The First Android-Powered Camera

Your Instagram photos never looked better.

The Smartest Camera

Sam Kaplan

Photographers post more than five million images from their phones to Instagram every day. Yet even the most sophisticated phone can't match the image resolution and quality of a camera. In an attempt to make uploading photos from a camera as easy as it is from a smartphone, manufacturers began adding Wi-Fi radios to their cameras last year, but the software interfaces were so difficult to navigate that few people actually used them. To simplify the process, Nikon engineers installed a version of Google's Android smartphone operating system on the Wi-Fi–enabled Coolpix S800c.

Designers took a fairly standard point-and-shoot, with a 16-megapixel sensor and 10x optical zoom lens, and added 680 megabytes of storage for app downloads. Once logged into a Wi-Fi hotspot, photographers can use the S800c as they would a smartphone and download any number of image-editing apps, such as Adobe Photoshop Express, and sharing tools, such as Photobucket. Nikon software engineers made only one tweak to the OS: Android can take at least 10 seconds to boot, so they programmed the camera's processor to first open Nikon's own camera software, which takes less than a second to fire up, while Android loads in the background. That way, photographers will never miss the shot.

NIKON COOLPIX S800C

Resolution: 16 megapixels
Zoom: 10x optical (25mm–250mm equivalent)
Touchscreen: 3.5-inch OLED
Price: $350