1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Camera quality - what can I do about it?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Stringfellow, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi, Android fans! I love my Incredible (HTC), but there must be something wrong with my camera, which I hope is caused by a defect which can be remedied. I have searched this forum, but found no solutions for my camera's disappointing performance, only that there are known issues. If anyone has solutions now, I'd be very happy to see them.

    1. With 8 mp, and the widest camera lense which I've seen on any phone, the view and the pictures taken through it should not be grainy.

    2. The camera viewfinder often shows a creepy sort of reddish, and often flickering tint. Actual pictures (viewed on Incredible) when taken back-to-back of the same view with no variances in light have shown differences in color saturation.

    My Incredible screen does not show such flickering, shifting of color saturation, or grainy image rendering, therefore I know that this issue is limited to my camera or the software which drives it. While the screen does lean more to the reddish side of white in general, I have seen a really good phone camera where white always tends to be bluish.

    3. There is often brief blurring while I'm not moving (or barely twitching) the camera, almost as if the autofocus is having difficulty making up it's mind.

    4. With the flash off in low indoor light, this daddy of all phone cameras produces pictures which are twice as dark as life.

    I sort of expect that some may say "well, just use the flash, stupid", or "what do you expect, it's still just a phone camera", but I happened to be comparing this phone camera to one which has only 5 mp, a narrower lense, and no flash, and if it didn't come with AT&T's horrible call quality, I would not be sending that one back. This Galaxy S camera has less of a phone on paper, but it was tested side-by-side with the Incredible camera. It showed the very same scene, under the very same light settings (quite dark), perfectly clean and absolutely true to life with the light. This is why, when I look through my Incredible camera, that I'm sure there must be something wrong with the camera on my phone. The alternative presumption would be that most Incredible users have the same issues, but still never saw a better cell-phone camera - this I doubt.

    Has anyone else experienced the above issues, been equally unhappy about it, and found a way to fix them?

  2. gvillager

    gvillager Android Enthusiast

    Make sure your camera lens is clean. It made a huge difference for me.
  3. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Oh, I think of that all the time, with that silly bubble housing which leaves the lense completely unprotected. I keep an eyeglass chamois on hand for the screen as well. That's not what's causing my problems.

    Anyway, were you actually experiencing problems which were similar to mine?
  4. woop

    woop novacane (OFWGKTA)

    That bubble housing IS the protection. The actual camera lens is the eye-ball looking thing underneath it.

    As for focusing issues, have you tried using tap-to-focus instead? I find that helps somewhat in terms of clarity. Pick where you want the camera to focus instead of letting it try to figure out itself. You can also use tap-to-shoot instead of pressing the trackpad which seems to help keeping the camera more stable.

    As for your grainy remark, from what I understand, wouldn't an 8 megapixel make pictures MORE grainy compared to a 5? Just because its 8 megapixels doesn't have much to do with how the actual picture quality comes out as (and unfortunately most of the general public ties picture quality so tightly with megapixels which is why Verizon focuses on the 8 megapixel feature on this phone so heavily - when infact that probably is one of the least factors). And by having more pixels within the picture itself, you cause it to grain-up for lack of a better term. More pixels would come in handy if you intended to blow up the picture to a much larger size where less megapixel cameras would cause it to pixelate (but would be less grainy in small sized pictures). Both are highly dependent on the optics and sensors though and I'm sure higher end ones would negate this issue. Again, I'm no camera expert but this is just my take on it.
  5. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for your comments. I find them interesting, although I sure would like to see elaboration on them, maybe from someone who is an expert on cameras.

    What I really struggle to make sense of is the idea that the red bubble is protection of the lens. There's only one way of protecting a camera lense - it's called a lens cap (or a retracting door).

    I'm still interested in any theory which you've been presented with on what that bubble is supposed to do, but I can't see how it, being permanently installed, and subject to all of the scratches of anything which could be under it, wouldn't be as much a liability.
    EDIT: Uh, wait, just what bubble housing are you referring to? I was referring to the red eyeball, which ships bare. I referred to it as a "bubble" because it looks cartoonishly silly, and the word "eyeball" would be too personal for a gadget. Do you have some sort of bubble case covering the camera lens in it's protruding red-eye housing on your Incredible?

    To clarify what I mean by grainy image rendering: I recall from my pre-digital college photography that this is what it's called when the hardware, film (or the hardware which takes the place of film in a digital camera), or both fails to capture enough light from the scene or object to produce a quality image. It results from little holes in the image, and this is not the same as pixelation. Not the same, so this non-expert thinks, in that pixels, however big and blocky they may be on a pixelated image, do form a contiguous image, rather than an image full of holes left between any concentration of dots. Maybe it's only pixels which need apply in digital, thereby negating the difference between pixelated and grainy, but the noise which shows is awful, whatever the cause.

    Anyway, shouldn't more megapixels equate to smaller pixels, which would reduced (not increase) pixelation? Moreover, I struggle with the notion that a viewfinder which is close enough to the size of a 3x5 photo print, which can be produced in quality about as well from a 2mpxl or a 12 mpxl camera, should be expected to show either problem, but especially the grain quality issue.

    The fact that the lens is wider than so many is another mystery, that more light doesn't seem to filter through. Not when smaller lenses have let through more, for almost the same price.

    Questions still not answered.
  6. woop

    woop novacane (OFWGKTA)

    That red thing is NOT the protective cover and is just a bezel for aesthetic purposes. Like I said before, the camera lens is UNDERNEATH that plastic dome and looks like an eyeball. This plastic piece IS removable in the case it gets completely scratched, broken, etc. and can be replaced. You seem to be mistaking the protective cap with the lens.

    I cannot comment on your second paragraph because I have no clue where you're getting at nor if its even relevant as it seems like what you're referring to is the exposure itself on non-digital cameras. But again, I'll leave it at that as even if I did know what you were trying to get at, I probably wouldn't have a good explanation for it. In terms of megapixels, what's essentially happening is they are jamming so many pixel points within the image itself that it causes it to look grainy, especially in a smaller picture. As I mentioned before, if you were planning on blowing up the picture, it probably wouldn't look as bad. And again, I would say this is dependent on the sensor and optics of the camera being able to capture the object at a reliable rate. You can search any camera related thread and I would say 99% of the people will tell you that high megapixels doesn't automatically equal great picture quality.
  7. sabrewings

    sabrewings Android Expert

    To start with, I noticed you referred to the MP of a camera and how large its lens is. There is no correlation between a digital camera's lens and it's MP. The higher the MP just means they fit a higher amount of light sensors in roughly the same space. The CMOS sensors on camera phones are all pretty much the same size (and their lens). A 5MP sensor is the same size as an 8MP sensor, they just used a more advanced production technology to shrink the components further.

    The red housing and associated clear "lens" is removable without much effort. Plenty on here have cracked it and replaced it on their own. It does protect the actual camera lense which is below.

    It has less to do with exposure and more to do with how the software does jpeg compression and how quality the CMOS sensor is. I think HTC decided to go with 8MP is because it was cheaper than a high quality 5MP. The higher the res, the less likely you are to notice the noise caused by jpeg compression.

    As was said, the outside piece is not the lens. The actual lens is the small circle you see inside which is not large at all. It's more pixels working with the same light that camera phones have always had.
  8. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the info. I knew that the megapixel count was good for little more than marketing in most cases, but forgot what I read awhile ago on the CMOS sensor (which I still don't quite understand). You would think that a larger lense would help, but I guess it isn't that important relative to the slightly smaller Galaxy S camera and it's great sensor.

    Anyway, do you see the same problems as I've described when your camera is on autofocus? I need to know if my problems are the least bit unusual, as in worth the trouble of a trip to the shop on a defective-camera claim.

    If these problems are normal with Incredible, is there software (such as a better camera program) which could actually improve picture quality?
  9. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Oh, goofy Christ on a Vespa! No way I could have guessed such a ridiculous idea could be in play (using a non-sliding cover, or not functionally-removable cover), therefore I failed to notice despite the questions it caused on why it doesn't move for auto-focus, why I didn't see lens shape on the surface, etc. I suppose it's this way with other camera phones as well, but the cover is flush with the body. And the lens underneath would be much smaller than this dumb eye housing. Why, other than for dumb gimmickery, would they build this bulky bubble around the lens when a plastic blackout sliding door would make a lot more sense?

    In taking a new look at the lens cover bubble, I think it may explain some photo quality issues - not because it isn't clean, but because of the design. Most pro photos are taken with a bare lens, as any cover would not help the light infiltration. Besides the potential for putting a scratched surface in front of the lens, it actually would cut the amount of light which goes through the lens to the sensor, while presenting it's own reflective glare noise, although I only wonder how significant these issues are with the Incredible bubble. On the other hand, I really do wonder if the tapered, opaque cylinder around the lens isn't significantly contributing to darker photos. Does anyone have enough of a background in photography to know?

HTC Droid Incredible Forum

The HTC Droid Incredible release date was April 2010. Features and Specs include a 3.7" inch screen, 8MP camera, Snapdragon S1 processor, and 1300mAh battery.

April 2010
Release Date

Share This Page