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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Point & Shoot Camera
I was shopping for a new camera 1.5 years ago and I was ready to buy one of the new compact mirrorless models that lacked a viewfinder. Alas none of them offers an adequately large view from their small displays. Even 3" isn't enough to accurately compose a scene. I ended up getting a compact Sony DSLT (the A37) as a compromise but it's still a large camera that you don't...
Published 10 months ago by Richard Evans

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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Many great features, but falls short on picture quality!
I was waiting for Samsung Galaxy 2 Camera to come out and was very excited when I got it. I am an avid Samsung Android user, so I am very familiar with lots of features on this camera. This camera offers lots of cool features, like voice activated triger to capture the photo, which amazes everyone! It is also great since you can upload your photos directly to facebook and...
Published 8 months ago by Nick1349


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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Point & Shoot Camera, March 21, 2014
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This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 with Android Jelly Bean v4.3 OS, 16.3MP CMOS with 21x Optical Zoom and 4.8" Touch Screen LCD (WiFi & NFC - Black) (Electronics)
I was shopping for a new camera 1.5 years ago and I was ready to buy one of the new compact mirrorless models that lacked a viewfinder. Alas none of them offers an adequately large view from their small displays. Even 3" isn't enough to accurately compose a scene. I ended up getting a compact Sony DSLT (the A37) as a compromise but it's still a large camera that you don't just put in your jacket pocket.
The Samsung Galaxy camera offers the largest display of any camera (short of an uber expensive medium format camera) available. I look at it both as a pocket computer with excellent specs (1.6GHz Quad core processor/2GB RAM) and as a super zoom camera (23mm-483mm) with a really wonderful 4.8" display.
It's really a Galaxy s3/s4 (without the phone) and a Samsung WB850 camera combined. To buy an unlocked s3 and a WB850 you would be looking at something like $850 so for $450 this is a good deal.
This new SGC2 has been improved in so many ways. Any laggyness has been resolved with 2gb of RAM and a 1.6GHz Exynos processor. The new 28 smart modes should cover just about any shooting scene.
Also I would like to point out that if you are into shooting videos, the Galaxy Cameras are among the very few that allow you to use an external microphone (which goes in the headphone jack.) That's one of the features I really like about the Sony A37 as well. A proper microphone makes all the difference in producing high quality videos.
With Android 4.3 Jellybean you have the full Android experience. The camera comes with a rather small amount of internal memory but thankfully you can add a micro SD card to expand the memory. I use the SanDisk Ultra 64GB and it works perfectly.
You can see my review on You Tube as alfmeister13
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting camera + full featured Android smartphone-sized device. Killer functionality let down by low light peformance, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
(Amazon doesn't allow fractional star ratings. If they did, my rating would be 3.5 stars.)

This Samsung Galaxy 2 camera is a combination of amazing and frustrating.

Amazing is the amount of function that you get with this camera. Frustrating is that with all the electronic goodies and goodness they've assuredly provided, they haven't matched that with a photo sensor/lens combination that's as good.

As a result, in the end you have something extremely cool that could have been king that crushes all competitors and all non-SLR cameras. But it doesn't...

Read on...

I'm a big fan of gadgets, and I have to admit that when I ordered this, I awaited its arrival with a lot more anticipation than normal. The idea here would make any tech head salivate

1) Take a high powered full featured Android platform phone, including a recent version of Android, a powerful processor, and huge beautiful touch screen.
2) Remove the phone functionality
3) Add a full sized photo lens and a big photo sensor

The pictures that most high end recent phones can take with their minuscule plastic lenses and small sensors are, frankly, amazing. The idea that you fix the weak link and replace the lens and sensor with versions appropriate for a high end all-in-one camera should result in really REALLY good photos.

So I was ultimately a little disappointed to discover that the lens/sensor in this camera ultimately is a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong: This camera takes way better pictures than you can take with an iPhone or Nokia top line phone (probably the best two photo phones right now). But they're inferior to the best competitive all in one digital cameras, such as those from Sony. In bright light, this camera takes quite good photos: Clear, detailed, good colors. I'd call the pictures taken in good light competitive with other high end all-in-one cameras. But as you get towards artificial lighting or low lighting, and your effective ISO increases, picture quality degrades pretty quickly. These photos are noisy and lacking in fine detail. On the upside, even in low light, I was surprised at the relative accuracy of the colors.

