Smart Cameras: Mixing Digital Cameras and Smart Phones


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Cameras – they’re smarter than they used to be. Image by digitpedia

Smart cameras are nothing new – they were released in January of 2012, so they’ve been around for almost a full year now – but they’re becoming more popular and may be something you are thinking about as a Christmas gift.

Like smart phones, smart cameras connect to the Internet – this new wave of digital cameras may provide an  alternative to smart phones, but do they offer everything you need to replace the convenience of taking photos from your phone?

Smart Cameras – What’s the Point?

Digital camera sales have dropped with the introduction of the smart phone, which lets users take photos and post them directly onto social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

More people share their photos with their friends via social networking websites, so this has become easier and quicker than waiting until you get home and uploading with a digital camera.

The smart cameras, however, connect to the Internet just like smart phones do – and even have apps to post photos to social media, just like a smartphone. Viable alternative? It depends on what you’re looking for.

Smart Cameras: Better Quality Images than Smart Phones

According to Polaroid, the new smart cameras offer better quality than smart phones; the SC1630 is a 16MP camera, compared to 5-8MP for most smart phones. The images are crisper and clearer, whether viewing on the screen, on social media, on the computer, or printing them off. You also have various modes for the images, which help to capture action shots, landscape shots and zoomed shots better than with your phone’s camera. In short, you are getting the quality of digital cameras with the added benefit of easy sharing.

Smart cameras offer better quality for action photos. Image by teq

Android Apps for Smart Photo Sharing

The Polaroid SC1630 runs on the Android operating system; you have access to all Android apps. The Samsung range of smart cameras connects to other Samsung devices, including laptops and tablets, over a Wi-Fi connection to make sharing with friends and relatives quick and easy. You can also upload to SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage, so you have all your precious memories backed up and at your fingertips.

Smart Cameras Worth Buying or Gifting?

For those who just like to take pictures and share quickly, smart phones offer enough features with the 8MP camera. The quality is enough to share on social media and with friends via email, and you don’t have the added bother of carrying around yet another expensive device. However, for those who want the ability to increase the size of photos and print high quality shots, or who need the different settings for action shots and other options, a digital camera is worth the money. Digital smart cameras are also better for the zoom – the Samsung range offers between 10x and 21x optical zoom.

Photo Sharing With Digital Quality

Smart cameras have closed the gap in the market – allowing users to take high quality photos and to easily share them via social media. Although the WiFi-enabled cameras aren’t appropriate for every user, their ease of use may be the future of digital photography.


Samsung. 2012 Smart Cameras. Accessed December 7, 2012

Arva-Toth, Z. Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera. (2012). Photography Blog. Accessed December 7, 2012

Davis, A. Polaroid Introduces “Smart” Cameras. (2012). Tech Radar. Accessed December 7, 2012

Mintel. Sales of digital cameras decline as consumers snap up smartphones. (2012). Accessed December 7, 2012.

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