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BlackBerry 101 - Camera and Video for OS5

OS 5 Camera header image
By DJ Reyes on 6 Dec 2010 12:05 pm EST
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Digital cameras allow us to capture the moments of our lives whenever and wherever we choose. These days, our mobile phones can almost replace standalone cameras. With zoom functions, a flash, and the ability to record decent quality pictures and video, your BlackBerry is a powerhouse of picture takin' ability. Presented here: a walkthrough on using your camera on your BlackBerry OS 5.0 device.

Still camera

To launch to the camera function on your BlackBerry, press the right-convenience key. This is the default setting for the convenience key. If you have changed this, you can still access the camera by clicking its icon in either your Media or Home folder. You can also launch the camera by opening your pictures folder, press the BlackBerry key, and select Camera.

Take a picture - OS5 camera

To take a picture, press the right-convenience key. Alternatively, you can press the trackball/trackpad. Touchscreen users can press the camera icon on screen.

To zoom in, press the Up Volume key or scroll up using the trackball/trackpad. For touchscreen users, you can swipe the screen up the screen. To zoom out press the Down Volume key or scroll down using the trackball/trackpad. You can also swipe down the screen on your touchscreen BlackBerry.

The lighting conditions icon will let you know if you're shooting in bright or dim light. It is recommended that you use the flash in dim or low light situations.

In this image, the flash is in automatic mode. The flash will be used whenever the BlackBerry senses that lighting conditions need it. You can set flash to always on, always off, or automatic in the settings menu.

After Taking Your Picture

Options available after taking a picture

Immediately after taking a picture, you'll be presented with five different options. 

  • Take another picture - does what it says. Click this button to return to the picture taking screen.
  • Set Picture As... - is actually listed as "Crop" in some manuals. You can use this feature to set the current picture as a Home Screen image (wallpaper) or as the picture for a contact.
  • Rename Picture - allows you to change the name from the cryptic IMG0004-20090706-0920 to the much easier to understand, "Boat in Fiji or something"
  • Delete - another one where the name says it all. Delete removes the picture; this is handy when your picture doesn't live up to your standards.
  • Send This Picture - lets you forward you messages in several ways. You can send your picture via email; MMS; and BlackBerry Messenger, amongst others.

Camera Options

You can view the camera options by pressing Menu-->Options. Here you can set the pictures size and quality, colour effect, flash setting, enable geotagging and choose whether you want to store you photos on your memory card or the onboard memory. 

Camera options in OS5
  • Default Flash Setting - this can be set to Off, On or Automatic.
  • Autofocus - your options here are Normal: for general picture taking; Close-Up: just as it says, use when you want take an up close and personal picture; and Off: where you just turn the Autofocus feature off.
  • Image Stabilization - we get shaky hands at times, by turning this option on it helps you take a more steady shot.
  • White Balance - you can set this to Automatic, Sunny, Cloudy, Night, Incandescent and Fluorescent. Generally, Automatic will do but if you really want to get that perfect shot then change the setting to one that would better suit the picture you're your current lighting condition.
  • Picture Size - you can choose to have your picture set to Small (670x480), Medium (1024x768) or Large (2048x1536). The larger the size the bigger the file size.
  • Picture Quality - Normal, Fine or Superfine. This just allows you to set the picture quality you would like your pictures to come out as. The finer the quality the bigger the file size.
  • Color Effect - your options here are Normal, Black & White, Sepia or Whiteboard. Sepia gives your photos that olden day feel to your photo.
  • Geotagging - this can be enabled or disabled. This option, when enabled, tags your picture with a location stamp. It gives you the details, on a map, of exactly where you took that photo. Useful for when you're out and about or on holiday. 
  • Store Pictures - this option lets you choose where to save your photos. They can be saved either to the device memory or onto a media card. You are also given the option to choose the specific folder you would like them to save to. 

Video camera

Video camera

To switch to the video camera function press Menu-->Video Camera. You can also launch the video camera by pressing the Video Camera icon from the Media folder or your Home folder. 

To start video-recording press the trackball/trackpad. Touchscreen users press the record icon on screen.

To zoom in or out is the same as you would when using the still camera: use the volume keys or swipe up/down the screen on a touchscreen device. It is not possible to zoom in or out during video recording.

After shooting your video

Video camera options after recording

Once you're done recording, press the video camera icon again. This will pause the recording and you will then be presented with six options. 

  • Continue recording - does exactly what it says, allows you to continue with your current video recording session.
  • Stop - fully stops the recording and saves the file. 
  • Play - plays back what you have just recorded so far.
  • Send - lets you forward the message via email or to a Messenger contact.
  • Rename - gives you a chance to change the name to something more memorable and related to the video than the default VID 00014-20101102-2037.
  • Delete - just as it says, lets you delete the current video if it wasn't good enough to keep.

As well as that, just above that you have the file size, file name and video length. 

Video Camera Options 

To get to the video camera options press Menu-->Options. You can change the set the video light, colour effect, video format and to store on videos on the BlackBerry or memory card. 

OS5 Video camera options
  • Video Light - this can be set to On or Off. In low light conditions you may need to turn this option on.
  • Color Effect - you can have this set to Normal, Black & White or Sepia. 
  • Video Format - there is an option for Normal (480x352) or MMS Mode (176x144). These options are pretty self-explanatory, use normal for general video recording and if you want to send a video file over MMS then select the MMS Mode option.
  • Store Videos - this option allows you to choose where you would like to save your video recordings. You can save them to the device memory or media card. You also have the option of choosing what folder you would like them to be saved to.
16 comments

Reader comments

BlackBerry 101 - Camera and Video for OS5

16 Comments
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If your on a 9300 on 9330 it most likely is not there at all because your 93xx has a 2megapixel camera without auto focus

One note when sending pictures. Some non-smartphones cannot except picture if you send them using the large picture size. A few months ago my wife said she never got my pictures even though my phone said they sent. I resent them using the medium size and she got them then.

What's up with these boring articles on the Crackberry! OS5 is old news. Gimme info that we wanna know, like when is the legit OS6 coming out for existing phones (Bold 9650)? When will the Playbook be released? Who cares how to take a pic with your smartphone, if you can't figure it out on your own, you shouldn't have a phone that can do that then.

I would suggest you listen to the latest podcast. They touched on the Playbook and revealed their hopes for a release date. I understand your concern. I myself am on a Torch using OS6, but everyone isn't in our shoes and OS5 is still a reality for many CB users. One thing we know is when they get the info we get the info. I don't believe they are holding anything back. Be patient. The information will come.

I tried to send a video and it said it couldn't. I have BB Bold 9650 with OS 5. The video size was 4.5mb which I believe is still under the maximum size allowed.

Also, after I create a video, how do you send it? The options don't show for email when you go back later to look at video.

Is there any way to post it to Facebook or elsewhere on web through phone or do I have to resort to usb with computer?

When I first got my Storm 2 I was able to crop photos I took. It was a feature that I stumbled upon by accident. I don't know why I can't anymore, but it's frustrating. Does anyone know how to/why not?