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AT&T brings Samsung Galaxy Camera to USA, but at what cost?

By dpreview staff on Oct 4, 2012 at 23:34 GMT

US mobile carrier AT&T has become the first network to announce that it will be offering Samsung's Galaxy Camera - the first truly camera-like device to include a cellular data connection. The version being offered is being described as 4G but AT&T has confrimed it will use an HSPA+ connection, rather than the faster 'LTE' system that is more widely accepted as '4G.' Prices and details of data plans are also unspecified at this point. (via Engadget)


Press Release:

AT&T First to Launch Galaxy Camera; Samsung Defines New Category with 4G Connected Camera

Samsung Galaxy CameraTM combines high performance photography and AT&T 4G wireless connectivity to enable seamless sharing across devices and with social media

Dallas, Texas, October 04, 2012

AT&T* and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung Mobile)1 today announced the Samsung Galaxy Camera™ coming to AT&T. The Galaxy Camera combines high performance photography with Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean and AT&T 4G mobile internet connectivity, resulting in a powerful point and shoot camera with a familiar, intuitive user interface and access to all of your favorite Android applications from the Google Play™ market.

The Galaxy Camera is a perfect fit for those who wish to shoot, edit and share brilliant photographs and video easily and quickly without connecting to a laptop or PC. The Galaxy Camera features a 4.8-inch HD Super Clear LCD screen, boasts a 21x optical zoom lens and a super-bright 16MP BSI CMOS sensor for shooting high-quality images close up and in low light conditions. This device is powered by a quad-core 1 GHz processor for quick and responsive performance ensuring you can capture the shots you want. It also includes powerful features like Smart Pro Mode technology, which allows you to toggle through a series of pre-set options that simplify the processes for taking professional-level images.

“Wirelessly enabling Samsung’s Galaxy Camera will create a significant shift in how consumers share and communicate with photos and videos,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, AT&T Emerging Devices. “By posting instantly to social networking sites or sending directly to another device, the person behind the lens is essentially offering family and friends the opportunity to share in the moments as they are actually experiencing them. We’re excited that the AT&T wireless network will help enable these opportunities.”

“Once again, Samsung has defined a new category of mobile devices and AT&T is leading the way to bring this device to consumers. The Galaxy Camera brings together Samsung’s latest innovations in mobile and optical imaging technologies to provide the first connected camera running on the latest Android platform,” said Dale Sohn, President of Samsung Telecommunications America.

In addition to being able to share to social networks and cloud services on the go, consumers can harness the speed and connectivity of AT&T’s wireless network to share images and videos between Galaxy Camera and a range of Galaxy™ devices including the Galaxy S® III and Galaxy Note® II.

The Galaxy Camera is designed with several of the key content sharing features first introduced with the Galaxy S III including:

AllShare® Play

  • Locate Samsung HDTVs, laptops and other devices on the same Wi-Fi® network that are ready to receive photo and video files. Users can remotely access files from Galaxy Camera with other devices on their home network like a PC or Samsung Smart TV™.

Share Shot

  • Automatically send still images taken with the Galaxy Camera to other Galaxy S III, and Galaxy Note devices up to 200 feet away

Buddy Photo Share

  • Instantly and automatically tags faces of existing device contacts in photos making it easy to share with them.

Pricing for the Galaxy Camera will be announced when it goes on sale in the coming weeks. For more information on AT&T, please visit www.att.com.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

1Samsung Mobile is the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the United States based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics, North America Handset Vendor Marketshare, Q2 2012.

4G when used in relation to Samsung devices refers to the fact that the devices can operate on AT&T’s 4G network.

Comments

Total comments: 57
black pearl
By black pearl (Oct 25, 2012)

Samsung are sending me one for free to use as a personal camera and to help get myself and my staff familiar with it so we can easily answer customers questions about the device and it features.
Personally I'm excited with the concept - a decent P&S compact that you can immediately edit and share images with. No need for a tablet or a laptop, a huge choice of apps and a web browser. Could end up being the perfect day-to-day camera.

0 upvotes
Claghorn
By Claghorn (Oct 25, 2012)

I hope you are (or can find) an android developer to discover if all the camera features are available for developers, or if it is crippled like the Nikon S800c.

0 upvotes
black pearl
By black pearl (Oct 25, 2012)

I work in Photography Retail and you'll have to give me a few days of playing with it before I can answer that.
It will never replace my Nikon DSLR outfit or my iPhone 5 for that matter as its both too small and limited and yet too big to carry at all times but I can see it replacing my current zoom compact.