The built in flash helps, and if you are taking staged photos indoors with the flash, you should be happy with those.

It's unfortunate that the sensor/lens is ultimately something of a letdown. Because in most other respects this is an amazing device. You can easily connect it to your wireless network (or to your phone, if you can set up a wireless access point) and share the photos you are taking within seconds of taking them. The camera comes with a free 50Gb Dropbox account (valid for 2 years), which gives you tons of online space to which you can automatically upload photos.

Since this is a full featured Android platform, you can install and use any/all of your favorite Android photo editing software. The camera comes pre-installed with a number of good editing tools, as well. A custom set of photo presets and controls come with this camera and they are both extremely easy to navigate and feature some pretty cool ones (a selfie mode that waits until you're smiling to take your pic; a low light mode that takes several photos and combines them rather than increasing the ISO, etc And there are a lot of things in that etc...) The huge (by camera standards) LCD screen means you can actually see your photos very well, and it's not unreasonable to actually do decent editing on the camera...(The LCD screen is hard to see in direct sunlight, however). You can also take pictures by just touching a circle on the LCD screen--you don't have to push the shutter release button. This is useful for keeping the camera still when taking low light shots. It has a burst mode that takes around 4 pictures a second. I found this mode be OK, but far inferior to the performance of my Sony NEX-3 system, which is my go-to for mid-sumer high quality photos these days.

On the whole, the interface and screen beat ANY traditional camera system by a HUGE margin. I love this aspect of the camera. Did I mention it's also very responsive?

Which is why the mediocre (at the price point) lens/sensor is so unfortunate.

In terms of ergonomics, this camera is bigger and heavier than you probably expect. The idea of a phone + real lens seems like it would be somewhat lighter than it actually is. And the weight is a bit oddly distributed. After using it for a little while, you get used to this, and I don't think this is a serious issue. But when you first take it out of the box, you will probably be a bit surprised at the weight.

Charging is done via a standard micro USB cable, which is nice. Being a phone (without the phone), this camera also has standard smartphone connection features, including Bluetooth, NFC, etc. It also has GPS built in, ~2.8 Gb of available internal memory (there are 8Gb of internal memory but the rest is used by the OS), and the ability to add a micro SD card (although since it can upload your photos to the cloud, you might not bother).

I find myself reaching for this camera very frequently for family events because it's so much fun and because I can share photos so easily and quickly. For low light work or if I need good, fast burst photography, I am using other cameras (primarily the Sony NEX-3).

In the end, I wish the sensor/lens were better, and that this would be the ONLY camera I'd be reaching for. Maybe next version. But this is still quite fun and quite useful. You'll need to decide if, at the price, the pros outnumber the cons for the uses you'd have for it...
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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! Absolutely Stunning!!, July 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So instead of having the tablet with the camera built in...You have an even better camera with the tablet built in. Complete Android operation and wireless connectivity give you unprecedented control of taking, editing, and sharing all in one device. The 21x telephoto lens is amazing. And unlike other users here I find the picture quality to be just as amazing as well. The operation of the camera is simplified and intuitive thanks to it's 2gb of ram and 1.6 ghtz processor. It's ability to communicate and share photos on the fly is multifaceted and too long to describe here, just take a gander at the product description above these reviews and I think you'll be impressed. A lot of people have called this a phone camera without the phone, but if you were going to use a phone as a camera only and bought an unlocked one I think you'd find the price prohibitive for such restrictive use. So the less than $400 current price is a real bargain for a camera that does so many things and does them extremely well. I haven't even mentioned the HD display that is over 4 inches and 1080p capable with stunning clarity to set up those shots you're gonna be taking. I was surprised by the longevity of the battery which I used on four separate occasions before having to recharge. This is larger than those slim little pocket cameras but still portable enough to fit in a pocket if you wish. Be sure you read the manual or at least give it a cursory going over because you're gonna be surprised what all this camera will do and you'll miss out on knowing about most of it if you don't!!

