The Android operating system has been expanding beyond the world of smartphones and into the realm of “smartcameras” as of late, but did you know that by doing so it has simply gone full circle? That’s right: Android was originally intended for digital cameras rather than for phones.
Samsung only has a couple of weeks before the rumored “sometime between January and April 2013″ timeframe for an NX2000 “smart” ILC release runs out, and just on schedule, a FCC filing with a top and front schematic of the camera has come to light. Read more…
One major trend in the camera industry this year is the introduction of mobile operating systems such as Android into digital cameras. By opening the door to things like Wi-Fi, data plans, and apps, camera makers are going in the same direction that phone makers went some years ago, turning their devices into what can best be described as portable computers with specialized functions (e.g. voice-calling, photography).
While covering the trend, we’ve been at a loss for what to call the new cameras. After calling the Samsung Galaxy Camera a “voiceless phonecamera” in our hands-on first-look yesterday, commenters suggested that we call the device a “smartcamera”. Bingo… that’s the term we were looking for.
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?
The ability to connect your camera to your smartphone wirelessly is starting to really gather some steam. Unfortunately, up until now, that technology usually required a WiFi connection and an adapter that often cost some serious dinero. But if all you’re looking to do is share the photos you take instantly sans WiFi network, you don’t have many options. Enter CloudPic Mobile. Read more…
It’s been a long time coming, but today the popular photo snapping and sharing app Instagram finally launched for Android phones. While it offers the same filters as its iOS counterpart, the new app has a look and feel that’s geared towards Android’s interface. Some features are absent from the initial release (e.g. tilt shift, blur, live preview), but upcoming updates will bridge the gaps. The app is available as a free download from Google Play.
Instagram [Google Play]
Back in January, Polaroid unveiled its SC1630 Smart Camera that’s powered with Google’s Android operating system. Now, more manufacturers may be gearing up to have the popular smartphone OS built into their cameras: Samsung and Panasonic are both reportedly exploring this idea. Regarding what this means for consumers, Engadget writes,
It could be a major breakthrough from a usability standpoint, opening up the in-camera ecosystem to third-party developers. We could see Twitter and Facebook apps that let you not only publish your photos directly with a familiar interface, but also see photos shared by your friends. A capacitive touchscreen would let you type in comments directly as well. You could publish to web-based services, utilize apps that enable post-capture creativity or receive firmware updates directly over WiFi. That hotshoe or USB port could accommodate a variety of different accessories, like a microphone or 4G modem that could be used with several models, including those from other manufacturers.
One potential downside to having an Android-powered camera may be stability — imagine having to regularly reboot your frozen camera.
(via Engadget & Ubergizmo)
Image credit: Samsung NX10 camera by liewcf
Smartphones are constantly getting better at imitating compact cameras, but so far we haven’t seen many cameras that attempt to mimic smartphones. That changes today with the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera, a 16-megapixel compact camera unveiled at CES. It’s a point-and-shoot camera that’s pretty much a smartphone without the phone. Powered by Android, the camera features a 3x (36-108mmm) optical zoom lens, a 3.2-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, 720p video recording, and geotagging. The Android OS means that users can install and use Android Market apps on the camera (e.g. Instagram once it becomes available). It’ll be available starting in April for $300.
The latest version of Android, called “Ice Cream Sandwich”, was unveiled by Google and Samsung in Hong Kong this morning, and they’ve focused a great deal on improving the gallery and camera aspects of the mobile OS. There is indeed built-in photo editing now, allowing users to do everything from crop and rotate to adjust levels and remove red eyes. There are also a number of Instagram-style filters that can be applied to photos. Adjustments are non-destructive and stored in a file separate from the photo being edited.
The camera has also been upgraded with zero shutter lag, touch-to-focus with exposure lock, panorama stitching, 1080p recording, and time-lapse video mode. The UI has been improved with a digital zoom slider, and many of the editing options (including red eye removal) can be used in “live view”. The war between smartphones goes on, and photography continues to be one of the main battlegrounds.
Android 4.0 Platform Highlights [Android Developers]
The 4th version of Android, named Ice Cream Sandwich, is set to be released sometime in the next month or so. If you’ve been craving for a built-in photo editor, you may soon get your wish. Android Police has uncovered a boatload of icons and images that strongly suggest that future Android phones and tablets will ship with photo editing tools built into Android Gallery. In addition to basic tools such as crop, sharpen, and rotate, there will apparently be 19 different photo effects you can apply as well. Sadly, they’re of the cheesier variety (e.g. posterize), so don’t expect them to compete with the likes of Instagram anytime soon.
(via Android Police via Engadget)