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Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100 Review

Samsung Galaxy Camera Review – EK-GC100

| On 12, Nov 2012

Since the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Camera (EK-GC100) at IFA 2012 we’ve been desperate to take one out on the road to give it a proper test run and get a feel for this new category of device in the real world. Samsung has very kindly given us a retail unit to play around with through the Mobilers programme, and we’ve been meandering around the British isles with it ever since. Here are some of our thoughts:

Video Review (General Overview)

All in all we really like the Galaxy Camera. The Galaxy Camera certainly has a lot to offer in terms to connectivity, creativity, procrastination and (most importantly) photography!

In-Depth Galaxy Camera Review

Photography

The Galaxy Camera interface is really great. It’s good-looking and intuitive. It comes with 3 different modes, Auto, Smart and Expert – each giving you more control over the type of photograph you want to take than the next. More complicated settings are tucked away inside “Expert” mode for those who already know how to – or want to learn how to – take creative shots with fully manual controls, but “Smart Mode” lets you cheat and take professional(ish) photographs without necessarily knowing what you’re doing. Here, for example is a picture of a child on a horse. Brilliant, I hear you say – “even the horse could have taken that picture” … well yes, it probably could have – and that’s what’s good about automatic mode!

Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Auto

The Galaxy Camera has a 16MP CMOS sensor and 23mm wide-angle lens. What I’ve found really impressive is the 21 X optical zoom – that means that you can zoom in 21 times, and still take photographs and videos at the maximum resolution without losing any image quality (digital zoom just crops the resolution). Check out the example in the above video review (I zoom in on France from England!) – or these images of I took of Big Ben in London all the way from Trafalgar square:

Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks Zoom Test Big Ben

Pointing the Galaxy Camera at the moon also makes me glad that I didn’t buy a telescope. It’s obvious the Galaxy Camera does a pretty good job considering the moon is 380,000 km away (cropped image)!

Galaxy Camera 21X Optical Zoom on the Moon - EK-GC100 - Samsung Geeks

However, the only way to get a (favourable[?]) 16:9 resolution is to shoot at a lower 12MP, otherwise there are black bars on each side of the screen which looks a bit mucky. For this reason, it’s also set to 12MP by default, which I didn’t notice until after taking all of these photographs – so look out for that one!

Automatic Mode

Automatic mode lets the camera chose the most appropriate settings based on the lighting conditions of whatever you’re pointing it at. It does a good job, and there’s not really all that much I can say about it!

You have easy access to 14 different filter effects which you can pop-up from the bottom of the screen. It overlays them “live”, so it’s not post-editing. Here’s what you get:

Galaxy Camera Filter Effects - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks

They’re pretty comprehensive, but if it doesn’t wet your appetite enough then don’t forget that the Galaxy Camera runs on the Android Operating system. It comes preloaded with Instagram and Paper Camera and you are able to download any of the multitude of other camera-apps available through Google Play.

Galaxy Camera - Ek-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - HomeScreen

Smart Mode

Smart mode allows you to take some pretty cracking photographs without necessarily knowing what you’re doing. As well as Best Photo and Best Face which you might be familiar of from Samsung’s flagship Galaxy smartphone series, there are some really clever features like “Light Trace” which allow you to get really creative with your photography. This mode certainly justifies the whopping 1.4GHz quad core processor inside, as many of the smart-modes take a series of photographs and does on-the-fly processing to edit them together.

Here are some of examples of what you can expect to get. Please note that they are taken in the 16:9 12MP 4608×25902 (essentially a cropped 16MP image) because that’s the default setting (which I assumed would be 16MP). The post will be updated with more full resolution pictures when I get a spare moment.

Mode Description Example (12Mp 16:9 4608×2592) [click image for original resolution]
Beauty Face Corrects facial imperfections automatically when taking portrait pictures [coming soon]
Best Photo Select the best picture when you take a series of pictures See here for description of this feature
Continuous Shot Take pictures continuously at a rate of 4 per second [coming soon]
Best Face Select the best picture of each person from 5 consecutive pictures to get the best merged group picture [coming soon]
Landscape Take pictures that emphasise the landscape and sky by making the green and blue more intense Galaxy Camera EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Landscape
Macro Take pictures of close objects or text Galaxy Camera EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Macro
Action Freeze Take pictures of fast movement [coming soon]
Rich Tone Take and merge pictures in various exposures to create soft and rich colour [auto-HDR] Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Rich Tone (HDR)
Panorama Take panoramic pictures made up of a maximum of 8 consecutive pictures Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Panorama
Waterfall Take pictures of waterfalls and flowing water using a long exposure – A tripod is recommended [I didn't use one]  Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Waterfall
Silhouette Take pictures of silhouettes with backlighting Galaxy Camera EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Silhouette
Sunset
Take pictures that emphasise the sunset by making the colours more intense [coming soon]
Night Take pictures by combining pics to get brighter clearer pics in low light without flash Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Night
Fireworks Take pictures of fireworks using long exposure at night – A tripod is recommended [I didn't use one] Galaxy Camera - EKGC100 - SamsungGeeks - Firework
Light Trace Take pictures of light trails using a long exposure at night – A tripod is recommended Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Light Trace

One small niggle about Smart Mode is that there is often an unavoidable (though short) period of “processing” after each photograph is taken. Sometimes I found that this could be a little bit annoying, especially when you want to be taking as many photographs as possible in a short amount of time (like for fireworks). It would be great if in a firmware update, or Galaxy Camera 2, there could be an option to have this processing (somehow) happen after you’ve stopped taking photographs.

Of particular note, is that when taking the photographs for “Firework” and “Waterfall” mode, I didn’t actually use a tripod to get these shots and they came out pretty well regardless!

Expert Mode

Expert mode gives you a wealth of options which give you full control of the photograph you want to take. It’s done through a really smart (looks amazing!) interface which resembles an SLR lens: it lets you scroll through all the different settings.

Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Expert Mode
Mode Description
A (Aperture Priority) You can control the Aperture settings (F2.8 –> F8.0) | EV (brightness) (-2.0 –> +2.0) and the ISO (Auto 100 200 400 800 1600 3200) | Shutter speed is adjusted automatically
S (Shutter Priority) You can control the Shutter Speed (1/2000 –> 16 seconds) | the EV (brightness) (-2.0 –> +2.0) and the ISO (Auto 100 200 400 800 1600 3200) | Aperture is adjusted automatically
P (Programme)  the EV (brightness) (-2.0 –> +2.0) and the ISO (Auto 100 200 400 800 1600 3200). Aperture and Shutter Speed are adjusted automatically
M (Full Manual Control) You can adjust the Shutter Speed (1/2000 –> 16 seconds) | the Aperture settings (F2.8 –> F8.0) | and the ISO (Auto 100 200 400 800 1600 3200) | EV (brightness) is adjusted automatically

Expert mode gives you full creative control of your photography, and also has helpful on-screen bits of information (see image above) if you’re not certain what it is that each setting does. Perhaps the best thing about expert mode is that the screen will adjust automatically as you tweak the settings, giving you an idea of the final image you’re going to get. This is really useful for over/under exposures and a really smart way – giving instant visual feedback. A “smart” camera indeed! Changing between settings is certainly not as fast on a DSLR – but we’re willing to bet that the majority of DSLR owners

Extra Settings

Going into Expert mode and hitting a cog icon in the top left corner tapping on the screen allows you to get access to even more settings in the Galaxy Camera App. These are:

Setting Options (defaults on the left)
WB (Light Source) Auto WB | Daylight | Cloudy | Fluorescent_H | Fluorescent_L | Tungsten | Custom set (measures the white balance by taking your own sample)
Flash Off | Fill in
Focus Auto focus (normal) | Macro
Drive Single shot | Continuous Shot | AE BKT
Timer Off | 2sec | 5sec | 10 sec
Focus Area Centre AF | Multi AF
Face Detection Off | Normal | Smile Shot | Blink detection
Photo Size 16M 4608 x 3456 (4:3) | P14M 4608 x 3072 (3:2) | W12M 4608 x 2592 (16:9) \ 10M 3648 x 2736 (4:3) | 5M 2592 x 1944 (4:3) | 3M 1984 x 1488 (4:3) | W2M 1920×1080 16:9
Quality Super fine | fine | normal
Auto Contrast Off | On
Metering Center weighted | Multi | Spot
Sharpness 0 | +2.0 | +1.0 | -1.0 | -2.0
Contrast 0 | +2.0 | +1.0 | -1.0 | -2.0
Saturation 0 | +2.0 | +1.0 | -1.0 | -2.0
OIS (anti-shake) On | Off

So yeah – lots of things I don’t really understand right there! There are also a load of other “general” settings you can find here, such as sharing options, review, date-stamp, Geotagging and voice control (you yell “shoot” at the camera and it takes a picture).

Video

The Galaxy Camera is also able to take videos at full 1080p resolution… and a variety of others:

Resolution FPS Recording Time File Size Video Pausing/Restart Simultaneous image capture
1920 X 1080 30FPS 25 Minutes 2.99GB
1280 X 720 60FPS 25 Minutes 2.99GB [icon icon_name='ok'] [icon icon_name='remove']
1280 X 720 30FPS 25 Minutes 2.12GB [icon icon_name='ok'] [icon icon_name='ok']
768 X 512 120FPS* 25 Minutes (1 hour 40 minutes rendered) 2.38GB [icon icon_name='remove'] [icon icon_name='remove']
640 X 480 60FPS 25 Minutes [coming soon]
640 X 480 30FPS 25 Minutes [coming soon]
320 X 240 30FPS 15 Minutes [coming soon]

You are able to pause the video capture and restart it again at any point. You are also able to take simultaneous photographs while shooting video – though this doesn’t work in certain video modes – as detailed above.

For battery life while filming – check the battery life section.

One great advantage is that you have full “OIS” (optical image stabilization) while shooting videos. This means that shakes and wobbles will be considerably reduced – so you can expect to get some great smooth footage while taking video with the Galaxy Camera.

Video Samples

Here are a few video samples for those of you who are interested. In all honest, I’m not that sure how they would compare to other camera footage so please let me know in the comments!

One slightly negative thing we did notice is that the Galaxy Camera does pick up the noise of the lens zooming while shooting video. It does have some ‘noise-cancellation’ settings for this (although we couldn’t find them the second time we looked), but all this seems to do is make everything a bit quieter while zooming.

Slow Motion Video Mode

What we’ve really enjoyed is the Slow Motion video feature, which allows you to shoot at 120FPS, albeit at a lower resolution of 768×512. You can get some really nice, interesting videos from this – as you can see from our test drive:

Low Light Video test

As I took the Galaxy camera out for a walk at night, I took a turn down a dark alleyway. I was quite relieved I didn’t get mugged (phew!). I’m not really sure how this holds up in terms of video quality (not terrible?), so I’d really appreciate your comments below to let me know what you think!

Optical Image Stabalisation (OIS) Demonstration (vs Galaxy S3)

Best viewed in full HD around 43 seconds in.

Battery Life

The Galaxy Camera has a 1650mAh battery. Although, in camera terms, this is considered a large battery, given that it is being gobbled up by the 4.8” LCD screen, the relatively battery-heavy Android Operating system and data connections we were initially somewhat worried that it would be a major flaw in the device. We have been pleasantly surprised with the Galaxy Camera battery life – and it’s not nearly as terrible as we expected (especially if you don’t have a SIM card in there, or use it in flight mode).

Here are some of the Galaxy Camera battery life tests we’ve performed so far. We will update this list as we do more tests, or as people submit them to us. Please note – there are rough tests and many do not simulate real-world usage of the device. For some of the tests we have used 3rd party Apps like “Lapse It Pro”, and we are not convinced they are fully-integrated with the Galaxy Camera (yet). For example, we set “Lapse It Pro” to take a shot every 3 seconds in all of our tests, though often it would take significantly longer. During these tests, we didn’t turn the camera off at all – which is not typical camera usage.

Do not take these tests too seriously.

Test Description & Results
No Usage/Idle: No SIM | WiFi Off The Galaxy Camera performs extremely well in standby mode – with hardly any charge drain while not being used Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - Battery Test - Idle Usage
Extremely Light Usage: No SIM A few photographs | Small amount of Video footage/Some Wifi Uploads gave over 2 days of use while draining the battery to only 49%  Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - Battery Test - Very Light Usage
Light (typical?) Usage: No SIM Some photography and videography and WiFi uploads at certain points | gave over a day and a half while only draining the battery to ~30% Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - Battery Test - Typical Light Usage - SamsungGeeks
Medium/Normal usage | No SIM Using the Galaxy Camera for typical 'medium' use without a SIM-card proved fine : the camera lasted over 24 hours with us being careful about turning on WiFi
Very Heavy Usage| Continuous Shooting: Screen Off. Data Off Using "Lapse It Pro" we were able to shoot 2200 images in full resolution with the screen off (one every 3 seconds – using Full sensor) before the battery reached 10%. This included 10 minutes of WiFi to download and configure the App which gave just over 2 hours and 30 minutes continuous shooting. Galaxy Camera EK-GC100 Battery Life Test - Continuous Shooting - SamsungGeeks
Very Heavy Usage| Continuous Shooting: Screen On. Data Off Using "Lapse It Pro" we were able to shoot 1609 images in full resolution with the screen on before the camera reached 2% Battery . 2 hours and 37 minutes of continuous shooting Galaxy Camera EK-GC100 Battery Life - SamsungGeeks
Video Recording  1921 X 1080 @30FPS 25 minutes of continuous footage | screen on max brightness | no zooming Battery drained by 21% (100%-79%)
Video Recording 1280 X 720 @60FPS 25 Minutes of continuous footage | screen on max brightness | no zooming Battery drained by 23% (79%-56%)
Video Recording 1280 X 720 @30FPS 25 Minutes of continuous footage | screen on max brightness | no zooming Battery drained by 19% (56%-37%)
Video Recording 768 X 512 @120FPS 25 Minutes of continuous footage | screen on max brightness | no zooming Battery drained by 22% (36%-14%)
Video Recording 640 X 480 @60FPS 25 Minutes of continuous footage | screen on max brightness | no zooming Battery drained by [coming soon]%
Video Recording 640 X 480 @30FPS 25 Minutes of continuous footage | screen on max brightness | no zooming Battery drained by [coming soon]%
Video Recording 320 X 240 @30FPS 15 Minutes of continuous footage | screen on max brightness | no zooming Battery drained by [coming soon]%

In all honesty, we’re not entirely sure how to interpret these results. Given that there’s nothing really out there that can do what the Galaxy Camera can do, it’s not sure what the reference point should be. Ultimately, though – we think Samsung should have put a bigger battery in the device. The good news is that you can always pick up a (relatively cheap) battery pack charger – which you could use in conjunction with a smart phone. Ultimately a better solution than externally charging multiple batteries, but not ideal.

One option you might consider, is to buy a (now very cheap) battery for the Galaxy S2 – the Galaxy Camera and Galaxy S2 batteries are fully compatible; so buying high quality official replacement batteries from somewhere like amazon (affiliate link) is another good solution – especially if you are travelling.

Connectivity

Although the Galaxy Camera does not allow phone calls, you are able to send an receive text messages, so there’s no reason other than inappropriate positioning of microphone and loudspeaker, why you shouldn’t be able to make phone-calls from it. Using third party services such as Viber it is perfectly possible – which makes the Galaxy Camera one of the most versatile devices on the market. We proved this last week in London by making the world’s first(?) Google Hangout from a camera. Ridiculous!

I can use any app on the device which is available from the Android Market

Galaxy Camera Review - Texting - SamsungGeeks.com

Conclusion

The Galaxy Camera really is a marvel of technology. It’s one of the only Samsung devices we’ve seen get a whopping big round of applause (and cheers) at a launch event, as people couldn’t quite believe how much stuff had been crammed into it. The build quality and design are excellent, and as well as being a good looking device – it takes good photographs and videos (though please judge that for yourself) for you to ogle over on the 4.8” LCD screen or share/sync it instantly through a variety of wireless connectivities. I can check my emails on it, play games and update my Facebook on the camera – and there are limitless other Apps (camera related or not) which will run on it.

Galaxy Camera - EK-GC100 - SamsungGeeks - Macro shot of log

We’re not pretending that the Galaxy Camera can take better quality pictures than a DSLR, because it cannot. Nor does it have the same amount of options or control. However – what it does offer is an extremely comprehensive package for the price (which isn’t cheap, either). The amount of capture-diversity (macro, wide angle, 21x zoom et cetera) in the device is excellent , especially when you consider that a DSLR requires many different lenses to achieve the same effect, some of which cost more than the Galaxy Camera alone. The “Smart Mode” and “Expert Mode” are excellent: they provide the means for you to be creative, and learn about the possibilities of photography without necessarily having to know anything about F-Stops and shutter speeds… but still gives you full creative command if you do.

For a do-it-all device, the Galaxy Camera really has raised the bar with what a “Camera” is and should be.  In all honesty, it leaves me looking at my DSLR in a slightly lackluster way… why can’t it do all the things the Galaxy Camera can if I’ve spent so much money? Though… I guess the Galaxy Camera isn’t exactly a light investment, either:

If you have any other questions about the Galaxy Camera, if we’ve missed something or you just fancy a chat – then please get in touch!