All in all, it is the most impressive digital camera I've owned in this price range and even up to the $800 dollar range, so I recommend it without hesitation...the only reservation being 'read that manual' for sure.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack of all trades, Perfect for some, Wrong for others. Read on . . ., June 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 0:36 Mins

This camera is great if you understand what it is and what it isn't. This is not for pros or anyone who plans on doing significant post processing on their images in a program like Lightroom or Photoshop. That's because the camera has the same limits as any Android camera, which at present means you will be shooting JPG files. You cannot, as of yet, shoot Camera RAW, although that capability could be added at some point. Most people won't care about this limitation, but for those who do it could be a deal killer.

Having gotten that out of the way, let's get to the major pros and cons:

Pros
- If you never use your phone as a phone, this does everything else your Android phone does. It runs all the Android apps you already use.
- Big beautiful screen, it's really something.
- 21X optical zoom. That's just insane. This thing covers a huge range from up close and macro to way way over there.
- Comes with internal storage, expandable with micro SD card.
- You can run the stock camera software or any Android camera software you want on it, even Instagram or Snapchat.
- Big battery
- Wifi means easy sharing

Cons
- It's a little on the big and heavy side for what is essentially a point and shoot.
- If you turn it on to use the Android features, but last used it as a camera, the lens will open up, and depending on how you're holding it this could be a problem (see video)
- Image quality is good, not great.
- No dedicated buttons other than the flash release and the shutter button with zoom ring. Everything else requires tapping the screen
- As with any camera that relies on a screen rather than a viewfinder, it can be hard to see what you're shooting in certain lighting situations where there is too much light hitting the screen

If you already carry an Android device and a point and shoot camera, this one device could replace both, assuming you are not using the Android device as a phone. But, you'll need to come up with a way to carry the Galaxy Camera 2. It's big and will not fit in your pocket. While many people don't use their phones as phones anymore, many still do like to text using SMS, which is not an option here since this thing has no phone number. Of course you can still text with Whatsapp, Snapchat, or some other 3rd party texting app.

Given everything that's packed in here, it's a fair price for a cool piece of gear that you will find a lot of uses for. But it does suffer from the "Jack of all trades, master of none" conundrum. For many, a dedicated camera with built in wifi might be a better choice.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He loves it!, May 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 with Android Jelly Bean v4.3 OS, 16.3MP CMOS with 21x Optical Zoom and 4.8" Touch Screen LCD (WiFi & NFC - Black) (Electronics)
My son is having a ball with this camera/tablet! It takes great photos, he reads on it, studies the features and effects...a good buy from Amazon but now Costco has a sale of a bundle with card and case for less.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All around an amazing camera!!!, April 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you wanna take some legit pictures but don't want to look like your grandpa walking around with a big fat DSLR then get this camera!!

The features are incredible considering that if you like to be "connected" you have everything that you can get on a samsung galaxy tablet or phone. My biggest fear about loosing a camera is loosing all of the memories that are on the card so having the 50GB of dropbox room is awesome, I just connect to wifi and everything is backed up automatically.

You give up some camera abilities to have such a cool camera but if you are just a hobby photographer and looking for a camera mostly for good candids and whatever else you will never notice a difference. The auto features nearly get you taking professional photos without any training. Also I really like the edit features that come with the camera or you can download whatever you want if you don't like what it comes with. That's the best part about this beast!
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Many great features, but falls short on picture quality!, May 31, 2014
I was waiting for Samsung Galaxy 2 Camera to come out and was very excited when I got it. I am an avid Samsung Android user, so I am very familiar with lots of features on this camera. This camera offers lots of cool features, like voice activated triger to capture the photo, which amazes everyone! It is also great since you can upload your photos directly to facebook and your dropbox, and use apps to manipulate the photos to turn them into an amazing work of art.

I love the 21X zoom! It is incredibly sharp and accurate and It focuses prety nicely.

HOWEVER... The major problem I have been having with this camera is that as long as you are shooting photos outdoors in the daytime, your photos come out beautifully. But when it comes to shooting indoors or in low light, the camera falls flat! It cannot focus and most pictures come out completely blurry! thats regardless if you are using flash or not. Same goes for the video recording (which by the way has no flash!) It keeps going in and out of focus and you end up taking 20 photos and all are blurry and your mood is ruined!

Also, in the 16:9 mode the edges of the photos are exteremely streched out of proportion so you can only use the center portion of the picture.

