Weekend Poll: Do you think Android cameras will succeed?


Revolutionary concepts and ideas are the root of some of the best tools. We have seen “crazy” ideas raise to the top, but it comes with a prize – most of these experimental projects fail. You gotta break some eggs to make an omelette.

Andy Rubin mentioned he would like to see Android running on every screen at an interview in AsiaD last October, 2011. Until this day, that continues to be a dream, but a very possible one. Android currently lives in a plethora of devices; including TVs, refrigerators, tablets, smartphones, cars, airplanes, game consoles and cameras (the list goes on). The latter being today’s Weekend Poll topic.

To this day, I have yet to see someone owning a refrigerator with an Android screen, and I haven’t used tablets embedded in airplane seats yet. I definitely don’t own a car with an integrated tablet, but this is more common as people can simply purchase or make dashboard docks.

Clearly, many of these projects fail to take off. Either they are considered a gimmick or can be too expensive… or simply unnecessary. Regardless of the factors that make a smart device successful, there is always a high chance the company will turn a good idea into an uninviting product.

We are currently seeing the rise of a new market – Android cameras. These photo-centric devices benefit from all the superior specs (compared to smartphones) of a point-and-shoot camera, but with the operating system that makes our smartphones so enticing. Android cameras would bring the photo junkie’s experience to a whole other level, being able to edit, re-touch, filter or share any picture (or video) right after taking it.

My first impression was that Android cameras are simply a gimmick. They are expensive enough to entice me to save up a bit more and just get a DSLR or a high-end point-and-shoot. I recall saying “if I am going to pay that much, I would rather get a Lytro camera.”

I must say that, as a tech writer, one of my greatest pleasures is being able to learn from you. Our readers can many times bring clarity to the simple facts we may overlook while we deluge ourselves in tech news and gadgets. And after reading your comments, I realized there just might be a good market for this.

Many times people don’t want the complexity or features of a DSLR. And most phones’ cameras are not good enough to replace a good point-and-shoot (some are getting close). So what happens at that party? You go around taking pictures with your point-and-shoot only to upload them later on, when you have access to a computer. It simply takes much more time and effort.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera will come with 3G and 4G versions (as well as WiFi), meaning this will be a sharing machine. You can simply set up Google+ Instant Upload and your images will be shared with everyone as you take them. Or back them up to the cloud and pull them off whenever you prefer; even at that moment, with a smartphone.

We can always fire up the debate and go against these ideas, though. “I would rather have a phone with a good cameras,” “I have no rush to edit/share my pictures,” “It is not worth the price.” In fact, I would agree with you, my needs would not justify me spending this much in a point-and-shoot running Android. But that does not mean some of our fellow Android enthusiasts wouldn’t mind paying a few more bucks for a smart camera.

Companies seem to be betting on this idea. We hace cameras coming from Polaroid, Nikon and Samsung. Is it only a matter of time before others realize this is a good market to invest on? You tell us.

[polldaddy poll=6505188]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. Hope they bring it to DSLR soon!

    1. You have to start somewhere. But you also have to remember how big a deal Instagram is for casual consumers and now that can be a part of every mid range camera.

      1. no. Never attach an app to a camera. Apps go away or get minimized over time. Foursquare and a few others come to mind. Also, do not force people to sign up for a service just to upload square compressed photos to.

  2. Was just going to mention what Gary did before, but not for myself. Rather, I’d like to see Android built into full-frame DSLRs for the pros, particularly sports photographers. Combined with a 3G sim, it could make for amazing live photoblogs with images being autopublished from location (possibly moderated by someone on the website side of things).

    1. That’s where I could see Android on a camera really making a splash. I don’t think I would necessarily go out of my way to get a point-and-shoot with Android on it, it would just be a nice perk. Reason for me being that a smartphone is a good enough poin-and-shoot for me. But DSLRs have excellent functionality that would make getting a camera worth it. If someone could get Android to run on a DSLR, and get some cool apps to do editing, filtering, etc. and made it possible to easily share to social networks and blogs, much like a smartphone, then it would make the DSLRs and point-and-shoots of today look archaic. On the whole I think it’s a very positive trend for the market to head toward.

  3. Amazon has shown us that if priced right any device running android can sell and I am thinking that once we get a good DSLR that is running android and isnt that much more expensive then the next good DSLR then we will see the android camera take off.

    1. I think the twilight of point and shoots are almost upon us. DSLR is a different beast. With camera phones becoming more powerful than current point and shoot cameras, there is no need for them

  4. No. A lot of times my camera on my phone doesn’t always work properly and the touch screen can be a little laggy. When I take pictures as a photographer I want my camera to pop on and take a picture in a matter of seconds. But who knows.

  5. Honestly, while I like the idea of using Android for editing photos on the go, I’d rather have a Camera that can connect to my phone/tablet wirelessly and I can then use them to upload photos as needed. I prefer using a DSLR anyways if possible, they tend to hold up to the weather better anyways.

