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BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera Comparison

By Adam Zeis on 11 Aug 2011 02:17 pm EDT
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BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera

** Update from Kevin: Hey Guys, I reached out to Research In Motion for some official word regarding the camera on the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 (Torch 9810 and 9850/9860 still have autofocus). Here's the response:

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 has an always in focus 5MP camera (also known as EDOF, Extended Depth of Field) which allows for excellent image quality and it has an ultra thin footprint, which allowed us to achieve the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone to date. The EDOF camera keeps subject matter in focus while offering high quality images and 720p HD video capture. 

So there you have it. What do you think? An acceptable trade-off for thiness or you really need that single-shot auto focus? **

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is hot off the presses, and most of you still haven't plenty of questions about whats new, good, bad and ugly. One of the burning questions is how the camera on the Bold 9900 stacks up to previous BlackBerry devices. The new camera is still 5MP however is loses the auto focus we're used to in favor of EDOF (Extended Depth of Field) aka "all focus". While this means the Bold 9900 can take photos quickly, it doesn't necessarily mean that it takes them better. Keep reading for a few comparison shots between the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Bold 9780. I shot various photos in a few different modes, so you decide which one takes the cake. I'm obviously not the greatest photographer, so I'm sure we'll see plenty more testing from users as they start to get their hands on the 9900. Head to the forums for more.

Discuss more in the forums

BlackBerry Bold 9900 camera comparison

Indoor - No Flash

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9780 
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9900

 

Outdoor - No flash 

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9780
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9900

 

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9780 
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9900

 

Indoor - With flash 

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9780 
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9900

 

Indoor - No flash - Closeup Mode 

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9780 
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9900

Indoor - No Flash - Bold 9780 on continuous mode

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9780 
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera BlackBerry Bold 9900

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bold 9900 Camera Comparison

238 Comments

No it's not. Using the plant example, it is clear to me the 9900 is pushing way too much red. Don't confuse more color for better color. It should be accurate color.

And without a doubt, there is a tremendous loss of detail and sharpness on the 9900 compared to the 9780.

If I did not have a separate digicam (I use a Panasonic Lumix), and intended my phone to be my primary source or picture taking, these results would really bum me out!

No, he/she is correct in my opinion. The bottom pictures in the comparisons are the photos taken by the 9900.

The photos taken with the 9780 seem much more crisp and the colors look more true.

The 9900 BOLD has the richer & vibrant color. The 9870 BOLD shoots a more clear picture, the lines and details are more defined.

Now if the could take a little from both cameras, they would make a ver very nice set up. Let RIM learn from this and make the camera for the QNX device a superb one.

When it comes to the QNX device, they need to not spare any expense on the hardware, they need for it to truly live up tho QNX's potential.

@rtk777

More color doesn't mean better. The 9900 oversaturates the colors (from the pics shown above).

@jaeburg

Yup, the first picture starts with 9780, which only leaves the possibility for the second picture to be with the 9900. The same pattern continues...

The 9780 is the clear winner here, NO QUESTION.

What I meant by richer color was (true to actuality). My apologies for the lack of a better use of words :o)

Being first and using a wrong word gets you eaten alive. lol, learned that the hard way.

-Alex

I agree with abrante, that the 9780 takes the better looking shot except maybe the outdoor one where it has a noticeable warmth to the picture (look at the sky) which most consumers would probably like but the lack of autofocus in still photography is not great and really should be addressed in their upcoming phones.

The new camera though will probably be better for video work so I look forward to a stabilised hd shot from the 9900.
There's no doubt that having HD video is a winner and I could probably live with the trade offs for that feature(since I generally prefer taking photos with my dedicated camera) but it's still a tough call!
Having moved from a 9000 to a 9780, its very hard to give up AF in still shots especially with a camera like this - I love having the option of turning it off in video.

I thought the 9780 looked good too, but if you compare the phones the are very different. personally I use the cameras on my phone or tablet to capture impromtu impressions, or convenience moments. If I want to shoot some pictures with accurately saturated colours, depth of field etc,either my wife or I will use a proper camera with some good light catching instead of my bb or her ip4. i looked at the 9900 yesterday, it looks fantastic, I would take the new form factor trade over the autofocus all day long. And for someone who has big fingers and has always been forced to a pearl to be able to type, the keyboard is a dream.

i have both the 9780 and the 9900 and was very excited when the i heard the 9900 is coming out and i bought it overseas before it came out in the states. long story short, the camera on the 9780 is WAY better than the 9900 and its so dissappointing because the 9900 doesnt focus and the closer your object is,the worse of a photo it takes.

9780 is much better. Sharper and more detail, and it's unfortunately by a wide margin. Kind of hard to believe!

9780 looks better to me in almost every picture. I hope software improvements can improve the performance of the 9900. It will be difficult.

I hope this is a software thing and they can put the AF back. I prefer the way my 9650 can be set for AF or non AF. Give us choice!! The 9780 camera is putting the 9900 to shame here.

Unfortunately it's hardware, no way to fix it with software. PerHAPS, they can improve the camera function with software, but they can't turn it in to an AF camera.

This is a deal breaker for me as I was deciding on the Torch or Bold come October. I have now made my decision!

Nope the 9810 and 9850/9860 both come with auto-focus cameras. The only thing that is the same is the amount of Mega-Pixels, which as we can see doesn't have as big of an impact as lens/focus type.

Why is RIM going backwards with the 99xx's camera software? I don't understand. Can auto-focus be added on later as software update?

Shameful. I'd take a 3.2mp AF over 5mp EDoF any day. I know they probably did it for HD video capture, but at the expense of good picture taking? Super lame.

damn its like my heart got ripped out a little now that i can tell the serious diff btwn photos. i used to be indifferent because my autofocus on my 9780 can be fickled, but shoot, thats a huge diff in quality of pictures!!

You must be confusing which pictures belong to which phone. 9780 has the detail and the correct colors (consistent in all the examples above). Look at the picture of the Bold 9900 box taken with the 9900 (The phone looks greyish and even brownish) On the other hand you look at it with the 9780 and the color looks as is. Nothing more to say.

Not only that, but you can also actually read the words on the box in the picture taken by the 9780. The 9900 doesn't pick up that detail. Super let down!!!!!!

The overexposed letters can be attributed to the power of the flash. When the flash is stronger and reflects back to the lens it will overexpose (which is normal). The saturation issue has no remedy since it happened in all the pictures above taken by the 9900.

Wow, given how much people use their camera's on their phones, the 9900's camera is a clear step back. The person who made the decision to lose the auto focus without comparing how much worse the new camera appears to be should be fired. Really bad call. Is the video camera better with the HD, or is it off as well?

The new camera they used, although it is no longer AF, it makes the video quality phenomenal.. It's a trade of with this phone, previous versions have REALLY good pictures and alright video camera, and this phone has good pictures and a REALLY good video camera. Which do you think you'll use more? I'm actually thinking the video camera as I never really take pictures too often with my phone.

How could RIM be such a bunch of idiots... wait don't answer that question. Anyhow between pricing (with T-Mobile), crappy camera, no UMA and a likely lack of application support, I think I'm going to hang on to my 9700 longer or pick up an HTC Sensation when I'm up for my upgrade next month. This is really disappointing, I was really looking forward for the last several months for the release of the 9900. I'm beginning to side with the doubters that say RIM won't be around in it's current form in 3 to 5 years.

Really?

The camera not taking quite as good still pictures is a deal breaker?

The fact that the results need to be seen side by side speaks volumes.

And if video quality is boosted as a result then I think that the trade-off is fair.

And I'm yet to see a mobile phone camera that I would regard as 'good enough'. That's why we buy real cameras.

9780 looks better. but both are fine for taking pictures of my cat (which seems to be the only thing i take pictures of).

As someone said above, more colour doesn't mean better colour. You want accurate colours. Any phone can pump up the saturation on photos to make them more vibrant, doesn't make the picture quality any better though, it's just more striking.

something that I find the iPhone 4 does to an extreme, but everyone seems to love the pictures for some reason...

Colors appear better on the 9900, but the clarity and focus is superior on the 9780. There has to be a happy medium...if EDOV is more conducive to HD video and AF to photographs, why not have both available on the same phone? It's a software thing, isn't it?

I'd say the 9780 wins on most of them, except for the outdoor deck one which I think I'd give a slight edge to the 9900. Disappointing.

To me, it looks like the 9780 takes indoor/close up pics better, but the 9900 stomps all over it outdoors/med-long distance.

You must be another one mixing up which device took which picture. If you look at the pic taken with the 9780 the clouds and the trees show much more detail and crispness. The clouds and trees in the 9900 pic have a mushy look.

Nope, I know which camera took which. I just prefer the outdoor pics of the 9900 and the indoor pics of the 9780.

not sure why the close up shots are coming out so terrible. Both my 9530 and 9700 take much sharper close up shots. Might be the photographer :)

The ring pic looks horrible. lol, could have been the photographer on that one :o). The other pictures are sharp enough and this is not a DSLR so the photographer can't control anything past that point. lol

That really sucks..The camera on the 9900 is terrible. I was very pleased with the improvements brought to the 9780.

There is definitely a clear winner, and it's the 9780. I am disappointed that RIM would take a step back in regards to their camera hardware.

The funny thing is they could have kept the same camera and speed as the 9780 and just changed the video recording part of it. My 9780 has no lag when taking non-flash photos, can't say the same about my 9650 though.

A couple of the 9900 picture look almost as good, BUT for the most part it's the 9780 in a landslide! Good thing I don't buy a phone based on it's camera function.

But the camera is an important part of my phone because I travel alot and use my 9700 to share my surroundings and to send quick updates. This really sucks, I'll probably still get a 9900 but I guess I won't be taking as many pictures as I'm used to. Total dissapointment.

Really agree, my BB camera is so important to share my surroundings with my family back home when I travel (as well as taking snaps of my family when I'm at home). Such a shame.

+1 and seriously, I'm sure the average person rarely even uses their camera per chance their animal is doing something goofy.. I don't know, so many of these people are acting like its a deal breaker that they aren't buying it now which is a joke.. That's the last thing I get a f**k about when I buy a phone. It doesn't hurt the cause that the video recording is absolutely phenomenal though :p

Just because YOU don't use the camera function all that much doesn't mean there isn't plenty or people who do use the camera. As you can tell from the not so happy comments a camera on a cell phone is extremely convenient. I also use the camera on my 9700 to take pictures of documents for work. Looks like the new camera will be completely useless for that.

Great that you can overlook it, but a fuzzy, colour saturated still camera is a deal breaker for some of us.

I'm one of those that uses the camera almost daily, and the camera quality is part of the overall package.

The 9780 looks way better. Not happy about this at all. Good camera is a must for me and the BB 9900 camera looks terrible. For others, I'm sure they could care less about the camera. For me this is a big negative. Sucks.

I work for TMO and have gone through many phones. I've got a drawer full of them.

Right now I'm sporting a Samsung Galaxy s4 and BB 9780.

I have a Nokia Astound (C7) as well and the camera on that is an 8MP with EDOF. It takes real quick pictures because its always focused. Far away shots look good but the closer you get to an object, the worse it gets. The really bad part is if you need to take a picture of a document.....its not gonna happen with EDOF.

Now, lucky for me, the camera isn't a big deal so it wont stop me from picking up the 9900 but I will have to agree with others......BAD MOVE on that decision.

Every image captured by the 9780 is superior to those of the 9900. Who thought this new (lesser) camera was a good option? That's unfortunate.
I'll still grab a 9900 anyway. I'm lookin' forward to the other great features.

What a disaster for RIM. Beautiful keyboard, touchscreen, etc., the dream BlackBerry we had all been waiting on, and then they drop the ball so terribly. Unbelievable. Looks like I'll have to hold on to my 9780 for a long time to come. :(

Comparing the 2 of them, the 9780 takes much better pictures because of the auto-focus, Hope they can include that feature on the 9900 later in future updates

While they cant change it having auto focus with an update, they can change how each "mode" acts and translates the image. So it may not be as good as adding AF, but each "mode" or option (i.e. close up, night mode,etc) can be tweaked with software and hopefully provide better options/modes in the future.

Wow! If they put the same AF-less/colour saturated camera in the 9810, I'm waiting for the QNX phones.

Obviously I'm not the final word on what should, or shouldn't go into a BB. But for me, AF is a must! Proper colour balance is a must!

Might be interesting to see other CB user's opinion on the matter with a CB poll.

Adam, we all read-well some of us, that your not the best at taking pics.... From my phone Torch 9800 its a 50/50 for all of those shots... No clear winner. But even with the auto focus on my phone, the pics are not sharp all the time. If I remember correctly, the 9000 didn't have auto focus....but it took good shots. The problem I had with my 9000, was the lint or dust in the lense.....

9900 is definitely a step backward. I've taken some very good photos with my 9800. I'm assuming that the camera in the new 9810 is the same as the one in the 9900?

I hope the speed makes up for a loss of clarity. I love my current Torch pictures but frankly I often take pictures of my kids and by the time the picture is taken the boys are half way off the frame. Still, I remain hopeful more information will come out on this.

It would be nice if RIM stepped up before US release letting us know update is on the way.
That wont happen of course they dont like communication with consumer so my upgrade will be used on something else

If Adam would have posted pics only of the 9900 the responses would have been more positve. Having a comparable that exceeds the expecations (9780) makes the camera on the 9900 look bad. The video on the other hand makes the 9780 look really bad. I compared the video from my 9780 in similar lighting as Kevin did for the 9900 and the 9900 is light years ahead. So it is a give and take :o)

why should it have to be a give and take? why not just keep whats good and make whats not better? i dont understand rim...

Hey dude. Did you take off the protective camera cover on the bold 9900? I'm going to have to make my own test at the store.

Good question! I believe he did since the pictures are not showing any signs of blur (the extra layer would have made it harder for the lens to focus). But all in all, great question!

Looks like the 9900 takes a hit on stills while kicking ass and taking names on video.
Me personally, I'd rather have it the other way around. Disappointed, but not so much to deter me from picking this bad boy up when I can.

Well the 9780 seems like it take picture more accurately when it comes to colour and a sharp picture but in the first pic when u look at the phone edges it doesn't seems like it smoothes out straight edges tht well. The bold 990 does take pictures slightly blurry that may be because the speed in with its snap the photo is a bit too fast so it didn't get the time to render the details or the camera did catch the details but some how the OS didn't save it as such, but whatever it is I'm pretty sure OS update will fix that but for now 9780 camera is better

Wow... This is disappointing. As someone who takes more pictures with my phone than my actual camera this is very close to a deal breaker for me. I have a 9800 and it takes far better pictures than the 9900 does. Might have to wait for QNX instead of upgrading in a couple of days... Not impressed.

