It is really nice having a smart-phone-like device that is actually an excellent, higher-end camera. The camera takes better photos than most point-and-shoot cameras, including your smart phone.
It is nice having a good camera that can post directly to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, a blog, and any other site or service like email that you use to share photos.
While the camera comes with its own editing apps and filters, all of the ones you like that are designed for Android devices are also available.
If you have an iPhone, you can still use the camera on its own, especially since many apps and services are available on both Android and iOS devices, but Samsung has designed it to integrate with other Samsung devices.
While using the camera is extremely intuitive and you can be ready to go on automatic settings in just a few minutes, it is also complicated. I felt like I needed to set aside some time to really get to know all the workings of the device. There is a lot to it. You can even take it off automatic and adjust shutter and aperture speeds.
It has a flash that you can pop up and that you can set for automatic or manual use. I didn't quite figure out the manual part.
The camera's “Smart Mode” offers about 15 settings like “panorama,” “sunset” and “fireworks” that can improve your photos. I wish I had read the manual before experimenting with them because it explained what they were and how to use them. Settings like “macro (take vivid photos of subject at close range)” and “action freeze (fast-moving subject)” were easy to understand, but I wish I knew to try out the “best photo” setting that lets you take a series of consecutive photos and choose the best shot or even “best face,” which takes consecutive photos of subjects and lets you combine the best face in each one into a single photo. I don't know how that would have turned out, but if you've ever tried to take a photo of a group of children whom you wanted to smile AND look at the camera at the same time, that option is very appealing. The settings “light trace” letting you take photos of light trails and “waterfall” also were intriguing as well — but I didn't read about those until after I had turned in the camera.
While I loved the quality feel of the camera and using it, here are some minor annoyances that wouldn't keep me from considering buying one for myself:
Finding the right place to store your photos on the cloud long-term might be tricky. While it was easy to connect the camera with Dropbox, taking several hundred high-resolution shots filled up the rest of my available Dropbox memory quickly.
On a related note, I found myself concerned as I filled up storage space on the camera and in Dropbox that all of my photos didn't transfer across cyberspace to online accounts. All worked just fine, but I felt like I needed to double-check or keep syncing to make sure.
Switching from shooting video to camera mode took too many steps.
The sensors in the device automatically changed the white balance on the video in the middle of the video, so the color of an overcast sky turned from grey to purple during a baseball game without prompting. While it didn't change the video quality too much, if you're serious about videos, you might look more closely at whether it's possible to prevent that from happening.
In general, these types of cameras will run down your battery faster than a regular camera, especially if you're uploading a lot of photos over a network. Bedford Camera and Video's Eric Williams said. Also, he said, while they're better than many point and shoots, for the same amount of money, you could get a DSLR.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Photos were taken with Samsung Galaxy Camera on loan from Verizon (Verizon.com) Photos from southeast Oklahoma taken during a media trip provided by McCurtain County Tourism Authority (www.mccurtaincountygetaways.com).