0 upvotes
Claghorn
By Claghorn (Oct 23, 2012)

My biggest question is if android developers will be able to get the tools needed to access the full feature set of the camera? The furshlugginer Nikon S800c only allows you to take max 8 MP size images in the standard android Camera interface (and so far no SDK info has appeared on the Nikon web site). I certainly hope Samsung doesn't make the same mistake or android cameras may die off because nobody wants to develop hamstrung apps for them.

0 upvotes
Seth Johnson
By Seth Johnson (Oct 11, 2012)

So, what happens when you travel abroad with this "camblet"? It doesn't share pics or you pay huge data roaming fees because it's provider locked?!?!
If I'm going to bring yet a separate device from my phone, it is usually because I need superior pictures and I don't need immediate social media sharing.

As was noted earlier they did this before: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2009/09/29/samsungamoled12m with a concept that made more sense. Why remove a feature now???

0 upvotes
GuySonic
By GuySonic (Oct 11, 2012)

This new 'camera' is kinda cool having full HD video features. NOT so clear if the stereo minijack serves as Stereo mic input as it should, but no mention so far and no labeling can be seen in the photo galery on the Samsung site. While 21x zoom seems awsome, it seems somewhat unusable in daylight without some kind of hood to view the LCD display. As always, devices of this complexity would only last a few hours working as a camcorder, but external power remains an option for longer continuous recording run times. I usually custom fabricate these for many different device models when required. Very interested to see how this camera/phone works with a special stereo-surround mic I've custom made for pro projects. That is, if it works at all with external audio input. See what has been possible with other cameras having external audio input at sonic studios . com / videomic . htm

0 upvotes
KoKo the Talking Ape
By KoKo the Talking Ape (Oct 8, 2012)

I believe the headline should be "at what price?", not "at what cost?" If ATT brings the Galaxy to the US, that costs us nothing. The Galaxy itself also has no cost, if we don't buy it. But it definitely will be offered at a *price.*

2 upvotes
Ed Ellks
By Ed Ellks (Oct 7, 2012)

I don't care if it's the best camera ever. If AT&T is involved, I'll never buy it.

1 upvote
tecnoworld
By tecnoworld (Oct 6, 2012)

What Samsung really needs is to have an android OS embedded into a "serious" body, like a NX one, with interchangeable lenses. Doing this, many apps could be developed (like focus peaking and many others).

But first, it has to develop a newer and better APS-C sensor, with better high ISO and dr performance compared to the present one found in NX200/210/20/1000.

And most important, they need to have a faster processor to make processing times slower when shooting Raws.

0 upvotes
datadump
By datadump (Oct 6, 2012)

this is retarded. wow. they have so much money , theyre just taunting everyone now with stupid crap.

0 upvotes
pumeco
By pumeco (Oct 6, 2012)

As said previously, I wish Samsung the best with this, however, I'm in agreement with a lot of people in that they got the concept wrong.

Having a proper zoom camera attached to the back of a Galaxy phone would have been a killer seller, I mean major seller! But I think they screwed-up here because it's the wrong way around, it's like they added a tablet to a camera instead of adding a proper zoom camera to their already magnificent phone.

I suppose it'll sell reasonably well, but it seems like a missed opportunity to me because Samsung make both cameras and phones, and having a proper Samsung zoom on the back of one of their phones, would have been a very desirable product indeed.

But this, nope, it's too big, and cannot make calls in the usual manner. Two major minuses that will likely outweigh any pluses. What were you thinking, Sammy?

0 upvotes
starlightmica
By starlightmica (Oct 7, 2012)

They did this 2 years ago: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2009/09/29/samsungamoled12m

1 upvote
grahamdyke
By grahamdyke (Oct 6, 2012)

Can someone explain why Samsung/AT&T did not give this device the ability to send and receive voice calls? In otherwords why is it not a phone? Im comletely baffled...

