When you picture an Android camera, chances are you're thinking about the one in your smartphone. Nikon is hoping to change that with the release of the COOLPIX S800c, a compact digital camera which is powered by the Android Operating System. When you're not busy taking photographs, the S800c can be used to check Facebook, send emails, run apps and allow you to access the internet via WiFi.
At first look, the Nikon COOLPIX S800c seems like any other compact camera – even a quick glance at the technical specs doesn't initially reveal anything out of the ordinary. The camera features a back-illuminated 1/2.3 inch, 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, an EXPEED C2 processing engine and a f/3.2-5.8 lens with a 10x zoom, which is a 35 mm equivalent of 25-250-mm.
The S800c also has VR optical image stabilization, a 9-area automatic AF with face priority and subject tracking, and is capable of shooting at 8 frames-per-second, though only for up to three shots. It also boasts built-in GPS and can film full 1920x1080p HD video at 30 fps.
But it's when the camera is up-and-running that the 3.5-inch OLED touch screen on the rear (with 819,000 dots) reveals its Android-toting credentials. This means the S800c – like Polaroid's SC1630 – is able to instantly upload images to social networks, including Google+, Facebook and Twitter via WiFi, as well as Nikon’s photo storage and sharing site, my Picturetown.
The COOLPIX S800c can also run camera-specific photo and video applications, and if you're not within reach of a WiFi hotpot to instantly share your photos, the camera can wirelessly upload high-resolution photos and movies to other devices running corresponding Android or iOS apps.
When not using the camera function, the COOLPIX S800c can be used like any other Android device – it runs a relatively un-skinned Android 2.3.3 – to surf the web, download applications and games, and access Google Play. However, because it lacks cellular capabilities, there's no phone option.
Users needn't worry that Android will get in the way of their photography, and leave them missing shots and twiddling their thumbs as the camera loads the operating system – when powering up, the COOLPIX S800c goes straight into the camera function while Android loads in the background.
Measuring 60 x 111 x 27 mm (2.4 x 4.4 x 2.7 inches), the Nikon COOLPIX S800c will be available in September in white or black for a price of US$350 … just be sure not to miss a great shot because you were checking Facebook or playing Angry Birds!
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