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back to article Nikon snaps first Android-based camera crown

Nikon today unveiled its first Android-based point-and-shoot camera, the Coolpix S800C. The smart snapper runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and connects through Wi-Fi to provide full support for Google Play apps, easy image upload to social networking sites and GPS tagging functionality to boot. With a plethora of photo-related apps …

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GPS, but no compass

It has a GPS, so you can do some interesting location-related things - but sadly no compass, so you can't try to tag landmarks in the images. Maybe the next model.

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Anonymous Coward

No

No fast dial, no contacts, no use.

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g e
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Joke

FFS, Nikon

It's rectangular with round corners when looked at from the back.

Cue sueball.

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Happy

Re: FFS, Nikon

Thought someone would beat me to it!

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Re: FFS, Nikon

But it's not bevelled at precisely 12.3298750001 degrees so they should be OK.

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Joke

Re: FFS, Nikon

"But it's not bevelled at precisely"

Doesn't matter. It looks similar to an iThing: It has a large touchscreen, minimal buttons, and rounded corners. It must be a copy of the iPhone: Look! It even has a camera!

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Incredible features

I liked the way the dpreview feature on this hyped up the removable memory card and battery, as features few smartphones have - I guess that is indeed the case if they can't see beyond the Apple logo on their iDevice.

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FAIL

... or maybe

It's because that's just like the Motorola Droid Razr range which is very popular in the US... or the HTC One X... the Lumia 900 or maybe even the SD-cardless Nexus range...

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Re: ... or maybe

Oh very true, but still the majority of models out there I would hazard feature both - though iDevices by sheer volume may shift the balance in terms of phones in the hand.

Speaking as an Xperia U user - so I get the removable battery, but not the SD card.

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Anonymous Coward

Re DPreview and Apple

> they can't see beyond the Apple logo on their iDevice.

DPReview review all levels of cameras, but professional photography has had associations with Apple since before the mass adoption of digital photography. Apple survived the nineties by being big in niche markets- including graphic design and image editing. Designers would use Apple kit, their printing agency would use Apple kit; colour calibration was more easily accomplished. There were also FireWire scanners.

For these above reasons, photographers are likely to have used MacOSs for many years. If you are a photographer, you might want a laptop with an aspect ratio closer to that output by most DSLRs, and maybe with a daftly high resolution as well. You might want a tablet with a high resolution IPS screen (less dependant on viewing angles) for showing images to clients, or for remote control of your DSLR. You might not begrudge a couple of hundred dollars premium on kit that suits you for your job in hand.

I'm not a graphic designer, I don't use Apple kit. But I wouldn't knock a website based on a specific sector for choosing the gear that has historically suited them.

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Re: Incredible features

Every serious photographer has multiple batteries, and usually multiple chargers for those batteries. I just looked, and I currently have 8 batteries for my Oly E-3/E-610s, three chargers, two for my XZ-1, and two for my video camera. I bet you that even if a photographer has a phone with a removable battery, they probably don't have a spare (just like most people).

Given the preponderance of one and not the other, it's hard to slam DPReview for thinking of the common scenario...

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Anonymous Coward

Just what we needed!

Malware for cameras.

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Stop

Re: Just what we needed!

you see comments like this all over the place when it comes to android, but the fact of the matter is, if you have malware on your android device, you're a complete idiot and don't deserve to own a smartphone, let alone be on the internet. These same people probably sign up to text message scams to get a ringtone for £4 and then get raped by the proceeding stream of text spam costing an arm and a leg.

The other fact of the matter is, people seem to trust Apple with their babies, and so when an app comes into their beloved walled garden which does have malware, it's far more damaging.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just what we needed!

Hilarious!

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Facepalm

Android 2.3?

I seriously expect apps to finally require something more up-to-date than that in maybe 1-2 years.

Is this some kind of built-in obsolesce plan to make people buy new cameras? If so it might work!

I understand some hacker might eventually manage to cook up an update, but rooting and flashing their cameras for support seems a tad above what someone buying a camera like this would expect to do.

I can't understand why Google gives their seal of approval (as it comes with Gapps) to these oldies instead of demanding something perhaps made in the past year.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android 2.3?

considering the type of device that the OS is being installed on, I don't understand what the problem here. Unlike the phone that will have many uses, this device have a single use, and the app running on it are designed to support that one feature. I honestly doubt that developers are going to try to target a camera as well. Nor do I expect the user to notice that it doesn't support Angry Bird.