2 upvotes
jackpro
By jackpro (Oct 6, 2012)

dang would love one if it was a phone as well http://www.samsung.com/in/promotions/galaxycamera/

0 upvotes
TheNomadWay
By TheNomadWay (Oct 6, 2012)

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come! I just posted my thoughts on cameras for travellers: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50012509

0 upvotes
lostearstudio
By lostearstudio (Oct 5, 2012)

I'm VERY interested in this. I frequently want a P&S camera and at the same time, I want to dumb down my phone to texting only (I'm deaf). If I could get the camera without the data plan, I could use it like an entertainment device (similar to how iPod Touch is) that happen to have the P&S function that I need. This would allow me to still have 'smartphone' function and be able to leave that behind whenever I need to disconnect myself from internet except for texting.

I would love to find a wifi-only variety of this camera.

3 upvotes
lostearstudio
By lostearstudio (Oct 10, 2012)

I also just realized that I can use an app called DSLR Controller on this camera to also control the DSLR (like my T4i) that it is connected to via USB! That would be an interesting experience.

0 upvotes
Xeexon
By Xeexon (Oct 5, 2012)

But imagine: Sony RX100 (or RX1 for the deeper pocketed crowd) Android camera smartphone.

0 upvotes
Xeexon
By Xeexon (Oct 6, 2012)

Well, Android aside (I assume that's the issue at hand), if there were a phone that had RX100 camera innards and smartphone specs at least as good as Samsung Galaxy SIII, it would be a dream product for any photog who carries a smartphone- and any photo enthusiast in the same category as well.

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Oct 5, 2012)

It's a camera and it's digital but this doesn't seem to have any more to do with photography than an iphone. Perhaps DPReview should rename their site to DG Review where the 'G' stands for Gadget or Gimmick. This site is getting sidetracked from photography into toyland.

1 upvote
Aeturnum
By Aeturnum (Oct 5, 2012)

If you're under the impression that amateur photography is anything other than 95% toyland, I think you're in for a rude awakening. :)

0 upvotes
L Bradford
By L Bradford (Oct 5, 2012)

If you are not a professional photographer, then you are an amateur. If you think that is toyland then you need serious help.

1 upvote
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Oct 6, 2012)

Um, you can take pictures with it. What other requirements do you have for "photography"? Are pinhole cameras worthy of your definition, or are they far too simple?

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Oct 5, 2012)

So many of you just don't get it. This is not a phone and it's not a professional camera. It's draw is that it's fully programmable. It's a platform for android coders to develop image processing techniques and to include picture taking in more detail into their other applications. Some of this stuff exists already, particularly for the iphone, but this platform allows for much more intimate control of the photograph (aperture, shutter, ISO, exposure, white balance, etc).

You folks are thinking of it as an overpriced compact. If you only opened the box and took pictures with it, that's what you'd get. The purpose is more than that. Samsung has the money to throw into a product like this without hopes of really making money. Their goal is to get third parties making camera focused android apps. Ones that will require more than the fixed POS on an iphone. Those new apps will drive the connected camera concept Samsung keeps going on about.

1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (Oct 5, 2012)

In the world they're trying to create, Samsung may just need to slap a sensor, a processor, a touchscreen, and a lens together and send it off. The UI, image processing, even the feature set could be defined by third party apps. That doesn't just have cameraphone implications, it has bigtime camera implications.

Imagine some Adobe photoshop-like app (or raw converter like app) intimately controlling every aspect of a camera. The things it could do. This camera is about a software future for cameras going well beyond what any manufacturer would be capable of. And that software is going to matter a lot more as technology marches on.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Oct 5, 2012)

You are undoubtedly correct in saying that Samsung is encouraging third party Android image processing apps and a good thing too. It would be great to see the back of the obscenely overpriced mediocrity that is Photo$hop. But I'm not too sure about the rest. To me, a camera is a data capture device and a computer is for processing that data into my er masterpieces. I couldn't imagine editing on a Galaxy Note or on one of these cameras.

0 upvotes
cordellwillis
By cordellwillis (Oct 5, 2012)

What you state could be true for a couple of people; and I mean that literally. "Playing" with the settings and options you mention here is already available on iPhone, Android, and will be expanded probably even more on Windows 8 phones (eg Nokia). You can play with those settings on those phones, upload and/or email the images, then call your buddy.

People who want a compact camera will probably find this thing amusing at first. After that they will likely use only the camera part of it. After a while they will see that their camera in their phone does the same exact thing and it's smaller to carry. I suppose Smsung would have made the sale by then :(

Anyone using a RAW converter will not be all that interested in this camera and it's apps. You're touching on WB calibration issues at that point. Even desktop monitors can be tricky with that.

