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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
- 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.