Nikon to Release Android-based Compact Camera in September

Nikon Corp announced the “Coolpix S800c,” a compact digital camera that uses Android as its software base, Aug 22, 2012.

The company will release the camera in late September 2012. Though there is no manufacturer’s suggested retail price, it is expected to be sold at a price of about Â¥48,000 (approx US$611).

The S800c is based on Android 2.3. And it is possible to install applications software from the Google Play, Google Inc’s content delivery base, in the camera. As a result, new functions can be easily added to the camera. The S800c is pre-installed with Google’s applications such as YouTube, Gmail and Google Map.

As a data communication method, the S800c uses a wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g/n). Pictures taken by the camera can be directly uploaded to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. Moreover, with Bluetooth capability, images can be transmitted to a smartphone or a tablet computer by using an application called “Connect to S800c.”

The S800c is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with a pixel count of 16.02 million and a 10x-zoom optical lens with a focal length of 25-250mm (35mm equivalent). Its F value is 3.2 at the widest possible angle and 5.8 at the narrowest possible angle. The camera approximately measures 111.4 x 60 x 27.2mm and weighs 184g (including its battery, memory card, etc).



This is akin to purchasing a normal PMP with Android onboard, except with capabilities shifted to focus on a hopefully stellar camera application. I can see this being a good addition to a normal smartphone (or a feature phone) for certain people, & given the native apps for Android, social sharing will be a boon.

I wouldn’t mind one…

One concern is battery life. Given its similarity to devices that you just leave on all day, I have to hope Nikon adds a large battery, efficient hardware, & great power management to allow the camera to compete both with compact cameras & smartphones. A low draw sleep mode is possible with Android & allows near-instant resume; if the device afforded 12+ hours fully on in an idle state, 500+ shots from full to empty (or 90+ minutes video), & the low-draw sleep mode allowed at least a few days between charges (with easy top-off via USB), it would instantly alleviate my worries. I know recent flagship phones have good standby time even with cellular data connections and WiFi, so this should be easily attainable.