Very recently, some of the TechZone360 editorial team was debating the merits of spending $500 on Samsung's new, Android-based, LTE-enabled, 16.3 megapixel (MP) Galaxy camera. Add to the cost of the camera the cost of a data plan that would allow you to use that capability and we end up talking about a fairly large outlay of cash.
We do note that the new camera can be remotely controlled from a Samsung Galaxy S III phone. The Galaxy Camera combines the camera - which is relatively hefty overall (it won't fit in your pants pocket) - and the familiar Android tablet interface and allows users to shoot both video and photos that can instantly and easily be shared online.
Samsung first introduced the Galaxy camera at the end of August, and though not a hands-on review, our colleague Rachel Ramsey provides a good overview. We're hoping to pull together a hands-on review soon - along with comparisons to Nokia's 41 MP 808 PureView smartphone camera and Nokia's 8.75 MP Lumia 920 camera - but that is for another day.
Is the Galaxy camera something that the general consumer will jump on?
Here's what Tom Keating, TMC's CTO, has to say:
My question is “why?" Why would I want a point-and-shoot camera with LTE that I have to make monthly payments on? It doesn’t do voice and who is going to surf the web or check email on this? A single all-in-one phone device acts as a very good point and shoot camera. The iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, HTC phones, and Nokia 922 (my favorite phone/camera) and many other models work just fine with HD video and nice pictures.
The Canon PowerShot EKPH 320 HS has 16.1MP and Wi-Fi and it’s only $199 vs. $500+ for the Samsung. Canon at least is known for making cameras. I love Samsung, but when it comes to cameras, Nikon or Canon has historically been better since that’s their specialty. But even if Samsung’s optics are equal or better, the $350 extra price-tag plus monthly payments doesn’t make sense to me.
How much of a market for such an expensive toy (we do note that by toy we don't mean that the camera is not something a professional or semi-professional photographer would not look to use) can Samsung possibly hope to find?
Image via Samsung
Well, the Answer May Surprise You!
CouponCodes4u, a coupon code website in the U.S., was very interested to know the answer to this - whether or not the new "gadget" might prove a hit with consumers. To find out, the company conducted a survey to uncover users' thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy camera and whether or not it is a must have device - if not "the" must have device for 2013. The company primarily framed the survey around the question of whether or not consumers will be purchasing the new Samsung Galaxy camera this year, and if they would prefer to receive a tablet or the Samsung camera as a gift for the holidays.
The study surveyed 2,104 tech savvy consumers and formed part of additional research into Americans and their personal tech purchases. The key findings are presented below.
Respondents were initially asked whether or not they had heard of the new Galaxy Camera gadget.
- Amazingly (we think) 67 percent said they had, while the other 33 percent said they had not. We'd have thought these numbers would be reversed.
Those respondents who said that they had heard of the new device were then asked whether or not they would consider buying the camera hybrid over a traditional digital camera.
- The clear majority, 54 percent of those surveyed said they would opt for the Samsung Galaxy Camera.
- 35 percent said they would opt for a traditional digital camera.
- 11 percent said they were unsure which they would choose (leaving possibly even more upside for the Samsung hybrid).
Respondents who noted that they had heard of the device were next asked to specify what they considered to be the gadget’s strongest selling points and were allowed to choose multiple answers.
- 59 percent of respondents said the ability to take, share and upload photos and videos easily was a top feature.
- 51 percent cited the camera’s lens specs, with its 16.3 MP and 21x zoom, as a top selling point.
- 46 percent cited the camera’s voice control mode - enabling users to control the device using their voice - as a factor.
Respondents who said that they would pick a traditional digital camera over the new Galaxy Camera device were then asked to explain their reasons for going that route.
- 45 percent mentioned that they didn’t see the need for a gadget that could both take and share pictures and footage.
- 37 percent said they were turned off by the expensive price ($500+).
- 18 percent said they did not want to purchase a gadget that needed a mobile data plan.
Finally, the survey arrives at the real question - one where there is no money involved, but changes the scenario from pure camera to camera to one of camera vs. tablet. The survey didn't specifically investigate the answer here in terms of the kind of tablet in question. Presumably the question was one of the Galaxy camera or an Android tablet.
- When asked whether or not they would prefer to get a tablet or the Samsung Galaxy camera for Xmas, 51 percent of all respondents said they would prefer the Galaxy Camera, while 49 percent said they would prefer a tablet device.
Would that answer have skewed back in the direction of tablets had the question been along the lines of preferring a Galaxy camera to an Apple 4th-generation iPad? We don't know, but the responses to the question as it was asked are still, to our own thinking, remarkable.
Image via Samsung
Mark Pearson, chairman of CouponCodes4u, has the following to say about the findings: “As a company that pushes the boundaries, Samsung has done it again with the latest Galaxy Camera, which is not only a digital camera but a tablet all in one. With the holidays two weeks away, we were interested in asking consumers whether or not Americans would be interested in owning the new gadget, even with the high price tag. Not surprisingly, the majority of Americans seemed to be excited by the gadget.”
Pearson may not be surprised - but we are.
Samsung may very well be on to something with the Galaxy Camera for which Apple has no competing product what so ever!
Edited by Braden Becker