By looking at all the pictures, from what I can tell, is that the 9900 really enriches the color. The 9780 however enriches detail. Even when the 9900 took blurry shots, the color difference could still be seen. I like the color enrichment, but without great focus, I could careless for it.

Wow. REAL disappointing. I have followed all the information coming out on this phone with great relish, and REALLY wanted this phone. But a lousy camera?? I have no other mode of taking pictures (that's right, I don't own a digital camera) and I take a lot of pictures with my Blackberry. Must I seriously consider the iPhone now?? :(

thats just... impossible... really RIM? I mean... who's testing these devices when ther are getting designed? monkeys? I mean, did one at RIM think of doing this test or did they all say "oh we'll put in the 5mp camera, it sucks but hell the fans are gonna buy it anyways because 5 > 3 mu ha ha ha". not me RIM, not me! :[

Exactly.... Who the hell is signing off on this BS? Oh the camera sucks? Push it out... Only 188MB left after we install the OS? Run with it.... The battery life is shorter? It's a go... WTF

i will be happy with the camera so long as it's better at taking pictures then my curve 9300 was with no flash and no AF

Wow. Im In shock mode right now. How extremely dissapointing. I'm really sad at this point. Given the amount of phone camera use these days I was expecting at least the same pic quality if not better but forget the technical details guys and girls.....the camera on the 9900 is terrible and I had just booked one from my local service provider (etisalat UAE). Was looking forward to it but have mixed feelings now. What's up rim?! Thought u wanted to beat up the competition?!!

9900 is pretty awful in comparison to the 9780...I just don't get how they even let this out the door with a camera that bad...

LOL. I guess lazaridis is still thinking no one cares about good camera on a business phone. What an idiot he is. Fire them both.

So the camera sucks...got it. Is it going to be at all functional for QR codes? I already have enough trouble with my 9700 getting a clean shot on bar codes. It looks like the 9900 is problematic on close-ups, and that's pretty much the only way to shoot a bar code.

________________________________________________________
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

RIM's not going to make the phone thicker just so they can put in an auto focus camera. If you care so much about taking quality picture, then why the heck are you using a cell phone to take pictures? When I go away on a vacation, I always pack a digital camera - there's no exceptions.

Really? The explain how the Samsung Galaxy S2 can be thinner then the 9900 yet have an 8mp AF cam with 1080? This isn't about them making the phone thinner and having to sacrifice it. Its more along the lines of them cheeping out on parts.

Who care its thin? I just cant understand they focussed on the thinness of the device instead of the quality hardware/performance ( smaller battery for more powerfull cpu, crappy camera, no autofucus, no hotswap memory card ) Un Be lievable......

This cracks me up. As someone said if there was no comparison then NOT ONE of the people complaining would have noticed much. I agree the 9780 is better but i will also say that people using it for facebook or twitter or for their families will not have a single problem with it. I personally like the speed of it. This is also why I too have a Lumix camera, the lens is where its at. My phone will not be its substitute on trips or things that matter. So people please stop trashing EVERYTHING with RIM when this phone seems amazing and what we've been needing, even if it is a stop-gap between 7 and QNX.

I agree. It would be nice to have a better camera, but this phone JUST CAME OUT! While they cant add AF through an update, they still can improve the way the software handles certain camera modes. Even then, I'm not whipping out my mobile to snap pictures that my DSLR is more than capable of handling in a way more professional manner. Everyone is freaking out over a few snaps, there is still plenty of time left on the clock. There are pics in the forum that show the camera taking some pretty good shots as well, I just really think its too early to dump on the 9900/9930.

So I should always carry a DSLR around my neck? What if I want to take a quick pic of myself and send it to my family who are hundreds of miles away? Is it ok that the picture I send them is going to be lower quality than the picture my MUCH older phone now sends? What if I want to take a sharp image of a document to send to my boss via email on-th-go? The 9900's camera won't allow a single word to be able to be read on documents full of print. The fact is, they cut a big corner when it came to the camera. Not cool.

Do you have one yet? So you saw 3 pictures on a forum page and HOLY S*** the camera is garbage and this phone is trash... I forgot that 3 is a good sample to go bye. bleh you all annoy me with this crap. I'll bet money that the images you ultimately take will be more than suitable... PS I just sent this response from my bridge browser on the road, everyone want to start bashing the playbook again too? Sorry but if you dont like the products then go, no one will care and you can complain about another phones short comings like battery life or speed or 4G or whatever... PPS Kevin, Adam, Blaze and all the other crackberry people, I still love the site but this negativity is just getting to me.

EDOF cameras are not scanners. If you MUST use one as a scanner, then step back at least 15in and zoom in. That will produce a readable copy. Not every camera is the same, some camera's even need to be operated under different conditions (such as the example I just gave you) If your annoyed that this isnt just point and shoot like your used to, then your out of luck, however investigating your options and finding solutions isnt that hard and can actually be fun. Below is a link showing the quality of some pictures taken with the 9900/9930 I found on the net. I realize you want ease of use, but whats wrong with learning different techniques? Photography is much more than built in settings, failure is a part of taking good photographs, and I would suggest experimenting with the location, lighting, angles, and toy with the settings, if you cant be bothered with this, then stick with what you know.

http://www.tracyandmatt.co.uk/blogs/index.php/blackberry-bold-9900-review

The usefulness of the autofocus lens is that it allows you to have a close-up (or Macro) option. With that, you can use your phone as your own personal zerox. With my 9650, I can take tack sharp photos of documents and email them.... and they are accepted just as one would accept a fax. This is a huge convenience and skips a bunch of steps if you were to try to scan or copy something the traditional way.
In this case, the 9900's are worse by all standards. I wouldn't mind if it were just the distant photos, but it can't perform in close up mode (not sure why the autofocus camera did so bad there, too... my 9650 is much better.... perhaps they were way too close to their subject.
The good news is that I can just hang on to my 9650 and do some more thinking on where my future phone-life is going!

The quote from RIM: "The BlackBerry Bold 9900 has an always in focus 5MP camera (also known as EDOF, Extended Depth of Field) which allows for excellent image quality and it has an ultra thin footprint, which allowed us to achieve the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone to date. The EDOF camera keeps subject matter in focus while offering high quality images and 720p HD video capture."

So far, RIM sacrificed photo quality and battery life so they could release "The thinnest BlackBerry ever." (And left the phone with 188MB of memory from a total of 768MB out of the box for "The most advanced BB OS ever.")

I think all of the above are big mistakes... Just my 2 cents....

Like u said it looks like they are taking one step forward and two steps backwards! This is a SUPER letdown for me! I was so excited about this phone... i was selling my 9700 and my 9650 to get the cash to get the 9900! My two phones are in mint condition too so i was gonna be trading off 2 for 1... Great tradeoff before this! RIM gave the phone the look of the 9000 while making it slimmer... thats a PLUS! Then they went and F'ed up the camera to make the phone slimmer... thats a NEGATIVE! They gave the phone touchscreen and qwerty with the bold look not torch... thats a PLUS! They hyped me up with the 768MB then watching the unboxing my heart dropped with the 188MB left for apps! Thats already a big MINUS.... my 9650 has over 200MB easy with like 10 games, 30 apps, 20 themes installed, and i swear i'm underplaying each to get a whole number! BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! I use my phone to the fullest... have all the apps to make it run as smooth as possible, i use my camera to the fullest... for pics more than vids.... and not i really don't know what to say! Now i'm thinking about not getting this phone and i was super hype about it! TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT... i don't know if i can wait until the QNX phones to see if i will not be disappointed then too! This is truly a sad day for me! and to those who are RIM fans, as AM I, and wanna give me some excuse as to why i should buy a camera this is a phone blah blah... WE SHOULD NOT BE TRYING TO JUSTIFY RIMS CRAP ANYMORE... this is the reason why the give us SUBPAR shit! BECAUSE THESE TWO F*** UP CEOs know that they have us as supporters no matter what F'ing Bulls@#T they put out for us! i'm really fed up with this now... i'm gonna try to calm down and see if i might stick with rim after this! Sorry Crackberry COMMUNITY.. im really let down... maybe some good news might change my mind to stick around! Somewhere out there IPHONE fanboys and ANDROID nerds are laughing at RIM... hopefully soon i wont be one of them!

