Friday, August 24, 2012

Nikon Coolpix S800c Android Camera | Nikon Goes All Googley Eyed

Nikon Coolpix S800c Android Camera

Nikon Announces First Android Camera - Finally A Nikon You Can Root?

The photographic world may just have come one tiny step closer to Nirvana this week with the announcement of the Nikon Coolpix S800c Android phone camera.

It is a well documented historical fact that ever since the days of yore (when the must-have camera accessory was an ass - or donkey, (to carry your glass slides)), photographers have dreamed of instantly  sharing their work with a breathlessly waiting worldwide audience.

Back in the hitherto, aforementioned days of yore this entailed availing oneself of another ass.  On this second ass sat a slave-type assistant who would battle bears, snakes and bogans to extricate your work out of the wilds and into civilisation.

Well, the dream is maybe just a little bit closer to reality thanks to the Coolpix S800c (catchy name for a revolutionary product Nikon!).  The S800c runs a mildly outdated version of Google's Android OS (2.3.3 Jolly Rancher) and it sports an iPhone Samsung-like touch screen, it connects with the world via WIFI and bluetooth and it is actually a real camera (if you don't mind having nothing to grip onto).

If I sound a tad dismissive of the Coolpix S800c Android phone it's because I am more than a little peeved with Nikon.  I was actually hoping that my long awaited D800e would have sported a nifty little 'Share' button on it.  Pushing said 'Share' button would have effortlessly spat out a little JPEG via (the inbuilt) WIFI to my iPhone (Samsung knockoff) for distribution to the (still breathlessly waiting) world.

Of course my Nikon D800 is about as sociable as that Swedish gunman creep and now I find Nikon building wireless sharing into a me-too, point & shoot camera with less battery life than the Energizer bunny after an all-nighter at the Playboy mansion.

The Coolpix S800c is far from bad news.  It has a real zoom lens, GPS and it does let you share high quality images directly from the field - so long as that field has WIFI....*

Actually, I couldn't think of much else. The S800c (still had to look above to remember that name) is not a phone with a real zoom lens - it is a camera that doesn't need cables (much).  You still need to carry a phone and an S800c.

I may be wrong, but I struggle to see developers leaping into developing Apps for a niche product running an old version of an OS that has now moved on to the frozen confectionery phase of it's lifespan.  I also don't see Nikon as being capable of successfully fostering an ecosystem around their Android cameras (yes, there will be more).  However, the Android brand is strong at present and I can see early adopters leaping in on the S800c just to do what early adopting Androidites seem to do best -  root it (yes, Kiwi and Aussie readers - they actually call it rooting....)

Personally I think Nikon's efforts would have been better spent creating a seamless hardware / software bridge between all of it's upcoming products and the iOS and Android communication devices that everyone is already toting about.

As you may have gathered, I won't be buying the Coolpix S800c, but I will be intrigued to see how it all evolves - what do you think, or are you even thinking about this at all?

Cheers - Todd

ps -  Don't let my a moribund nay-saying deter you from buying the S800c B&H are taking pre-orders here - I'd love to hear whether you like this Coolpix if you do buy it - keep me posted :-)

*yes, you can create a personal hotspot via your smartphone - but that would have ruined my flow...

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