Earlier today at IFA 2012, Samsung officially announced what will be their first point and shoot form factor camera running Android 4.1. The device is named the Samsung Galaxy Camera, and runs Android 4.1 atop an Exynos 4412 SoC running at 1.4 GHz

This comes just after Nikon's official announcement of a point and shoot of their own named the Coolpix S800c which we're still trying to obtain more information about. Both cameras are physically pretty similar, and include a 16 MP CMOS sensor that is 1/2.3" format. 

Two years ago I was told from a number of different handset vendors and traditional camera SoC vendors to expect an influx of small point and shoot form factor cameras running Android. I've been anxiously awaiting that time ever since, and almost gave up hope until this recent interestingly timed double announcement by Nikon and Samsung. The other main contender in this space is of course the Nokia PureView 808 which doesn't run Android but likewise is more of a point and shoot in the form factor of a smartphone. 

Inside, the Galaxy Camera appears to be very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S 3, including the same set of local wireless connectivity options (dual band WiFi with 40 MHz channels, BT 4.0, GNSS), and includes cellular connectivity that might even include LTE. Samsung ambiguously cites "4G" on the spec page, which makes me think this might be another CMC221 based solution like the Galaxy S 3 for Korea with LTE. I've put together a comparison table below with the details:

Camera Emphasized Smartphone Comparison
  Samsung Galaxy Camera (EK-GC100) Nikon Coolpix S800c Nokia PureView 808
CMOS Resolution 16.3 MP 16.0 MP 41 MP
CMOS Format 1/2.3", 1.34µm pixels 1/2.3", 1.34µm pixels 1/1.2", 1.4µm pixels
CMOS Size 6.17mm x 4.55mm 6.17mm x 4.55mm 10.67mm x 8.00mm
Lens Details 4.1 - 86mm (22 - 447 35mm equiv)
4.5 - 45.0mm (25-250 35mm equiv)
8.02mm (28mm 35mm equiv)
Display 1280 x 720 (4.8" diagonal) 854 x 480 (3.5" diagonal) 640 x 360 (4.0" diagonal)
SoC Exynos 4412 (Cortex-A9MP4 at 1.4 GHz with Mali-400 MP4) ARM Cortex A5MP1(?) 1.3 GHz ARM11
Storage 8 GB + microSDXC 1.7 GB + microSDHC 16 GB + microSDHC
Video Recording 1080p30, 480p120 1080p30 1080p30
OS Android 4.1 Android 2.3.6 Symbian Belle
Connectivity and GNSS WCDMA 21.1 850/900/1900/2100, 4G, 802.11a/b/g/n with 40 MHz channels, BT 4.0, GNSS No cellular, WiFi 802.11b/g/n(?), GPS WCDMA 14.4 850/900/1700/1900/2100, 802.11b/g/n, BT 3.0, GPS

From an optical standpoint the Samsung appears to have a bit of an edge at F/2.8 when at its widest, compared to F/3.2 with Nikon. That said, I'd expect the Nikon to have a leg up on the Galaxy Camera purely because there will be more die area on that SoC (which we're trying to obtain more information on) dedicated to ISP than on the Galaxy Camera which simply includes an Exynos 4412 inside. Interestingly enough, the PureView 808 still includes a larger CMOS than either point and shoot, though it of course has a fixed focal length and no optical zoom.

Point and shoot cameras running Android seem to be the next logical progression for camera makers. As an aside it is interesting how the point and shoot business is moving increasingly towards mobile, and the smartphone side is moving increasingly towards point and shoot level performance. There's a new adage that the best camera is the one you have with you all the time, and both sides are fighting over who will control that slot. 

Sources: Samsung Galaxy Camera, Nikon S800c

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  • shortylickens - Monday, September 3, 2012 - link

    I wont buy one though. I do like upgrading my phones and my cameras, but I rarely do both at the same time. This would be like buying a home theater in a box. Even though it seems convenient now, I know eventually I'm gonna want separate components.
    Hell, I'm still using my D40 and see no reason to change right now.
  • Mugur - Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - link

    I think it will be a nice "bonus" to be usable as a phone though...

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