The growth of smartphone sales over the past several years has led to lower demand for compact cameras. However, Nikon hopes to reverse that trend by incorporating the Android operating system into its latest compact camera.
Nikon is describing its new point-and-shoot, the Coolpix S800c, as a “social imaging device.” The Coolpix S800c comes with a 16 mega-pixel sensor and 10x optical zoom. It also has built in Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities and will record full HD video.
The camera should offer better picture quality than most, if not all, smartphones. The addition of Android will allow users to install photo editing apps and other software to enhance their experience and make their photos easier to edit, among other things. The camera’s Wi-Fi connectivity, makes it easy for people to upload their photos to any social network. This means there is no need to connect the camera to a computer first, making it operate more like a smartphone in this area as well.
Combining the versatility of Android with a device made for taking pictures is a bold step but a logical one. Using a camera offers many advantages over a smartphone. Users have more control over their pictures, and dedicated cameras offer better lenses with a greater zoom range. Taking those advantages and giving them some of the ease of use a smartphone offers creates a product that should appeal to many looking for a dedicated camera in addition to their smartphone.
What this says about the future for Nikon and other camera makers is unclear. It is expected that other camera manufacturers will create similar products. However, many expect this trend to continue into more expensive camera, such as DSLRs, as well.
Using Android allows camera manufacturers to add a great deal of functionality without designing new software from the ground up. Giving users that ability to use the many Android applications designed to assist photographers right in their camera should open up new possibilities for users. The possibilities offered by adding Android to cameras are almost unlimited. Developers are constantly adding new apps and the addition of dedicated cameras to the Android universe could spur them create new apps to take advantage of these new possibilities.