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...
Image: The Android operating system allows you to completely customise the extra features of the Galaxy Camera
The samsung Galaxy Camera is laden with technology more commonly found on mobile phones and tablet computers, but what does it all do?
A Wi-Fi-compatible camera can be connected wirelessly to either an internet hotspot, or to another device such as a mobile phone or a computer.
When connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot, cameras can send images via email or upload them to the internet so they can be seen on social networking sites such as Facebook. More importantly, Wi-Fi can allow images to be archived to an online storage account. The Galaxy Camera comes with 50GB of online Dropbox space for two years. This means that thousands of images can be automatically saved in a secure online account and then accessed via a computer or mobile phone anywhere in the world.
Wi-Fi also usually allows remote live view and triggering of the camera’s shutter via another device, such as a smartphone. This is useful for wildlife shots, self-portraits or just capturing
an image in an awkward location.
3G and 4G
These are mobile data bandwidths used to send and receive data. It is the same technology found in mobile phones, and means you can send or receive data without using a Wi-Fi connection. The Galaxy is the first consumer compact camera to have this technology built in. It gives users the potential to send images around the world while, say, standing in the middle of a field. It can also help photographers by allowing data from apps to be received.
A mobile phone SIM card for the Three network is included in the Galaxy package. It allows up to 1GB of data to be sent or received over a 30-day period. After this time, you can continue to use the mobile data by topping up the card, or by using your own SIM card and mobile data contract.
The Galaxy Camera doesn’t require a mobile SIM card to operate. It will work with just a Wi-Fi connection if you don’t want to use 3G/4G connectivity.
Nikon’s Coolpix S800c was the first camera to have the Android operating system, but the large screen of the Samsung Galaxy Camera makes it a much more usable proposition.
While the obvious benefit to photographers is the ability to use the various apps to share images online, it also means that photographers can perform basic image editing with programs like Snapseed or Photoshop Touch.
However, there is a lot more available. For example, an app such as Lapse-It instantly adds time-lapse functionality, while the Photographer’s Ephemeris enables photographers to check the position of the sun or moon at a specific time when planning a landscape shoot. Notes can be taken about specific locations, and you can check where images have been taken using Google Maps. Images can be emailed straight from the camera, or you can even do something trivial like download the Tune-In radio app or watch a TV show.
In effect, the camera becomes a computer that you can customise to your requirements. All this is wonderful, but remember that there will be extra drain on the battery so buy a spare.