One of the most innovative cameras of the past year was not a souped-up, high-speed digital SLR hot rod or a 4K-shooting, big-screen-worthy cinema star. It was a compact camera that takes many of its cues from a smartphone.
Made by consumer electronics giant Samsung, which produces phones, cameras and a zillion other mobile devices, the Samsung Galaxy Camera runs on Google’s Android 4.1 (aka Jelly Bean) operating system, and has Wi-Fi with either 3G or 4G connectivity. As a camera, it’s a good stretch better than anything you’d find in a smartphone, with a 16.1-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a 21x (23-483mm equivalent) f/2.8 zoom lens, optical image stabilization, full 1080p HD and a nearly 5-inch LCD touch screen on back.
The most unique thing about the Samsung Galaxy Camera, though, is its ability to share images immediately on social networks with its wireless connectivity just like a … wait for it … smartphone.
The catch is, of course, you need to also purchase a data plan to share those images. AT&T was named the carrier for the Samsung Galaxy Camera last year and the company’s AT&T Mobile Share plans let you share “a single bucket of data across smartphones, tablets and other compatible devices,” which includes the Galaxy Camera. AT&T customers can also use their current individual or family plans with the Samsung Galaxy Camera to share images and video wirelessly via the company’s cellular network.
No, this is not a camera you’re going to use for your professional work. But as a glimpse at the potential future of capturing and sharing images wirelessly, the Samsung Galaxy Camera is ahead of its time.