Mirrorless cameras have come a long way since their inception with automatic eye focus, incredible internal image stabilization, and compact ergonomics. But there is one thing I’m dissatisfied with. That is, you can’t move away from the way you edit and share older images compared to Android and iOS smartphones.
Since the advent of digital cameras, we have the ability to develop our own photographs with greater flexibility on computers (and now smart devices). Many cameras offer in-camera editing, which is often clunky and limited.
To get around this, we’ve been hoping for a mirrorless camera running Android to entertain the entire workflow from snapping to publishing. But I’m still waiting. The new Yongnuo YN455 recently caught my eye and brought the concept to an attractive realization, but it’s only available in China.
Still, with the power of the latest silicon, stack sensors, and mature Android OS, have you seen the spiritual successor of the Samsung Galaxy Camera and NX series for almost a decade? It sounds like an oversight, but there’s also a reason why Android-powered mirrorless cameras continue to be dreamy …
Live in the past
Every time I try to edit and share a photo from a mirrorless camera, it feels like an old tool.
To process shots, transfer the image to another device, develop the photo using specialized image editing software, and export it to those platforms (or upload a copy to the online store for printing). Before you can, you need to be ready to publish online or in print. ).
The China-based Yongnuo, which recently announced the successor to the YN450 Android camera, the YN455, is the latest in a series of tech companies that have been tinkering with integrating the smartphone operating system into the camera. But no one has nailed it completely yet.
The first real splash was created by Samsung in 2012 using the Galaxy Camera (above). The slogan was “camer are born”. And to be fair, it responded to paper bills by combining a smartphone operating system and sophisticated interface with a larger image sensor and a 21x optical zoom lens.
It even offered 4G and was the most connected camera of the time. And that interface still looks futuristic to the camera, it says a lot. However, despite the benefits of 8GB of internal storage, I was disappointed with the poor image quality (after all, this was an uncalculated photo) and the impediment to functionality.
Sadly, when Samsung decided to stop manufacturing cameras in 2017, the Galaxy camera concept and the more advanced NX series failed. But out of nowhere, Zeiss announced the ZX1 in 2018.
Signs of life
The ZX1 is a fascinating camera. Its 37.4MP full-frame sensor also captures 4K video, and thanks to 512GB of onboard storage, you can run Lightroom, edit it in-camera and publish it directly to social media channels.
Unfortunately, the ZX1 is also very expensive and sells for $ 6,000 / £ 5,399. Given that the ZX1 has a fixed lens and a burst mode that can only hit up to 3 fps, this is a bit steeper than its rivals.
Camera makers don’t seem to be interested in making a successor to Samsung’s previous concept riffs, so it’s no wonder independent companies have begun to dig in to fill the gap.
Alice Camera, an Indiegogo project scheduled to ship in October, combines smartphones with Micro Four Thirds cameras to create interesting hybrids for YouTuber, Twitch Stream, and Tik Tokkers.
As the Alice camera maker said in February, “Many generations grew up with their smartphones in their pockets. You wouldn’t know what to do if you handed them a mirrorless camera.”
Not only is Alice Camera trying to bridge the ease of use gap, it’s also introducing AI learning to take smarter photos with Google’s Edge TPU chip.
The phone links to the Four Thirds camera via Wi-Fi, promising the best of both worlds (in theory) with smartphone-like app control and intelligent features, but with a large image sensor and excellent optics. It has only profoundness and quality. But that’s still an unknown amount, and as a first-generation product from a startup, it almost certainly has some rough edges.
That leads us to the latest candidate, Yongnuo YN455. Yongnuo is well known for making accessories that offer photographers cheaper alternatives than their major brand competitors. The YN450 entered a new (like) market in 2019 by combining smartphones with traditional camera functions. But it was a half-hearted attempt with some strange quirks.
The YN450 ran an older version of Android (7.1), two generations behind the smartphones of the time, and weirdly combined a Four Thirds sensor with a Canon EF mount. Two years later, Yongnuo updated the YN450’s EF mount to a Micro Four Thirds mount. This was parallel to the internal image sensor, but still did not cut the critic mustard.
Still, at first glance, the new YN455 looks like my promising front runner looking for a working Android camera. Linking up cellular 4G and Wi-Fi means sharing directly to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other social channels. It’s as easy as pressing a button. It can also shoot 20MP still images and 4K / 30fps video and provides dual USB-C ports.
The rest of the spec list is also promising. The YN455 is streamable, making it ideal for Vloggers, especially teleworkers. It also includes a 3.5mm jack for both headphones and an external microphone, and a large 5-inch tilted touch screen on the back. This makes it easy to check images and change settings without having to bother with the physical buttons on the camera body.
As you would expect from an Android device, the interior is more reminiscent of a smartphone than a camera. The 8-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon powers the unit with 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 256GB by adding a microSD card. With built-in GPS and a large 4,400mAh battery, you can keep your device running longer (and it also supports fast charging).
Unfortunately, the only problem is that there is no news about when the YN455 will be released or will be available outside of China. The search will continue …
My dream camera
The Android OS is not a panacea for cameras and certainly has some limitations. The smartphone operating system is designed to stay in standby mode instead of quickly turning it on and off, and battery life is undoubtedly an issue. Also, the camera interface is basic and often frustrating, but at least consistent and reliable. This is not always the case for Android apps.
But for me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. It will also bring great potential. In an ideal world, Android addresses photographers and social media content creators in three ways: intelligent image capture, seamless editing workflow options, and the ability to publish images without the need for a second device. I want a camera.
This can work as follows: Artificial intelligence is built into the camera processor itself. You can also automatically identify people’s faces for instant autofocus, or make face-blurring decisions for privacy. For example, it is based on factors such as whether you uploaded a photo of your face to the universal camera database.
That way, anyone who wants to opt out of publishing their photos can protect their privacy (especially important for vulnerable people and young people). But more realistically, it could also work by applying an extended filter to the portrait at the source point, without having to do it later (it works like a raw file and later when editing). You can undo it).
Each image editing software company has its own app in the built-in store, so you can choose from Adobe Lightroom, Gimp, Luminar AI, Capture One, and more to seamlessly edit your shots after shooting. When you press the “Information” or “I” button on the camera, the user interface pops up as an option. This is the same as the rule of thirds overlay and image information. From here you can add custom presets, experiment with AI face editing, and make all the usual adjustments to exposure and lighting.
The export option is not only for social media platforms, but also for emailing and printing images. Printing can be linked to existing printing companies, and after a simple sign-up, images can be automatically…