Meet the smartest digital camera on the market - the new 16.3-million-pixel Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 that runs on Google's Android platform. Jon Devo tries it out. Read the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 review...
Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 at a glance:
- 16.3 million effective pixels
- 1/2.33in (6.16×4.62mm) sensor
- 21x optical zoom (23-483mm equivalent)
- ISO 100-3200
- 50GB free Dropbox cloud storage
- Large 1280×720 HD resolution touchscreen
- NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Street price around £399
- See sample images taken with the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2
Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 review – Introduction
After stealing the march on the competition by successfully marrying a digital camera with a smartphone significantly better than anything else on the market, Samsung is at it again with its latest Galaxy Camera.
The first Samsung Galaxy Camera, while innovative, wasn’t without its shortcomings. Its size was one point of contention. Although slim, the 4.8in screen meant that its body is naturally much larger than many other rival compact digital cameras. The lack of any physical controls was another issue for some users who have become accustomed to a mode dial and at least one selection dial. Also, I found the operation of the original Galaxy Camera to be a little too sluggish and images towards the extremes of its sizeable f/2.8-5.9 21x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 23-483mm) weren’t as sharp or as detailed as I would have liked.
Samsung has made some changes with the Galaxy Camera 2, but they are not necessarily what I expected. The new device is lighter at 283g (compared with the original’s 300g), but it is actually slightly larger, with dimensions of 71.2×132.5×19.3mm (the original model measures 70.8×128.7×19.1mm). However, when compared side by side, the differences between the two cameras are barely noticeable.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 has the same 16.3-million-pixel, 1/2.3in BSI CMOS sensor as that featured in the original Galaxy Camera, and there are still no physical controls. The option of 3G/LTE connectivity (basically, turning the camera into a phone) that made the original Galaxy Camera a unique prospect has now been scrapped in the new model. So what does this new device offer?
Image: A high-contrast scene showing rich blue skies and even exposure
Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 review- Features
Samsung hasn’t completely ignored the Galaxy Camera’s critics, though. The new device has received a jump in CPU processing speed, up from 1.4GHz to a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, supported by 2GB of RAM, and it runs a relatively recent version of the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean software. These tweaks have improved the new model’s operating speed, so users can take full advantage of the stunning 4.8in HD Super Clear Touch LCD.
The device’s 1280×720-pixel resolution display is significantly more impressive than any LCD featured on any other camera, which makes it superb for viewing content, even on bright days, whether that be images and video captured on the device or imported. Internal storage of 8GB is built into the device, with the option to expand that up to 64GB using the provided MicroSD slot. An additional 50GB of cloud storage via the pre-loaded Dropbox app is also available, so there’s plenty of room to store your favourite films and TV shows to watch on the go, as well as save your images when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
The pop-up flash now springs up on an arm that can be tilted back for bouncing from the ceiling, which also raises the unit high enough so it doesn’t cast a shadow from the camera’s long lens.
Battery life is another area of improvement, up from 1,650mAh to 2,000mAh. The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is also bolstered by optimised energy consumption, so you can take more pictures and get more use out of your device before having to find a charging point.
Full manual control, plus aperture and shutter-priority modes are available on the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 through a unique on-screen interface that looks like a lens barrel. All the settings can be adjusted, including metering, white balance, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity with its humble range of ISO 100-3200. The Galaxy Camera 2 is intuitive, but it’s not particularly fast if you need to adjust settings for changeable shooting scenarios. I missed a number of shots trying to respond to passing clouds and moving subjects.