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August 24, 2012

Android fans, do you want to see a Google Nexus DSLR or mirrorless or serious compact?

After the announcement of the Nikon Coolpix S800c (Android), a curiously interesting and intriguing question is raised: How about a Google Nexus Android DSLR or mirrorless camera or serious compact with RAW?

Since the early days of Android, Google has been offering "reference" devices to show the world and the other manufacturers how they envision an Android implementation. This started with smartphones, but this year Google expanded the Nexus branding to tablets with the Google ASUS(tek) Nexus 7. They partnered with multiple other companies to do this Nexus thang: HTC, Samsung and ASUS so far.

We know that the Google co-founder(s) love their photography and are often seen carrying and talking cameras with other photographers.

So, we added a few sprinkles of speculation spice, and here comes the question: what about an Android-powered serious camera (DSLR or mirrorless or serious-compact with RAW) designed as a reference Android camera design by Google together with digital camera manufacturer(s)?

Nikon, as you know, is not a mass-market consumer electronics company. They don't make gadgets. They don't make Android devices. So they don't necessarily have the Android DNA perhaps to get involved in a project like this.

Plus - typically - Canon and Nikon are more than happy to sit on the ball, go four corners, and nurse their DSLR/iLC duopoly until the market changes enough to threaten them. And then they take some action. Case in point, their EOS-m and CX (1-System) mirrorless systems.

On the other hand, three of the camera manufacturers that have serious camera systems, Sony (NEX, Alpha, RX100) and Panasonic (M43rds, LX-series) and Samsung (NX, EX-F-series) have been making a variety of Android devices, including smartphones and tablets, so they already have Android DNA within their sprawling corporations.

And they would be a lot more motivated to reap the potential benefits of such a partnership with Google on a Nexus reference platform. They, and any of the other manufacturers that are not named Nikon or Canon. More specifically, Olympus, Pentax, and Fuji are the most "eligible" camera-wise. Leica is not very digital, Sigma is Sigma, Casio and GE don't make serious cameras, and Kodak is on a farewell tour.

To make sure this is clear - I am not suggesting that Google creates a new camera lens mount of their own! What I am suggesting is that Google works with one or more camera manufacturers to build Android cameras using existing lens mounts and DSLR/iLC accessories (hot-shoes, grips, etc).

So, what do you think? Polls are right below. If you have "longer thoughts" on this, write them in the comments below or write them on your blog or favorite forum and let us know so we can include them in the next Opinion round-up.




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