With its 3G/4G data connection and built-in smartphone technology, the Samsung Galaxy Camera may provide a clue about the technology we will one day see in all digital cameras. Read the Samsung Galaxy Camera review...
Essentially, the Galaxy is a hybrid version of the Samsung WB850 compact camera and the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. At the core of the Galaxy is a 1/2.33in, 16.3-million-pixel, CMOS imaging sensor, which is the same size and approximately the same resolution as the sensor of the WB850. Also the same is the Schneider-Kreuznack 4.1-86.1mm (23-483mm full-frame equivalent) f/2.8-5.9 21x optical zoom lens. This lens is optically stabilised to reduce camera shake, which is needed when using long focal lengths.
Unlike other camera manufacturers that brand their processing units with names such as Expeed, Digic or Bionz, the Galaxy has it roots deep in the electronics and computing industries, with a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, which is the same as that used in the S3 smartphone. Like the S3, the quad-core processor is used to power the Galaxy’s features and operating system, which is the recent Jelly Bean version of Google’s Android. If all this means very little to you, see Connectivity for an explanation.
While most mobile phones use LED lights to illuminate a dark scene, the Galaxy has an almost identical pop-up flash to that used on the WB850. There is little else in terms of external features. A 3.5mm jack socket on the side allows headphones or a microphone to be attached, while a micro HDMI socket is found on the bottom of the camera.
The battery that powers the Galaxy is the same as that used in the Galaxy S2 smartphone. Samsung claims this should allow around 250 images to be taken. However, given the sheer number of other features found in the camera, it is highly unlikely that most photographers will ever use this number. Thankfully, the camera is readily available. Another useful characteristic, given the relatively high power consumption of the camera, is the fact that it can be powered via a micro-USB socket on the side. This allows the Galaxy to be charged via any USB connection, including the many external battery packs that are now available.
Image: The powerful 21x optical zoom and excellent image stabilisation make the Galaxy a powerful camera for snapshot wildlife images