Any chance of getting links to, oh, I dunno, the original pictures at their source resolution so that things like sharpness could be seen better, and any changes to image quality made by the resizing could be eliminated in the comparison?

Both cams are 5MP. so if they were reduced to fit the page it had to be "to scale" since the pixel count is the same. Seeing the originals wouldn't change a thing. Decreasing the size and aspect ratio only changes print quality and subject distortion, not color.

It will change the perceived sharpness of the images though. I don't actually find my 9900 that bad from a colour perspective, it's actually pretty accurate (and seems in general less saturated than the example images, very close to what I can see with my eyes anyway), but as I don't have a 9780, I'd like to see full-resolution sharpness comparisons.

If the camera is that bad, they really should sell an option W/O it installed! Wow seriously BB? You go from a great camera to a dog crappy camera. cheap cheap cheap

Their lack of quality product is why competition is stomping them inside out.
Those giving them a pass on this are true BB fan boys that love BB name forgetting about quality product.

No, your lack of understanding of the real trade-offs involved in creating these devices makes you ignorant and sound like bandwagon troll.

If RIM went with the Auto-Focus route, everyone would be up in arms about not being able to do 720hp recording. RIM had to make a choice and they made one.

I don't mind if people express a dislike/disagreement to the choice that RIM made. But I do have issue when people assume RIM screwed up or was being lazy.

Sorry, but this is exactly the problem.

It is NOT a trade-off. This is purely cost savings (i.e. being cheap)

This is a repeated problem from RIM and it is seriously costing them in terms of loyalty from their user base and actually adding to their problems.

That problem is Adding features in one version and then removing or downgrading them in the next version. Once you add something, especially in tech, you UPGRADE, or REMOVE in subsequent versions, you don't DOWNGRADE.

Take a look down memory lane at how they've done this time and time again - let's talk curve line:

83xx GPS OR Wi-Fi not both!, 2mp with flash, res 320x240
85xx GPS, WiFi, 2mp camera, flash removed, res 320x240
8900 GPS, WiFi, 3.2mp camera, flash returns, res 360x480
9300 GPS, WiFi, 2mp camera, still no flash, res 320x240

Once you add something, taking it out will only alienate and anger those people who actually have brand loyalty to you. Those features are part of the package...

What do you think would happen if a NEW flagship droid was released that added 2 features at the cost of downgrading another 3? Or if the NEW iPhone got rid of the led flash for the camera, but used it for notifications?

What others are doing, doing well and what RIM should get into the habit of doing is upping the specifications and features in future devices, not at the expense of trading off the existing feature set. If I get the QNX phone next year and it has a front facing camera, will it mean I will lose something else that's in the existing package?

So now look at the bold -

They up the internals, which is really a NECESSARY change to remain relevant, not an upgrade, add NFC and a touchscreen (both great additions- no sarcasm intended), but in the process of doing so, they cripple the camera at the expense of the hd video and take out UMA (which I assume will be mobile hotspot?)

So now we can take horrible over saturated pictures, and get dinged with no wi-fi calling support, but hey....its a thin device, and we can now record our world in HD.

+2 .... Its either that or RIM either cant keep up with new technology thats being released, or they just really wanna fail and sell the company out!

Dont mean to disagree but your point is mute as the 9810 has a 5mp AF camera and shoots video in 720p. I'm just not sure why they didnt use the same camera, guess the size. Maybe they should have thought of that a little earlier in the build. I can just see the buyer on the phone, "what do you mean your out of cameras I had an order for 45,000 last week? Well apple had one for 2 million and we misplaced a couple cases so we gave them yours. Sorry.

rim keep using the same camera lens over and over.its the same camera lens on the original torch 9800 which is on the playbook also.rim should bump to 8 mega with better lens.

the megapixel count becomes a big blur after the 3.2mp range. The quality of the pixels and the lens type is what matters. 3.2MP is 2-3 times the definition that a HDTV is capable of rendering. Have you played PS3 games and noticed the quality of Blu-Ray? do you need anything more than that? and that is not even 2mp. The quality of the pixels is the issue. If you want to print upward of 8x10 then again the amount of pixels matters :o)

I have made my fair share of comments for the quality of the cam in comparion with the 9780. But, the focus of phones has been diverting into things that should be secondary (i.e. internet speeds, camera quality, keyboard quality) none of these features will ever replace the original sole source (i.e. computer with cable connection, digital or film camera, computer keyboard). We should be asking about call quality and we leave that out for stuff that should be secondary.

If all the features we really want are added and the battery life sucks then it is still a problem.

If all the features are added and the battery life is still great and the battery is really thick then it is another problem.

I am expecting to get attacked. But, the truth is the truth :o)

It seems that you have to choose one or the other. But after this device I think RIM will have settle on choosing Auto-Focus over EDOV.

From what little I know, I can only assume you can improve colors via software, but you can't improve detail similarly. You either have it or you don't. That being said, both are fairly good cameras. If you wanted a phone that can sub for a SLR this isn't it.

Were people expecting it to be?

Almost a year ago, my son was born and as it happened so quickly we didn't get around to packing our digital camera. At the hospital we had to rely on my trusty 8900 which took some great pics that we'll treasure for ever.

That's the thing about life, it's unpredictable, and it's great having a half decent camera for those moments you don't plan or sometimes even expect. Not having AF is a massive step backwards. I've really looked forward to the 9900 for a long time, and may still get it, but this is a giant blow.

For the example you use, the birth of your kid, don't you think a decent video camera would have been better? lol That said I'm also a bit disappointed by the quality of the camera, but I guess it will be fine for FB pics. I hardly ever do anything more with phone pics.

Actually, I had the same thing with my first. Wife's water broke 3.5 weeks early at 3 in the morning.

Rushed to pack a bag and brig it to the hospital.

Forgot the camera. But I never forget my blackberry, it's like an appendage.

I'm not buying this phone. And I'm not buying it because of the camera.

And RIM should get out of the phone business and just get into the patent licensing and BES services business.

They just don't know how to make phones.

I'm a bit disappointed. The 9900 clearly takes less appealing pictures compared to those taken by the 9780; however, RIM can rectify the situation by offer a FREE picture editing app. Can you do that for us RIM?

There's something else to consider... a camera gets extended depth of field by reducing the aperture, so there's less light hitting the sensor as well as it not being in best focus. That means more noise, and less dynamic range. It would be nice if some low-light shots were included, I predict the 9900 would look even worse compared with the 9780. Some of the blurriness to the 9900 may be from noise reduction, otherwise it would be grainy.

