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
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.