So we’ve already looked at and been thoroughly impressed by the build quality and HTC Sense interface of the new HTC Desire S Android phone – now here’s a look at the camera.
On paper it’s a bit of a weak point, offering the same 5megapixel still and 720p video capacity as the original HTC Desire. The colour reproduction of the Desire was never that great – are things any better here?
Not really. Photos taken at maximum size come off the Desire S at 2592×1552 widescreen resolution, or, if you like, this can be lowered to 3megapixel 2048×1216 or 1megapixel 1280×768. Or even 640×384. They’re a bit blotchy, and pretty much identical to those of the old HTC Desire.
Outside in good light everything’s fine and you could certainly get away with using it as your “main” camera. But those hoping for an improvement over what was offered in 2010′s HTC Desire will be disappointed.
It’s the same story with video. 720p footage is recorded in 3GP format and is smooth – but rather lacking in clarity and sharpness. You can now zoom in while recording film footage, which is useful, plus the LED light can be set to “always on” for recording yourself doing things in the dark. Like, feeding hedgehogs.
This is a still from a 720p video:
The Desire S doesn’t auto-focus while recording video, but you do get manual control of exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness. An unedited video sample has been uploaded here [55MB] if you’d like to see it in action.
I would put it on YouTube, but can’t for the life of me remember which Gmail account was used to set up the Eurodroid YouTube account.
Back in the world of still photos, there’s a new hipster-pleasing collection of “vintage” filters to give your image that classic 35mm film look, plus a nice vignette option – which blurs the outside of the shot while keeping the centre in focus.
A photo taken with the hipster Vintage filter. This could’ve been taken in 1978, couldn’t it? Although that kettle and microwave rather give things away.
The flash is good (left). Quick and bright and it makes low-light moments actually worth capturing. Indoor shots without flash are fine as long as you’re near a window.
Inside. Dusk. No flash. The Desire S seems to over-compensate for low-light conditions more than the HTC Desire, resulting in grainy, over-saturated images when taking pics at dusky times.
You also get face detection, a self timer, manual white balance and ISO options, geo-tagging and an “Auto enhance” toggle that doesn’t do anything we could identify. Oh, and there’s a switch to flip between rear and front-facing cameras, if you have an urge to see what you look like. Pics taken with the front camera are limited to 640×480.
That’s a vignette shot. A slider appears on the screen when using this option, so you can fiddle with the amount of blur and increase or decrease the size of the central in-focus area.
BEE! And that’s about it. The camera on the HTC Desire S is very fast in operation, focusing and saving shots quickly. Plus you get a few more filters to play with. It’s fine, but is the one area where the Desire S doesn’t offer anything new of substance over last year’s model.
DESIRE S REVIEW SECTIONS: