cameras

Samsung Galaxy Camera (EK-GC100) Review

Samsung's latest experiment is the first camera to support both Android and 4G mobile broadband.

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Lens & Sensor

What distinguishes the Galaxy Camera from your Android smartphone is the big fat lens on the front. It's a 21x optical zoom barrel, and seems to be identical to the one found on Samsung's WB850F, so we'll be interested to see how these two models compare. Zoom is slow to respond, and the action of the motor is slow and imprecise. Minimum focus distance is worse than average, and construction quality seems flimsy.

Lens Photo

The 21x lens is a doppelganger of the WB850F's.

The CMOS sensor is small, only 1/2.3-inches, but it still weighs in at 16.3 megapixels which, again, is still much better than your average smartphone.

Display(s)

Every manufacturer knows that nothing sells a smartphone more than a sexy screen. Samsung has apparently leveraged this knowledge for use in the Galaxy Camera, because the rear LCD is a thing of beauty. This is a high definition panel, and at almost 5-inches diagonally, it's much larger than any on-camera monitor we can think of. Brightness is fantastic, saturation is vibrant, and color accuracy is lifelike in camera mode.

But...and this is a big "but," since the entire rear panel is dominated by the screen, this can mean only one thing: the dreaded all-touch control interface. Aside from the flash release, the Galaxy Camera has only two physical buttons, leaving all remaining control to touch. This is sure to cause problems later in the review.

LCD Photo

This giant LCD will probably sell some cameras.

Connectivity

There are only two connectivity terminals on the Galaxy Camera, a USB port underneath a rubber stopper on the right side of the body, plus a tiny microHDMI port adjacent to the battery slot. There's even a small HDMI pass-through door in the middle of the battery compartment door.

Ports Photo 1

Look at this tiny USB port. It's hidden under a cover on the right side. A small headphone jack is visible here too.

Ports Photo 2

The HDMI port is tiny as well. Could Samsung be telling us how they feel about wired connectivity?

Battery

Our opinions of camera batteries are usually simple comparisons of their CIPA ratings, but for a model with so many extra features, this is hardly adequate. The same restrictions that apply to smartphones also apply to the Galaxy Camera: processor-intensive apps or heavy network usage will all drain your battery more than usual. In the end, it seems like the Galaxy Camera's battery life will be about one day for varied, general use. More if you only use the camera.

Battery Photo

The battery is wide and flat, lasting for around a day of regular use.

Memory

The camera has both a microSD card slot, as well as a SIM card slot for data plans. Managing memory requires a few extra steps, like choosing where you want files to be stored, or deleting files by hand, and this is a process that would've been much faster and simpler on a traditional camera.

Media Photo

Only microSD cards are supported, unless you want to store data directly on the SIM.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Design
  3. Product Tour
  4. Hardware
  5. Photo Gallery
  6. Image Quality
  7. Sharpness
  8. Color
  9. Noise Reduction
  10. Distortion
  11. Video
  12. Usability
  13. Ease of Use
  14. Handling
  15. Controls
  16. Speed
  17. Features
  18. Extras
  19. Video Features
  20. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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