Any way, the other day I came across an ATM that was stuck and was showing the desktop of the OS it is running. The wallpaper of that OS had the OS/2 Warp logo on it.

Unlike your phone and tablet, specialised devices can -and do- make use of an obsolete/old OS without any issues.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android 2.3?

The type of device is exactly the problem, Android 4 brought many features for devices like this.

* New Camera API with face detection and focus areas

* Continuous auto-focus support for apps

* Camera broadcast intents (eg alerting other apps of new photos)

* Video stabilisation management

* Media effects

* Much faster web browser

No doubt some of these features will be supported directly on the Nikon camera app, maybe available via a proprietary API (then again maybe not), but either way it's not good news re support of third party apps, surely one of the potential selling points of this hybrid.

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Re: Android 2.3?

" I came across an ATM that was stuck and was showing the desktop of the OS it is running"

"specialised devices can -and do- make use of an obsolete/old OS without any issues."

Ermmm, you kind of trampled all over your point with a poorly selected example there fella!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android 2.3?

"Ermmm, you kind of trampled all over your point with a poorly selected example there fella!"

not really, unless you are saying that new OSs never get stuck? The fact is, ATMs work, and they don't usually run on new software.

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Re: Android 2.3?

@+++ath0

The purpose of Android on this device is to make the uploading of photos easier, by using common apps rather than some limited solution as offered on previous WiFi-enabled cameras. It is not clear from the article that you would use 3rd party apps to actually take pictures- I would imagine that the Nikon interface would be better than trying to use 3rd party apps to actually control the camera. Most Android devices have no optical zoom, for example, or optical image stabilisation hardware.

The advantages of Android 4.0 over older versions you list is, I'm sure, correct, but Nikon compacts already have continuous autofocus, face detection, image stabilisation etc, like almost every other compact camera out there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android 2.3?

Seems a lot of complexity just to let people add some file upload apps, especially since you can't use it outside of Wifi (or tethering)

If that's the only purpose for sticking Android in a camera, it would be better to simply make the files available via Wifi to an app running on the smartphone and share it from there. Maybe even via Android Beam which this doesn't support either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android 2.3?

In a kind of clear-out at a workplace some years ago, we found a still shrink-wrapped copy of OS/2 Warp, complete with hilarious "serious businessman" on the front with what looked like a Motorola Brickphone, I think it was a set of floppies as well, not CD :) But it was a good OS, right? Nice multi-taking, stable .....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android 2.3?

OS/2 was a great OS maybe let down by a crappy, Windows-like, Interface.

I think the Windows compatibility layer did it more bad than good.

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Re: Android 2.3?

The major picture hosting sites (Flickr, SmugMug, etc.) all use APIs to enable third-party apps to call them and upload, tag, organise, and manage galleries. These APIs do change over time, so I can see the sense in allowing the camera to run an OS that is likely to have these apps available, and up to date. As a photographer, I get tired of trying to use the software the manufacturer gave me that is two years out of date and doesn't support newer features of the environment. Far better to allow the camera to actually use the same apps that are being written and updated for a larger user community than just the users of one model of camera. I don't own a single Android device currently, but this makes so much sense that I can see many manufacturers moving in this direction, especially for consumer grade cameras.

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MrT
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Apps..

... add a few. Instagram to add a stream of photos with Angry Birds hitting famous landmarks, straight from the camera.

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Anonymous Coward

Won't anyone think of the Police ?

How can they harass photographers and bully them into deleting their pictures if they are automagically uploaded to the cloud ?

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Re: Won't anyone think of the Police ?

you could do that before with : http://uk.eye.fi/

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Re. Eye-Fi

Does anyone have any experience of using an Eye-Fi card to transmit pictures to a local tablet, ad-hoc?

I ask, because a relative keeps ringing me up asking how to use the SD card adaptor and file manager in his Galaxy Tab to view pictures from his camera.

A compact camera and a tablet seem well suited to each other.

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Re: Won't anyone think of the Police ?

But the police don't seem to know.