 

[poll id=”16″]
Samsung Galaxy Camera Review – EK-GC100
Written by: Dom Armstrong for SamsungGeeks.com
Samsung Galaxy Camera – EK-GC100
4.5 / 5 stars

Review Overview

It is the Future
10
Connectivity
10
Functionality / Features
10
Build Quality / Design
8
Picture/Video Quality
7
9

The Galaxy Camera is the future

Although the Galaxy Camera might not take the world's best photographs, the level of connectivity and gadgetry packed in here makes it hard not to love.
  • bubblesmoney

    Please upload some images and videos in low light inside a house and also outside. Please upload some images in low light with flash off too. Can the video be focussed manually while shooting. Can flash be turned on and off while shooting a video. Most important, is the image comparable to one from a camera in the same price range! What is the battery life if shooting videos continuously for wifi version. Since it is microsdhc cards is recording slower than on cameras with sdhc cards. Do microsdXC cards work in exfat format or do they need to be in fat32. What if video lasts longervthan 4gb size does video stop recording.

    • SGeek

      I’m just compiling a week-or-so’s worth of images and videos. Suffice to say, it does a fair job. Please feel free list other [Galaxy Camera related] requests and I’ll do my best to fulfil them!

      Dom

      • Andrew Ong

        Enjoyed your rundown thus far! In addition to the excellent points bubblesmoney raised, could you let us know if the 3.5mm jack serves to accept microphone input while recording video? Also, how long does the camera take to go from fully powered off to taking the first shot? Furthermore, what is the time between continuous shots like? Thanks in advance!

        • SGeek

          Hi Andrew,

          It’s all in the pipeline! Will update tomorrow.

          Great question about the 3.5mm jack – I hadn’t even thought of that.

          To keep you going, here is some Low-Light videography in lowlight/near total darkness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zWI9uhj1eY

          • Andrew Ong

            That’s pretty impressive for a point-and-shoot. Not as grainy as some of the low light shots the S3 produces, thanks!

      • bubblesmoney

        Thanks Dom,

        Looks decent in low light. That alley looks like one can get mugged! :)

        As mentioned below, what is the cold boot to taking photo / video times. Also what is the time to shoot from stand by state. Are spare batteries readily available. How is the wifi antenna for use with wifi hotspot on android phones or with home wifi. Does the signal link and remain steady or does it disconnect easily during uploads for videos.Battery life during uploads of a couple of gb? Sorry loads of questions but i want this to last a few years if i buy it. Also how is the antishake features. Is there any audio recording distortion during videos if windy or is there any noise cancellation features. Can it make phone calls via viber or skype video chats as a bonus. Regards

  • SGeek

    Disclosure: Post updated [loads] – added more sample footage and photography. More on its way/on request.

    • SGeek

      Disclosure: Post updated with [random] battery tests.

      • SGeek

        Disclosure: Post updated with OIS video demonstration

  • bubblesmoney

    Nice uploads. Will check this out in a shop. Can you demo the processing lag that delays next shot in smart mode please.

  • bubblesmoney

    cnet have uploaded a video about this device saying it has got poor battery life and image quality same as any compact, so am having second thoughts. I dont need dslr level of image quality just need point and shoot compact or a little better image quality with the great zoom this device seems to have pus the bonus connectivity features. Was looking for great battery life but was wary seeing the battery specs on this device. I often find my samsung galaxy note is my main point and shoot camera / video camera as my olympus camera is bulky and an additional device to carry but the battery life on the note isnt great if one is shooting photos and videos all day and often it has conked out well before the end of my day trip with my child. Was hoping this would have better battery life but doesnt look like it seeing the battery specs and screen size. can you please confirm if the battery used is the same as the one in the sgs2, if so then spare batteries would be cheap to get and it might be in contention for my upcoming christmas sales purchase.

    the zoom looks great. low light looks ok. antishake looks ok to a lay person like me. not so pleased seeing the battery life reviews from cnet today especially keeping in mind the price tag. probably will wait a bit till price comes down a bit.

    • SGeek

      I’ve updated the post with some Battery Life tests. So far these are No-SIM tests as (to be honest) I think the best use-case for this device is to tether to a smartphone. I have tested with a SIM but didn’t get any screen shots; it was obviously considerably worse. I will update the review once I get some. For a camera; it’s not the best battery life, but it’s certainly better/more adequate than I was expecting from such a powerful multi-purpose device. I think Samsung should have put a larger battery in the device – but then I bet it would have been ‘hideously’ expensive, as opposed to ‘rather’ expensive.

      • bubblesmoney

        Thanks for the battery update. Looks a bit like what i get on my note. If time permits please do a test with video being shot continuously with screen on. When out and about with my child i usually now mainly shoot videos and fewer photos. Because i find that my child and many others prefer to watch the same videos again and again and again, just like they do with cartoons. Also easier to catch a child with a video rather than getting them to stay still for many photos and i can frame grab the picture off the video.

