With smartphone cameras racking up the megapixels and complex software tweaks, you'd almost think the dedicated camera is on its way out - but Samsung would beg to differ as it reverses down the highway with the launch of Galaxy Camera.
No, it's not a Samsung counter to Nokia's 42-megapixel gigantor of a phone, but a full-bodied, optical zoom-packing 16-megapixel camera that happens to be powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. This means there's not only a powerful Photo Wizard with 35 editing options for on-the-fly image fixing, but the ability to download more photo apps from the Google Play store.In fact, with all its extra features, including Gmail, the Chrome browser and support for Dropbox cloud storage, it's very nearly a smartphone bar the ability to make phone calls.
Expectedly, it's pretty well kitted out as a camera too, with a BSI camera sensor that allows for great photography in lowlight - which you should expect from a dedicated camera anyway. Samsung's Smart Pro software adds a ton of lighting modes for the best possible images in any situation - such as Rich Tone for reducing overexposure, or Light Trace to control those light trails on bright light in dark rooms.
You can also shoot full HD video with 1920x1080 resolution at a DVD quality 30fps. Movie Wizard lets you create videos direct from the camera's 4.77-inch touch-screen - roughly the size of Samsung's Galaxy S III - while a Smart Content Manager intelligently creates folders and face tags, and suggests deletion of grainy photos. Like its smartphone predecessors, the Galaxy Camera can share photos on AllShare, as well as over social networks and even instantly sync with other Galaxy devices. This isn't the first camera with a smartphone OS built in - Nikon recently released an Android-powered Coolpix S800c - but we find its up-to-date Jelly Bean flavour extremely tasty. The Galaxy Camera clocks in at 128.7 x 70.8 x 19.1 mm and 305g, with 8GB onboard memory plus a microSD slot supporting up to 64GB more storage. It will launch in Wi-Fi only and 3G/Wi-Fi versions, as well as a 4G version outside the UK.
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