Samsung Galaxy Camera - An Android Compact 21X Shooter (Part 3)

5/10/2013 5:51:44 PM


Let’s get back to the first question: Why you have to bother whether there is Android on a camera? When it operates properly, like what Samsung has done before, the answer for that question is what you feel right after switching the device on. Instead of the traditionally bulky screen, you are welcome by specific modifiable environment. Favorite photos can be used as the background; slideshow applications can cycle through your recent shots with friends; sharing applications and photo editor that you regularly use can be placed at the mean positions; the default keyboard can even be changed into another one if you want, making it easier for you to tag, rename and add captions to those you wish to upload.

Why you have to bother whether there is Android on a camera?

Why you have to bother whether there is Android on a camera?

The overall effect is that you might feel more creative and connected to the photography, to the point as what Samsung advertised about a “new visual communication era”. It is so hard to explain, but it is strange and interesting to watch everybody’s Instagram pictures on a powerfully equipped device for photographing without any other hardware or file transfer interference.

It will be very great to use zoom in Instagram application, especially when Samsung stated that the application was changed to allow this, there is still no sign of such feature. Twiddling the zoom now is just modifying the volume of the device, like what happening everywhere except Samsung’s camera applications.

Image after edited by Galaxy Camera

Image after edited by Galaxy Camera

There is also no “Camera mode”. For taking pictures, you just need to launch the camera applications, whose icon lies on the lower-left corner of the main screen. You can also press the shutter release to reach the same result. Either way takes less than 2 seconds for the lens protector to flip open, the barrel to appear and the camera to focus and take pictures. The shooting interface itself is very simple and organized, but concentrating on photographing based on scene and auto.

On the left side of the screen, which displays the current mode, are the main controllers, a dial for choosing another mode, as well as on-screen button for recording videos and shutter button (behaving the same as the physical button but sometimes more convenient). The auto mode is quite good, but we recognized that sometimes it misjudged the color balance and tended towards overexposure. Any uncomfortable feeling with the Auto’s results will lead to the second mode, which is also easy to use, called Smart. It combines no less than 15 specific shot styles – not only scene-based profiles (for example: Macro, Silhouette, Landscape), but also shot modes (Continuous Shot, Best Shot, HDR/Rich Tone), and connectivity options (Panorama, Best face), and effects (like Beauty face, which claims to fluid any imperfections). It sounds strange, but it quickly turns out to be very logical when organizing everything this way, and more importantly, each Smart mode is really effective at helping you getting your desirable results.

Finally, if you are still not satisfied with what Smart can do, you will need to use the least visual mode among three modes: Expert, which might freeze the screen with many onscreen dials including P/S/A/M, ISO, exposure compensation, aperture and shutter speed. Depending on your priority options, one or many of these dials become gray and cannot be accessed, because it is under the control of the camera. In the full Manual mode, the exposure compensation dial cannot be accessed and used to display the level in which show whether you are over or under exposing, according to the camera’s estimations. In general, it is a rational system which is still loyal to the way the camera works, and it seems to be very essential for creativity control, but compared to physical dials, it is still very hard to reach the level of good manual devices or to react to quickly modifying conditions as the photo viewing is hid because of every dials, and there are too much tapping.

The manual mode

The manual mode

About the photo reviewing, the built-in gallery apps are nothing different from those on the newest smartphone and tablets of Samsung, but it is worth being on this device. When you are looking at a photo, there are just four main buttons that might be related to that photo, lying along the top right of the screen and they are well considered. The Share button brings a list of built-in apps that can be used to share or exploit the photos for instance, if you have the Evernote app installed on the camera, this button will give you an option to create a comment on the viewing photo. The second button is a shortcut for the sharing solution that you used last – therefore, if you use Facebook as the main sharing channel, the second button would be Facebook logo. The third one is Delete button, while the forth is used to display an extended menu including almost every other things that you might want to do with your photos: including the basic crop, rotate and rename functions, and opening the photo in one out of two built-in editing app to operate other complex editions (you have the smart and easy-to-use Photo Wizard, or Paper Artist which is mainly comprised of gimmicky effects). Of course, you can use any of these apps to edit photos as long as you prefer – the entire Android ecosystem is under your control.

It is now obvious that the software of this device is not only worth a bonus – it is the highlight feature of Galaxy Camera, and so appealing that it might be difficult to be back to the traditional cameras. However, hopefully, everything will not stop there: right now, when Samsung signals to be willing to allow third party developers to design applications specifically for this camera module, we can imagine many ways that can make this camera more suitable for many classes of users from the technology bloggers to realtors, location scouts or any other unknown people who will want automated scripts for resizing, watermarking and sharing photos; remote applications; and who knows what else will it be. Of course, it’ll just happen if the popularity of this camera reaches its peak. According to what we observe now, there are many serious drawbacks in this device to be specific, the image quality and battery life which Samsung is of course able to enhance.

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