Long-time readers of DImageMaker and of my contributions to HP Professional Photography blog may remember me talking of the need for cameras to become expandable in the same ways that phones are. We needed to be able to expand their functionality or just configure the existing capabilities in a way that better suited us, personally.
Finally the App capable camera seems to be arriving. Samsung has announced their Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100, an Android powered compact camera. This is an important step. It has compact camera image quality, rather than that of smartphones and it has all the connectivity and App options of a Galaxy phone, without the ability to make cellular phonecalls. I suspect that Samsung have screwed up by not having the phone call making capability in the camera, but we will have to wait and see. It certainly has most of the capability there, with 3G and 4G network connectivity, just not the ability to place cellular phonecalls, though you can through Skype. Gizmag has posted a decent review of the camera.
Users have really voted with their feet on this issue, as reflected in the falling sales of compact cameras and the wide takeup of people using their phones for photography, despite all the limitations this entails. Obviously the convenience of having a camera with you at all times and the instant sharing/modify capability more than offset the poor image quality, lack of optical zoom capability, etc. Which is why I think Samsung should have included the phone capability.
Now we need to see this App-centric approach expanded to dSLRs, where they can leave the phone capability out.
Coupling great optics, a large sensor and full customisability in a dSLR is a winner and I can’t wait for manufacturers to do this. What we do need is a standard phone API (applications programming interface) for Android for all the advanced features that high end compacts and dSLRs offer, so that app developers can concentrate on creativity rather than having to support all sorts of non-standard interfaces.