Autofocus also depends on... having the focus work right. An autofocus camera is worse when it focuses on the wrong thing, so there are also bound to be some times where the 9900 wins, probably mostly in video. I can't stand video cameras that have lousy focus control, it gets lost and everything is out of focus... so I'd rather have GOOD extended depth of field than autofocus for video. But it will still be terrible in low light with a tiny aperture.

no... the problems are inherent in the hardware. This is not a software issue. It is purely a downgrade in still photos and an upgrade in video. Not sure if there are any budding videographer BB users, but I am sure that there are a lot of folks who want to take acceptable photos.
These photos are so bad that one person asked if he remembered to remove that blue film from the lens!!! THAT, my friends, is BAD!
I would far prefer a phone that is twice as thick due to better camera, more memory, more battery, etc.
Shucks. Perhaps the newer version of the Curve (or other lower end BB) will retain the normal camera.

To those of you saying that the 9900 is better, you are probably seeing this page on the mobile version of CB. Try it from a PC and you'll see the difference.

alot of you guys must have super good eyes cause i cant tell the difference in a lot of the pictures. great detail, color richness, who are you kidding most of you will take pictures or some thing that need a good camera for (buy a real camera) and the rest will use it to quick shots of things that non of the things i have read would even cross your mind when you take the pic. be real about this the camera is a very good camera not a step back and many of you will love the pic you take with it. there will be no i can't stand this camera because uts not as detailed or the color is way to rich...get the hell out of here.

I'll add another posting of disappointment. I want a decent camera on my phone so I don't HAVE to carry a separate one. Ugh. I'll be curious how the 9860 compares but for now any debate between getting the 9900 or 9860 (or the iPhone5) has been resolved. Thanks CB for the testing even though you made me cry a little today.

This is disappointing. A step backward for the 9900. Now we know one of the costs (sacrifices) of having a thinner Bold. I think I'd rather have the thickness to keep the better camera. And we'd still have the HD video recording.

9780, without a doubt. 9900 looks too grainy and the detail just isn't there... It's a shame their new flagship is sinking fast.

These comments are driving me crazy! Are you people seriously THIS UPSET about the freakin camera!?!? OMG..The pictures are fine..what do you expect Peter Lik photography?? I read a comment earlier where someone was talking about appeture and shudder speed...APPETURE AND SHUDDER SPEED?!?! LISTEN, phone nerds, the phone is amazing...if anyone here doesn't get this phone because of the camera then you're tool.

This is the thing... THE PHONE COULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING if it wasn't RIM screwing up in some department! Why cant u have it all when u are releasing something new... why doesn't RIM get the point and try to release something that is REVOLUTIONARY and stop releasing subpar products that will just get a REFRESH down the line to fix what they should have put in the phone in the FIRST PLACE! i'm F'ing PISSED today.... yesterday i was proudly boasting about the new 9900 to an iphone/apple fan... and what he sad to say is what everyone is saying about RIM! THE OS IS OUTDATED... THE SPECS ARE OUTDATED... and i argued to the point that i made this phone look great! NOW it looks as if though i argued just because i'm the fanboy! His final statement was iPHONE 5 is going to murder anything RIM is taking out now... and its gonna be soon too! And u know what after today i'm starting to agree with it. I am not taking sides no more with a company that does not give us what we deserve... i have been a devoted blackberry user from ever since.... i still have my original 7920 and about 4 other phones of the 7 RIM phones i have had in my lifetime... making me a good enough RIM fan (i can submit photos of the phones i still have in possession)! I am just fed up now! I see droids come out with 8mp cameras standard... 720p up to 1080p recording standard... changing their OS on a regular improving it in many ways... (all we get is OS updates that either hit or miss to fix one problem and bring on a slew of others with it) iphones androids and now the windows pieces of crap keep getting better! And what can i say about my blackberry... IF I LIVED IN A SECLUDED PLACE IN AFRICA OR WAY IN SOUTH AMERICA that no one knows one crap about technology and RIM is leading there because everyone else doesn't knows better i would have been the happiest person with this phone... but reality check... OUR COMPETITION IS LAUGHING AT US, not only RIM for releasing these products that are outdated, BUT AT US the consumers for continuously supporting them and still believing our own little RIM HYPE world we are living in! For GOD sakes i had a half smart half dumb wannabe smartphone the LG renoir with an 8mp camera... this was 5 years ago... and this camera it had blows everything RIM is putting on their latest phones! COME ON RIM... wake up and smell the SHIT u all are treading in! U are losing up to the most loyal ones now! And this is just not about the Goddamn camera... i am not a photographer so i will not invest on a camera if i can have a phone that has it all, so i don't wanna hear no excuses about why are u crying about the camera buy the phone... i would love to use my phone for anything now, there was a time when u need a camera a video recorder a laptop and a phone because the phone doesn't do everything! these times are gone... so the easiest thing to have around to do all of that is my phone! and i would expect nothing but the best from it... not subpar like RIM keeps on releasing now! i'm tired of waiting for the GREAT phone, i'm tired of hyping up a company that intentionally seems to stay behind, this looks to be it with RIM!

+1, but some use their phone's camera almost as if it's their primary. I use a DSLR where I worry about aperture and shutter speed, not my phone. But when quality drops, when compared to its predecessor, people complain. I'm unhappy since I use the camera a lot, but I'm still buying it nonetheless.

most of us would like a "good enough" mobile phone camera so we don't have to break out and/or even carry our D-SLR's all the time. Especially when other brands can provide that convenience and this "best BB to date" cannot do.

Shame… I will still get the 9900, but I take loads of close-ups of models and such. I hardly use the video function. So, RIM went all obsessive on the width of this thing. This is apparent due to that fact that the new Torch devices will have AF. I couldn't really care less how thick the device was, unless it was thicker than the 9000. Unless I purchase this device and give it a thorough testing against my 9700, I might end up taking my 9700 with me with an inactive SIM.
If this was a Sony Ericsson device, the camera driver could be edited for higher dynamic range, sharpness, fix the over-vividness and other things. If AF isn't included in the 9900, how come the iPhone 4 has AF?

does anyone else notice that in the flower picture the colour in the background on the grass is better on the 9900 this makes me think the focus is a bit off in continuous focus thing

@strbancher
I'm really upset about Camera . I was long time BB user Went android for better hardware & was coming very close to going with 9930 due to rim stepping up with improved hardware & form factor.
To find that shots are worse then previous build is unacceptable.
They look like crap!
Those that find such performance acceptable go for it I will take a pass and stick with 3D

can we get an ip4 vs bb 9900 pic comparo? we'd know who would win that...and guess what...the iphone 5 is coming soon...so this "top tier" BB is again behind, not even "on the same level"..FTL RIM...with 2 other brnands dropping their new devices this quarter it's a shame how far behind this phone will look again. RIM keeps dangling that "qnx carrot" infront of the RIM faithful to hopefully keep them on board..unfortunately that's not going to work this time IMO....sad to say

***not trolling, just expressing my disappointment and frustration with the brand that I've been loyal to for over 7 yrs....

Thanks Kevin, Very disappointing Rim could have had an almost perfect phone. I was debating the 9900 or the 9810. My mind is made up Ill stick with the slider form factor for now, maybe the next rendition of the 9900 will have it all. For me they were so close to getting more of my money isn't the 9900 100.00 bucks more than the 9810 for what a 2 or 3 dollar part?
But on the bright side I should be getting my new ATT 9810 very soon.

The sad thing about it is...
1. I am not getting a torch because its not really my style... i have played around with it, the new one looks fugly... the original was better and its not the BlackBerry Flagship this Bold is.

2. The Bold is the flagship model here and they finally incorporated everything in the phone they should have 3 years ago... so why fail still! The QWERTY is RIMS breadwinner and the reason i have stuck around and not moved from RIMS offerings.

