Phones

Windows Phone 7, Day 17: Taking and Sharing Pictures with WP7

Camera Settings

I'm not a photographer, so I can appreciate the simplicity of full-automatic point-and-shoot. But, I also know there are those who want more control over the camera settings, and to be able to adjust things like white balance, contrast, and sharpness. "Mango" seems to present both options in one platform.

Clicking on the settings icon at the bottom of the camera function opens up a menu of tweaks and alterations. I can change AF mode from "normal" to "macro", choose my white balance based on the available lighting--daylight, cloudy, fluorescent, incandescent. And I can set the ISO and metering for the shot, and even determine what resolution the image should be captured at.

Windows Phone 7.5
"Mango" gives me the option of customizing the camera settings, or just using it in point-and-shoot mode.
I can also understand why I might not want all of the complexity of the settings. The reason that smartphones are such popular cameras isn't because they take truly awesome photos, but because they're convenient. The primary appeal of a smartphone camera is that I can point and shoot in an instant to capture a photo using the device that's with me virtually 24/7.

Windows Phone 7 gives me the option to change these settings, or I can just leave them all set to "auto" or the default settings and just let "Mango" take the picture. By default, the changes made to settings are not retained, but you can tap "Save settings" to store the configuration with all of your preferences. At any time, though, you can also tap "Restore default settings" to get back to the full automatic, point and shoot mode.

Capturing Video

At the bottom right of the camera display is an icon to switch from photo to video mode (or back if I am already in video mode). I can tell instantly if I am in video mode because the time appears in large numbers in landscape mode so I can monitor how long my video clip is as I record.

I can zoom in using the plus and minus buttons on the display--but only before recording. While the recording is live the zoom functions do not work.

If I tap the settings icon at the lower left, I get a different set of options than the photo mode. It is a shorter list, but I can still set the white balance, and choose image effects like sepia or antique. I can also set the video resolution to either VGA or 720p HD, and I can turn the flash on or off for recording video in low or no light situations.

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