Expert Review of Samsung Galaxy GC100 Point & Shoot
This device has not been from the traditional or orthodox camera giant company, but still managed to be probably the camera that gained the maximum media attention in the world. Samsung, after unveiling countless Galaxy products, is not quite content with just smartphones, so here, we have the first “Smart Camera” of the world, the Samsung Galaxy Camera. As such, the device is a 16megapixel camera that belongs to the superzoom category embedded with, which is a huge 4.8inches HD capacitive touch screen, 21x optical zoom and a focal range, which is 35mm that is, equivalent to 23 – 483mm. So much for the camera, the “smart” features of the device include running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS alongside Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity options. As far as the video recording options are concerned, it is unparalleled in certain ways like recording Full HD 1080p movies as well as, slow- motion videos ranging up to 120fps.
There is a remote viewfinder on the device, which allows you to see and take picture from a remote distance, what your camera sees on the spot. Another spell binding feature of Samsung Galaxy Camera is the Voice control it offers, just say the stuff to it, command it to zoom in, zoom out, whatever, you can take shots without even touching the device. Available in just White or Black (Thankfully so, because any other color would have destroyed the elegance of the device), it offers the ultimate user camera interface any device can offer currently, for smartphones are the No.1 gadgets in today’s world. Samsung has taken a bold step, which is appreciated in every aspect, it has added its known-to-all chain GALAXY brand name on a camera, now with sales of Compact cameras around the world becoming highly unstable, giving an Android interface to the device and making it a standalone camera for the world to admire. Bringing together a smartphone and a camera is almost like a revolution, the tagline “Camera Reborn” justifies the device in all means. Better still, it is almost like a Galaxy S3 feature packed camera, with just better ways to shoot, a massive 4.8-inch screen on the back and a huge 21x zoom lens alongside the front.
Design and Build Quality
Exact dimensions of Samsung Galaxy Camera measure 70.8mm x 128.7mm x 19.1 mm, this only gives you the idea that it is not exactly a device compact enough to carry around in your pocket, and the best place for it is definitely a camera bag. Weight of the device is 300grams, which is not bad for a superzoom device without a battery and a card, this makes the device 25% bigger than Samsung flagship superzoom WB850F camera. It is definitely a larger device, but that is because of the fact that it is built like a smartphone. Yes, it is meant for photography purposes, but it is built the way an Android device should be built, with increasing size being the rapidly growing trend in the smartphone industry, and that is exactly why there is an attractive white finish to the device which complements the huge, overhung zoom. This zoom lens definitely differentiates the device from any standard smartphone or tablet. The capability to zoom as much as 483mm gives this compact, all the means to capture the tiniest of details that no smartphone can even dream of. The device feels like made of high amount of metal and very less plastic, Samsung Galaxy Camera certainly gets an A for designing. Not just style, the handling of the device is superb as well, there is a proper handgrip because of sort of a subtle textured surface to one side of a faceplate of the device, and this is a feature that is mostly used in devices that use more of sleek styling. This suggests that towards the telephoto end of the zoom range, sharp shots are much more achievable. Keep aside the 21x handgrip and the 21x lens, the only other feature on the clean cut front of Galaxy Camera is a small hole shaped window, which is meant to house the AF assist/ Self timer lamp, this is positioned just above the lens.
Focus and Face Detection
The auto focus speed of this device is decent and brilliant in bright light conditions, and is better than most of the mid-range compacts. However, the AF points do struggle in low light conditions with fast moving objects. The zoom control along the shutter button on Samsung Galaxy Camera is most definitely a welcome addition although using a big screen to compose shots, it feels like you are using a phone and trying to pinch to zoom.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Samsung Galaxy camera has the honor of boasting the same lens which was mounted on Samsung’s superzoom flagship Samsung WB850F, a 21x optical zoom that has a 35mm format focal length equivalent of 23 – 483mm, the device is definitely wider and is humongous in the telephoto mode with optical image stabilisation. Most connected camera device, in short smartphones, do not really have an optical zoom lens, but Samsung Galaxy Camera, being a camera, possesses one, and is a fantastic addition to mobile photography fans, as it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
Screen and Menus
Do not expect the super high-end AMOLED screen in Samsung Galaxy camera, and there is no optical viewfinder in the device, instead of that, pictures and videos are composed on the device with the help of a HD Super Clear LCD screen. Samsung definitely has a “class-apart” technology when it comes to screens, and hence, this gives rise to a little deeper blacks and really better contrast, when you are both composing and renewing those shots, this can be coupled with a highly respectable 614,000 dots resolution and can display decent images to our eyes. The downside to this is however, the images do not really look as much dynamic as they do at the point of capture when you later view them on your desktop or PC. But then, the device definitely gives you more positives than negatives, and the positive here is that, the sharp screen image only makes sure that the menu options and functions also look really neat, clean, sharp and legit. With the entire rear covered by this huge 4.8-inch screen, there are very less physical controls on the device. There is a plastic flap that protects a port for AV/USB output on the right side of the device, also, a metal hoop is there to attach a wrist rap just below the device, along with the addition of a headphone port just above the device.
Samsung Galaxy Camera draws out all the power of its Quad processor with Android OS from a standard Li-Ion 1650mAh battery, which allows you to capture what seem like seamless photos and videos that range up to 4.5hours, as claimed by Samsung. Although, we know how fast the battery of a smartphone drains with features like Wi-Fi, GSM and Bluetooth, the battery is bound to discharge faster than you could possibly expect.
Videos can be shot in this device at 1080p Full HD Mode at 30fps, although there is also the option of recording HD 720p clips at either 30fps or 60fps. The second option will shoot high frame rate movie, which is even more enhancing than the Hobbit movie that was recorded in 48fps. There is also a 120fps slow motion mode provided in the device at a reduced resolution.
The device works on a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor that is capable of capturing images at 16megapixels.
* Large 4.8-inch touchscreen is unparallel in digital camera marketplace
* Galaxy Camera is a brilliant in hand
* Best of both worlds: Smartphones and point-n-shoot cameras
* 21x optical zoom sets this model apart versus smartphone cameras
* Inclusion of Android OS makes Galaxy Camera very easy to use
* Very good battery life
* Built-in Wi-Fi option is handy for sharing photos immediately
* Some models have 4G or 3G support for an extra cost
* Pop-up flash unit provides good flash photo quality
* Sharp, clean design
* Several special effect features can be added through in-camera editing
* Comfortable to use with small right-hand grip
* Image quality could be better
* Cameras shot in low light and indoors sometimes have some noise
* Focus is a bit soft at times
* Must charge battery inside the camera, because no separate battery charger included
* Camera has some shutter lag problems
* Start-up is incredibly slow in full power-up mode
* Pop-up flash unit isn't automatic and must be opened manually
* High ISO settings have a lot of noise
* Camera may be a bit large for some people
* Those who don't like Android OS probably won't like this camera
* Price is pretty high compared to models with a similar image quality