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Re: Re. Eye-Fi

> A compact camera and a tablet seem well suited to each other.

see:

http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/05/28/panasonic-releases-lumix-remote-for-android-lets-you-control-your-fx90-camera-from-an-android-device/

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Anonymous Coward

"All it needs now is a phone"

... plenty of fragments^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H variety to choose from!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "All it needs now is a phone"

Hilarious!

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Anonymous Coward

What a fail

As a mobile photography app dev, I've been practically screaming for a decent programmable camera. Give us devs a decent device with good access so we can dig our dirty claws in and we'll make some incredible things happen!

But what do we get? Android 2.3 ;( And what about the cpu/gpu? I bet it's a crappy underpowered thing because they think it'll only be used to drive the android UI.

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Re: What a fail

> I've been practically screaming for a decent programmable camera.

see:

http://lifehacker.com/387380/turn-your-point+and+shoot-into-a-super+camera

Program it in basic or lua

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FAIL

Camera folk treat each sub-pixed as a dot

So the screen is pretty crap also (I make it to be about 640x430)

Camera phones are basically killing P&S phones because most people take their phones everywhere, so rather than making a slightly bigger phone with proper Nikon optics they only copy the OS. Bad move Nikon.

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Thumb Up

Re: Camera folk treat each sub-pixed as a dot

I used to think "rubbish" to that, as all my phone cameras despite relatively high megapixelage have always been a bit crap. But I've recently purchased a Galaxy S3 and the camera on that is actually very usable. Similarly my brother's iPhone 4S.

While P&S cameras currently have the edge I bet it won't be long before the only difference is the optical zoom lense, and sales will have declined a lot as a result.

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Re: Camera folk treat each sub-pixed as a dot

>So the screen is pretty crap also (I make it to be about 640x430)

Its a 854 x 480 OLED

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Re: Camera folk treat each sub-pixed as a dot

Must be pen-tile then (also crap), 854x480 is 408k pixels.

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Re: Camera folk treat each sub-pixed as a dot

The thing about making it a phone is not really the extra hardware you have to buy, but the extra patents you have to licence.

At £380 it's at the higher end of point and shoot, personally I already have a decent phone so if you stick another £100 or so on the price of this to add phone features I'll probably pass it by.

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Stop

Re: Camera folk treat each sub-pixed as a dot

But if they added the phone hardware you could then get it at a subsidised price from your cell company. The un-subsidised price of a modern smart-phone is in the order of £4-500 so you'd be paying what you pay now anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Camera folk treat each sub-pixed as a dot

With respect, bollocks. The output of my Galaxy S3, even at the best quality settings is horrid. It is also just the sRGB manked out version of what the sensor sees. A raw from my ancient compact Ricoh GR Digital 3 is like night and day, and after some time in light room, looks pretty damn lovely at print res; unlike the soft, mushy crap from the S3, with the lack of shadow detail, mushy corners, crazy chromatic aberration and no aperture control.

I fear that you have a spot of Dunning-Kruger there, sir.

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KCM
Meh

So more proccessing power taken away

... so you've got a camera with a fancy UI on it, and CPU/Battery Runtime of the camera processing images is now being drained by another OS ontop rather than the custom one on camera.

Not to mention time to boot the device as well.

Not a clever move....

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" ...16Mp CMOS sensor with backside illumination ..."

Did we use up all the good jokes the last time this technology was mentioned in an article?

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jjk
Joke

Cue next lawsuit from Apple

I mean, this is so totally a ripoff. See here: http://www.kungfugrippe.com/post/29903123779/replacing-human-connection

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Joke

Point and Shoot meet Piece of Shit

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FAIL

Finally someone has done it! NOT!

Finally someone has done it! NOT! I've been thinking for years that some company should release a point-and-shoot camera that is also a phone rather than the other way around.

Cool bit of kit - 16MP camera with 10x optical zoom and Android OS but no phone capabilities? FAIL! Nearly there, though, maybe the next model...

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Meh

my phone takes a few minutes to turn on, yet you want a camera to turn on in seconds. Have they done some magic to make Android boot quickly (with fewer things to do load I guess that's possible?) or is it just on all the time?

We've got a fairly ancient P&S at work that's good enough for our needs, sits around for a few weeks, takes a couple of pictures, sits around for a bit. If you've got Android running constantly, that's never going to work is it?

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Holmes

Video codec?

Too opensource to use H264, right ?

Its time to embrace VP8.

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