A Social Media Fiend’s Best Friend: Samsung Galaxy Camera

Samsung Galaxy Camera by Caroline on Crack
Samsung Galaxy Camera by Caroline on Crack

My favorite blogging-on-the-go tools: iPad and Samsung Galaxy Camera.

When I first read about the Samsung Galaxy Camera, I knew I had to have it. Or at least get on the list to test it out. Verizon has asked me to test out a few products for them and I tried the Samsung Galaxy S3 for several months but just wasn’t crazy about its camera. Truth is, I HATED its camera — horrible low light shots, constantly smudged lens, light flares galore. So naturally when word got out about the camera version of the smartphone, one that’s hooked up to the Internet and social media friendly, I was all over it.

In fact, I dreamed about the likes of this camera even before it came out. A camera that was connected to the Web so people could take a picture and automatically share it on Facebook. Something that closed the gap that those WiFi camera cards tried to fill. And FINALLY, it’s here!

Now this isn’t going to be a CNET-caliber review obviously but I just wanted to share how this “point-and-share” camera worked for me, a blogger who is addicted to oversharing via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Backstory: Last year I had an iPhone 4S that completely usurped my DSLR simply because it was easier to haul around and took beautiful shots, especially when paired up with the Camera+ app. But after I lost my phone, Verizon came to the rescue and set me up with the Samsung Galaxy S3 to test out. I loved the features of the smartphone — swype keyboard, appointment reminders with mapped-out routes, the notification light, live wallpaper(!) — but that lousy camera just negated all those good qualities for me. I just need a great camera for what I do, not just social media-wise but for photographing for my blog and LA Mag’s Digest blog.

The Galaxy Camera is just like the Galaxy S3 smartphone except without the texting or calling abilities. But you can check your email, browse the Web, use Google Maps and go crazy at the app store. In the few short weeks I borrowed the camera, I took it to Hawaii cocktail week and a myriad of other cocktail events. It would be tested out while hiking Diamond Head, capturing a booze cruise and cocktailing in a pirate rum cocktail class.

Sample Shots Taken With the Samsung Galaxy Camera

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

In the three weeks I had it, here’s what I found.

Samsung Galaxy Camera Pros vs. Cons

Pros:

  • Ups the game of taking the best shots out of all my smartphone-toting friends.
  • Instantly and easily share to all my favorite social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
  • No viewfinder but 16-megapixel touchscreen is huuge and vivid.
  • Since my camera was equipped with Verizon’s 4G LTE network, uploading photos was quick.
  • Ability to take a photo with a filter i.e. retro, vintage, sepia or negative.
  • Everyone who sees it instantly suffers gadget envy.

Cons:

  • Flash is too hot, blows out colors and definitely wouldn’t use while taking macros shots.
  • When taking a photo in low light without the flash, the camera takes awhile to focus and inevitably the shot comes out blurry.
  • Can’t download photos on computer just by hooking up the camera. I had to use Dropbox and then download from there. It wasn’t til the end of my trial period that I discovered a Flickr app with which to load my photos directly from the camera to the site.
  • Gotta watch data usage, this is especially important for those who constantly upload photos. But if you are discipline enough to wait til you hit a WiFi spot then this won’t be too much of an issue.

Bottom Line

Granted, this isn’t THE best point-and-shoot out there but it’s sufficient for upping your social media game with regard to photos. And judging by how often people oohed and aahed when I whipped out this camera and started posting on Instagram, there aren’t many like it out there.

When I went to Hawaii, it was nice to tote this pocketable camera around instead of my DSLR, which I’m paranoid about bringing on trips involving an airplane. If, however, I had wanted to take frameworthy shots of Diamond Head and less of my barhopping adventures, I’d definitely want a better camera.

For low-light cocktail shots, I found myself using my iPhone’s light to illuminate the scene as opposed to using the camera’s own too-hot flash. The camera does offer an “Expert” mode if you want to manually adjust the aperture and shutter speed, but considering how I want to spend more time drinking my cocktail and less photographing it, I never used it. I did explore the Smart modes but in the end just stuck to the default mode for the same reason.

As it is, I love this camera for social media purposes. However, when I actually have to photograph a bartender and bar for a post I’m doing I’ll still use my DSLR for good measure.

FYI, Verizon is offering the Samsung Galaxy Camera for $549.99 with month-to-month service (from 4GB for $30 to 12GB for $70), or you can add it to your Share Everything plan for $5.

2 Responses to A Social Media Fiend’s Best Friend: Samsung Galaxy Camera
  1. Michael / South Bay Foodies
    March 12, 2013 | 9:02 pm

    Argh! I’m torn over being mobile and connected (smartphone) vs taking damn good pics (DSLR) and cameras like this one hit the sweet spot in the middle. I’m still hard pressed to leave my Canon t2i behind when i do a gig though!

    I hear ya about the Galaxy S3’s camera performance. It’s good enough for me but I still wish for better. I’ve toyed with the idea of those lenses you clamp on the outside but the mixed reviews are enough to give me pause.

    I’ll just go to Best Buy and continue to drool over the cams on display for a few more months while I make up my mind….but by then a whole new generation will be out. Argh!

    • Caroline on Crack
      March 13, 2013 | 3:21 pm

      I feel ya. It’s always best to have a DSLR for blog photos, especially in low-light settings. And if you’re a perfectionist, you’ll want a better shot than the one this point-and-share can provide anyway. But it’s great as a strictly social media camera or as backup. If anything, maybe wait until a better version comes out. Maybe next year?

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