I am returning this camera in the next few days. I will most likely have to spend around $1k to get a Nikon 5300 DSLR since I want a great picture qaulity with built-in wi-fi.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT, March 20, 2014
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Can't rave enough about this camera, and neither could other people on the trip to Africa I just took. I played with some of the apps and uploaded a couple of photos to Dropbox before I left, and they worked fine. I didn't buy it for that stuff though. I was looking for a relatively small but powerful camera, and this fit the bill. I didn't try to upload anything via wifi while away because signals were horrible where I was, and the size of the files too large. Had to play around quite often to get a good night shot. In the end, the "auto" seemed to work best for that. My one and only complaint so far is that I can't figure out how to force it to flash for backlight shots, but hopefully that's just user error.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome features, very good video, but can have trouble focusing, July 31, 2014
I've owned several cameras, and this one is amazing. It's comfortable to hold, even though it's bigger than most point-and-shoots, and it's very easy to use (even if you're a beginner). Instead of the usual LCD screen and confusing buttons that most cameras have, there's a full-blown touch-screen Android. The only buttons on the camera are the on/off, flash, and shutter. It has WiFi, Blu-Tooth, and GPS so you can geotag your pictures. And because it's an Android, I can download and install any apps I want, from camera apps to Skype.

One of the best parts about having an Android camera is that I can easily post my photos online, without uploading them to the computer. The only trouble with the WiFi is that the internal antenna is right in the place where my hand holds the camera; if I need any kind of good connection, I have to move my hand to a really awkward position so that it doesn't cover the antenna.

The camera has an HDMI port, so it can be connected to a monitor; a headphone jack, for headphones; and a MicroUSB port for charging and connecting to the computer. It does not come with an HDMI cable (or headphones), but it does come with a USB -> MicroUSB cable and a wall adapter.

I really like the camera side of things. It has a backside-illuminated 16.3MP CMOS sensor, which is nice because CMOS is capable of really high-framerate video (60fps at 720p), and really slow-motion video (1/8 speed, 15fps, 768x512). And because it's backside-illuminated, it's more sensitive than a normal CMOS sensor, so you don't have as much noise.

The focusing is pretty cool in some ways. In the center of the screen, there's a little focusing-box which shows what the camera is focusing on. You just have to point the camera so that the box is on top of whatever needs to be in focus. If you want the camera to focus on something which isn't in the center, you can move the focusing box to a different part of the screen. Basically, the camera focuses on whatever is inside the box.

Now the big problem with the camera is that it doesn't always focus on the right thing, even when the box is on top of it. When I tried to take a close-up photo of a hummingbird, I pointed the camera so the little focusing box was on the hummingbird. The problem is that hummingbirds are small, so a corner of the box wasn't on the hummingbird. When I tried to focus, it focused on the stuff in the corner of the box, not the hummingbird in the center. I ended up with a photo of a blurry hummingbird in front of a perfectly focused tree.

And it can barely focus at all in dim lighting, even with the AF lamp. You might think that there would be a manual focus option, for those times when auto just can't do it. Nope.

Other than the occasional focusing problem, the camera works great. I love the Android, the different features, the cool camera settings, the slow motion. It would work great for just about any amateur who likes to take pictures. If you don't mind a lack of manual settings, and slight auto-focus issues, then this is the camera for you; I would recommend it.

PROS:
Full-blown Android with GPS, BluTooth, WiFi, tilt sensor
Easy to use
8GB internal memory
Can take up to 64GB Micro SD memory card
16.3MP BSI CMOS sensor
USB can be used for both charging and connecting to computer
Has HDMI-out and a headphone jack
Charges relatively quickly (between 2 and 3 hours)

CONS:
Has trouble focusing
Not very manual
Internal WiFi antenna is positioned behind the hand
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome camera, dim light focusing issues, July 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is basically a fully functional touch-screen Android with an incredible built-in camera. Because it's an Android, it has Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, a tilt sensor, and a touch screen. These features are really useful; I can quickly post videos and photos online from my phone, and syncing between devices is simple. The touch-screen makes imaging faster and easier. The camera has a 16.3 MP backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor; backside-illuminated CMOS is a major step up from the traditional CMOS, because the wires are placed in a position where they don't interfere with incoming light, and the images can be read faster from the sensor. Don't get CMOS confused with CCD - CMOS is much newer, can take better videos, and uses less power.