1 upvote
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Oct 5, 2012)

within the scope of the consumer market, not the amateur or hobbyist photographer, this is just what the market has been asking for.

don't get me wrong, i like the idea of an all in one camera that doesn't suck the life out of images, and i really like the idea of being able to process the image on camera. but i doubt this device can keep up with a full sized display/digitizer combo in the processing department. and i doubt that it will have much of an impact on the high end, or pro/industry end. ultimately, i want a dedicated OS for my camera body, not a playdoh OS.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Oct 6, 2012)

There can be fun to this approach. Using the camera as photo editor. Olympus had the idea with some earlier cameras—like the SP-320—amazing what editing could be done with a JPEG or RAW image in-camera, then dropped it. Now, of course, everything is advanced way beyond with apps. I'm one of those who enjoy tweaking the image on computer, but can see the appeal and value of being able to do so much without a computer.

0 upvotes
cordellwillis
By cordellwillis (Oct 5, 2012)

I'm rather disconnected with this. I usually believe there are users for everything, but this thing is crazy to me. I'm not knocking it but...the users of this would be kids. They will NOT not give up their smartphones that already has a camera and all the apps they need for a smartcamera that does not have a phone.

There's already social media apps, image editing apps, and high megapixel cameras in phones. Even DPR tested the iPhone's lens (LOL)...that means it's already an iCamera :)

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Oct 5, 2012)

This cannot make call so all you got is a 4G camera and I presume if AT&T is selling it, you have to sign a data contract.

1 upvote
Sasparilla
By Sasparilla (Oct 5, 2012)

I've heard the data contract is required as well (no sharing your existing data plan). Bit of an odd design (why not make it a full mobile phone...), best of luck to Samsung with it.

1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (Oct 5, 2012)

AT&T, and all the carriers, are increasingly offering multi-device plans. The Camera fits in nicely as just another additional connection to a plan already featuring a couple smart phones, a tablet or two, maybe a TV card, etc etc. In verison's case they can also bundle in home internet access.

0 upvotes
Carnivore99
By Carnivore99 (Oct 8, 2012)

I'm sure AT&T would love nothing more than to have people use a device like this on their pricey shared data plans. Sending 16 megapixel photos over 4G is sure to put customers into data overage territory really fast.

0 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Oct 5, 2012)

As an option, does this camera also have a card slot for SD storage, or do all photos need to be beamed somewhere?

0 upvotes
KAMSA
By KAMSA (Oct 5, 2012)

More a product to make social media adict's, futher slave to the internet contracts of the Cel networks, I I personally find that it ad nothing to the MMS funktion om my phone and use the Wi-Fi® for bigger things like video, lts a competitor for the existing (and mutch more flexible) Eye-Fi card, and If I I had to choose, I choose the last one, becouse I don't want to invest mony in One cam, that not comparable is with my existing Gear.

reg.

3 upvotes
six34sigma
By six34sigma (Oct 5, 2012)

Like it or not, the world is going connected. Capture a 16-20 mp pix and because they can't wait, post it to FB/Twitter/Google + etc. Love to see the shots of people's dinners!?

Think there is a place for this kind of thinking. Example take a DSLR, shoot pic store it to SD card and back it up via BT to a HD in pocket, backpack is one idea. There is something to be said with a single device, always have my phone with me......

Who knows maybe this will turn into a decent consumer camera. Right now it's not doing much for me, let alone thinking about replacing my DSLR.

But wait it has a rounded corner, Samsung will be sued by Arch rival Apple. Don't they own all rounded corners? Harrumph .....

1 upvote
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Oct 5, 2012)

Soooooo the camera phone of 4 years ago has now become the phone camera? The purveyors of bandwidth have become the benefactor of the megapixel race. The average joe wants to post a pic to FB needing about one megapixel but are using a 20 megapixel pic with a file size 20 times what they need without ego and the telecommunication industry see a market to take advantage of for lack of basic knowledge. Gotta love it. Barnum was right.

3 upvotes
Sasparilla
By Sasparilla (Oct 5, 2012)

The big surprise for me is that you can't use it as a phone. It's just a connected camera. There's probably somebody that might wants something like that...maybe...

1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (Oct 5, 2012)

You can't make phone calls on an ipad but they seem to sell pretty well. Get with the times...

2 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 5, 2012)

Reading these comments shows me just how disconnected from the new world many DP Review readers are. Connected devices are where the world is going. Sending my images instantly, from anywhere. Checking my email on any device I have handy. If you don't value it and don't see what the fuss is about, well, fine, but my opinion is you better get used to it. Me? I love the new world that's emerging.

