Samsung Galaxy Camera Review

Since the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy camera, we have been waiting to get our hands on this beauty. In fact, our hopes were triggered even higher after we reviewed the Nikon S800C in the last month’s issue, which was the first Android powered camera. Samsung is pretty much the only manufacturer that has given Apple a run for its money in the smartphone arena, so when they announced that they were launching a Galaxy camera on the Android platform, it was a simple no brainer.


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there was going to be a heavy integration of the point-and-shoot system with a smartphone like user interface. But the biggest dilemma I had while reviewing it was if I should review it as a phone or as a camera. Because of its features, it was very difficult for me to disassociate it from a smartphone, but due to its primary objective I couldn’t help but think if it was really a camera. So what exactly has Samsung come up with? Let us find out.


What is the Galaxy camera?

Well in simple words, it’s the smaller version of the Galaxy Note 2 and a bigger version of the Galaxy S3 attached with a camera. Naturally, it is a camera that comes equipped with a 21x zoom, runs on the Jelly Bean OS, built-in Wi-Fi, GPS and a sim-card slot to stay connected on the move (as if you already weren’t with your smartphones these days).

Who is it exactly for?


At Rs. 29,995, who is the Galaxy Camera exactly meant for? Especially as one can easily buy an entry level DSLR in that kind of money these days. Well, it is basically for the average, trigger happy Social Network junkie,  as the term goes these days. A person who is looking for decent picture quality, but more importantly wants to share the details of their life with the outside world.


Look, Body and Feel


One would have to be really not paying attention dislike the cameras design and look. It seems elegant, stylish and big. When you will see the camera in one of the commercial ads on television these days, you might find yourself thinking that it is a pint-sized. But it is only when you see it in reality when you see it for the monster it is. The Galaxy camera is much bigger than most of the point-and-shoot cameras out there, and surely much heavier as well. At 300 gms the camera is much heavier than the others in the similar category. But it still looks quite pleasant due to its simple design and minimal look. The right side of the camera features a protruding textured grip, which does its job fantastically, whereas, the front houses the 23mm wide lens which offers 21x zoom.


The magic begins at the back, which looks exactly like the screen of the Galaxy series of phones. It’s big, bright and unlike what one has seen on any camera before. Essentially, the Galaxy camera looks very much like a phone fitted with a 21x optical zoom lens in the front.



Samsung has really aced the platform here. Not only have they aced it, but much like Apple, created a new category in the camera segment. Powered by the latest Jelly Bean OS on the Android platform, the Galaxy camera looks and feels exactly like a smartphone. Not only that, it can do everything that a phone can, minus the calls. The integration of the touch screen is seamless, thanks to the 4.8” Super AMOLED touch screen that have gained popularity due to the Samsung range of smartphones.


It also comes preloaded with interesting apps for photo editing, and can always be connected to the Google Play Store to download a host of apps as per the users interests. While the screen is seamless and big, it does tend to have some chinks in its armour. Occasionally while toggling between the menus, there seemed to be some lag.




While everything about the Galaxy camera is great, its primary objective is to deliver good pictures. And that is where we thought that it lacked punch. The best way to describe the cameras performance is average. The camera delivers crisp and sharp images in broad daylight, but tends to have focusing problems in low light conditions. Also, there is a visible noise on the images shot under the same setting.


Although pictures shot at ISO 100 do not exhibit noise, it seems like the noise reduction algorithms go into an overdrive trying to keep a check on it, and we thought the ultimate results were far from impressive. The noise gets worse as we progress towards the higher ISO values. A 16-megapixel sensor doesn’t necessarily do a whole lot for your photos if you have a 1/2.3” sensor like the one on this camera.


Sample Images


      The Downside


Although the camera offers manual options to control the aperture and the shutter speed to click pictures, the touch screen, which otherwise is a boon, suddenly tends to become a bane because you have to get into the touch screen again and again to either bracket your images or change certain settings. I wish that there were buttons dedicated to control it directly.


While the camera provides a great grip on the right-hand side due to its rubberised texture, it’s next to impossible to rest your fingers anywhere on the left, especially when the flash pops up. This means that there is a possibility of getting shaky pictures, especially in low light conditions.




At Rs. 29,995 the Samsung Galaxy Camera offers a lot to the tech-savvy consumer and one must hand it to the manufacturer for creating a whole new market segment. But where Samsung seems to have aced the integration of a camera with a phone, the Galaxy’s image quality and performance takes a beating. While the pictures in broad daylight seemed decent, we felt that the camera struggled a little under low-light conditions. But being one of the first cameras to touch upon this segment, it doesn’t seem to be a bad effort at all. If you are looking for a camera which delivers average photography performance but a host of other attractive features, the Samsung Galaxy Camera is a perfect choice for you.


 Text: Bhavya Desai