With the success of the Panasonic IR mod, I decided to mod another camera. It would be nice to have two still cameras in the arsenal, and I really liked the “live from the field” capabilities of the Android based cameras. Plus, we already had the first Samsung Galaxy Camera on hand, and had purchased it’s bigger brother the Galaxy NX. This camera wasn’t see much action.
When I contacted LDP LLC about modding this camera, they said “You want to mod a cell phone?!?!?” It took a bit to explain to them that this was a real camera, not a cell phone. They said “send it in and we’ll take a look at it and see what we can do.” Upon receipt they said “Yes we can! And WOW! This is a nice camera!” As with the Galaxy NX reviewed on this site, the built-in Android tablet on the back of the camera makes total sense– the best of an app controlled Android tablet combined with an optical 21X zoomable lens and a nice image sensor. LDP, once again, turned it around quickly and did a great job.
And wow, did this thing do amazing in the next Midnight Musher run. Even it’s video did surprisingly well. The processing power afforded by the quad-core in the Android side of the phone may come into play? I don’t know, but it did better than the G5! And we could post out on social media from the field. That first run was in the mountains of Western Maryland, so we had to wait for a good spot on the trail as usual.
In doing research after the fact, I’ve seen that this camera has a BSI CMOS sensor. The difference is mainly is the pixels per mm, it can be physically smaller and still have the same resolution. This is why many devices are going towards this sensor, like cell phones. They do this by re-arranging the layers of the chip, and the end result is less obstructions between the light gathering side of the chip and the photo-diodes. the effect of this technology is better low light performance. So, maybe the fact this sensor is used in this camera, and we IR-pass modded it, makes it such a good performer.
What ever the case, it is awesome.