Samsung has revealed the Galaxy Camera 2, the successor to its Android-toting smart compact camera. The new model features a more retro grown-up camera design and boasts upgrades to its processor, RAM, and battery. There's also a new dedicated selfie mode, presumably to ensure Instagram always gets your best side.
When we took the original Galaxy Camera out for spin, we were intrigued by the possibilities of a connected camera, but felt it was let down by its mediocre lens and small sensor. As such it's slightly disappointing that the Galaxy Camera 2 also features a 16.3 megapixel 1/2.3 inch sensor and a 4.1-86.1 mm F2.8-F5.9 zoom lens (23-483 mm equivalent in 35 mm format).
However, Samsung has made a number of key improvements which it is hopes will improve the smart camera experience. The processor is upped to a 1.6 GHz Quad-Core, which combined with the now 2 GB of RAM, should make shooting, editing and sharing images faster, as well as improving performance when running Android apps. There's also an enhanced battery (2000 mAh) for longer shooting sessions and 8 GB of internal memory.
The addition of NFC also makes it easier to pair the Galaxy Camera 2 with another smart device. Wireless features include the ability to instantly share images and videos or to use an additional smart device as a remote viewfinder for remote shooting.
The Galaxy Camera 2 has been given a retro make-over too, it now features a faux-leather finish (in white or black) and metal trimming. This makes it look a lot less like a phone than the original … unless you're just looking at the 4.8-inch touchscreen LCD on the rear, where users will find a familiar, this time Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), interface.
28 smart modes are also at hand to photographers, who can select their shooting scenario or creative styling. Of these, the new "Selfie Alarm" mode takes a burst of five consecutive, high resolution images so that users can select the one they look best in before sharing it via social media. Full HD video recording is possible at 1080p 30 fps.
When Samsung launched its original smart camera, the Galaxy Camera, it had Wi-Fi and 3G /4G LTE connectivity. This was followed by a Wi-Fi only version. However, this time Samsung has only announced a Wi-Fi model, so we'll have to wait and see if there will also be a cellular option.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is expected to be on show at CES next week, but there's currently no information on availability or pricing. When the original Galaxy Camera was released it sold for around US$500.