3. Why the hell would i get the torch touch when i can just get any other touchscreen phone... iphone, htc, samsung, lg, motorola, etc... etc.. and they look better and have specs that are superior to it!

COME ON RIM.... u really got to me today... sorry everyone i am really venting some frustration!

That horrible 9900/9930 camera is a deal breaker for me. On Sprint so its the 9860 if I can deal with no QWERTY and the 9860 is otherwise acceptable or bye bye BB....what a shame.

I use the camera close in for docs etc often and don't want to always carry my real camera.

Did you use scene modes or leave it on auto? That could explain the differences in the colours.
How about a comparison with a fixed-focus camera

Ahhhhh come on REALLY ??? Kevin I think a do over in the camera dept. is in order ... This can't be everyone lets have a do over and see if theres any difference

RIM's excuse is laughable. Since when did anyone ever complain BlackBerrys were too fat? Ridiculous. I'm keeping my obese 9700 for now, depending on what iphone 5 has to offer, I might even consider switching. Even though I loathe apple with all my heart... This really burns me!!

That is very disappointing. The one thing I always marvel about regarding my 9700 is the camera and clarity of the photo. Everyone comments on the photos. The Droid type phones always take grayish looking photos that are not realistic. At least the 9900 is better than those.

while the 9900 does seem to oversaturate the color, its hard to say for sure without having the real life thing to compare. I sometimes find the color on my Storm 2 camera dull, so in actuality it could be somewhere inbetween the 9780 and 9900.

While this is dissappointing, id take a hit on camera to get awesome video to replace the joke of a video camera on previous BB's.

Glad I want the 9860 though. :p

I think its safe to say RIM cheaped out on the camera to increase profits. They could have easily put an 8mp 1080p camera sensor with autofocus and not have affected the thickness, they would have to pay for it and they want to keep their margins high. I don't really care as I'm getting the torch fiddy sixty...

But look at any android manufacturer and just looks at their margins...much smaller than RIM's. Although RIM has to understand that short-term profit does go hand in hand with customer loyalty in this case...

Well, that sure made up my mind for me. No 9930 for me. I get pretty decent pics with my 9650, these imho are terrible. Sure there is more to a BB than the camera, but these pics just suck. Will be looking for the pics from the slider.

This really upsets me. How in the hell can you have a flagship BlackBerry with a lower standard camera? I take a lot of closeup text pictures. I've seen samples in the forum for the 9900 and I'm disgusted. Reminds me of my Curve 8300!

I'm not buying the EDOF push. Autofocus clearly destroys this technology in my opinion. Nice sharp and crisp pictures with autofocus (isn't that the point?). I'm also not buying the thin form factor argument given that there are devices out there WITH autofocus and just as thin (if not thinner) than the 9900. The autofocus option clearly addressed a lot of shortcomings with the camera that has now RETURNED with the Bold 9900.

Unbelievable...

Another one...why did they sit the battery tight against the top of the media card? Kevin noted this problem earlier with his issue of the two getting stuck together. Why do that? It's just stupid. I'm sorry but it is. So much for touting the feature of a "removable" media card. Not without doing a battery pull!

Unbelievable...

I can't understand why RIM gets some things right and listens to their users and then totally screw up another area of the device entirely! I have yet to the see the perfect Blackberry. QNX? We'll see....

Again, unbelievable...after all that's happened to this company they seem to keep shooting themselves in the foot.

You should never do something that is backwards from a prior device...

That said, I will buy a 9900 once AT&T gets it's head out of their %$@&#!. I still like my Blackberrys despite these annoyances. The camera thing will ALWAYS BUG ME though for as long as I own the device in the future. Getting a bit frustrated...sorry...had to vent.

I'm a fanboy, and I say, don't buy it. If you want something to change these days, you have to show them with dollar signs.

Get the 9810 instead. I know it would sting to not get the Bold, but if people buy it, they'll keep convincing themselves that they hit a home run. We'll get more of the same.

EDoF sucks when taking super close up pics. Nokia's EDoF camera's show this. I think the C7 has the 8MP EDoF camera. Also, this is a clear step back. The 9780 is much better at taking pictures while the 9900 is better at video obviously.

The oversaturation thing seems to be exactly what they say with the Samsung vs Apple(LG) screens.

This link has a pretty good evaluation of the big differences between EDoF and AF, where each of them may do better than the other. Seems like it might be a fair trade for many people depending on what you take pictures of with the addition of excellent video capture, though I have yet to try out the 99x0. Five of the six photo sets in this comparison are taken of very close objects which appears to be the main flaw of EDoF, the remaining set of the house and clouds is only very slightly less focused being a scene type that EDoF appears to be more adept at handling. Would be interesting to see how other scene types turn out with the EDoF camera.

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/12789_EDoF_versus_Auto-focu...

Given all this, can this camera even accurately scan qr tags on another blackberry or computer display where its major flaw is closeup detail? Anyone with a 99x0 try this yet?

I'm very disappointed that the 9900's camera takes such obviously poorer-quality pictures than the 9780. I mean really disappointed. I was going to come back to BB for this phone, but now I'm definitely leaning towards being gone for good. Did anyone at RIM do a side-by-side comparison like the above shots? If so, what were they thinking? It's so obvious that the 9900's pictures are much blurrier. I take a lot of pictures of my kids with my phone because it is so convenient. Why would I want a bunch of blurry pictures of my kids? Totally disappointed!

Well, been a lurker for a while, learned a lot from you guys, dont post much but this has me fuming. I cant stand stupidity and in life, i never make excuses for stupid people or stupid things. For the 9900, I cant shell out 550-600 for a phone with once again, no memory and especially for a shitty camera. WILL NOT DO IT. Not sure what route I will go, but i am not a nerd and will never carry a mobile phone AND a camera, that is just stupid and 99% of the people here wont do that either. Could care less about video recording on a cell phone, but I use the camera for absolutely everything.... As consumers, RIM needs to be sent a strong message that mediocrity will not be tolerated any longer. They need tough love which is why I say, no one buys any of these new phones. They can recall all of the POS they have shipped and put in the 9700 or 9780 camera, both of which are better. RIM needs an intervention by their family that loves them and we cant keep giving hard earned money to stupid crackheads who go one step forward and 2 steps back.

I have a novel idea for RIM. How about on your "flagship" device, if you have to choose between shitty camera or 720P: video, well, here is a fucking idea for you, charge and extra 50 bucks and put BOTH FUCKING cameras on the phone, one for pics and one for the video. Now there is a flagship device... a device that does it all and does it WELL with no bullshit flimsy-ass excuses..Wow RIM, did you just see a bright flash of light and hear a loud noise when you read that novel idea?? The light and noise was you pulling your head out of your ass..

At the very least, you release 2 devices, one with the camera to take video and the other that has AF for pics and let us decide. You didnt do that RIM and with current technology, that is the easiest thing you could have done as we are not a 1 size fits all. The only option your giving me, is an option you didnt count on and that is I am not buying your new bullshit and yes the camera is a total deal breaker. Again, 2 or 3 year contract or buy outright for 550-600 and shitty pictures?????

Personally I think crackberry and all the other sites should ban together and give us consumers one loud voice and not petition RIM, but to absolutely, flat out demand a 9900 with the AF camera and more memory (and some other things as well) and force RIM to bend or they will break. The power of the purse has all of the power. Aggregate enough purses and it can force change. 188MB left over?? memory is so fucking cheap, that is the other fucktard that needs to be fired, the memory guy. The memory guy and camera guy need to both be strung up.

