’ll be able to “spy on your neighbours”, as our very own James Pearce said, again on this week’s podcast.
I’m still really excited about the idea of a Galaxy Camera though. I just feel like it’s very much a V1 product, with all the associated flaws. Once the technology trickles down to more entry level cameras it could really be a mass market proposition. In the meantime it seems like a device mainly for gadget lovers.
Still, well done for trying Samsung. But why didn’t you call it the Galaxy Cam?!