The camera comes with a USB >> microUSB charger and a wall adapter, as well as a palm-sized 170 page user manual; the first section briefly covers the camera's features, and the rest of the manual explains how to use an Android and the included apps. The camera has an HDMI port, but it does not come with an HDMI cable; you'll have to order that from Amazon separately.

Almost all of the operations in the camera are done using the touch-screen; the only external buttons are the power button, the flash raiser, the shutter button, and the zoom. The shutter button and zoom are unnecessary, because those operations are also available on the touch-screen, but I like them because they make it feel more like a normal camera. The touch screen is very useful, because navigation is more intuitive and it doesn't feel like a combination lock.

Before turning on the camera for the first time, you'll need to charge it. When I got the camera, the battery was charged to about 50%, but it should still be charged to 100% before turning it on; otherwise you risk decreasing the battery life. The battery charges from 10% to 100% in about an hour and a half; during that time, if you use the camera, it gets pretty hot.

When you turn it on for the first time, the camera goes through the setup, which includes setting the language (English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and two Chinese-looking languages), setting the time and date, and (optionally) creating a Samsung account and syncing with a Google account. When setting the time, keep in mind that the camera uses the 24 hour format by default, so 2:12 PM would translate to 14:12. There is a way to change the time format in the settings, but not until after finishing the initial setup.

When you're done setting up the camera, the device automatically goes directly into camera mode. It's basically a pre-installed app which you can use to take pictures. The app can be accessed from the home screen by touching the camera icon in the lower left corner.

The camera app is really cool and can do a lot, but its advanced camera settings are very disappointing. At first, I was excited to find that I could go into expert mode and manually change settings, such the shutter time (which is the period of time during which the camera collects light); I thought I could go into a dark room, let the camera take a 16 second exposure (the maximum amount of time), and the result would look like it was taken in broad daylight. I can do that with my Canon SX500 IS. But then I realized that the camera automatically changes another setting (it automatically brings the EV down really low), which makes the resulting image about as dark as a 1/20 second exposure. What's the point of a 16 second exposure if the resulting image is no brighter than a normal exposure? It's useful for fireworks, or light trails on a highway, but that's it. I was hoping that the manual "expert" mode would give me control over all of the settings, but it doesn't.

The lack of manual features might not matter, except that in low-light conditions, the camera can have a LOT of trouble focusing. It has a red AF illuminator, but that doesn't help much at all. It would be nice if the manual features included a manual focus option, for those times when the camera just can't figure it out. Nope.

Besides the disappointing manual mode, the other photo capabilities are really nice. If you enable voice-activation, you can take pictures of yourself without even touching the camera, by simply saying "smile". The maximum photo size is 4608x3456 (aspect ratio 4:3), which is more than twice the height and width of a full HD monitor. Of course, you can also pick other aspect ratios and photo sizes, such as 4608x2592 (16:9) or 3960x2640 (3:2).

The optical zoom goes up to 21x, and combining that with the high resolution, I can read minuscule text from across a room. There's a number of really cool shooting modes, some of which involve post-processing, and some which involve the shooting. The GPS tagging is turned off by default, but you can turn it on in the camera settings; with the right software installed on your computer, you could sort photos by location if you turn this feature on.

I really like the video capabilities. Because the camera uses a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD, it's capable of much higher framerates than a CCD is capable of. This camera can take 60 fps video at 720p (but 1080p can't go higher than 30 fps). There are also slow-motion settings which allow you to shoot video at 120 fps, but that has a much lower resolution (768x512). After you take a video, you can trim it, and keep only the part you want. The only trouble with the video mode is that the focus seems really aggressive. Almost every time, at the very beginning of the video capture, the camera refocuses twice (which means it goes way out of focus, and then back again). Sometimes it will repeat this procedure at other random times during filming. That seems completely unnecessary to me, and can be kind of annoying.

Overall, this is a very cool camera, and the Android aspect is awesome. There are a couple of minor annoyances, like the problems with focusing, but it works great for practical usage. I recommend it for anybody who wants to take amazing pictures and HD videos in normal conditions.
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