Saturday, August 11, 2012

Android camera, anyone?

A quick search for "camera" yielded me 31,575 apps in the Android market alone. That is an awful lot of cameras and camera-related apps. Imagine what you can do if you have an ordinary point-and-shoot camera that can be installed with any of these apps....

Let's suppose we take an ordinary point-and-shoot camera and build it on the Android platform, complete with built-in wifi for uploading to a sharing website. We would then be able to install any app to our hearts' content, and turn an ordinary camera into the most delightful companion that any photographer can ever dream of. Just keep installing a new app and you can turn your camera into an HDR camera, a pano camera, or a retro (effects) camera. You can also do on-camera post-processing using one of the countless number of processing apps. At the same time, the basic features of a basic camera are retained, such as a good flash unit, a good-sized sensor, an image stabilizer, good battery life, dedicated shutter-release button, and movie button. Perhaps, one can even include a fully manual mode for good measure.

Out of curiosity, I googled to see if an Android camera is already in existence. To my surprise, Polaroid actually introduced an Android camera named the SC1630 (see pictures below) at the CES tradeshow in January 2012. It actually does pretty much what I have outlined above. However, not much has been heard of this camera since, which is a pity.

Personally I don't like the SC1630 design. I would like my Android camera to look more like a typical point-and-shoot camera and less like a mobile phone (for e.g. Canon SX20 and such). I would like it to have a with a large high res LCD screen. I would like it in the $300-$500 price range, so as to have a reasonably good quality lens and body. Er...., is Canon or Nikon listening?

(I have a number of camera apps on my Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone, such as Camera Zoom, Aviary, Cartoon Camera, HDR Camera, Instagram, SilentCam, PhotoFunia, Night Vision, Lab, PicSay, FX Camera, and Panorama. In addition I have other related apps such as  Picasa Tool, QuickPic, Posing App, Photoshop Express, Photo Tools, Touchnote and Videomaker. The only reason I am not installing more is because there are simply too many good ones to choose from!)

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