Who needs a dumb camera when you can have a selfie taker’s dream – as in a full-blown Android camera dedicated to photo taking, tweaking and sharing. Enter the Samsung NX series, which includes the Mini, NX300 and NX30 models, all powered by Android. While you might think that having what amounts to a tablet on the back of your camera would become the distraction that keeps you from getting the perfect shot you’d be wrong. There’s nothing to stop you from checking in with your Twitter peeps in between vacay snaps but a single tap of the shutter button brings you right back to camera mode.
Now that that’s out of the way, you probably want to know who really wants an Android camera and why. Let’s look at why first. This is obviously not your grandpa’s Kodak. The NX Mini is tiny but boasts 20.5 megapixels, 1080p video at 30 frames per second, an LCD screen that rotates 180 degrees and some features tailor made for the selfie set. The NX300 has a sharp kit lens, a hybrid auto focusing system, built-in wifi and some very cool creative controls. And the NX30? It has all the bennies of the NX300 along with even more interface customizability, a fully-articulating 3-inch Super AMOLED display and amazing Smart Camera 3.0 features.
So let’s tackle the who. The cameras in the NX series are definitely not cheap. In fact, some have even called them overpriced (while still admitting there is a lot to love). But if you’re comfortable shelling out and you fall into one or more of the following categories, any or all of the NX cameras are more than worth it.
People with kids
There are no more pics of little ones staring off into the distance thanks to Kids Shot, which does double duty with facial recognition and a silly sound that causes little ones to engage with the camera. There’s also Smile Shot, which auto shoots when it detects a big silly grin.
Samsung has the Beauty Face feature turned on by default so expect smoother skin, a slimmer face and even bigger eyes in your next selfie. Pores? You’re not going to see them. The only thing it doesn’t smooth away is bags under the eyes.
The quirky types
Chances are you’re going to have tons of fun with Animated Photo, a tool that lets you create a gif where most of the image is stationary except for, say, the eyes – or the tongue!
Anyone who wants to be in their own photos
Timers are so old school. Voice control means never having to beat the clock to be in your group pics. Trigger your NX camera by saying “cheese” or “smile” or a selection of other phrases. There’s also Wink Shot where a simple wink does the trick.
Photographers who wish they could retouch the world will love being able to tweak pics right in the camera thanks to integrated Lightroom. Not your favorite? Remember, the world’s most-popular operating system, Android, is now fully integrated with this Samsung camera series. Your favorite app is a click away.
And that might just be what makes these cameras worth the heftier than normal price tag. You find you have a specific need and – bam! – there’s an app out there that’s going to meet it. It’ll take a little getting used to but there are certainly benefits to having an Android device in your camera bag. And hey, buying a good camera has always meant buying lots of accessories, too. It’s just that now you can get them from the app store.