As smartphones continue to replace the entry-level point and shoot market, many camera manufacturers have focused on the remaining benefits that dedicated cameras still have over cell phones. These benefits are typically a long zoom range, larger sensor or improved physical controls. The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2, however, takes a different approach.
While its optical zoom range is indeed better (considering smartphones have no optical zoom), and its sensor is larger than most, the Galaxy camera vies for a place in your pocket by incorporating the benefits of smartphones into its design.
Unlike most point and shoots, the Galaxy 2 runs on the Android operating system and features a large screen that fills the entire rear of the camera ??? replacing all physical knobs and buttons with touchscreen controls. Although traditionalists may not appreciate this, the majority of users will feel right at home with its interface.
Since the Galaxy 2 runs on Android, you can actually navigate through any application you could run on an Android phone or tablet. In a world where the majority of our photos are taken for the purpose of sharing, this sort of cuts out the middleman. No longer is there any need to connect your camera to a computer ??? your camera is a computer. Its built-in Wi-Fi lets you download applications like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and share your images instantly, captions and all. In addition, access to mobile editing applications means that you have virtually unfettered creative freedom.
Although the Galaxy 2 is a great camera for all of these reasons, it still has its issues. With such a huge emphasis on making it more like a smartphone, the areas that make dedicated cameras superior for capturing images suffer. Its lens isn’t anything special; it offers both a mediocre zoom range and maximum aperture. Its sensor is among the smallest in our review and tends to struggle in low light. Additionally, while many point and shoots can record 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second, the Galaxy can only shoot up to 30 fps.
Rather than being a great camera that also offers the benefits of smartphone connectivity, the Galaxy 2 finds itself in a sort of no man’s land between the categories. It can capture better-looking images than most smartphones, but there’s nothing particularly special about them. Its connectivity options are great, but unlike a smartphone, you’ll still be limited to a Wi-Fi connection. However, this camera remains a strong option for those who prefer extra features over excellent image quality.