        A few more questions….
        Can it shoot videos and take photos at the same time like newer phones.
        If it can then what is the photo resolution default when taking photos during a video shoot.
        Can the flash be turned on an off during a video shoot, some samsung phones cant do this unlike htc phones.
        Is there just DLNA / allshare or is there miracast too to make it more compatible with other brand TVs. If no miracast then if needed is it just a software update or needs better hardware.
        Did your SGS2 battery work in the camera?
        Probably will think about getting a battery pack with multiport output to charge phone and camera together when out and about.
        What sort of output from battery pack should i look for a my nexus 7 needs 2.1mamps unlike my phone. Is the camera similar.
        If charged via a battery pack when the camera has low charge. Is the battery pack charging good enough to cover power usage for using the camera and additional charging the battery on the camera too.
        Does it compress the photos and videos by default for uploads or sharing or is there an option to do so.
        Really like the features and zoom on this, if the lag between shots is bearable then will consider this seriously for my next purchase as i can get a battery pack as looks like my use case scenario will definitely need one. Usually my Note battery goes kaput then my wifes HTC desire, then sometimes my camera and note too! :) sometimes on trips out or i have to keep the camera screen off and use viewfinder instead to make battery last. An option which doesnt seem to be there with this camera. Another useful option would be for the screen to pivot or tilt like i can with my olympus which is useful when holding up a camera in crowds and can still see and adjust shots when camera held up above your head to get cleaner shots when among crowds. But i guess i cant have everything in a camera.
        If there was a waterproof and dustproof shock proof version of this camera then would buy that too. Was initially getting a watreproof compact camera but seeing the features and zoom on this camera made me change my mind because i am a sucker for features that i might not always use!

        • Abhishek

          its awesome

        • Sia

          Hi,
          I have some same questions like yours but if don´t see any answer yet. Could someone
          answer those following questions please:

          Can the Samsung Galaxy GC-100 and Samsung WB-850F take photos at the same during
          shooting videos?

          If it
          can then what is the photo resolution default when taking photos during a video
          shoot.

          Are the flash of those Samsung cameras automatic or manually?

  • bubblesmoney

    does this work as a camera when being charged from your portable charging pod you have reviewed previously here. apparently the other android camera Nikon Coolpix S800c will not operate when charging

    • SGeek

      It works when charging from the mains socket – I don’t currently have a battery pack to test it with, but if it has the same power output I see no reason why not.

      • bubblesmoney

        Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/FreshRob Robert W

    Hello,

    Thank you very much for this review, after seeing one I instantly fell in love with it, and was thinking about replacing my sII with it.

    I was wondering if you can make the camera its’ self a wifi hotspot if a sim was inside.

    • SGeek

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your comment- and you’re welcome! I hope you found it useful.

      Yes, you can use the camera as a WiFi hotspot! However, I would urge against using the Galaxy Camera as a main device for emails/texts and think of it, instead, as a very well connected camera. I would consider this as a supplement to a phone (perhaps instead of a tablet?) rather than just one device to carry with you.

      Dom

      • http://twitter.com/FreshRob Robert W

        Thank you very much for replying to my comment, your insight is much appreciated and has helped me greatly

  • http://www.facebook.com/junnior.reis.1 Júnnior Reis

    Excellent Review… Samsung Galaxy Camera No Doubt Is A Great Solution In Picture And Video !
    But It Sure What Despite All Of Effort From Samsung Is Yet To Lower Quality Image And Video Provided By Nokia 808 PureView PRO… With 2 Devices Costing Nearly the Same Value, What I Believe The Smartphone From Nokia, The Moment Be the Best Choice !!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lordofwark Peter Scargill

    Here’s the thing – and I may be wrong – I hope I am – but no-one seems to have touched on this yet.. One of the more relevant items in a mobile phone such as an iPhone taking videos – is the ability to plug in an external microphone. Almost all phones sound TERRIBLE using internal mics as do most cheap cameras – You get around this with a phone by plugging in, say a necktie mic….. I’m not seeing any reference here to being able to plug a microphone into the audio connector – this would be make or break for me – can you??

    • SGeek

      Hi Peter!

      I’m looking into it (I don’t have any microphones around). I’ve not included anything about it in main body of the review as I’ve yet to see it tested and working. At IFA during the announcement of the GCamera they had several accessories on display, but no external microphone so perhaps there is no native preamp for professional microphones. It will work with low-powered 3.5” mics such as the ones you get integrated with headphones for hands-free stuff, but I don’t imagine you will get any huge increase in quality.

      Some solutions you might want to consider:

      The Galaxy S3 (which shares most of the GC100’s hardware and base operating system) supports professional external microphones with the use of an XLR-to-3.5mm jack converter/preamp. You would need a preamp because of the default power throughput is insufficient. The “iRIG Pre” (http://amzn.to/UVQuxT), for example is reported to work perfectly well (source: http://bit.ly/Qqszlm), and then you can use whatever XLR professional microphone you wish. The Galaxy Camera should be able to support external microphones using the same method.

      Another solution I’ve come across is the use of a USB-OTG cable (about £2 on ebay) and a USB microphone (I’ve seen ones made by “Yeti” mentioned quite a lot online in forums).

      A final solution would be to use a wireless solution like a bluetooth-to-XLR connector, those these seem to be fairly expensive (example from JKAudio: http://bit.ly/hWxOl7) and I genuinely have no idea what their performance would be like.

      Hopefully that was helpful – Sorry I can’t give you any specifics!

      Dom

  • http://www.facebook.com/lordofwark Peter Scargill

    Justr realised someone DID ask a question about an external mic – any answer to that? On an iPhone you need a 3-way 3.5mm jack…

  • Rory

    Brilliant article! Have a quick, possibly stupid, question! I was wondering about the light trace ability? Is it possible to control the length of exposure yourself? I would be interested in trying to take some photos of star trails at night. Would that be at all possible here? I seriously doubt it, but thought I would ask! Thanks for any info you have!

    • SGeek

      Thanks Rory! Hopefully you found it useful :)

      It’s not stupid a stupid question at at all :) For the “Smart Pro” light trace you can’t adjust the shutter time and I don’t think the default setting woud be enough to get star trails. If you go into “expert mode” you can tweak the settings exactly how you like them. The Galaxy Camera lets you take exposures of up to 16 seconds which should be enough for Astro-Photography. You’ll also want a clear night and a low ISO setting 100-400 and a low F-STOP value for the best results.

