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Samsung Galaxy GC110: Camera, Android device, or neither?

Derrick Story | Aug. 29, 2013
With a lot of strengths and a few key weaknesses, the hybrid phone-camera could be your ideal all-in-one or a hamstrung all-in-none.

The Galaxy provides a choice of 19 scene presets in Smart mode that include night, panorama, action freeze, continuous shot, light trace, and macro. These are helpful for controlling the camera when you don't want to shoot in PASM or depend on auto-everything. The macro performance was particularly impressive.

Composing on the LCD
That big, colorful LCD is both good news and bad news. When working indoors or with flat lighting, it's a joy to compose your images on the screen. But once you're in bright sunlight, framing the shot and judging the camera's response to the lighting is very difficult.

Unfortunately, the GC110 lives and dies by its LCD—it has no optional viewfinders. So if you find yourself in midday lighting conditions on a regular basis, be prepared for a challenge. Of course, once you return indoors to view your images on that big, saturated LCD, all may be forgiven.

General performance
At times, you'll realize you're shooting with a multifunctional device and not a dedicated camera. On the plus side, the Samsung Galaxy remembers the last mode you were in, so if you were shooting pictures, it thankfully returns directly to camera mode. That's good.

At other times, however, the camera app just quits unexpectedly. It's not a huge hassle to relaunch into picture-taking mode, but it feels odd to have to do so on a camera. Also, after you take a shot, there's often a pause before the photo appears on the LCD to review.

Personally, I think it could use a bit more horsepower—it's juggling many processes at once. This by no means is a deal breaker. But over time, you'll probably notice a few performance hiccups too.

An Android device
If you've wanted to play with the Android OS, but weren't ready to dump your iPhone to do so, the Samsung Galaxy just might be the answer. As a multifunctional device with a crisp LCD, it's a blast.

Want to browse Instagram? Have at it. Is Flickr your thing? You'll love it. Ready to listen to music? The GC110 even has a headphone jack. I certainly enjoyed this side of its personality.

Moving pictures off the device
Your images are stored in internal memory or on an optional MicroSD card. Since you can view images on the device using the Gallery app, or edit them via the Photo Wizard software, it might be a while before you actually want to copy photos to your computer.

Once you're ready, however, you might be surprised that the GC110 doesn't show up as a camera when connected to iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom. At least not by default.

That's because it has two USB modes: MTP, which is as a Media Device, and PTP as a camera. MTP is the default USB communication mode that connects the device to Samsung's Kies software for Mac and Windows. Once the connection is made, Kies handles photos, music, videos, and general settings for the GC110 in much the same manner that iTunes manages an iPhone.


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