The Android mobile operating system is more versatile than
many people might think; indeed, instead of being stuck in the world of
smartphones, Android has popped up in a number of televisions, among other
devices. And now, with the announcement of the imminent launch of Nikon’s
Coolpix S800C, it’s going to be available in one of the first Android-powered
Okay, so the camera details first: it’s got a 10x optical
zoom lens (25-250mm) with optical image stabilization, and a 16 megapixel
backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. The camera will shoot in full 1080p video
mode, and it comes with a built-in GPS so you can geo-tag your images right on
the device. Plus, the camera comes with WiFi for instantly uploading your
images when you’re in a wireless hotspot.
That sounds like a pretty good combination for a device that
fits in your pocket, but of course it’s the Android element that should take
this to the next level.
At its heart, the S800C is powered by Gingerbread, even
though it comes bolstered with hardware elements like Nikon’s EXPEED C2
processing engine, for faster overall performance. Fire up the WiFi connection,
and launch Google Play from the camera, and you can take advantage of a number
of things that are already in the Play store.
That includes photo-specific apps like Instagram – with the
S800C that means you can use the app directly with a better-quality lens
(instead of the so-so lenses that come on most mobile phones), and then upload
directly from the S800C. You can browse the web from the camera, if you want to
do so using the small camera screen. Or, you can download movies from Google
Play and run them right on the camera. (No word yet as to whether you can play
The extra kick that Android apps will provide give the S800C
the potential to be extremely powerful. But it’ll be interesting to see how it
affects the actual camera experience – will you be able to get back into the
camera quickly if you’re browsing the web, for example? (The key of a point and
shoot, after all, is being able to take a picture quickly when you see
something worth shooting.) Also, what will the impact be on the battery – will
you have to put your camera on the charger every single night?
I’m going to try to get my hands on the Coolpix S800C as soon
as it’s available, and put it through a hands-on to answer these very
questions. Stay tuned.
The Coolpix S800C is due to launch in Canada in September,
with a suggested retail price of $379.95.