So Weezer played in town & I managed to score a couple tickets. My Dear Employer also happened to start selling the new Samsung Android cameras (EK-GC100). I thought I’d test the camera out at the gig & see what it could do (full disclosure: I requested a camera to borrow & test out; I was not paid or asked to do so).
We were seated at the back of the venue, directly in line with the stage but many, many meters away. Couple that with my not-so-steady hand & a lot of the photos turned out quite blurry. I’ve kept & published them to give an idea of the ratio of good-to-terrible shots.
Here’s a few shots for comparison. It’s not a particularly fair “review” since these are all dark concert shots, but you get the idea. None of these pictures have been post-processed, other than what the device did through its presets.
From our seats, no zoom.
Almost full zoom.
Full zoom (21x optical).
It does some great video, too. The big disappointment from concert filming was the huge audio clipping & distortion. We were miles back so I suspect this is not going to be a camera to use at any concert. That said, the video quality was great.
Outside of these dark concert shots, the camera has some pretty cool features for photos of people. Back in about 2006 I saw an IEEE magazine article talking about the “next greatest thing” where they had camera prototypes that would take a series of shots, perform facial recognition and let you choose which face shot to use for each detected person in the photo. This camera can do that! If I can hang on to it a little longer I’ll grab some shots and share some samples.
The other feature worth mentioning is that this is a full Android device. The camera takes a micro-SIM and has WiFi, so you can use it on the go. Being a Samsung, it comes pre-installed with Dropbox to keep your pics in The Cloud™, as well as Instagram and some pretty fun photo manipulation apps that will probably never get used.
I’m a Flickr user and keep my phone pics backed up using Photo Mule (it appears to be missing from Play these days, but I keep the APK here). The Flickr app is also unsupported for this device – a huge bummer, but I installed from APK. Once past these annoyances, the rest of the important photo apps were next: Add A Cat & Rage Face Photo.
The Android OS interface is snappy and keeps a “Camera” icon on each of the home screens; handy for flicking back to Camera mode with short notice. The battery life is OK – it is by now means excellent but considering what the thing is doing, it lasts a decent while. I was taking photos or videos & had the the running for about 3-4 hours, with regular passes to friends to play, and had 54% remaining after the gig.
I am by no means a photo nut and this camera is not for photo nuts. It is a networked camera, of medium complexity, for people looking for a point-and-click device. At $439 (from Kogan, not my employer) I would buy one for myself.