I have discovered the most amazing camera. If you're living in the digital world like I am, the Samsung Galaxy S EK-GC100 Camera with blow your mind!
I first spotted it at the Netflix Blogger event and immediately googled it. I found it here on the Best Buy site and sent out a tweet raving about it with a link for all to see. The gods of social media answered my prayer (thank you Best Buy) and sent me one to review (and to give away...so keep reading).
I am awestruck. When I go anywhere with this new camera, strangers ask me about it. The look is sleek and modern like a camera Steve Jobs would have designed—but this is all Samsung innovation. Essentially, it's a gorgeous hybrid of digital camera meets a Galaxy smartphone. This is what I've been searching for—a camera that functions like a high end DSLR with a fabulous lens and zoom that can be shared easily in the digital space. The only thing you can't do with it, is make a phonecall.
This is what the screen of the Samsung Galaxy S Camera looks like:
Crazy, right? The camera runs on the Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean operating system just like some smartphones. It's WIFI and 3G enabled so you can download any apps you need from the Google App Store. It comes preloaded with Dropbox so your images are automatically saved through the cloud. Gmail was also preloaded! The only thing you have to do is log into to each app and you're good to go. Facebook was also already waiting for me. I immediately downloaded Hootsuite and Instagram and was ready to share!
Because I live in the social space, I've tried other cameras claiming to be social media friendly, but their systems are wonky. This camera, on the other hand, is as easy as sharing shots from your smartphone—with a kizillion added benefits because the actual camera itself is amazing.
Let's start with the 4.8-inch HD touchscreen display, making the art of framing and editing photos a dream. There are 65 different editing tools in the Photo Wizard to enhance each photograph without having to download them onto your computer. It's like having PicMonkey inside your camera! Seriously, hours of fun! And for bloggers, it's indispensable.
The zoom is magnificent. When I have attended events in the past, I would try to shoot photos with my iPhone in vain. Something about stage lighting does not agree with the iPhone camera. As a reporter of sorts, this has been a major inconvenience. The Samsung S Camera has a 21x optical zoom. To give you an idea of how amazing the zoom is, here's a photo I took at the Rolling Stones concert at the Air Canada Centre.
Here's how far I was from the stage. See the action behind me and my girlfriends? THAT'S how far the stage was!
Here's a shot I took of Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter (swoon), onstage at The Art of Marketing.
And here's how far Biz Stone really was from me.
As well as having a powerful zoom, there are also 15 Smart modes to help you get amazing point-and-shoot images. I used the Macro setting to take this photo of candies in my little niece's hand.
I used the Action Freeze setting to get these three fast-moving shoots. I'm amazed how the camera catches the action and is able to freeze high-speed motion.
There is also a Panoramic setting, a Food mode perfect for all of you who insist on photographing everything you eat, and a Light Trace setting which makes for some fun shots. When taking a group photo, inevitably someone closes his eyes. In Best Photo mode, the camera automatically shoots a bunch of shots with the click of one button, so you're guaranteed to find one image to make everyone look their best.
For all of you "real photographers" who only shoot with manual DSLRs, the Samsung innovators have created something really revolutionary just for you. When you switch the camera to Expert mode, a digital simulation of a lens appears on the touchscreen and you can adjust the aperture and shutter by touching the virtual lens.
And yes, of course there is also an HD Video function on the camera (with a great slo-motion feature) so you can shoot a vid and upload it immediately to YouTube or Facebook. Or save it in DropBox.
This camera is incredibly smart. It even has a voice control feature with allows you to speak to the camera to do a variety of activities like set the timer and take the photo when you're ready!
The only slight inconveniences I've experienced so far is that the camera is slow to initally launch, and the battery gets used up quickly because so many different apps are functioning simultaneously to get these amazing shots. Plus I'm editing, emailing, posting, and playing on the phone a lot.
The Samsung Galaxy S EK-GC100 retails for $599, and in my mind, worth every penny.