Reports that electronics giant Samsung is considering a camera based around Google's Android operating system should come as no real surprise. Not only does it seem like the obvious way of responding to the industry's need to compete with smartphones, it's also a solution readily available to them.
The need for connectivity
The rise in popularity of smartphones has undoubtedly had an impact on the sales and use of compact cameras. Just about every meeting we've had with manufacturers over the past year has turned to this topic at one point or another. There are other factors, of course - not least that lots of people already own cameras they're fairly happy with - but the always-with-you convenience of a smart phones, combined with their ability to immediately upload the results, is hard to compete with.
|The Samsung WB150F was one of four WiFi-enabled cameras Samsung launched at CES 2012|
This year's camera launches have showed a concerted effort by manufacturers to bridge the connectivity gap. The cameras announced around CES 2012 included eight WiFi-capable cameras from four manufacturers (with Samsung's four models making it the most committed). This is a big step forward from the occasional, token 'if you want that sort of thing' premium model. If nothing else, it suggests camera makers are aware of the need for better-connected cameras.
All of these models have taken the approach of primarily connecting to smartphones, which already have both the broader connection options and the flexible interfaces required to log-on to and communicate with networks and websites. But, while there's every possibility that a company with the smartphone smarts of Samsung might choose to transfer these capabilities to the camera and offer direct connection to third or fourth generation telecomms networks, Android would still have appeal even if it didn't.
The appeal of Android, in addition to its propensity for connectivity, is the existence of an ecosystem of photo-related apps. These would allow an Android camera to benefit from a range of existing processing tools far in advance of anything any current camera can offer.
And, if Samsung allowed it, the platform's relative openness could also allow dedicated users to modify the behaviour of their own cameras. Don't like the way the buttons and dials work? Write an app to customize it.
It's public knowledge that camera processors running Android are available to manufacturers. We know of at least one device built around Ambarella's iOne chip, it just doesn't happen to reveal its nature to the user (so no downloading Photoshop Express just yet). There's also the Polaroid-branded
mobile phone camera displayed at CES, which is more up-front about its intentions. We also have reason to believe Samsung has used Ambarella processors in previous cameras.
At which point it should be obvious that Samsung has motive, means and opportunity to create an Android-based camera if it wanted to. The official response may be that it 'hasn't confirmed anything regarding potential use of Android or any other platform on future generations of Samsung Smart Cameras' but it's no surprise to hear that it's also 'something we are monitoring.'
Mar 10, 2015
Mar 9, 2015
Mar 13, 2015
Mar 12, 2015
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.