From the moment I was watching the Samsung event live when they pulled the Samsung Galaxy Camera out of a magic hat on screen, I was smitten. First, I’m not one to lug around a DSLR every where I go. I’m not that great at adjusting the DSLR settings, so by the time I have all the settings just right, the photo moment has passed. To avoid this I would keep the DSLR on auto… which kinda defeats the entire purpose of using a DSLR to begin with. So, since I’m not going to get anywhere on the fly with my DSLR camera, what do I use the most? My phone. While my phone takes pretty NICE pictures, it doesn’t take AMAZING pictures. It’s a phone. Where is the happy medium between amazing DSLR pictures, and grainy phone pictures? While I can’t promise that the Samsung Galaxy Camera is going to take a picture as great as you can get from a DSLR, I will tell you that it’s going to be pretty darn close.
I was super excited when the camera came to my house! I turned it on and right away fell completely in love with this device.
The camera has a gorgeous white finish everywhere except for the large touchscreen that covers the entire back of the camera. There is a button you can press to pop up the flash on the side, the top has your typical camera functions (power, shutter, zoom). Around on the other side you have a headphone jack and a micro USB port for charging and connecting to the computer. On the bottom there is a micro HDMI port to connect the camera to a TV or other type of monitor and the ability to remove/replace the battery (I’ll talk more about that in a minute). Also included in the bottom is the SIM card slot and a MicroSD card slot so you can increase the storage from the 4 GB of storage space that it comes with.
The screen takes over the entire back of the camera, giving you a great view into the picture you are about to take. The screen is gorgeous to look at with it’s 4.77-inch HD Super Clear LCD™. I look at my old camera now and think to myself… “how did I live before the picture took up the entire back of my camera??”. The glass feels sturdy too, not fragile. It really does look like they just stuck a cellphone on the back of a really nice camera!
Which leads me to …
This camera runs on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and has a quad-core 1.4 Ghz processor! This thing is nicer/faster than my cell phone! With access to the full Google Play Store, I can go from playing Angry Birds, to taking a super funky picture Paper Camera. The camera itself is 16 MP and can zoom up to 21x.
Enough about the specs though, what you are really interested in is how this guy works. And trust me when I say, you ALL want to know about this camera. Seriously, every time I pull it out, no matter where I am, people are asking me about my camera. It’s a total hit with everyone I’ve met. So here’s some examples of what this super fun camera can do…
This image is with the regular camera
and now here is that same family (a friend of mine) zoomed in from across the street…
In addition to the preset modes, which also include light trace, action freeze, continuous shot, best photo, waterfall, silhouette, sunset, and several more, there is a manual mode. You can choose to set it to full manual, aperture priority, and shutter priority. This gives you full control over the settings on the camera, if you are into that sort of thing.
Another thing I loved about this camera is that it’s got voice controls. I can have it take the picture just by SAYING “cheese”.
Now here’s the negative (until I figured out how to fix it). This camera is on AT&T’s 4g network. It also has wifi capabilities. Also, since it’s running Android, and I put my Facebook information and other account information in the camera, it was getting notifications. The notifications were destroying this camera’s battery life. The first thing I did was to turn the power saving mode on. All you need to do is pull down the notification window by swiping your finger from the top of the camera. Next, just tap “power saving mode” and you are good.
The second thing I did (which actually will save you on data usage as well) is to go to settings then tap on “more settings” and check mark “Smart network” which will only enable the networking on the device when the screen is turned on. After I enabled this check mark, my battery life suddenly got a million times better. If you were going on a trip though, and wouldn’t have access to a plug very often, I would buy a second battery to keep on hand so you can swap it out when you ran low.
Here’s my last little fun story. The other day I accidentally left my phone in my car. I was at the grocery store, and I needed to know how many cans of vegetable stock I needed to equal a gallon. I was bummed to have to go back out into the cold Utah weather to get my phone to get the conversion calculations. Then I remembered the Samsung Galaxy Camera in my purse! I grabbed my camera, googled the conversion, and purchased enough Vegetable stock to make my brine for the turkey….
Last but most certainly not least video of a Santa parade, as taken with my Samsung Galaxy Camera….
Disclaimer: Samsung sent me the Galaxy Camera to facilitate my review.
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com