Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom officially announced
You've probably already read somewhere Samsung has officially announced its Galaxy S4 Zoom. I've written about it before, now I can add it has the exact same 16MP sensor as the Galaxy Camera (with 'software improvement") and 10x zoom.
I wasn't too impressed with the sensor of the Galaxy Camera in my first comparison, but I've already shown that you can get some great results using the 21x zoom of that device. So for now, we can guess that the 10x zoom option is probably the most important feature of the new Samsung S4 Zoom camera - hence the name (doh). And now finally - other than the Galaxy Camera - you can actually make phonecalls with it, and whatever else you'll do with an Android smartphone.
Already, the Samsung Galaxy S4 appeared to be capable of making some really nice shots with its 13MP camera. Maybe not as detailed as the Nokia 808 PureView, as quite a few of my other comparisons have shown. But still: very acceptable for the majority of users, no doubt.
So is Nokia in trouble? Techcrunch seems to think so, but I'm not so sure. Looks like the Galaxy S4 Zoom will be seen more as a compact camera that will allow you to make calls (and everything else you'll do with a smartphone), whereas Nokia's (still unofficial) EOS will be more like a smartphone with a fantastic camera (provided it indeed will offer the 41MP sensor and optics of the 808 PureView).
Earlier Techcrunch asked "who do these companies think we’ll buy these things?" Are these niche products? I remember the time Sony Ericsson really tried to make a hybrid design - clearly a phone on one side, clearly a camera on the other side (see for instance the shots in my Dutch review of the Sony Ericsson 700 from 2004).
That product line is about 10 years ago already, the time that Nokia dominated the market, but I remember these Sony Ericsson smartphone cameras were not unsuccesful at the time. And diving into history, we shouldn't forget it was Samsung who built the first 12MP camera in a phone (the M8910 Pixon12), but I don't recall that as being a major succes (like you didn't see Nokia's N8 in too many hands either).
Back to the future: Sony is working on a new camera smartphone called Xperia i1 " Honami", with reportedly a 20MP camera but without optical zoom... There's no optical zoom in the Nokia EOS, either. So is having an "optical zoom" the thing that will make it a niche product?
Meanwhile I wonder why it has "S4" in the name, since I don't see much it has in common with the "real" S4 (the screen is smaller, processor is slower, for instance, and of course the design is different). It could have been called just "Galaxy Zoom", so I guess adding S4 is to accentuate that (different from the Galaxy Camera) it really is a phone as well.
There is not much I can add about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom at the moment. I'm looking forward to test it, of course, I've told the people at Samsung in the Netherlands so already, and I really hope I don't have to wait too long before I get one.
So what do you make of al this? Are you impressed? Think Nokia will be in trouble? Don't hesitate to share your thoughts like I shared mine for now :-)
Update: on this Russian site seems you can read just about everything you want to know about the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom...