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Game for an Android camera? Go for Nikon Coolpix S800c

The Nikon Coolpix S800c looks like a point-and-shoot camera from all sides except the operative end, where it resembles an Android phone.

Nandagopal Rajan | November 12, 2012 | Updated 15:52 IST

Price: Rs 20,950
Rating: 4.5/5

Specs: 16MP 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor, f/3.2-5.8, 1/4000 sec shutter speed, ISO 3200, Full HD 1920x1080p / 30fps, SD card, HDMI, USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 1.7GB internal memory.

Nandagopal Rajan
So, why would you need a camera with Android? This question has vexed me quite a bit since I first read about the new breed of cameras poised to hit the market. That was until I got my hands on the Nikon Coolpix S800c, the first of these to be available in India.

The S800c is a camera with a solid build. In fact, it reminded me of the Nokia 808 Pureview a bit, though it is not as slim. It looks like a point-and-shoot camera from all sides except the operative end, where it resembles an Android phone with three keys for Menu, Home and Back below the large touchscreen. This camera runs Android 2.3.3 and anyone who has used an Android phone will have no trouble using it.

But what benefits does this convergence bring?

Well, to start with, you will not have to bother about what card or how much storage you have in your camera. For if the 1.7GB internal memory is not enough, you can set the camera to sync all your photos and videos to Picasa or Dropbox or any other cloud service available on Android. In fact, we started testing the device without even realising that there was not memory card in it. Connected to the Wi-Fi, the Gallery had synced to my Picasa photos even before I realised it was doing so.

Then you have access to all the apps. Which means, you can use this device to do anything you would with a smartphone, except for making a call.

Yes, you can browse the web, watch YouTube videos and even listen to songs on Internet radio, provided you have a good Wi-Fi connection wherever you want to use this device. This opens up a whole lot of possibilities, most of which you would never have linked to a camera before. Clicking a photo becomes just one of the functions of this device, for you can also edit the photos, share them on social networking sites, goof around with fun photo apps and even do a Skype chat.

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But would you want to do all this on a camera too when you can do the same with our computer, phone and tablet?

Well, why not? If you can read mail on a 52-inch television, what is wrong in having hundreds of photo apps on a camera. Just imagine all the things you can do with its wonderful 16MP camera when it is paired with the thousands of photos apps out there. But, please, limit yourself to photo apps and don't start playing Angry Bird on the device.

As mentioned, the camera is quite good. Along with the 16MP CMOS sensor it has a Nikkor lens with 10x zoom. The results are what you would expect with a decent point-and-shoot and there is the added advantage of being able to click a picture by just touching the 3.5-inch OLED screen. The auto focus is very fast, though the zoom is a bit too loud.

However, there are not many tweaks you can do on the camera itself, except for the modes and some special effects. There is no full manual mode either. But then that is where the Android OS and its vast Google Play Store will come in handy.

Buy this camera if you are a social media junky and cannot wait for your photos to go online and get the comments it deserves. Also recommended for hardcore Android fans, this device has the potential to become your imaging hub.

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