When Samsung first announced the Galaxy Camera a lot of people thought Samsung were crazy – so pretty much Samsung, being Samsung – but the "connected camera" seems to have taken off and it's more apparent than ever that consumers need to connect everything to the internet. You'd think that being able to share a full-quality digital photo to Instagram wouldn't be that appealing but, it seems to have taken off and Samsung's camera has even made its way on to Verizon's 4G network. Samsung's Galaxy Camera is great but, for the most part, it's really just Galaxy S III meets full-sized optics. Which isn't to say that it's a bad concept or anything but, it does seem a little, half-baked as it were.
Polaroid however, are more than willing to deliver a more traditional camera set-up and bring Android along for the ride, which seems the reverse of Samsung's strategy. With the iM1836 – which we knew was coming but, now we know what it is – they company is bringing an Android camera that packs in an 18.1 Megapixel sensor and 4.1 Jelly Bean. As well as this there is a pop-up flash and a 3.5-inch LCD panel. While the screen-size here is smaller than Samsung's offering of 4.8-inches it does also make room for removable lenses. Coming with the default configuration is a 10-30mm lens for just $399. That's a very good price when you consider the sensor's resolution and the ability to change optics at the drop of a hat. The Polaroid iM1836 will also have support for micro four-thirds lenses through an adaptor to be sold seperately.
All-in-all, this looks like a good showing from Polaroid and while the jury is still out on whether or not these sort of mash-up devices are taking off, they seem to be doing well-enough and I wouldn't be surprised if 2013 bought more of these devices. For some time now we've been able to manipulate images on our smartphones a lot better than we have on the digital cameras themselves. By bringing the two together, there's a better chance of appealing to a wider audience, it seems that a lot of consumers are more than happy with the results their smartphone cameras give them but, given the same experience on a camera I'm sure they'd be happy to take much better pictures.
Personally, I'm pretty excited about this. I've been into photography for a while now and one of the biggest blocks for me was having to revisit my work. Being able to change something there and then is what makes smartphone photography so appealing, you can get far more creative that way but, the optics always leave a lot to be desired. With competent glass to work with and the added benefit of editing software – that is plenty abundant on the Play Store – I'd be more inclined to take a lot more photos, would you?