[W]outer, Don, and other fine folks might be dreaming about the Ricoh GR, but since a few days I’ve been dreaming of a camera of another kind.

Having thoroughly tested Snapseed (I’ve been running tests, checked all the menus and see how much it can stretch and handle different types of files), I can only come to one conclusion: It’s Nik Silver efex in your pocket. To me that’s groundbreaking because it eliminates the need for a computer for high quality editing, and with a device like the Galaxy Camera you have the full photographic process all in one device, namely: Capture-Editing-Archiving-Publishing. I brushed the Galaxy camera as a camera aimed at the Instagram market, but my friends, Snapseed changes everything! This camera can become a serious photographic tool because Snapseed is so powerful.
It’s an SDXC camera, capable of handling big cards, simply put a 64gb card in there and you have a sort of hard drive that can last you months before dumping it in your Lightroom catalog (I calculate 14500 pics with a 64Gb). My workflow is such that my GRD’s SD card goes for months without me touching it. I’m just not going to dump the SD card for a few files. The Galaxy camera can solve that problem in the sense that I can edit on the fly. I’ve ALWAYS dreamed of a Lightroom camera, a camera where you could fine tune your settings right in camera…..this is seriously the next best thing and I have never been so exited for a camera like this before.
If you think about it, the photographic process has always been dependent on something other than the camera. In the film days photography was dependent on the lab, in our day it’s dependent on the computer. This device puts the whole photographic process in your pocket, you can be a photographer and edit beautifully right in camera. It basically makes it possible to be independent from the computer. Usually the computer does the bulk of the work once the shoot is done, but this can remove the computer completely from the equation. This is amazing considering that a century before, you needed donkeys to haul your equipment.
Since it runs Android, it can do many things that a normal camera cannot do. Oh sure, I can tell you it can play Playstation games and all but I would never use those functions. What I am really seeing is the potential of this camera as a photographer. There is software out there that allows you to write metadata, rate and color code your images so that they are Lightroom ready, cutting down your workflow time. Since it has mobile internet you can load The Photographers Ephemeris, an application that tells you where and when sunrise and sunset occurs….perfect for landscapes or to anticipate light direction. Of course there is also the whole suite of social media to share that freshly edit picture, but there is also more importantly WordPress.

With that camera, if you have a blog, you can feed it right from the camera. Of course you can do this for Facebook, Google, Flickr and the like. Now you see why this camera is incredible, it removes many steps from capturing to publishing. Things get even more interesting if you are a Youtuber because you can remotely access the viewfinder with your smartphone, edit your video in camera (It’s Android!) and upload the video in camera….all in 1080p glory. I am starting a video series of me editing some street stuff right in camera, the first video can be seen here.
The camera has a 23mm with a 2.8 aperture and can go up to ISO3200, very modest stuff in my opinion but it’s perfect for the streets! It also can go up to about 480mm, more than I will ever need. It’s been years since I had my 200mm, this should be a nice refresh. I’ll probably end up using the camera stuck at 24mm tough. Control wise the screen will get some getting used to but at least it has THE button to rule them all: The shutter release. The camera outputs 16 megapixel files so it gives me some wiggle room to edit. There’s no RAW yet, even if you root it but it’s just an app away if a developer chooses to do it. It’s going to be fun wrestling with JPGs! Here’s an image I picked up the internet (can’t find the original link):

I don’t have the camera, so I like to process sample images from it so I can see what can be done with it, here’s after Snapseed:
You can see some banding but I am developing techniques to juice the JPG slowly and not have it band, but you can see the potential. I must admit that I really pushed the editing to the max on the small file. Of course on the original 16 megapixel file there will be no banding like that. Here it is when processed in Lightroom (quick edit, not trying to recreate the first print)
Smooth gradation on the tones, handles my kind of processing well, good enough for me! I have researched online and I have yet to see a serious/pro photographer pick this camera up, it will be exiting to see what can be done with it. What I do know is that it’s going with me on weddings, I only have an equivalent
This camera plays well with my philosophy of minimalism, it’s a small portable package that contains everything from capture to editing and publishing. I have been playing around with Snapseed lately and I can say that I am not looking at the Ricoh GR anymore but the Galaxy camera. I am eager to see what I can up up with with this camera while others have their GR.
Due to my minimalism, I will probably have to sell one camera because I don’t want too much stuff, just the basics. The RD1 will probably have to go because it’s the one I use the least even if I love it.  And darn right I’m getting the black one!

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    1. Not at all!
      Indeed there is so much underestimated gear. This in my mind is an underdog. I’ll have to get it and try to do something serious with it. Every camera is good enough to some extent 🙂

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