      Check out this post for some ideas of settings: http://samsunggeeks.com/2012/06/26/light-painting/

      I’ve not had any clear skies where I am in the world (sad times) so I’ve not been able to see how well the Galaxy Camera sensor performs in with starlight. My gut feeling is that it won’t be perfect. I did, however, take a photograph of the moon (just added to the post) while playing with the 21x optical zoom and it came out really nicely!

      • http://www.facebook.com/mayjee.loh May Jee Justine Loh

        I used 21x optical zoom (Auto) and it just came out 1 white ball. Any other settings to get the markings on the moon?

  • bubblesmoney

    any luck using a sgs2 or sgs3 battery in this camera. am asking as those batteries are cheaper than the gc100 imitation batteries available presently. last friday on amazon this was available for a few hours in the morning for 369£ but shot upto 399£ later in the day. plus there was 25£ off a tripod and discounts off lightroom and photoshop software but those deals are not present now other than the tripod deal. am not considering this till prices drop on this for now. almost bought it on friday but then the price shot up so cancelled plans.

    • SGeek

      Sorry for the slow reply – the site exceeded its bandwidth usage and we’ve had to work on getting it back online!

      The batteries for the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Camera are identical in every respect and they are indeed interchangable (I’ve tested it both ways). Good news!

  • bubblesmoney

    this samsung galaxy camera is available in france for £281 today!!! amazon france is cheaper than the uk and they all deliver for about 7.5£ to the uk from my experience of buying from amazon.de previously. the 281£ is after getting the samsung france 100euro cash back available to only those in france. So we in the UK are getting ripped off as most places it is 399£ and a bit less on amazon. Was just about to buy this now from amazon but cancelled purchase after seeing the amazon france price and cash back got pissed off as am not willing to pay nearly 120£ more than those in france for exactly the same camera. Will wait now till prices crash here to the same level as in france. Am going to post this on xda forums now and other samsung galaxy camera posts on uk blogs.. see link yourself http://www.amazon.fr/Samsung-Galaxy-Camera-Appareil-num%C3%A9rique/dp/B00A2SLA6I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355314020&sr=8-2 and the cash back in france http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/08/products/electronics/mix/page-produits/2012_ODRGALAXYCamera.pdf

    • SGeek

      Great spot – I’ll tweet that! ^D

  • bubblesmoney

    i have loads of videos on my play list for this camera here http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGQqgL4AHFjKXgDtSJU7kQf_do0zLG4QN which has about 40 videos presently on this camera just like i do for loads of other gadgets on my other play lists. Hope some find the play list useful. But i wont be buying the camera till prices drop to the equivalent of amazon france http://www.amazon.fr/Samsung-Galaxy-Camera-Appareil-num%C3%A9rique/dp/B00A2SLA6I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355314020&sr=8-2 where they can buy the same camera for £281 after 100euro cash back from samsung http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/08/products/electronics/mix/page-produits/2012_ODRGALAXYCamera.pdf . I am not willing to be a mug and pay £120 more than people across the channel. I have written to samsung public relations about this today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/altonaltonartwork.cooper Alton Altonartwork Cooper

    Will I be able to create stop motion video’s with this devise ?

    • SGeek

      Stop motion is normally done with a video-editor in post processing and not on the device itself. Search http://play.google.com and I’m sure there will be an Android App which can create basic stop-motion videos

  • hayhop

    Hi. Can you turn take a photo on this camera? and if so how?

  • bubblesmoney

    Got a query about the youtube upload resolution and time limits on the samsung galaxy camera.

    I recently instead of the samsung galaxy camera bought the samsung smart wifi camera WB850F because it was half price on amazon and was getting £50 samsung cash back (was supposed to be 125£ after cash back but got £26 discount from amazon as box was a bit wet in one corner, so got it for just £99 which was too big a price difference to ignore hence bought that instead of the samsung galaxy camera)

    The wifi and wifi direct work fine for remoteview and monilelink android apps and for DLNA viewing of photos on my sony smart tv. But videos dont go across and just get stuck when trying to send to TV. Also the youtube app limits uploads to 320×240 resolution and lasting only 30 secs can be uploaded via wifi on the camera. No such limitation for the android app transfers to phone or tablet. And wifi back up to computer is slow compared to usb cable back up.

    The zoom and sensor is the same as the samsung galaxy camera, but memory card is sd card and can take 64gb card but needs to be reformatted in camera. think it cant handle exfat cards and reformats them to slower fat32.

    The zoom is great as is image stabilisation but low light isnt great and is pixellated but ok as it cost only £99 for me, videos are good. Flash doesnt work in video mode just like on the samsung galaxy camera.

    Since the galaxy camera has the same zoom lens and sensor as the WB850F, Does the samsung galaxy camera have same issues like the WB850F wrt youtube wifi upload limitation for length of video and resolution of upload. Also is the wifi auto back up slow. Does the TV DLNA transfer work for videos at all and is the photo transfer to TV slow. also although remoteview and mobilelink apps work fine, the new samsung smart camera app which combines the features doesnt work. Does this app work on the galaxy camera.

    • SGeek

      No YouTube size/upload limits. Backup (to G+/Dropbox) is as fast as your WiFi connection. Video DLNA depends on what the device you’re trying to stream to – works fine on my old Bravia. DLNA is always a little slow to connect with my TV – so I couldn’t comment. Remote view is/was planned for the camera but I’ve not seen or heard of an update for it. I’m annoyed about the last point – as being able to use it with your mobile phone would be epic!

      • bubblesmoney

        there is a newer app incorporating the functions of remoteview and mobilelink and something else. see other apps released by samsung and you will find it. it was released in the last part for dec 2012. that new app doesnt work on my devices and by looking at the comments doesnt seem to be working for anyone. but check it out, may be it will work with the galaxy camera.

