The Galaxy Camera is a device Samsung hopes will usher in a new era of smart point-and-shoot cameras. With a 16MP sensor, a 23mm lens with 21X optical zoom capability and optical image stabilization, it's far beyond what you'll find on the average smartphone. And yet it's powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and backed up by the latest mobile internals from Samsung -- a quad-core Exynos chip and 1GB of RAM.
We've spent the past few days getting to know the Galaxy Camera, shooting a vast quantity of photos and video along the way. Our first impressions are that it unsurprisingly trounces every smartphone out there in terms of image quality, and compares favorably to current high-end point-and-shoot cameras. But it also carries a hefty price tag -- $500 in the U.S., and upwards of €500 in the eurozone. So if you were to judge the Galaxy Camera solely on image quality, you might come to the conclusion that you're paying over the odds. But we'll save the argument for our full review, coming in the days ahead -- this post is all about the end results.
What we're presenting here is an 70-photo-strong gallery to give you an example of the kind of shots we've been able to produce during our first few days with the Galaxy Camera. Most of the outdoor daylight pictures are taken in automatic mode, while some indoor and close-up images (particularly device shots) were taken in "smart" and "expert" modes. Smart presents users with a list of presets to fit particular circumstances -- for example, macro, night mode, panorama. Conversely, expert mode gives you full access to S/A/P/M toggles, allowing you to tweak program modes, apertures, exposure, ISO and shutter times to your heart's content.
On the whole, we're pretty pleased with the photos and video we've been able to produce using the Galaxy Camera. It's not going to replace your DSLR, but it's surprising how much of a difference the Android-plus-TouchWiz combo makes to the usability -- and enjoyability -- of a point-and-shoot camera. And that point is reinforced when you go back to using a clunky traditional camera UI.
Check past the break for our extensive photo gallery and sample video reel. We'll have more for you in the full review later in the week.