[*Insert obligatory Mayan Prophesy failure congratulations here*]
Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, lets talk about Android and its somewhat tenuous relationship with photography. Sure, Instagram shot itself in the foot and then pushed the reset button (kind of) when people reacted accordingly, but this week's FBQ isn't about Android photography apps, but OEMs new penchant for testing the waters of actual cameras that run Android as the device's operating system.
First was Nikon
COOLPIX s800c, Nikon jumped into the foray with a solid point and shoot camera that is a lot like their popular s6300 but with Gingerbread Android and WIFI capabilities. The positives of this camera lie in the fact that you can run Google Play apps on a point and shoot with the pedigree of Nikon behind it. The negatives are fairly obvious. The camera runs Gingerbread. That's right, it's a $350 MSRP device that runs the same version of Android that you last used on your OG Droid. Along with Android 2.3, because this device is made by Nikon and not an OEM that has experience coding and updating Android, don't expect any updates.
Then came Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Camera. There are plenty of reviews available for this device, but long story short, it's a Galaxy S III with a WB150 glued to the back of it. It comes with Jelly Bean, and because Samsung has been in the Android game (if not dominating the Android game) for a while, this device, in all likelihood, will be upgraded in a reasonably timely manner. This device is far from perfect, however, because it has full Google Play capabilities with a huge touch-screen, it runs a full $200 more than Nikon's offering. At $550 you would expect a camera that rivals a cheap DSLR. The Galaxy Camera unfortunately doesn't do that. Reviews are consistent, the camera is optically sound, but not what should be expected with such a high price tag.
Wait, Polaroid is still around?
is making an Android-powered device. Confirmed for an announcement at CES, not a ton is know about this device other than it looks to be a rebranded Nikon 1 J2 with Polaroid's name on it and Android running in the background. Presumably, this device won't come cheap; the Nikon 1 J2 runs about $550, but it should be optically excellent.
Here's the tricky part
If Polaroid's camera solves the main problems that make the s800c and Galaxy Camera close-but-no-cigar Android cameras, does that mean that it will be a success? That answer is up for you to decide.
If you are interested in photography, does Android make a camera more or less attractive to you? How about people that are just getting into photography? Does the addition of an operating system that you are familiar with make you more or less likely to purchase it?
Essentially, does Android have any business running on cameras? Why or why not?
Hit us up, and Happy Friday!