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Samsung Galaxy Camera review

Android apps on a 'proper' camera

We think Samsung has a hit on its hands with the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which is priced at £399/AU$599/US$499.99. It seems to have grabbed the attention of lots of people. Many of the people we showed it to - both photographers and non-photographers - have told us that they want one.

The combination of a compact camera-sized sensor and a 21x optical zoom lens in a relatively thin body with a huge (by camera standards) touchscreen is very enticing. The good news is that this isn't all window dressing, the Samsung Galaxy Camera delivers the goods.

Some people have an issue with the camera's size, saying it's a bit on the large side for a compact. But we think that Samsung has got it about right.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera needs to make a statement and stand out from the crowd so that people recognise it for what it is - a camera that combines the best elements of a compact camera with those of a smartphone.

Shrinking it down in size would make it less easy to distinguish from standard touchscreen compact cameras. It would also mean a smaller screen and more fiddly operation.

We liked

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Samsung's Galaxy Camera has responsive touchscreen controls and intuitive operation, making it quick and easy to use. Uploading images to your favourite social media site is a doddle via a 3G or Wi-Fi connection, and on the whole the images are worth sharing.

Photographers will love the fact that you can use the advanced exposure modes you are used to from your DSLR or CSC, but novices will find you are also well catered for. Both camps will find it hard resist the draw of modes such as Best Face.

Then there's the apps - we love the apps that enable you to do so much with the camera, from helping with day to day chores to turning your shots into retro masterpieces.

We disliked

As we mentioned earlier, some may find the camera a little too big, and while we disagree on one level, it might be nice if it could be slipped into a jeans pocket. This would have major implications for the screen and lens, though, and image quality might be compromised.

One of the first questions everyone asks about the Samsung Galaxy Camera is "can you use it as a phone?" The answer is no, which seems a shame.

On a photographic note, we'd like a quicker route to the macro focusing option. It would be useful to be able to change focusing modes direct from the screen.

Final verdict

It may not be the best compact camera on the market, but the Samsung Galaxy Camera is certainly one of the easiest and most fun to use. The image quality is also good, way beyond what the average phone can produce and on a par with some of the most popular compact cameras on the market.

Enthusiasts are likely to be willing to forgive it any image quality shortcomings because they want it to take more creative shots than their phone can manage and then share them with their friends and followers. It is also smaller, lighter and better connected than DSLRs and CSCs.

For the moment the price seems very high compared with compact cameras such as the Panasonic TZ30, although it is low in comparison with a smartphone such as the iPhone 5.

When Samsung first announced the Samsung Galaxy Camera, we were told the price would be around £100/$160 less than it is on sale for now. While we can expect the price to drop over the coming months, consumers are currently being asked to pay a high premium for the camera's connectivity and Android operating system.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.3 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyGalaxy
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourWhite
Optical Zoom21x
Brand NameSamsung
FeaturesFace Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size12.2 cm (4.8")
Video Formats3GP, AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, WebM, WMV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)300 g
Flash Memory Capacity3.87 GB
Minimum Focus Distance100 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate120 fps
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeBSI CMOS
Total Camera Resolution17 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card, microSD Extended Capacity (microSDXC), microSDHC Card
Height70.8 mm
Width128.7 mm
Depth19.1 mm
Focal Length4.10 mm to 86.10 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsAMR, 3GA, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV, AAC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Red-eye Fix, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelEK-GC100
Product NameGalaxy Camera, White
Product LineGalaxy
Manufacturer Part NumberEK-GC100ZWABTU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

The Samsung Galaxy Camera gives you the magic of professional digital photography with the powerful intelligence of the Android Jelly Bean OS. It's the smartest camera ever, with stunning photographic output and a range of exceptionally rich professional shooting modes, editing features and various apps. Up close or far away, bright lights or dim lights: tricky scenes are no match for the Galaxy Camera, which instantly turns memories into award-winning photography. Using the Samsung Galaxy Camera is incredibly intuitive and a lot of fun. The timeless Minimal Organic Design is perfect to hold and the 121.2mm (4.77") HD Super Clear Touch Display is simply gorgeous. Go ahead, make everyone jealous. Use the new and powerful editing features with just the tips of your fingers to turn photos and videos into masterpieces. No Wi-Fi? No cables? No problem! Stay connected wherever you are. Instantly share pictures or transfer them back to home base for back-up.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker