Cameras and phones are fighting a pitched battle for space in your pocket, but Samsung has decided to give peace a chance and create two devices that are best of friends. The new Samsung SH100 snapper pairs with the smart phone to remotely control the camera.
The 14.2-megapixel SH100 goes a step further than previous wireless snappers like the. The 5x zoom is one of the features that can be controlled by your phone, as the phone's screen shows you what the camera is seeing.
The-powered Galaxy S touchscreen becomes your viewfinder, remote controlling basic menu functions including shooting modes, and snapping the picture by tapping on the phone screen.
That'll be handy for group shots: simply set the camera down and stroll into the shot, and capture as many different pics as you like. Perhaps you could try recreating the wacky fun of the opening credits of Friends.
Then there's wacky fun to be had at gigs or other events where you can't see so well, by holding the camera above your head and framing your shot with the phone in your other hand.
If you want to get more ambitious, you could use the remote control to snap around corners, or secrete your camera somewhere inconspicuous and take surreptitious shots from a distance... not that we recommend that. Pictures are then geotagged by the phone's GPS chip for placing on a map later.
The camera also connects to the Web via 802.11n Wi-Fi, allowing it to upload pictures directly to Facebook, Picasa and Photobucket, or video to YouTube. Snaps can also be emailed or backed-up wirelessly to your home computer.
Even if your computer is turned off, the camera will automatically detect your home Wi-Fi network, wake your computer using wake-on LAN, and drop off your snaps for safe-keeping. A DLNA connection also lets you stream wirelessly to your TV.
To make the wireless magic happen, our colonial cousins get an account with US-based Wi-Fi service Boingo when they buy the camera. Boingo does give access to Wi-Fi hotspots here in Blighty, but it's likely a different wireless deal will be on offer when the camera arrives on our shores. It's not clear yet if you need to be within an external Wi-Fi hotspot for the phone connection to work -- you can use the Galaxy S itself as a hotspot, so perhaps it'll work anywhere.
The SH100 arrives in March and will cost a very reasonable $200 (£130) in the US. UK price and release date is yet to be confirmed. We'd love it if the camera could be controlled by other Android phones -- let's hope someone makes that happen by the time it hits shop shelves. Could this even be the first step towards Android cameras?
It's certainly another step into tomorrow for cameras -- check out our futuregazing predictions for the humble snapper like.