Android powered cameras are looking to win back the casual consumers they have lost to smartphones. They offer high quality photos with easy mobile sharing.
Manufacturers adding Android to the superior hardware found in a point and shoot camera allows them to market their device to consumers interested in casual photo sharing. Many people find smartphones good enough for their needs. Those that need better sensors or better zoom will find a camera powered by Android can simplify their lives. Having access to apps will add value that a regular point and shoot camera does not have.
Imagine a company that needed photos from an event. The photographer takes the photos then goes to lunch or meets another client. The photographer can connect to Wi-Fi and then use a cloud storage app such as Dropbox to automatically upload their photos to a desktop computer. Another employee could then begin to sort through those photos and run them through PhotoShop to add professional effects. Having Android on that camera allowed the company to get more done.
Let us not kid ourselves. Apps like Instagram are popular. Having a better camera will allow you to take better photos. Having better photos will attract more followers. Camera manufacturers will be able to sell more units for this alone.
Android Powered Cameras: Nikon CoolPix S800c
Nikon is one of the two most popular camera manufacturers. They were the first company to announce that they will release a camera powered by Android. This camera will run Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread). By choosing an older version it shows that Nikon has worked on this for some time. It also shows that this is new territory for Nikon. It is going to take them time to get up to speed on the mobile integration process. They will obviously do their best, but it will take them a little while to get used to it. For now Nikon has chosen to let a user run the camera independently from Android. So far first impressions have been favorable.
Android Powered Cameras: Samsung Galaxy Camera
Not long after Samsung announced that they were releasing the Samsung Galaxy Camera. It goes without question that Samsung is very familiar with Android. This camera will run Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). This is the latest version of the Android operating system. By putting it on the camera they are showing dedication to a tightly integrated product.
Besides the newer OS the Galaxy Camera has a few more advantages over the S800C.
- The first is that the Galaxy Camera is a 4G device. This means that a user will not need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect up. They can take photos outdoors and still enjoy uploading their photos at their leisure.
- A huge 4.8″ LCD display.
- 21x optical zoom. The S800C only has 10x optical.
- Expert mode allows the photographer to have access to many features that DSLR expect.
So far the biggest complaints about the camera come from a long shutter speed, and some initial bugs in the software. Over the air updates can fix the latter. The slow shutter speed is something owners are stuck with. That would be a deal breaker for me, but I truthfully do not believe it would be for many.
So far neither camera is actually too impressive. They are not the best point and shoot cameras out there; nor are they bad cameras either. They are about medium grade for quality. They offer better photographs than any major smartphone is capable.