8 upvotes
micksh6
By micksh6 (Oct 5, 2012)

For Samsung it's just a way to sell $300 camera for $500+. For customers it's a ripoff.
Samsung WB850F costs $300. IMO it's overpriced already and probably is a tough sell.

So, they change display and CPU, add broadband chip (which together would add something like $50 BOM) and give to wireless carrier such as AT&T.
AT&T will probably sell it for around $200 and will subsidize Samsung another $350 (equals contract early termination fee).

Customers will pay $200 + $30 * 24 contract months = $920 over 2 years contract. Or more if they exceed monthly bandwidth allowance (16MP images are large).

A proper connected camera should not require adding another data plan. It should be able to tether to cellphone with bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Just like tablets and laptops do - allow to reuse existing cellphone data plan.

Unfortunately, many don't know how to connect laptop or tablet to cellphone without paying extra for tethering. Or, maybe people don't count monthly bills.

6 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Oct 5, 2012)

I mean, plenty of people are willing to pay for an extra data plan for their tablets. You can't really add data plans to the cost of a camera; if people want to pay for it, they'll pay for it.

The WB850F is cheaper than other travel-zoom compacts in the same market sector; it's not really overpriced in comparison to other companies' cameras.

It can still share files via Wi-fi direct, so you don't necessarily need to pay for a data fee as long as Samsung decides to sell the camera in conventional stores and not just through carriers, just like their tablets and stuff.

0 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Oct 5, 2012)

At least with Verizon; they've gone the route of selling various monthly GB usage plans, that all of your devices access (phone(s), tablet, camera, etc.). If you don't, or aren't willing, to probably have your phone and other 4G services thru At&T you would need a separate plan.

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Oct 5, 2012)

This is exactly what the world needs!

A camera with a $40 a month data plan! So rather than buying a camera, you can subscribe to one by signing a two year contract!

A camera that doesn't require a PC or a laptop!

After paying for broadband, cell phone, cable TV, satellite radio, OnStar, and tablet or ereader monthly fees... people really want one more connectivity bill to pay each month.

Talk about a solution searching for a problem!

13 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Oct 6, 2012)

Wait until we have 5 cameras, each with its own data plan!

1 upvote
imbimmer
By imbimmer (Oct 5, 2012)

Is there a Wifi only version of the device? I've already got too many phones and a pair of mobile hotspots.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Oct 5, 2012)

Yes there is.

0 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (Oct 5, 2012)

Samsung... they know how to make a gadget with a pile of features... but that's it, just gadget. My Galaxy Note with its yellowish display and bad ergonomics is a proof to that...LOL

2 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Oct 5, 2012)

....so why'd you buy one...troll.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Oct 5, 2012)

So the back plane or display is basically a Galaxy SIII
but you can't make any phone calls
At least you can download and install any Android application for pictures
thus doing some manipulation directly in the camera
Maybe Skype works?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 5, 2012)

We're told that it will be possible to use Skype.

2 upvotes
MonkRX
By MonkRX (Oct 5, 2012)

The only problem is that it appears that it has no traditional voice microphone or earpeice. I'm sure there is a loud speaker for video play back and microphone for the video recording, but its not really the same. I suppose a headset would solve those issues.

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (Oct 4, 2012)

Cool. Another solution waiting for a problem.

7 upvotes
What do I know
By What do I know (Oct 5, 2012)

Unless it's actually a phone this thing is going to tank fast and I can't wait to say I told you so...LOL

2 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Oct 6, 2012)

You would be surprised at the number of successful products born from "if you build it they will come" optimism.

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (Oct 6, 2012)

My Android phone backs my pictures up in the background without me having to do anything. And I can press "send to email address" right after I have taken a picture. And it does not cost me anything. So there is nothing wrong with connectivity for saving fiddling with cables, computers, photo software, email software, backup software and human error. Once you are used to the "easy way" you will understand why people don't like wasting their time.

I'm sure it lacks some of usability if you need a camera with direct buttons for ISO, EV+/- etc. But many people have cameras without them.

One potential benefit of Android is the possibility of adding an app that controls the camera exactly how you want it. Many sophisticated cameras lack important controls that can never be added later. Enthusiasts can create Android apps very easily. But it remains to be seen how this will develop.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 57