      • bubblesmoney

        There is a new remoteview app available for the galaxy camera. This is different from the original app so check it out. Also the new update for the samsung smart camera app has got nfc permissions so looks like the next galaxy camera has nfc built in. The new version of the galaxy camera has been leaked last week on few android websites which i read online although i dont remember where. They gave the new number for the model etc so looks like release might not be far off. Sadly that app is still not functional on any of my devices.

        Regarding the videos shot from the camera and uploaded here. Were the uploads direct from camera or from computer. Same for youtube upload. Was it from camera direct. Just need to verify this before buying next version. Dont want to buy a device with poor resolution of 320×240 and 30sec time limit like my 2012 samsung wb850f smart camera.

      • bubblesmoney

        does it have miracast ability as SGS3 has it as does my SGS4, if so them wireless mirroring to TV or projector is easy. But use netgear PTV3000 instead of samsung allshare wireless dongle outputs in 720p as far as i know wirelessly but netgear does it at 1080p. see my netgear working with my SGS4 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxZKpg3o-dk hope the new SGS4 zoom camera/phone has better battery and internal memory than 8gb as my SGS4 gives low memory alerts as only 8.6gb is available for user http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY7w7BFNBVU . So if the new samsung galaxy s4 zoom camera has 8gb start then it will be a dead duck as far as a high end smart phone is concerned in my opinion

  • carmenchick

    Any chance you could advise me on how to take it off store demo mode?

  • INQUISITIVE SAMSUNG:

    SHOULD I DRAIN MY SAMSUNG GALAXY CAMERA 1ST OFF, OR CHARGE IT FULLY 1ST???

    • SGeek

      Charge it up first, though with LiIon batteries this is not so important (as it was with older battery technologies).

      To improve the long-term life of the battery, try and keep the battery between 5% and 95% – If you keep it plugged in too long after it’s finished charging it can reduce the battery life – and if you continue to run the device at a low battery it will stress and damage the battery’s future.

      The Galaxy Camera battery is identical to the one in the Galaxy S2 – I would recommend buying a couple of spare ones (especially when on holiday) to increase the overall usability.

  • bubbles

    Hello this might be a stupid question but how do you send message from camera i have tried but it keeps coming up cant send message.

    • bruce

      You would need to stick a 3g or 4g simcard in your camera. Then open messaging app type the reviever number compos message and send its pretty straight forward.

  • sharoukhx

    how to set the focus on manual its usually on autofocus

  • Mjyambao

    Hello Geeks! I got query regards storage. I just bought one of this camera and somehow thought that it has an 8GB usable storage space but checking on the settings > Storage, it shows only 3.9GB total space. Is this normal or was I fooled by the seller? I don’t know if there was any 4GB capacity of the same model that was released in the market. Need your urgent advise and so I can chase the seller before it’s too late. I got 3 days to decide. Thanks in advance. Cheers!

    • SGeek

      Mey Mjyambao – sorry for the slow reply!

      The internal memory may be 8GB in total, but some of the space will be used up by the Android Operating system, pre-installed applications. This is quite normal for Android devices, so I don’t think you have been fooled!

      The good news is that you should be able to put a whopping 64GB micro SD card into your camera, and have 100% of that as usable memory … hurrah! Make sure you get one with a high speed-class rating. We recommend class 10 SD cards, otherwise you may notice speed-performance issues: http://bit.ly/12fEKdB.

  • http://www.facebook.com/suresh.tekwani.5 Suresh Tekwani

    Undoubtdly a marvelous camera. Samsang Apps & Google Play Apps are Amazing to see and use on the camera. Only issue how to download apps on External Memory Card which are moveable apps.Unable to resolve. Need Support & Help plz.Thanks.suresh.tekwani@gmail. com.

  • Farfrom

    Ok, my apologies if this is repeated! Not sure of how all this works but here goes again.
    I was told when I purchased my galaxy gc 100, I would just have to take the memory card out, and place in the correct adapters and I would be able to upload my photos to my iPad. I tried this and nothing on my iPad changed , then when I reinserted the card into camera a msg came up stating an sd card detected would I like to save photos to card, I hit yes. Took some pics, tried again with iPad this time bought up correct page but said no photos to upload. Can you tell me is this possible? Or do I have to go the round about way and use Dropbox ? It’s driving me insane to try and get an answer! I hope you can help, I am not tech savvy, but know a little !

    • SGeek

      Hi Farfrom!

      We’re always happy to try and help you out! Would you mind getting in touch with us through the contact form ( http://samsunggeeks.com/contact/ ) and we’ll take it from there :-)

      • Farfrom

        Thank you for replying, I have finally worked it out, by downloading photo transfer through iTunes, and also through Samsung on the camera all goes perfectly straight into my iPhoto’s , very happy now. BUT could you tell me how to empty my sd card when pics are transferred, also if I empty the sd card, will that erase the photos I have put into folders on the camera itself.?
        Hope you can help.

        • SGeek

          On your Galaxy Camera go to “Apps –> My Files” and locate the relevant files your wish to delete (the same way you would on a computer).

          You’ll likely find the pictures on the external SD card under “ExxtSDCard –> DCIM”. From there, you will be able to check boxes next to files you want to remove and remove them in bulk. Alternatively, you can delete the pictures directly from the “Gallery”, which should have the same result.

          Erasing the contents of the SD card *will* erase their content on the camera, even if you have sorted them out into folders within the gallery.