  6. An unqualified YES. This is what point-and-shoot cameras needed all along.

  7. Android DSLR would be great. Instagram might actually have good photos.

    1. no. instagram still compresses your pictures and reformats them to a square, which defeats *real* photographic composition.

  8. If it’s as good as a decent Canon or Nikon, then I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  9. The GS3 has the burst short with the “best shot” feature that I find amazing. It takes 8 pics in under a second and chooses the best out of the bunch. That feature alone makes me excited for an android camera. But the true beauty of android is the possibility for software upgrades. This means that a company can produce a device with top of the line hardware, and as long as they put out solid software upgrades, their camera will be an excellent device years after release.

    1. the only problem with that is the manufacture will do like the phones. Skin their camera to set them apart from other cameras. then, we are stuck in the same situation of never receiving timely updates or fixes. on top of that, they will start releasing a NEW camera 6 months later with the “latest” operating system.. making your camera you just bought obsolete. its bad enough cameras keep going up in pixels and quality each year and forcing upgrades, now add software and bug fixes to the mix

      1. The thing about that……that wasnt a problem on cameras before. Just because an update or latest software version is available….doesnt make it obsolete.

        Camera software ….should be…..more bug free than phone and tablet software. I think you are creating issues where there are none.

    2. I don’t know what model S3 you have, but the burst shot feature on my VZW S3 takes 20 pictures in a row.
      Regardless, I really like this device but I honestly don’t think people will purchase it mainly because most will not want to carry around a second device. Now, if they included a radio in this thing so people could actually make calls, that’s a different story.
      My S3 takes better pictures than any point and shoot digital camera I’ve ever owned, so there’s no need for a device like this. Sure the optical zoom would be nice, but it’s not a deal breaker.
      I hope it does well, but as with all regular point and shoots…..people just do not want to carry around 2 devices.

  10. I’m not buying any camera that requires a monthly bill as one already does, (that I know of). It isnt that hard to connect my 16 MP camera to the computer, besides I like having my own hard drive so that noone else is getting my photos. (no cloud for me thanks)

    1. Of course, you don’t HAVE to pay a monthly bill. That’s all optional.

  11. I think they need to be more camera than Android, but the idea of being able to share photos/videos is a good idea and camera user interfaces have always been a large pain to get used to or use so there is some large potintial but its not ready yet.

  12. Yes, it’s the future of cameras…

  13. As long as the photos are as good as current point and shoots of the same class then I’d be up for it.

  14. I could see having a Wifi version and just having a “smart tether” to my Gnex, where it only paired long enough to move the picture and then disconnected to save the battery on both.. I have a DSLR, but I still would like to have a good Point and Shoot for the times I dont want to pack the DSLR and Lenses (Skiing, biking, Hiking, Around town, Etc)

    1. i had a sony camcorder like 10 years ago. and it could browse the internet and upload pics and video right from the camcorders lcd itself. it tethered via bluetooth, sort of like your saying through wifi

    2. you can do that now.

      1. I was never really happy with my Eye-Fi Card.. It never really went well with me.. I probably should give it another chance..

  15. I say yeah if the price is right

  16. no because apple has a camera feature on the iPhone so they already invented it this will be the next item on their list to be banned

  17. Actually; since I’m always carrying my phone I’d rather have a good point and shoot with wifi connectivity and a sleek software for remote browsing the camera’s memory from my phone. Carrying dual app-ecosystems etc seems a bit unneccesary.

    I’m pretty close to this setup using an Eye-Fi card, but the software could be a lot better (remote browsing is not supported).

  18. If it calls I immediately buy it…..but now still 2 devices in my pocket…..so sgs2 is still enough for me

  19. I think cameras in phones will get better hence android cameras will fail … Nokia purview ex. higher production will drive down costs

    1. Phones will never have optical zoom. It will make them too thick.

  20. To be honest I would love a galaxy nexus camera but on a contract just WiFi, let the specs be good and not like canon whose low to mid range cameras are built specifically to break down within a certain time period.

  21. I would love to to have a galaxy nexus camera , but not on a contract just WiFi for uploading the pics to my g+ account and for Samsung to make good quality cameras built to last, not like canon whose low to mid range cameras are specifically built to break down within a certain time limit.

  22. What i want is a phone, that is also a camera. I want two devices in one! i dont care if its a brick, just do it!

  23. These cameras aren’t meant to be for the high end users. They are the new cameras for the “post-pc” era. The average consumer with a tablet for internet/e-mail/facebook, is going to love something like this. They can take photos with better quality than a phone, apply some fancy tricks that don’t require too much knowledge, and they’ll feel good about themselves and think they’ve got some talent. Applying it to the higher end cameras will be a natural progression, but don’t forget where the real money lies: With the average consumer.

  24. Nah, point and shoot is pretty much dead, why carry around an extra camera just because it has “android” your phone already has it and if it’s a newer phone (galaxy, one x) it already has anice camera, so it’s pretty pointless

  25. I would buy a camera with Android on it. Not because i need to edit a just taken picture or want to upload it right after taking it. But because of the immense possibilities i would have with such a sophisticated operating system. I mean could do anything immagible with that thing, because of thounsands of thousands apps out there for Android. I just love the freedom to do anything i want with the devices i buy.