Dont fucking think so RIM. And of courser the nuclear option of just kicking you to the curb 100%, but again I have a playbook to consider that is useless right now if you dont have a blackberry. Without a blackberry, its an 800 dollar touch screen that makes it convenient to browse the internet while I am on the toilet taking a shit.

No one here cares how your saving a dollar per unit with your shitty camera. Excuse time is absolutely over for you. 9900, hell no, but I will probably pick up a 9780 at a cheap price as I do need more memory than the 9700 and only going to do that because I INVESTED in a playbook, the 64GB model and not too happy with your launch on that. I really am beginning to think that the RIM culture is one where the Co-fuck ups in chief hire people based on the skills of licking their balls because from playbook launch to updates to no phones for a year to now the 9900 being totally sub-standard..... it just sounds like a culture of employees who are not smart but just do everything they can to lick the ceo's balls and tell them what they want to hear.

To the guys making excuses for this and talking chroma this and technical that. Point and shoot revolutionized the camera industry because its simple. I for one am not going to go take a fucking class on how to FOCUS a non auto focus camera or dick around with 5000 settings before i take a picture. Point and shoot, that is all I will do and the 9900 cant do it at all. Its an emperor without clothes. We thought the 9900 was the great wizard, but now we find out its just a little fucktard behind the curtain.

It almost sounds like you have one ball licker in charge of all camera decisions and he needs to be strung up. Playbook camera, no AF and no flash, very shitty. Again, put 2 cameras and 2 flashes on the fucking thing!!!! Not happy about that either. So same bullshit. It just seems like its an organization filled with stupid, incompetent people who just dont get it at all..

Technology is about keeping up with the joneses and in RIMS case the joneses are paraplegic fucktards!!!!

I respect those who will buy the new phones and also respect those like myself who are not going to keep enabling a stupid crackhead with money so they can perpetuate their stupidity and continue to make crack head decisions and on top up it, use my money to foist more stupidity on me and effect how I use my devices..

So RIM, you may have indeed released the "thinnest" blackberry ever, but you have also released the stupidest blackberry ever. This is what we have been waiting for over a year for?? A phone that takes shitty pictures and only has 188MB of memory left over??? Your competitors are happy and your customers and stockholders are fucking pissed.

+1 for that! U sir are thinking the exact same stuff I've been venting on right here on the past few posts.... you actually went ahead and profanity laced ur one while i tried to keep it cooler and calmer! But in reality i feel exactly how u feel, i am just holding in alot!F this subpar shit now... tired of giving them my money and F'ing fooling myself and looking bad by supporting RIM if they really don't give a shit about what consumers want! On that note well said... u are not alone on this one! The real sad story is gonna come when a site like engadget or gsmarena review the 9900 and make it clear that the CAMERA SUCKS, and its behind even phones with 3 mp cameras! Thats when the shit is gonna hit the fan and all other phone manufacturers are gonna laugh! iPhone and android fans are going to have a field day! And I for one don't think i can be a punching bag for them anymore and support inferior products that are passed off as NEW!

look at the upside of this phone while moaning over the camera lack of AF..the camera is not that bad for fun stuff like emailing friends..for capturing text just hold the camera further away from the paper and zoom in..it meets the needs..It never fails to surprise me why some people always seem to lost the proper perspectives..calling RIM dead because of a camera is just so weak..it is not a bad camera, just that it could be better.

Well, I couldn't bother to read all other comments, so I agree with and will not prophecize the death of RIM just because of a weak phone camera.

But honestly speaking, if you're buying a brand new machine and spending your hard earned cash, we should at least get the same or better quality as what you're used to.
I understand why EDOF cameras are used, smaller footprint, etc. But this was definitely a step backwards.

And it's not that I'm a "real photographer" or anything. Of course, if you want memorable print-quality-ready pictures, you will use a compact point-and-shoot or a DSLR.
But my phone is always with me these days, so it's very handy and quick to use it to take pictures as well. It makes sense (more than ever) to have a good quality camera on your phone.

my 9700 died on me a month ago. was waiting for the 9900 to come out to replace it.. feels fd in the A noaw. WE MAD BROs! :0

Been doing some research on EDoF cameras. Came across these sites...some really good info on how EDoF cameras are actually a pretty good technology to get good results for the most common usecases.

Turns out most of the photo settings above are actually not the strongsuit of EDoF cameras.

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/12789_EDoF_versus_Auto-focu...
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/12837_The_Ultimate_EDoF_Cha...
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/12592_Document_capture_on_N...

that is embarrassing.....I take a ton of pics with my droid 2 and they are awesome....this is a big set back for me as I couldnt wait for this device....i really have to think about it now. this is really bad for a brand new device.

This thinness argument from RIM is total bulls**t. The Experia Arc is 8.7mm thick, yes, 8.7 compared to the fat ;) 10.5 of the 9900 and it has autofocus and 8MP.

The pictures made with the 9780 are much much sharper and better. The camera in the 9900 is a big disapointment for me. I stay by my 9780 because of this. I make a lot of document pictures and I need AF.

Definitely a deal breaker for me. I was looking forward to the release of this device since the first rumours started to fly. Very disappointed in the performance of the camera seeing that I use the one on my 9700 daily for work purposes. Having a camera that doesn't meet my needs or expectations in a smartphone made in 2011 just doesn't cut it. I see this as a step backwards. Time for a new battery and keyboard for my 9700 until the QNX units roll out.

It's really a shame. RIM could have had an easy sale with me. As I'm sure there are many others who feel the same way.

if "richer" and "vibrant" means pushing saturation up to the limit, producing unnatural color, then yes, 9900 is definite winner.
9900 camera is a great disappointment, particularly for those who use it for visit cards, text and similar staff. such a shame for business smartphone..

This is a deal-breaker for me, and I really don't understand what RIM is thinking.

As someone in the core professional demographic, I always have my blackberry with me. I also have kids, as I would expect would apply to a majority of of people in this demographic. You would think RIM could figure this out. Strangely enough, pretty much every other smartphone manufacturer figured this out years ago.

Of course, the other way camera phones are very useful for adults is in looking to buy stuff. And sometimes you need to take lots and lots of pictures with good detail and figure things out over an extended period (e.g., a kitchen renovation). Think about trying to take dozens of pictures of, say, backsplashes, along with the little information sheet setting out price/model information, so that you can comapre when you get home. Now imagine trying to do that without autofocus or the ability to take close-up pictures.

Part of the reason I want to upgrade from the 9700 is the camera - it is slow and unresponsive, and I want a camera on my phone that can keep up. I'm fed up with getting crappy washed out pictures that take 5 seconds between pressing the button and the actual snap, but what I DON'T want are even worse over-saturated pictures that are always out of focus (as with every picture taken above with the 9900).

And so now what? I'm stuck between this phone which to me already seems broken (plus it is too big compared to the smaller footprint last generation bold) a touch-screen only version which apparently has crappy call quality (who needs good call quality in a phone) and the torch with the tiny regular keyboard that is way too heavy.

I guess I just stick with the 9700 through yet another cycle and wait patiently while our IT folks get bombarded with more and more complaints until finally they set up compatability with other phone platforms.

Sometime I wonder whether the RIM designers actually use cell phones.

Wham bam, pretty much another nail in the coffin. I will probably get the 9900 this week, but yes, all the points @mvwood makes above are considerations for me, and this camera is clearly worse than the 9780. Then there's the battery issue. But I can't wait for whatever (dual proc, af cam, nfc BB) comes whenever after the already bad QNX Colt.