          Let me know if you have any other questions,

          Dom

          • Farfrom

            So when I am saving the photos to my sd card, I thought the folders that i placed them into were actually on the internal memory, so therefore should not delete if I only deleted the card. But that is not the case? So I really need to transfer photos ASAP from camera to iPad , and not bother to separate them into folders on the camera? Just wanting to make sure I have this all correct in my head!! Lol. Thanking you so much for your help? Trish (farfrom)

          • Farfrom

            Hi, me again! Can you tell me why my photos do not seem to be saving to me sd card on the camera? When I turn it on and it states there is an sd card would I like to save to this, I always say yes, but now when attach it to my mini iPad it opens the correct place but says no photos to import! I am not understanding, I know I can do it through the photo sharing apps I downloaded, but sometimes there is not going to be wifi available. Loving my camera but getting a little frustrated. Also if I am going away for a length of time and do not want to re transfer photos, does this mean I am going to have to delete everything each time I do a transfer, therefore keeping no pics on the camera.?? Sorry for all the questions, but you are the only one so far that has been any help! Thanks again

          • http://twitter.com/dom_armstrong Dom Armstrong

            Make sure it’s opening the right folder! Confusingly, the main storage in Android is called “SD Card” (stupid, right?) and the external SD card is called “ExtSDCard”.

            Unless you are taking a lot of videos, there’s no reason why you can’t keep everything on the camera for as long as you like. Depending on the resolution you are using to take the photos, a 16GB SD card should be able to hold around 3000+ images, at 32GB SD Card 6000+ and (the maximum size card the Galaxy Camera can use) 64GB can stole over 12000 pictures! I’m not sure what size card you are using or how many photographs you intend to take?

            Check in the in-camera settings (the picture of the cog) and make sure that the Galaxy Camera is saving the pictures to the right place. You can also check by going into “My Files”.

            Good luck!

            Dom

          • Farfrom

            Hi again thanks for all your help so far, one more thing, can you tell me if I get a powered USB hub and attach it to my camera attachment for mini. iPad will it recognise the camera? As at the moment if plug directly into iPad it says uses to much power, ?

          • http://twitter.com/dom_armstrong Dom Armstrong

            Hi @farfrom:disqus – Actually I’m not sure about that one, it might be a good idea to contact Apple support and see what they say.

            Perhaps an easier solution would be to transfer files across using bluetooth or Wi-Fi direct? Select the images you want and press “Share Via” and then “Bluetooth” or WiFi direct. As long as your iPad is set up to receive files this way (will be somewhere in the settings) it shouldn’t be a problem, and WiFi direct is pretty quick, too!

          • Farfrom

            Thank you for your help, yes, the only way I have found is to download the photo share app on both devices, this way photos go directly into iPhoto on my iPad. Think I will be happy with that! Thank you for your reply.

  • Farfrom

    I am so excited I just downloaded photo share app onto my iPad, and onto my samsung galaxy 3 GC 100, now I can transfer my photos over wifi straight into my iPhoto albums no problem!

    • Mac

      Which app was that? We’re having trouble getting the two to talk

      • Farfrom

        Sorry for late reply, I have been unwell. The app is call photo share , both in iTunes, and the samsung store, very easy to use over wifi, the only way it will work, hope this helps.

  • rjw1984

    If you download a camera app that has zoom capabilities, such as CameraMX, does the zoom wheel use digital zooming or optical, or does it not respond? I have the Nikon s800c sometimes the zoom wheel will digitally zoom in 3rd party apps, and sometimes it won’t do anything, but it never uses the optical.

    • http://twitter.com/dom_armstrong Dom Armstrong

      Sometimes it doesn’t respond – but you can still use the pinch to zoom functionality (though you do have to wait for the lens to ‘catch up’ with you if you are zooming very fast).

  • Ste

    Owned mine for six months then got dust on the sensor. I now have lovely black dots on my pics. Not happy

  • jeka

    What’s with the 25 minute video limit? Is there any way around that?

  • rose

    Hi
    I have a DiGi Sim for my camera,I can not connect to the internet even though it is activated for it,can anyone help please..

    • Bruce

      You would need a tablet simcard to be able to use 3g or 4g internet . however you can still send text messages with regular phone simcard.

  • Divaj

    Has anyone experienced issues with the camera freezing while booting up?

  • Stacey

    Hi Guys, I did a really silly thing and deleted all my images from the camera before i had a chance to transfer they to my PC. Is there anyway of recovering the deleted items from the camera?

  • sergio

    No sound recording video….Hardware or software problem? All went wrong after Io upgraded

  • Teejay

    Can i use Samsung Galaxy Camera without a Sim Card ? I mean if i buy it within the states and take it to Paris with me, can it still work ?
    Most of the Devices usually dont work unless they are “Unlocked” versions…..
    Pls Help

    • Davinah

      I bought mine from the US it still has AT &T in it
      but they have UNLOCK it from AT &T. but AT&T logo and all its
      specification are still there :(
      but no worries it WORKED :D

      so the answer to your question is
      Yes, it will work IF it is UNLOCK from US Network provider
      SIMcard GSM in europe will work.
      And one more thing you should download an app from
      googleplay to read and compose Short Message Service (SMS).
      Because you can no longer use US Network’s Short Message Service (SMS)

      Other than that, all applications works pretty well.
      Video calls work by using Skype :)
      but Viber video calls a big resounding NO

      Photo shooting is superb in Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100!!!
      you can do a simple video editing within the camera
      its simply amazing!!!!

      Cheers,

  • Brian

    is it possible to download HDR onto my EK GC100

  • Danny Lee

    The one thing missing on the video camera mode is the ability to connect a bluetooth microphone. I have tried a few audio recording apps that work with my Nolan bluetooth mic.

  • Billy Walker

    Can you record / imbed a voice message into a picture

  • alison

    Is there anyway of recovering the deleted items from the camera?

  • Davinah

    Hello samsunggeeks

    Your comprehensive article is the very reason I bought
    this AMAZING Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100 :D
    it so LIKE IT. Great zooming function. I was also able to do
    video editing within the camera.

    However, there is an app that does not work in video calling
    and that is Viber app. I can see video icon but it’s grayed out.

    Skype video calls worked well.but skype drains battery fast
    compared to Viber.

    Is there a way to make video call in Viber? :)

    Cheers,