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Nikon prepping new Coolpix camera featuring Android?

Japanese optical and imaging specialist Nikon is lining up a new compact camera featuring Android, according to recent speculation.

Citing a filing with the Indonesian Communication Agency (below), the information originates from the Nikon Rumors blog and tips a 22 August launch for the Coolpix S800c, which will probably run the sturdy-if-aging 2.3 version of Google's operating system.

Android fanboys will no doubt be disappointed that the gossip only points to Gingerbread - as opposed to Ice Cream Sandwich or even Jelly Bean - and there doesn't seem to be much to get camera enthusiasts excited, either. It's a decidedly average proposition on paper: a 25-250mm lens, 3.5in back OLED screen, and built-in GPS and Wi-FI capability being the only specs currently hinted at (although we'd imagine that the OLED screen will be touch-sensitive too).

Still, the rumoured product isn't entirely without merit and access to Google's expansive Play store on a camera isn't to be sniffed at, even if it the app-purchasing platform entails certain security concerns.

For one, there's the prospect of being able to battle cardboard robots on Amazing Alex whilst waiting for the perfect lighting to show off your new puppy's cuteness. Youngsters might also enjoying zoning out to games during family outings - before mum and dad nab it to snap the rare Green-crowned Warbler that decided to rest on the nearby fence.

An Android smart camera is also likely to appeal to socially active sorts, as social networking apps coupled with GPS-powered geo-tagging provide myriad possibilities for foodies, party people, and the like – not to mention representing a dangerous prospect if you have any cat fanciers in your Twitter feed.

It's nothing you can't do on a phone, of course, but the image quality is likely to be noticeably inferior to what you would get with a dedicated photography device, although the Nokia PureView 808 comes very close.

Other consumer electronics firms, like Samsung, are also thought to be toying with the notion of Android smart snappers, while Polaroid released a camera running the Google OS, the SC1630, earlier in the year.

It's an interesting concept and one that is likely to get better in the future, as more smart features make their way into the camera world - 3G connectivity in particular would be an exciting development for photographers.