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A picture's worth a thousand words

Hey, Tech Savvy fans! I am really excited this week to tell you about one of the great devices I had a chance to take a look at over the past couple weeks — the Samsung Galaxy Camera on loan from Verizon Wireless.

This camera far exceeded all of my expectations. It’s more than just a point and shoot replacement, and I’ve alluded to some of the great things about it in my past couple of articles. This week, I will give you my review and give you some visual examples of this camera’s capabilities.

• The basics

At a glance the Samsung Galaxy camera bears a similar resemblance to many point and shoot options available at any store. It’s fairly compact and can fit in a coat pocket, not terribly heavy and has the standard zoomable lens that protrudes from the front. Also like many point and shoots the Galaxy camera also has a number of built in features like a high definition touchscreen; external shutter controls; and some basic digital controls like flash control, panoramic and shot mode (like night, low light, scenic, etc). But that is where the similarities end.

At the core of the camera is a 16 megapixel powerhouse, which gives you great picture quality and a good base for post-editing. The camera is also equipped with a 21X zoom, which paired with the high pixel density and shot modes, makes for some great pictures. The screen is a 1280x720 LCD display that really does the images justice.

So what takes this above and beyond the standard point and shoot? It’s what makes up the guts of this camera. Inside the camera dwells Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and expandable memory. Since it has Android running the camera also allows you integrate your apps all in one place. This means that not only can you take a picture, you can edit it with Snapseed or other programs, you can upload directly to Facebook or other social media and the ability to upload your pictures and videos to Dropbox or other cloud storage to free up space on your camera. This is where the real benefit is. Consider it a different way — this is a smart device with the best possible camera out there right now.

• Some other features that were worth noting

The camera comes with a 1650mAH Li-ion battery which will keep it running for a good portion of the day under moderate use, video can be captured in full 1080p HD, and the flash is a xenon strobe. The camera also has some manual settings for f-stop and ISO which is a nice addition for those that are familiar with those settings and want to play around with individual elements.

The price tag of $549 is in line with top notch point and shoots. And as with entry level DSLRs you can add the device to any Share Everything plan for only $5 a month. With Verizon’s 4g LTE service, it was really easy to upload and stay connected. You can still use it without a plan over wi-fi but it is a real benefit knowing you can be connected wherever you are.

All in all I was greatly impressed with this camera/smart-device, and I am anxious to see how the retail world reacts and how this device will shape the way manufacturers plan their products. I see this device as a great option for people who like having their phone and camera separate. It is also something to consider when you are looking to upgrade your point and shoot camera. One thing that you’ll see in the pictures is that action shot mode really produced some great pictures and was fast enough to catch a squirrel mid-jump.

Don’t take just my word though. I let Steve Kohls, our photo department head and senior photographer, take the camera out for a week to put it through the test of not only what is print quality but to see how it stacked up against everyday use. Here’s what Steve had to say.

Review on Samsung Galaxy Camera

What is so typical in my profession is when you introduce a new product into the workflow of news gathering, it generally involves putting the camera in your pocket and at the next news event you give it a try. I loved the auto focus during video capture. The camera has a very clean and bright screen during capture. If it became too bright, I knew the camera was working fine and the capture was perfect.

We had the images upload to Dropbox right out of the camera. We use Dropbox with our transmissions from remote locations. Image quality in still was superb. I worked in shutter priority to ensure my images were sharp.

Love the camera I just wish I could have had more time to use it.


Steve Kohls

Photo Department Head

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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