I don’t buy my phone based on the camera, but there is a lot of truth to the adage that the best camera you have is the one that is with you. The cameras keep getting better and better with each generation of phone. The camera in the Droid X is an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flashes and the ability to record 720p HD. It is certainly not going to replace my DSLR, but it is quite capable.
I love the fact that the phone comes with a capture button on top (when held sideways). It is the red button in this shot:
As mentioned, the camera is capable of 8 megapixels. You may be surprised that your first batch of pictures are 6mp. This is because the default is to take pictures in a 16:9 format that not only fills the display of the phone, but also a widescreen TV. You can set the phone to 6, 8, 5, 3 or 2 MP.
If you have read any of my reviews in the past, or know a little something about digital photography, you know the mp count is not that great of an indicator of quality. Unfortunately the more pixels you squeeze on a sensor of a given size, the smaller the area to react to light and the worse it performs in low-light.
This performs pretty well, however, and includes dual LEDs to help out. Here are some shots at a restaurant. Click to see the full size:
Outside in plenty of light, it really shines. Here is an example of the mounted police:
The camera has quite a few features. You can choose a Scene to optimize for your shooting circumstance including:
- Night Portrait
- Steady Shot
You can also choose to apply effects like:
- Black and White
- Red Tint
- Green Tint
- Blue Tint
What is more interesting to me are the Picture Modes. You have:
- Single shot
- Panorama assist
- Self portrait
Panorama assist is a very slick feature. When selected you get to choose the direction of the pan; up, down, left, or right.
After you line up the first part of the shot you hit the camera button once and slowly pan. The camera lets you know where you are in the pan, and when it takes each shot. The panorama can include up to 6 shots (you can press the shutter again to end the capture). Here was a small pan:
Here is a larger one of 5 frames. I wish the day had been a little clearer. You can kind of see some shading at the four borders, but still pretty nice job.
The phone supports HD Video. The quality is quite nice. i took a few samples (some that were in ridiculous conditions, that it did not do well in). This is definitely a good light feature. Here is the Youtube of a short video outside:
When the beach ball comes in frame, the camera did adjust the lighting change a little bit. I was very impressed by the quality of the video. I am not going to get rid of my Webbie or Canon HV20 for it, but still, this is in a phone.
This is not an in-depth analysis of the capabilities of the camera, but I liked it. For a camera in a phone, this is one of the best I have used.