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Anyway to improve the X digital camera?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by darkcyber, May 17, 2011.

  1. darkcyber

    darkcyber Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I know the X has an 8 megapixel camera, but like about all smartphones the camera's really suck. i.e. they are very slow at taking pictures, slow shutter speed I guess. A lot of times the pictures turn out blurry or a few seconds after what you really wanted to take.

    Are there any options or apps available that really make the camera usable on the X. I mean something that would allow you to replace your regular camera like on family vacation or are we stuck with this half baked camera?


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  2. JediZombie

    JediZombie Well-Known Member

    I would also like to know this. When the X takes a good picture, its awesome! But thats seems to be few and far between.
  3. trophynuts

    trophynuts Extreme Android User

    dude i agree the camera is shady as h*ll. Often times i have to re shoot a pic cause the first one was horrible then the second one will be golden.

    sometimes also the orientation will take wrong, however ...it is still better than it was at stock/launch time.
  4. PlayfulGod

    PlayfulGod Extreme Android User

    There are several camera apps on the market you can try out.
  5. quickaudi

    quickaudi Android Expert

    options in terms of feasibility:

    1. take all pictures in good light, preferrably outdoors
    2. change settings from auto to steady shot
    3. lower the ISO
    4. buy a real P&S camera and use it
    5. add an external USB powered flash (doesn't exist, tmk)
    6. swap out the lens for a real lens
  6. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Android Expert

    As marginal as the camera is, the video is out of this world!
  7. PlayfulGod

    PlayfulGod Extreme Android User

    compared to the Huawei Ascend, the DX's camera is great lol
  8. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    You're just not going to get the kind of quality out of a cell phone camera that you can get out of even a mediocre dedicated camera.

    It's not just about the app. The hardware just isn't there.

    The sensor on these cameras are really, REALLY small. Small sensors mean more noise. More noise means you have to keep the light sensitivity low, in order to produce acceptable images. That, in turn, means slow shutter speeds, leading to blurry images - or higher speed will get you grainy images.

    The flash is lousy, too. A couple of LEDs turning on and off is simply no way to properly illuminate a scene.

    Then, you have these teeny optics. They have to be durable enough to deal with what a cell phone typically goes through, yet high quality enough to provide good contrast, saturation and sharpness in the camera.

    It's asking a whole lot from the little bundle of electronics to do all of these things - and let's not forget, the device isn't primarily a camera. If you increased the price of the phone by $100 and added really good camera electronics/optics/software (and probably substantially increased the thickness of the phone to accommodate it), your sales would plummet because the market is so competitive.

    Buy a small digital camera and carry it around. You'll thank yourself when you snap that one great picture of your family that you want to make an 8x10 print of and hang on your wall.
  9. trophynuts

    trophynuts Extreme Android User

    i usually go for option 4
  10. PlayfulGod

    PlayfulGod Extreme Android User

    true, cell phones arent for taking wall hanging quality pix, their main picture purpose is taking pix to share with friends while out goofing off. On occasion you can get a great pic if the lighting was good n you (the taker) was extra still.
  11. nsa_sailor

    nsa_sailor Android Enthusiast

    I've actually won awards for a couple of smartphone camera pictures I've taken.
  12. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    It's not that it's impossible to take great pictures from a cell phone.

    However, you can't possibly deny that a purpose-specific camera will take far greater pictures ON AVERAGE, especially given the typical chaotic situations where most users are taking photos (not ideal lighting, spur-of-the-moment, etc.)
  13. spb21

    spb21 Well-Known Member

    1. Forget about taking quick shots (unless someone has a secret to this I don't know).
    2. Clean the lens every time. This has made a big difference in quality for me.
    3. I use vignette and have played around with the settings. I use steady shot and get pretty good photos.
  14. realfutbol

    realfutbol Newbie

    To take pictures quicker I almost always use the Sport Scene option. It takes a faster picture. Unless I'm taking landscape or something that is not going to move I've found this gives me the best chance of shooting exactly what I want before it moves.
  15. rehpyc

    rehpyc Android Enthusiast

    Panoramic steady shots + Hawaii + Photoshop sharpener = complete win
  16. darkcyber

    darkcyber Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Yeah, I know that :)

    I was hoping for feedback for someone than had already tested (or used) different apps or settings and come up with a solution.
  17. darkcyber

    darkcyber Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    1. Sometimes you have no control over these conditions
    2. Possibility
    3. Possibility
    4. Does not apply...talking about the X, not digital cameras
    5. Not realistic
    6. Does not apply and not realistic

    I have all these other digital cameras. But what I am looking for is something that can help the X cam be better than it is. It never fails, sometimes you get off somewhere and your wife asks you, "did you bring the digital camera?" and you look at her say I thought you had it :(

    So, I am basically looking for a half way backup plan here. I mean dang, the X has an 8 Megapixel camera, why the crap can't they make it work...lol!
    JB in AZ likes this.
  18. JB in AZ

    JB in AZ Android Expert

    I agree with you 100%! The DX is always in my pocket, my digital camera, not always!

    While I have taken some great pics with the DX, I have also taken some ...ah..let's just say, less than great ones. (But in the DX's defense, I have also taken some pretty bad ones with a pretty good stand alone digital camera....) User error???? :p;)

    With that said, I also would like to hear from those who have had some photographic success with different apps or settings on the DX.

    I know there is another thread with pictures taken on the DX, but this thread would be a good place to list settings/apps etc.

    EDIT: To put it another way, what is the best way to take advantage of the hardware that we have?
  19. quickaudi

    quickaudi Android Expert

    I don't think you get it. Megapixels has NOTHING to do with quality. I have a 3 MP camera at home with a Zeiss lens that I'd put up against any cell phone camera in the world and I would absolutely trounce them in terms of picture quality, clarity, etc.

    You have a cheap lens/shutter combo behind a plastic cover that is using a couple of LEDs for a flash pretender. Heck, double your MP to 16 and it still won't matter - the chip can't interpret the crap that is being sent.

    However, there are some apps (including Camera360, which for some reason is no longer on the Market) that tweak the settings on their own to help produce marginally better pictures. It is worth a shot. I have found that Camera360 does work marginally better than the stock app, especially in low light conditions.

    I understand what you want. I'm telling you that you can't get to England in a row boat. That's what they make airplanes for.
  20. chmodx

    chmodx Android Enthusiast

    For an 8mp camera quality is total crap. Then again, you're using a phone, not a real camera. When you have all these "abilities" crammed into a space smaller than most cameras, it's going to be sub-par on some things.

    A real camera is going to have a better sensor and lens, thus giving you a better pic. It's your sacrifice and choice.
  21. theineffablebob

    theineffablebob Android Enthusiast

    Check out the Samsung Galaxy S II. The optics on that are definitely on par with a low-end point-and-shoot. Maybe not at night, but in daytime conditions the shots it takes are really good.
  22. Teegunn

    Teegunn Android Expert

    I'm no camera expert, but what has been said about the lacking hardware of the DX, and pretty much all cellphone cameras is true in comparison to a P&S. That being said, from the tinkering around I've done, using the app Camera360 is the best and easiest option to improving the pics your DX can take. I use HDR light setting and it really helps. Seems to take pics a tad quicker too, I believe. Hopefully the app hasn't been abandoned if it isn't on the market anymore.
  23. gbynum

    gbynum Member

    I'm more interested in how to use it RELIABLY. I understand as quickaudi said that the glass is the single most important thing ... and Zeiss this ain't.

    My questions are whether there is ANY advantage to 8MP vs 5MP with the DX, what I'm doing wrong when the camera gives the normal(?) 2 beeps but no picture is taken, and why 2 pictures taken minutes (or less) apart differ SIGNIFICANTLY from one another. Does it let me know that it cannot focus? How? Is lack of focus ability part of my issue? I often try to take a snapshot of a machine part label where usually the closer the better.

    On the last, I've kinda decided that the "shutter" fires at different times, and my really blurred images come when I move after I think the photo was taken and it wasn't. Perhaps enabling the shutter sound will help me there.

    I'm familiar with film cameras, digital SLRs cheap and good, and P&S camera cheap and better ... I won't claim there are any good P&S. Some do have better glass than others, and maybe some phones have better glass too ... but I'm stuck with optimizing my results with the DX.

    The downloaded manual doesn't help me. The Droid X for Dummies doesn't help on this. I'd like to understand ...

  24. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Not really. There really isn't the resolution of the lens, or low enough noise, to take advantage of 8mp or to make big prints, and 5mp is more than enough to share photos electronically or with small prints.

    Two beeps indicates focus, not a photo. Either you're not depressing the button far enough, or your button has problems.

    Metering, mostly. The metering on these cameras is pretty much shit. A good camera app would likely help, and I haven't quite pinned down the metering habits of the stock camera. What I do know, is it tends to give weight to the focus point when metering, but even a small amount of bright area in the photo often causes the metering to go batty trying to compensate.

    For example, I was at a lake the other day taking a few shots of the ducks in the grass. If I had any part of the lake in the shot, the reflecting light was causing the photo to be well under exposed. Take the lake out, and boom, no problems.

    The meter should not be so easily overwhelmed by wide variations in light - if 80% of your scene is dark, it should lean towards exposing for the 80%, not going loony to capture the 20%.

    I believe the focus bracket turns green when it believes it has focus, and stays red when it doesn't. However, focus is not to be trusted blindly, always look because no focus system is perfect.

    The camera doesn't like to focus close unless you turn on macro mode. At least, in my experience.

    There's a visual cue on the shutter firing. The picture gets frozen and there's an animation of it moving to the lower left corner if memory serves me correctly (sorry, I left my phone at home). Go with that.

Motorola Droid X Forum

The Motorola Droid X release date was July 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 512GB RAM, TI OMAP3630 processor, and 1540mAh battery.

July 2010
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