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Saving point-and-shoot

Some of you may remember my article not so long ago about point-and-shoot cameras becoming a thing of the past as many mobile phones now have built-in cameras that are just as good and in some cases better than many of our stand alone cameras.

Now, however Samsung has launched a new weapon in the fight to keep the point-and-shoot alive. Samsung’s camera division is working on a Galaxy device. A Galaxy camera? That could only mean Android, and a touch screen and of course the possibility of another law suit from Apple.

This isn’t the first “smart” camera however. Nikon beat Samsung out the door with its Coolpix S800c, a 16-megapixel semi-professional camera powered by Android 2.3.3. But this Galaxy Camera is an entirely different beast.

For starters the entire back of the camera is occupied by an edge-to-edge 4.8-inch 1,280 x 720-pixel display. It also boast a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, WiFi on board and even 3G and 4G connectivity as well. It carries a micro-SIM which slides in beside the microSD card and 1,650 mAh battery, which Samsung says can provide up to seven hours of battery life while connected.

All powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, means there will be plenty of options for sharing – Google Play and Instagram, just to name a few, and even a native sharing and sorting option, including a device-wide search tool that lets you locate a shot.

Best Group Pose will automatically select the ideal portrait of you and your friends, while Share Shot lets you use WiFi Direct to send content to your buds with Galaxy cameras and smartphones in real time. There’s also an Auto Cloud Backup feature, which provides redundancy by sending your photos wirelessly as shots provided you are either connected via WiFi or GSM data.

There are still a few hardware buttons on board, including a flash release (there’s a pop-up strobe in the top right corner) a power button, zoom toggle and shutter release but these do very little to distract or deter you from doing everything with the touch screen.

Samsung opted for a standard 1/2.33-inch BSI CMOS sensor, capable of 16-megapixel shots, so don’t expect professional quality shots but more than enough for Facebook.

Could this be the future or is this going to be another device taking up space in your hand bag or pockets, I must admit, I’m quite impressed by this Smart camera. It’s almost like they cut a Galaxy Note in half down the seams and surgically attached a camera lens and flash. Some type of hand-held cyborg sent from the future to protect point-and-shoot cameras of our present time from extinction.

Will it complete its mission? Or will current smartphones continue to drive them further away from our minds and into locked draws abandoned forever? Only time will tell.

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