IFA 2012: Samsung Galaxy camera

Having warmed up the crowd with their announcement of the Galaxy Note II, the next product to be ‘unpacked’ by Samsung was the Galaxy Camera – a product that the firm hopes will redefine the digital camera category.

On first impressions it’s unlikely to redefine anything in terms of design as it looks very much like any other camera. The basic camera ‘stats’ include a 21x optical super long zoom with image stabilization and a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. However, things became a little more interesting when they announced that it will run on the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system and will come with 3G, 4G and WiFi connectivity. Furthermore, the back of the Galaxy camera is almost entirely taken up with a 4.8” Super Clear HD LCD touch display.

In terms of software features, the camera comes with a number of easy point-and-shoot modes. These include things like ‘Action Freeze Mode’ for those fast moving situations, ‘Light Trace’ for making cool draw-with-your-torch effect photos and ‘Blue Sky’ mode for, well… taking nice sky photos of course!

In terms of the camera’s video capability, the one feature that stood out for us was the slow motion video mode. This enables you to catch slow motion video at 120 frames per second at a resolution of 720×480 – ideal for filming water balloons being burst if nothing else.

Another ‘cool’ feature (presuming it can hear you over the noise of your friends/family) is the camera’s voice activated functionality. This, as you’ve probably guessed, allows you to say things like “zoom in” and “take photo” which would be ideal for when you want to be in the photo rather than behind the lens.

After the presentation we had the opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with the Galaxy camera. Our initial reaction is that it’s pretty big and heavy – at least in comparison to your average point-and-shoot camera. The screen on the back is beautiful and the shooting modes seemed to work well. However we did struggle a little in terms of navigating between the camera’s ‘desktop’, the camera mode and the video mode. It will no doubt appeal to those want all the bells and whistles, but we’re not sure how well it will sit with your average digital camera consumer.

Check out our other coverage from Samsung @ IFA 2012: