A Closer Look at Nikon’s New Android-Powered S800c Compact Camera

Nikon made a big splash in the compact camera world yesterday by being the first major camera manufacturer to bake Android OS into a compact camera, the Coolpix S800c (Polaroid released one a while ago, but it’s hardly a major player at the moment). The S800c looks and sounds interesting as far as specs and press releases go, but what’s it actually like to use a camera that could be mistaken for a smartphone?

Here’s a short commercial for the camera released by the company. It attempts to make a direct comparison with smartphone photography, providing reasons why the S800c is superior to the phone in your pocket:

It appears that Nikon is trying to tell us that the camera will improve the on-the-go pictures you upload to various social networks, attracting more “likes” for your images. Interesting.

One major downside that the commercial doesn’t show (and, in a way, tries to hide) is the fact that Internet connectivity is done through Wi-Fi, not a cellular network. This means you’ll need to be connected to some sort of Wi-Fi network in order to do any of the things shown in the video. You can’t simply walk around during your travels and upload your snaps to Flickr, though using your phone as a mobile hotspot would do the trick.

If the idea of using mobile operating systems in cameras takes off, however, we might start seeing data plans being offered for cameras.

For a closer look at the phone’s interface, check out this hands-on video by Engadget:

If you want to pixel-peep at the camera’s quality, check out the sample photographs posted over on Nikon’s website.

  • sandro

    ill get one for my trip! i will use my smart card adapter to use internet

  • Simon

    Everyone will have their Smart Phone with them and can make a Mobile Hotspot, thus removing the need for another mobile phone bill.

  • N

    What about using Instagram with the s800c? or any of the other Android photo editing apps?

  • Dave White

    I wonder if any of the Android hackers will be able to enable non-default features like RAW, or longer shutter speed

  • CodeDisQus

    OR we could just get a Nokia Pureview phone?

  • JenniBurger

    i already use android apps + google voice to receive and make phone calls over wifi. in fact, my business number is actually a google number that calls all my phones at once, including my cell phone that rarely actually has cell service. (i have starving photographer syndrome when it comes to bills… lol) this would be an awesome option for me because I HATE my phone’s camera. It’s handier than dragging out my DSLR from its snug spot surrounded by velcro and padding in my bag, but the photos are embarrassing in terms of quality. I’m totally checking into this thing!

  • James

    This is the ULTIMATE travel tool. While traveling abroad my smartphone is my most important tool and I dont even use the phone. Take photos, find wireless zone, upload a shot or two, look up restaurant reviews, consult the map, arrange to meet a friend over email, find a hotel. The more I think about this the more it makes sense. This direction will breathe huge life into the Point and Shoot market. This also give Android a giant area of growth over Apple.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Now, if it could just be used on the cell phone network … Instead of public wi-fi hotspots, because do you want your password broadcast in the clear?

  • Sasha

    Right… I’d like to see this compared with a latest gen phone with significant photo taking capabilities, such as the GS3 or the One X. The difference wouldn’t be too big. Especially the quick response. Digital zoom is more than enough for facebbok pics. Plus, who on earth takes that many pics every day?

  • garett hernandez

    I really want a camera with a phone app and not a phone with a camera app. this is one step closer to the dream coming true.

  • Rahul

    Any Idea how long this might take to boot up?