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Nikon announces Android-powered Coolpix S800c, flagship P7700 compact

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Nikon launched three new Coolpix cameras today, including one that's powered by Android.

Gallery Photo: Nikon Coolpix S800c, P7700, S01 pictures
Gallery Photo: Nikon Coolpix S800c, P7700, S01 pictures

Who says Android is only a phone operating system? Nikon certainly doesn't think so, and after much speculation the company's just released its first Android-powered camera, the Coolpix S800c. The $349.95 S800c runs what appears to be stock Android 2.3, and comes with full access to Google's Play Store so you can download any and every camera app you can think of, or just check your email if you're so inclined. (We're already salivating at the idea of having Dropbox and Instagram at our fingertips on our camera.) The back of the camera even looks a bit like a phone, dominated by the 3.5-inch LCD, and the available colors — white and black — are intensely phone-like as well.

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It's like a Galaxy Player, only with a really great camera

First and foremost, though, the S800c is a camera: it has a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 10x zoom lens ranging from 25-250mm, a built-in flash, shooting up to eight frames per second, and lots of filters and effects that don't force you to take 1024 x 1024 shots Instagram-style. It's also capable of shooting 1080p video with stereo sound. Basically, it's a fairly low-end camera combined with a fairly low-end phone; we're curious to get our hands on the device and see if the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. (Or at least better than Polaroid's Android-powered camera.)

Nikon announced a couple of other models today as well, on either side of the price spectrum of the S800c. The Coolpix P7700 replaces the P7100 as Nikon's DSLR companion, its answer to Canon's G1 X or Fujifilm's X10. The $499.95 shooter does away with the P7100's optical viewfinder, but in exchange you get a serious spec upgrade: the P7700 has a 7.1x zoom lens (from 28-200mm), and aperture at the widest setting can go as bright as f/2. The camera can also shoot 1080p video, and stills should even be better thanks to a new 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. The new shooter also has dials and controls galore for the impatient DSLR user.

On the opposite end, there's the Coolpix S01, which Nikon reps described as "without a doubt the smallest camera I've ever seen." To make the camera so small (it's three inches wide and two inches tall), a lot of its parts are built in — there's no removable battery or memory, so you're stuck with the 8GB it gives you. The S01 has a 2.5-inch LCD, a 10-megapixel CCD sensor, and 3x zoom from 29-87mm. At $179 it's meant for a very different kind of user than Nikon's other new cameras, but there's certainly something to be said for a camera you can lose in your bag.

All three new models will be available in September, alongside the recently announced 1 J2 mirrorless camera.