  26. Make an option to tether every pic your android camera takes to link to your phone. So u don’t need two contracts. Just upload pics to FB link your used too. Android on a camera is cool for instagram and other customizable options for teens and twenty somethings.

  27. Android Apps, Unlimited Google + storage.. and best of all Google Plus Events!!! now.. i dont have to bother with uploading after or.. showing preview.. I can just tell people to check it from your phone.. SWEET!.. If its over $200.. then bummer..and hopefully it takes good pictures..

  28. Only with better displays, lenses, sensors and battery life than this Galaxy phone. And the price has to be right; I would only pay $200 for this camera. Otherwise my iPhone will remain my “camera”.

  29. My Samsung frig has Android running it, and i love it. Android gives it features not otherwise easily integrated into the frig.

  30. I think some will succeed however some will flop. It all depends on pricing and how well they work. With cameras in our phones improving the need for a stand alone camera is declining. As long as Android is not the main focus and it doesn’t drive the cost up at all thru have a fair shot. But something tells me Android cameras may cost more and that will kill their chances.

  31. They’d stand a good chance if priced comparatively. Being able to skip the process of transferring to a computer and then uploading is a big plus, plus the endless filter apps you could work with is another big bonus.

    I’ve tried using cameras which claimed such effects and the proprietary OS each one came with was downright awful. The hardware would be nice and the pictures taken were great, but the software all had terrible drawbacks such as being limited to one or two upload locations, you couldn’t look at the pictures you had uploaded or if you could it was through some disastrous proprietary browser.

  32. It would make much more sense to combine Android and Data send capability with a professial grade camera. Let’s face it for most users the smartphone can does a good enough job nowadays. How else did the iPhone become the most used camera in the world? Because the iPhone does the job. It’s CD to MP3 all over again, one is easier to transport and transfer, the other has better quality.

    1. But most people care more about visual quality than audio quality. Everyone talks about the screen, the resolution, the gpu but I never saw a phone or pc listing specs for audio performance.

  33. all the current phones now take good pics…..back in the days you have a blurred out image of someones face ….now u can c alot of details

  34. Meh, Just stick a better camera sensor in my phone. I have a nice Nikon DSLR for when I need to do “real” photography and my phone’s camera for P&S stuff. To me, android on a P&S is just a gimmick to tack on another $50-$100 on a P&S camera

  35. I think the potential is there it will depend on the marketing and pricing there’s more of an opportunity to screw it up than to succeed. But I doubt they would have made them if it wasn’t something a lot of people would like. And with all the social photo sharing blowing up right now, I definitely think it’s a good investment. Especially for a photographer with actual skill to quickly upload their work and even do some editing if necessary

  36. I would get a Android powered….high end camcorder. But probably not a camera. We talk about not wanting to carry more than one device, redundancy and whatnot… I have been looking at video cameras that can take decent pics.

    I would get that in a heartbeat.

  37. Its all about the photo quality, I dont care that software is in the camera.

  38. At best, I think this could be a popular Christmas gift, sort of like getting an Android-equivalent to an iPod touch, AND getting a good camera in one gift. But other than that, I can’t see this being anything more than a short-lived novelty.

  39. I don’t see this getting anywhere.. Yet it might, considering some people actually WANT to pay extra for a camera with an Android OS on it.

  40. Awesome idea and also I will F(CK APPLE IF THEY DAMN TRY TO SAY WE INVENTED THIS.

  41. When will we know the price of the Galaxy Camera??

  42. I wonder if this would allow third party Android developers to write apps for the cameras to add new features and functions beyond what shipped with the camera. Someone wrote a program for Canon point and shoots to add extra features, but it wasn’t very easy to install or use.

  43. I have a Canon EOS 550D DSLR and a Galaxy Nexus phone and take a lot of pics with both.
    I would be happy to swap both for an hybrid nexus with optional interchangeable lens;) I’d love to see a Galaxy S3 LTE based as next nexus phone with option to add a good lens on the back when needed.

  44. I want a 3x optical zoom camera with a 10-16 megapixel sensor and both LED and xenon flashes integrated into a smart phone with a battery of at least 3,300mAh capacity and a screen size between 4.8 and 5.2″. 3x optical zoom can be made compact enough to fit in a reasonably sized phone. Add in a minimum of 2GB of RAM, a high end processor and removable micro SD card storage and you would have an expensive but highly desirable devise. In addition, I promise not to sue for copyright infringement if someone builds it. I’d stand in line and pay $300 – $400 for this phone. Two more things, it must have a separate shutter button accessible by the right index finger like on the original droid and the flashes should be on the opposite end of the body to minimize red eye. Zoom and other functions could be thoughtfully laid out on the touch screen.

    I am available a a consultant. ;-)

    Anyone agree with me?

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