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Samsung Galaxy Camera review



Our Score



  • Superb touchscreen
  • Seamless connectivity
  • Large focal range
  • Intuitive operation


  • Poor battery life
  • Some image quality issues
  • Would benefit from i-Function lens functionality

Review Price £399.00

Key Features: 16.1MP 1/2.3inch BSI CMOS sensor; 21x optical zoom (23-483mm equiv.); 1080p Full HD movie capture at 30fps; 4.8in HD Super Clear touchscreen LCD; Android 4.1 OS, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity

Manufacturer: Samsung


The Samsung Galaxy Camera is the culmination of a convergence that has been taking place over the last couple of years. While smartphones have been getting ever better cameras, cameras have been getting ever more smart features, resulting in what we have here which is a full-fledged superzoom (21x) compact camera that runs the mobile phone operating system Android and has built 3G and Wi-Fi.

Is it the best of both worlds or convergence gone too far? Read on to find out.

Samsung Galaxy Camera: Features

Presented as the ‘Connected camera’ on the company’s website, the Samsung Galaxy Camera offers enough basic camera specs to rival many regular compacts. At the centre of things is a backside illuminated 1/2.3in CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 16.3MP. Samsung doesn’t specify whether a dedicated image processor is present in the camera, however the camera does sport a 1.4GHz quad-core processor is to power the camera’s Android OS and so there’s a good chance that this is used to process images too.

Sensitivity ranges between ISO 100 and 3200, which is perhaps a stop below what might be expected of a camera of this price and type. Shooting options extend to the full compliment of Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual (PASM) modes, backed up by a standard Automatic option and 15 individually selectable ‘Smart’ shooting modes that are essentially a collection of scene modes, with the usual favourites such as Portrait, Macro and Landscape supplemented by a few slightly more adventurous options including Action Freeze, Rich Tone and Panorama. In addition to still image capture the Galaxy also offers 1080p Full HD video capture at 30fps.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 15

On the front of the Galaxy you’ll find a 21x optical zoom that provides the 35mm equivalent of 23-483mm. This puts the Galaxy on the same optical footing as many travel compacts, such as the Lumix TZ30, Sony HX20V, Fuji F770EXR and Canon PowerShot SX260 HS. Maximum aperture is a usefully quick f/2.8 at 23mm, rising incrementally to f/5.9 at 484mm. The lens is also supported by optical image stabilisation technology to help keep the effects of camera shake at bay when the camera is used at longer focal lengths and slower shutter speeds.

Taken on their own, the core camera specs listed so far point towards little more than a mid-range travel compact. But of course, the Galaxy camera is much more than that; in addition to being a camera it’s also a fully functioning Android device running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. In addition to its Wi-Fi connectivity, the Galaxy Camera is also compatible with 3G networks, and even comes boxed with a Micro SIM card that offers a 30-day mobile broadband trial on the 3 network. You’ll also get 50GB of Dropbox storage free for two years, with the option to automatically back up all of your images directly to the cloud – even using 3G if you so desire.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 3

While the Galaxy Camera doesn’t offer any built-in telephone capabilities of its own, the camera’s microphone means it is possible to use VoIP apps such as Skype should you find yourself caught short without your regular mobile and in range of an open Wi-Fi signal. And yes, you can also play Angry Birds on it, or send emails, or even watch YouTube videos should you want to. Perhaps more usefully, you can also download and install all kinds of useful photo editing and management apps, as well as to view – or upload images to – all your favourite social networking sites. At present there are around 700,000 apps on the Google Play Store, so finding something useful that increases the overall functionality of the Galaxy Camera shouldn’t prove too troublesome.

Befitting its positioning as a camera/smartphone hybrid device, the Galaxy Camera comes with a fittingly impressive LCD display. Measuring in at 4.8in, the screen offers a 1280 x 720 HD resolution, and further benefits from capacitive touchscreen technology. The screen gets a 16:9 aspect that’s perfect for HD video, but does result in black tramlines down each side when shooting still images in the native 4:3 aspect.

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September 5, 2012, 7:23 am

OK, I want to know the two obvious things about this beast:

a) Can it readily be used as a phone? I don't mean with Skype, I mean ... er... natively? Is that one of its functions, including pairing with my Bluetooth headset to make ordinary calls? Does it accept a SIM card?

b) Is there ANY detectable delay between what happens in front of the lens and what shows on that lovely big display? That's always been my complaint with electronic cameras - the delay that causes me to miss action and nature shots - I have more photos of blurred departing tail-feathers than I'd care to count, because my electronic viewfinder's delay had me clicking after the subject (bird?) had already launched.

If the photos are really impressive in quality, including decent low-light performance (detail and lack of noise...) I'm in. If the thing can be carried as a replacement for my Motorola Droid3 phone, I'll even forgive it the lack of a physical keyboard.

After all, the reason that people carry compact cameras is so they can get candid and impromptu shots. Uber-correct optical and image-processing performance - while really, really nice - would be secondary.

Women would carry CAMERA-phone (as opposed to their current camera-PHONE) in any everyday purse, and not notice the additional bulk and weight... among the load of bricks they usually have in there.

Guys who don't wear suits would just revive the belt-mount phone case. Only the suits would have a hard time finding a suitable way to carry the thing.

But my a) and b) questions need answering. Anybody?


December 20, 2012, 5:51 am

The 3G is for data only and it does take a sim. This device has no telephone capabilities Been looking at this phone as a possible xmas present to me from me :-)

Cant answer B sorry.

Merry Xmas


January 26, 2013, 12:56 pm

I've also tested the camera... Also tried to see if the screen will scratch :) Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... to see if you'll have any issues with that :)


August 28, 2013, 5:54 pm

Hi Juppiter,

I have owned this nice piece of hardware for the last 2 months, taking it with me to my trips in Eastern Europe and Asia, and I can only tell you that this has got to be one of the best cameras I've ever owned!

To answer your questions:

1 - I'm afraid that there are no phone features, so Skype is just as far as you can go.

2 - Having used it at different times of the day, in a number of situations ( including night time shots, fast action pictures and dimly lit places), I have never experienced one single delay between what happens in front of the lens and the image on the display. Moreoever, the camera is equipped with two features, one for the least experienced users which allows you to automatically adjust the camera to the environment conditions ( for instance, if you need to take continuous shots, or you need to take pictures at dusk or at night etc). This feature is particularly useful especially for those who are new to semi-professional photography. Additionally, there is an alternative mode aimed at more experienced users, which allows you to manually adjust the aperture, the shutter speed and the brightness.

In either case, you get flawless shots. Ever since I bought this camera, I have totally forgotten that irritating 'tail-feather' effect which occurs especially when taking pictures of fast-moving objects.

I hope my reply was useful to you.


June 23, 2014, 12:20 pm

Why do I need a SIM card if the camera can not be use as a phone?

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