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Support Sample Pictures Define Camera Problem

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by JoeKC, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. JoeKC

    JoeKC Member
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    I spent some time today doing controlled tests with the camera on the Droid and these tests confirmed my thoughts about the Droid camera: It will take decent pictures, but not in autofocus mode. I've posted a link to the pictures in Picasa **here**.

    The EXIF data shows the following: f.2.8 is the only aperture used. High shutter speeds in hazy sunlight will enable you to steady the camera. Most of the shutter speeds topped out ~ 1/1400 of a second. The other variable is ISO and in bright sunlight it's set very low, usually around ISO 50. This is a good thing since it allows you to have a high shutter speed since these tiny cameras are inherently hard to steady. I cannot account for the fixed aperture of f.2.8. In a larger camera such a wide setting would normally assure a rather soft picture. Here it seems to work.

    The sample pictures I posted were duplicated many times in my tests and the results were consistent. As you look at the samples you will first see a wide picture. I then opened the picture in Photoshop and took it to 100% (all pixels displayed) then I cropped an area of interest.

    The results show the fixed focus working fine (with not as much shutter lag since it's not hunting for focus) and the autofocus mode completely broken. I think this shows a definite software issue. The hardware seems fine, although the shadow areas are quite noisy, the result of a tiny sensor and its overflowing photosites.

    So go ahead and take pictures outdoors and you'll probably get decent pictures set at infinity, even when you are taking pictures of friends in groups.

    I'll make a guess that this software bug is a result of a code screwup at the very last minute. If we can be patient I suspect the fix will be a simple one.
     

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  2. avongil

    avongil Member
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    Yeah, i have noticed that too. So I just leave it in infinity mode. Of course this limits the use of the camera!

    Oh someone please make good software for the camera!

    Waiting is a small price to pay for such a great phone though. Totally addicted.
     
  3. shmoop

    shmoop Lurker
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    so what does it mean when there are red corners when you take a pic vs green corners? is that a focus issue?
     
  4. JoeKC

    JoeKC Member
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    Yup. The autofocus simply doesn't work, or maybe will get a lock rarely by random chance. Don't use it.
     
  5. shmoop

    shmoop Lurker
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    is it suggested i take the phone back? also i can access the phone on the main menu page but the side button won't mount the phone
     
  6. JoeKC

    JoeKC Member
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    It's not clear to me what you mean by "the side button won't mount the phone"

    There's no reason to take the phone back because of the camera issue. You'll just get another one with the same problem -- this is happening to everyone. Use the workaround I described and wait a few weeks for a fix.
     
  7. JonKyu

    JonKyu Member
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    Just as a second opinion, I took mine back and got better performance with my replacement phone. I get the auto-focus working more, "Auto" settings perform much better now. Barcode scanner works faster. My wifi is more stable, and my battery door is fitted better.

    I don't personally understand it because the manufacturing build is the same as my other phone. :thinking::thinking: Could it be that Motorola's manufacturing warehouse is not producing consistent quality builds?
     
  8. JoeKC

    JoeKC Member
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    Maybe it's a build issue but since Motorola/Verizon/Android immediately acknowledged the problem and promised a software fix, I'm thinking it's not in the build. Excepting in low light conditions, autofocus should work everytime on subjects with decent contrast. By "better" do you mean you're getting green corners most of the time? I've never seen a green corner once.:(
     
  9. JonKyu

    JonKyu Member
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    Yeah I know what you mean I think its a software issue also, but it just doesn't explain why so many other people (and now me) have droids that actually handle pictures better. My replacement droid takes brighter pictures and I can get focus quicker and shots process faster for me. So I'm excited about the update. I'm already happy with it now, I hope the update makes it even better.

    Just a note about manufacture builds. The replacement although generally much better feels like the keyboard is "softer" not as "clicky" as my old one, also the screen sliding feels a little off. This was a brand new droid straight from the box too.
     
  10. Don S

    Don S Android Enthusiast
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    I am actually fairly impressed with the Droid camera. I have had sporadic issues with focus, but I find it generally focuses fairly well in decent light, though not so much in darker settings. It is easily better than any camera phone I have ever used before though, no question...
     
  11. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian
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    JonKyu - can you verify that all of the info is the same - the software build versions as well as the hardware revisions on the printed sticker?

    I suspect that units that are coming out now are updated already with temporary fixes for the camera issues since this is one of the most clamored about problems with this phone....
     
  12. JonKyu

    JonKyu Member
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    I'd be glad to if you tell what number to post. I took a record of the back sticker behind the battery in both my old and replacement phone.
     
  13. JoeKC

    JoeKC Member
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    That might be, but here's something to consider. I have a 42/09 phone and as my pictures (above) show, given a foreground/background situation, the camera will lock onto neither, leaving a totally oof picture.

    Now this is where it gets strange. I tried the Amazon app which scans barcodes. It works perfectly, quickly finding the barcode and locking the focus. Then I downloaded Barcode Scanner, and it worked perfectly as well, even in artificial light in my house. It quickly locked and snapped, then transmitted the picture.

    So this leads me to believe it's a software problem, since the tests I've done shows me the camera can get a good picture, given the correct instruction set.
     
  14. Backnblack

    Backnblack Well-Known Member
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    Which is why there is an update coming on 12/11...
     
  15. JoeKC

    JoeKC Member
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    Exactly.
     
  16. michaelearth

    michaelearth Member
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    What are the chances that in the 12/11 update they would add some post processing to help reduce the grain in low light picture settings?


    Thanks
     
  17. JoeKC

    JoeKC Member
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    Maybe, but I'm skeptical. From a hardware perspective it's easy to put more pixels on a sensor, but the tradeoff is more noise. The same thing has happened with most digital cameras, though not as much with SLRs. Two years ago the smaller digital cameras were in the middle of a pixel war as uniformed consumers believed more pixels automatically meant better pictures. Now things like IS are (quite rightly) more important.

    Most likely any quick fix for shadow noise will tradeoff with softer pictures, much the way Photoshop fixes noise.
     
  18. Watashi

    Watashi Well-Known Member
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    Anyone notice how you an see the flash drown out the right zide of the picture in low light? I took some pics at a party last night and the whole right side of the photos are saturated with the flash

    Anyone know if this issue will be fixed with a software update?
     
  19. Backnblack

    Backnblack Well-Known Member
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    Not sure...I have a D90, I don't expect much from a cell phone camera.
     

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