Samsung Galaxy Camera review

16 Jan 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A sure sign of things to come, but this first effort doesn't feel like the finished article


1/2.3in 15.9-megapixel sensor, 21.0x zoom (23-483mm equivalent), 300g

Shot-to-shot performance is a little complex, too. We measured 1.8 seconds between shots, but enabling instant review so we could inspect photos directly after capture increased the time to a lethargic 3.4 seconds. Enabling instant review also meant the camera showed us the first frame of a video after we'd finished recording it.

This wasn't the only time that the camera app showed a lack of understanding of what photographers want. The autofocus point can be moved simply by touching the screen, but it reverted back to the centre after each shot. Program, priority and manual exposure modes are included, and while the array of concentric wheels for adjusting exposure settings looks pretty, it's slow to navigate to and cumbersome to use. Exposure compensation really ought to be much quicker to adjust.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

The exposure controls are a classic example of form over function

Most people will probably be happy to stick to the Auto mode and scene presets. The latter includes an ingenious Best Face mode - which is also available on the top-end Samsung Galaxy S3. It captures five frames for a group portrait, and then lets you choose the best shot of each person by tapping their face and then selecting from five headshots. The camera then generates a composite shot of your chosen faces.

Other clever touches include a voice control function that follows instructions such as "zoom in", "zoom out", "shoot" and "record video". It'll even take a photo when you say "cheese". The bundled Photo Wizard app has a reasonable stab at editing photos. There's a Video Editor app too, although we found it little unwieldy. There are lots more Android apps available, of course, such as the fantastic Snapseed. It works brilliantly on the 4.8in screen and fast processor, and it's apps like this that lie at the heart of the Galaxy Camera's appeal.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

The Photo Wizard app is welcome…

Samsung Galaxy Camera

…but a much bigger appeal is the ability to install other Android apps such as Snapseed

We also love how the Gallery app automatically imported our photos from Picasa and Facebook. The Gallery app includes a Share button, which sends the selected image or video to another app, but photos aren't resized before they're emailed – a big oversight.