Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 Review
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The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 feels more like a silent revision of an existing product, rather than an exciting new replacement, such is the lack of change since last year's original Galaxy Camera was released. We'd be hard pushed to think of another camera that offered so little that was new when compared to its predecessor, with a slight quickening of the operational speed, slightly longer battery life, double the internal memory, 50Gb of free Dropbox space and NFC connectivity the only things to write home about. With Samsung themselves releasing the much svelter Galaxy K Zoom (with 10x zoom) at the same time as this new Galaxy Camera, we can't help feeling that maybe Samsung should have waited a while longer before releasing the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2.
Basically, all of the things that we concluded about last year's model apply equally to the new Mark II version. In many ways this new kind of device succeeds, particularly if you already routinely edit and upload your photos using a smartphone. For those users, the massive screen, long zoom and better image quality offered by the Galaxy Camera 2 will be a real attraction, while the latest Android 4.3 operating system with all of its apps and widgets makes editing and sharing your images instantly addictive. The Camera app is also worthy of mention, sporting a very polished interface that is easy to use if you're shooting in full auto or one of the advanced shooting modes.
By compact camera standards, though, the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2's image quality isn't that great, suffering from obvious noise at relatively slow ISO speeds and chromatic aberrations, with the photos somewhat misleadingly looking much better on the excellent LCD screen than when downloaded onto a computer and viewed more closely. Still, its more than perfectly fine for cropping and resizing for posting on Facebook or Instagram, or for making regular-sized prints.
Although the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is a large and eye-catching device, certainly more so than the ubiquitous smartphone or humble compact, its 21x zoom lens is much more versatile. The effective image stabilisation system makes it possible to shoot at the full 483mm telephoto setting in good light and still get acceptably sharp results, while the 23mm wide-angle setting will happily accommodate group shots of your friends and family.
So while the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 offers very few improvements and still doesn't take the best photos in the world, it is a versatile device that is surprisingly easy to use given its almost total reliance on a touchscreen interface, with its real strength lying in the ability to edit and share your photos online with very little fuss. For those users, the so-so image quality won't be such a big factor, so if the main way that you share your photos is uploading them to your favourite social network, then we can continue recommend the new Samsung Galaxy Camera 2. Just don't expect any new fireworks...
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||3.5|