If you listen to the Android Police Podcast, you may be well aware at this point that I'm not the biggest fan of Samsung's Android-powered cameras. And I have reasons for this! I've used the Galaxy Camera as a replacement for my crappy little point-and-shoot for weeks at a time, and it just never grew on me. It was insanely bulky for the very average photos it produced (for a point and shoot costing well over $350), and the lack of simple but powerful features like manual focus (yes, really) was a total turn-off.


The Galaxy NX will have manual focus. The NX is based on the body of Samsung's large mirrorless NX20, though it's unclear at this point just how much the two share in terms of components. An APS-C sensor of not-exactly-known size, but with 20.3MP of resolution. It will launch with 13 compatible lenses, including a standard 18-55mm kit lens, a telephoto, and a fisheye (because it's artsy, duh).

The Galaxy NX even has a physical flash button, video record button, a digital viewfinder, and what appears to be a mode dial. The mountable lenses have AF/MF switching, and a little shortcut button for tweaking ISO, aperture, shutter speed, EV, and white balance with the aperture ring, since the NX does not have dedicated hardware buttons for these functions (yet another fact photography enthusiasts will lament).


The entire selling point of this camera, though, is its 4.8" LCD display powered by Android 4.2.2 with TouchWiz and Samsung's NX-specific camera app.

As someone with a burgeoning interest in photography (I look forward to Sony's NEX-7 successor with great anticipation), I cannot help but be frustrated by this device. Even if the price were reasonably competitive (say, sub-$700 for the body and kit lens), I look at the Galaxy NX and see a product that could be so much more, but isn't.

Samsung's vision of the "Android camera" is exactly what camera OEMs should be avoiding - slapping on a touchscreen and an Android phone UI with a special camera app and calling it a day. No. This is not helpful. This is not an "advancement" - it's an extremely forced product line marriage that hopes to extract some kind of hybrid vigor effect between a large mirrorless camera and a smartphone. It is, frankly, lazy.

I am not against the concept of a touchscreen camera powered by Android. I am against a camera that is essentially a TouchWiz phone taped to the back of a DSLR-lookalike. I'm not going to play Angry Birds on my phone, or chat with somebody on Facebook or Hangouts. I'm going to take pictures. My camera being able to instantly upload and share those pictures is very neat, and likely the single best argument for the Galaxy NX, but claiming you need a 4.8" touchscreen and Android to do that is ridiculous. To me, the Galaxy NX is like mounting a Windows PC in the trunk of your car to power your infotainment system.

But, I realize I am not necessarily on the popular end of this debate. What do you think, is the Galaxy NX a killer idea, or DOA? Elaborate in the comments below.

The Galaxy NX: Hot or not?

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