There are days when technologies unveil products that leave you wondering “Why would anyone want this product”? Well, one of those days has arrived. I can to a degree understand the emergence of the “phablet” but Nikon has trumped that. (For those not sure the “phablet” is a mobile phone that has close connection with a tablet.)

Nikon unveiled the COOLPIX S800c a day ago and I must confess, it poses more questions than it provides answers. Regular readers will be aware that the digital camera is under threat from cellphones but is an “Android powered camera” a solution? Firstly, is it an admission that the software Nikon uses for its devices are not good enough? Secondly, digital cameras are totally different to cellphones so how compatible is Android software to a camera?

Innovation is part of consumer electronics but this seems like a step backwards. Product classes that are used together to ensure a better user experience is what defines the good from the great products. However it seems that Nikon’s innovation / product team either don’t have enough work or are in dire need of a hit. Nikon is a highly respected photographic company so the COOLPIX S800c seems to be out of place.

Primary features according to Nikon:

  • Simple setup and connection
  • Setup and text input for Internet connection using operations that are similar to those used by Android smartphones is possible.
  • Browse and post to social networking sites (SNS)
  • Users can customize their cameras by downloading favorite apps from Google Play
  • Simple image transfer to other smart devices
  • The camera’s Upload to Smart Device app can be used to transfer high-resolution photos and movies to smart devices running the Android or iOS operating system over a wireless connection

The camera has all the hallmarks of a Nikon product. Clean lines, easy to press buttons but when looking under the hood it highlights the difference.. Does the COOLPIX S800c not scream “I lack an identity and am extremely confused?”

No Nikon, you don’t need to do this. Rather make mirrorless cameras that can compete against the Canon EOS M.  The potential knock-on effects that the Nikon COOLPIX S800c has for Nikon outweighs the benefits on this “stunt”. So is this a Camdroid?

Nikon COOLPIX S800c