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Monday, 10 December 2012

Samsung Galaxy Cam hands on: Merger of Camera and Phone

  • Monday, 10 December 2012
  • Amanpreet Singh
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  • Samsung Galaxy Cam hands on: Merger of Camera and Phone

    Samsung Galaxy Cam - front
    Samsung Galaxy Cam, which we liked a lot more than we thought we'd ever like a point-and-shoot camera with Android and a touchscreen.

    When Samsung first unveiled its Galaxy Camera The Galaxy Cam appears to be both a solid digital camera and a great touchscreen phone.

    Tape a point-and-shoot camera to a Galaxy S3

    If you want to know what it’s like to use the Galaxy Cam, try taping a Galaxy S3 to a digital camera. Now, imagine these two devices actually communicated. The Galaxy Cam has a 4.8-inch screen and internal processing power and specs that nearly match Samsung’s flagship phone. Only with a 21x optical zoom built into the front and other camera requirements like a 21x zoom.

    It’s a great phone

    The Galaxy Cam looks like a camera on the front, but it’s all touchscreen-operated Android joy in the back. I was pleasantly surprised how well the Android interface worked. It looks just like the Galaxy S3′s TouchWiz interface, but runs slightly smoother (my opinion), which may be due to Samsung upgrading the operating system to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), Google’s newest, slickest OS. The Cam packs a full 1.4GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor with 1GB of RAM and the 4.8-inch touchscreen is 1280 x 720 pixels and runs on a very nice “Super Clear” LCD technology. It can also connect up to 4G LTE networks. I lay out those hardware specifications not to bore you, but to illustrate that the Galaxy Cam is running on hardware that is as fast as what we’re seeing on top-of-the-line smartphones right now. As a phone (if it actually was a phone), it’s already very nice. We used several downloaded apps and poured through the menus like any other phone.


    Really, the only thing a Galaxy Cam can’t do that a phone can is make calls, but it can do Skype, so if you were really hell-bent on using it as your only device, you probably could. Chatting can be accomplished with any client.

    Somehow, it’s a great camera too

    Open up the camera app on the Galaxy Cam or press the shutter button, and you’re now using the best camera phone… possibly ever. The Galaxy Cam has 21x optical zoom, a pop-out flash for shooting in the dark, microSD card support, an easily removable battery, and Micro HDMI and USB slots for charging. But the real impressive part was the camera app itself. I fully expected Samsung to skimp on the software, but it has developed what appears to be a pretty thorough camera app that takes good advantage of the Cam’s abilities.
    If you press the big silver onscreen button when in camera mode, you can enter four modes. You can set it on Auto, Casual, Smart Pro, or Expert mode. Auto and Casual are pretty basic, as is Smart Pro mode, which has some basic settings for camera novices looking to kick it up a notch. If you want to, say, take a macro shot, a silhouette  a night shot, or an action shot, this mode lets you select between these types of environments with simple labels and pictures. Expert mode is where it’s at, though.


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