At the end of 2012 we started to see something new that certainly got me excited – the release of GPS cameras that run on the Android operating system.
The downside is cost. The camera costs about $500 and you will be paying Verizon or AT&T $15/month. They are supposed to be coming out with a version of the camera that doesn’t require a service plan but it hasn’t been released yet. The newest Android GPS camera is the Samsung Galaxy camera. The upside – 16 mp resolution, 21x optical zoom, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, along with GPS and compass. While many of our customers are perfectly satisfied with a smartphone or tablet that has 5mp resolution and no optical zoom, there are definitely others who require that zoom capability and need higher quality photos. Of course I had to go out and buy one right away. I have played with it and it works quite well. The photos look good, definitely better than a smartphone. The GPS and compass are responsive and accurate for a commercial grade product. The GPS fix time is good. The Wifi data transfer also works well from this 4G LTE camera. Another upside for me is that the optical zoom works right inside our GeoJot+ app without having to take any additional steps.
Released earlier this year, the Nikon c800c was the first Android GPS camera. It captures 16 mp images, has image stabilization, runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Nikon c800s has 10x optical zoom which is very important to some users. It is definitely usable but to use it within our GeoJot+ app you have to run an external app. It has A-GPS so the initial fix time is good. The accuracy of the GPS is good for a commercial grade product, 3-5 meters on average. It does not have a compass. I told them about a couple of problems, one with the latitude and one with the WiFi. They just put out a release this week that fixed both. It is less expensive, around $300 and you don’t need a service plan which makes it a very affordable option.
It will be interesting to see what new products are released in 2013. Happy New Year everyone!