Samsung takes on Nikon

Not content with battling one technology giant, Samsung is now taking on another.

But the latest fight isn’t in the courts, it’s for customers’ affections, and their money. While the focus may have been on Nikon recently when it comes to Android-powered compact cameras, Samsung is also dipping its toes in the hybrid market.

Nikon was the first to market its point-and-shoot Coolpix s800c model as a “social imaging device”. But it now finds itself going head-to-head with Samsung.

Samsung’s Galaxy camera uses Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS to allow users to download a whole host of apps. It means there’s no longer any need to transfer your images to your computer before you start to tweak them.

You can make all the changes you want within the camera itself. So, if retro-style photo-filtering app Instagram is your latest app of choice, you can load it up onto your camera, alter your images and upload them straight away onto the likes of Twitter and Facebook, using built-in Wi-Fi and 3G connections – no need at all to even take your smartphone out of your pocket or boot up your notebook.

But it’s not just a bit of fun for the social networkers among us, it’s a seriously equipped compact for taking seriously good photos.

Experts have already questioned whether the idea will ever take off. Martin Gill, who is principal analyst at Forrester Research, which specialises in technology advice said the challenge for camera manufacturers will be making sure their new gizmos are relevant in the fast-paced world of technological advances.

“People carry mobile phones wherever they go, so a point-and-shoot camera will only ever be an add-on product they would also have to take with them,” he said.

But Samsung may just have answered its critics. Robert King, the UK’s vice president of Samsung consumer electronics, said: “In this new era of visual communication, the Samsung’s Galaxy Camera marks a breakthrough in convergence technology, combining the leading edge design of our Galaxy mobile products with high-performance photographic capability.”

You get an impressive 16 megapixels and a 23mm wide angle lens along with a 21x optical zoom. So, for those wondering why they would want to carry a smart camera along with their smartphone, well, the specifications probably answer that one. The Galaxy camera also comes with in-house apps from Samsung, including Movie Wizard, which helps you edit your videos.

And, if you can’t find anything you want to take snaps of, well, you could always use the full gamut of Android apps you have access to to have some fun. You can play games, read e-books or a magazine, catch a movie or log onto Google maps to figure out how to get to your next snap-happy destination. So, it may prove popular with holidaymakers who want to take decent quality snaps along with catching up with the latest bestseller on the beach.

Whether or not smart cameras become the next big must-have in the world of technology remains to be seen but we can already see the appeal.

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