The camera for Blackberry Bold 9900 is extremely poor and terrible, worst than even the old Bold 9700. I used to be able to use my old Bold 9700 to take photos of business cards and then use the Shape’s Business Card Reader (OCR program) to capture the details into my contact list. But due to lack of the "auto-focus" feature, the photos taken with the new Bold 9900 (in this case a close-up text photo) is simply too blur to be recognizable by the application now. I hate so much with the Bold 9900 camera and I think we should throw away and write off Research In Motion “RIM” and the Blackberry Bold 9900 unless they are able to fix it with a new software patch by adding back the auto focus feature.

I hope I can get-rid of this camera as soon as possible. Don't buy it if you haven't bought it unless RIM is able to fix it with an OS update!!!

The camera for Blackberry Bold 9900 is extremely poor and terrible, worst than even the old Bold 9700. I used to be able to use my old Bold 9700 to take photos of business cards and then use the Shape’s Business Card Reader (OCR program) to capture the details into my contact list. But due to lack of the "auto-focus" feature, the photos taken with the new Bold 9900 (in this case a close-up text photo) is simply too blur to be recognizable by the application now. I hate so much with the Bold 9900 camera and I think we should throw away and write off Research In Motion “RIM” and the Blackberry Bold 9900 unless they are able to fix it with a new software patch by adding back the auto focus feature.

I hope I can get-rid of this camera as soon as possible. Don't buy it if you haven't bought it unless RIM is able to fix it with an OS update!!!

The camera for Blackberry Bold 9900 is extremely poor and terrible, worst than even the old Bold 9700. I used to be able to use my old Bold 9700 to take photos of business cards and then use the Shape’s Business Card Reader (OCR program) to capture the details into my contact list. But due to lack of the "auto-focus" feature, the photos taken with the new Bold 9900 (in this case a close-up text photo) is simply too blur to be recognizable by the application now. I hate so much with the Bold 9900 camera and I think we should throw away and write off Research In Motion “RIM” and the Blackberry Bold 9900 unless they are able to fix it with a new software patch by adding back the auto focus feature.

I hope I can get-rid of this camera as soon as possible. Don't buy it if you haven't bought it unless RIM is able to fix it with an OS update!!!

Too late for me... & i'm very frustrated. From my opinion, the curve are having better camera than bold...

My 1st was the 9700 and every time i took emergency pix, i always loose out with my cousin's, her curve 83?? (the one that had the rollerball)... Atleast at that time, my bold is using the square pad so that was my cake icing...

Then afterwards i upgraded to 9780 just because the capacity was bigger & OS6 was cooler than OS5. And again i was defeated by my cousin using the upgraded curve. This time she upgraded with the curve with the square pad too... i'm not familiar with the curve but i know she likes it coz it's smaller in size compared to the bold. i felt a bit frustrated but at least i get better power for my bold.

Due to my 9780 crashed few weeks before 9900 launched, i took the opportunity to wait and get the 9900 coz it should be the coolest bold ever. But to my dismay, i was very (infiniti level :() with the quality pix it could produce. My 1st cameraphone 10 years ago can do better than that quality... huhuhuu... no more spontaneous pix taking... i don't even dare to have a duel pix taking with my cousin... overall, i'm so very frustrated with RiM RND now :(, they should have noticed this before they put it in market...

Great photo comparisons. The older phone takes MUCH betters pictures. The new 9900/9930 is terrible. I'm so disappointed. What a joke, they release a phone that can't take a clear picture of a up-close business card.

Today is my 2nd day using my BB9900. I thought my new BB was faulty coz the pix quality is way backwards from my previous BB9780. But the BB9900 HD video is superbly crisp... Besides the stil pix camera glitch (which i hope RiM can fix it with a miricle software upgrade), the BB9900 is awesome. More comfortable typing with 9900 compared 9780. GUI wise is the same, not much diff with OS 6 & OS 7 interface.

Only after reading this input i'm aware of the downside of the BB9900 camera, i'm not a professional photographer - i'd just like to capture the 'kodak moment' during a normal day. Of course if it's an official event, it's more proper bringing a proper camera. But i use the phone camera to take something spontaneous so it's quite sad that the BB9900 still pix quality cannot meet the standard of my BB9780 (which i had given away to my bro - to late to take it back :))... Overall i'm sad with this 9900 pix glitch coz now i want everything in a phone (basic but with good quality) coz it's easy mobility... BTW, thanks bro for sharing with us the comparision pix between 9780 and 9900 :)

really disappointed to RIM. how could they so dumb releasing new bold with stupid camera. for those of you think 9900 camera is better, try to take picture of small label (i.e the writing behind tv remote control), can u do that? try 9780. see the difference. and for those of you talk about bring real camera to take picture, sorry, you dumb as RIM. we are talking about efficiency here. we want to take picture with our smart phones. so that we can easily send the picture over the phone.

i am sorry but the camera is crap - try to take a picture of the waranty in any mode, close up or text from six inches away and you will see (won't see the text) that the camera does not compare to the previous bold. It performs worse than a 3.2 mp camera. lucky if it meets the clarity/definition of a 2mp. I used to use my old bold for business records of shipping waybills, postal receipts, business cards and letters.. Not any more. I think there is some serious miss-rep going on here, no way is this a 5mp camera in a true sense.

Furthermore my phone's charge does not last a day. Not only does it overcharge and shut itself down but it also randomly reboots itself. And none of the calendar or word substitution data transfered from my old bold.

If the new iphone has a word substitution facility or an app for it, i will be switching my 6 years of Rim loyalty to apple - don't get me started on the playbook that has been used as a £500 paperweight for the last year:

http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-playbook-f222/playbook-browser-i...

I own both 9780 and 9900 and undoubtedly, 9780 gives u wayyy better pics!
the absence of autofocus is a major flaw in 9900.. try taking a pic of a text, ull know what i mean..
9780 pics come out fine and clear while pics taken with 9900 are comparatively blurred..sooo disappointed with the camera for 9900,, 5mp? definitely not!

For me, the camera is a very important part of the phone, not just a toy. I use the built-in camera on my job for taking pictures of gauges, system panels etc. and then send them via email. Perfect time-stamped reference, much better than writing notes. And I always have my phone with me, don't always have my "real" camera. Focus for close-up shots is essential. The Bold 9900 is unfortunately a step back from the Bold 9700 in the camera department. Still better than the Curve though, since it does have a flash at least.

EDOF !?!?!?!? Extend Depth Out of Focus... Outrageously blurry! I'm shocked! I would constantly use the camera to pic etiquettes and stuff not to have to note down stuff, that's over for sure.
I just switched from 9300 bc I was having other problems so i thought i was going to upgrade... and didn't even think about the camera assuming that it couldn't be worse than a three year old phone. My ass, it's simply uncomperable, what a turn off. Huge fuck up!

Very very sad, and disappointing the camera on the 9900. I had the 9780, and I was proud to have such an outstanding phone and camera. then I started to think to upgrade, I sold the 9780 and bought the 9900, the first pics I took I thought the camera was broken... same as the photos above... RIM should change the software (firmware) to be able to deliver autofocus as it was in the 9780.
Honestly it is a great setback, and RIM should do something about this...

Bold 9900 look like CANT get a better picture Than Bold 9700 or 9780.
My 9700 is much much better than my 9900.
no matter using camera or not 9900 is NOT capable to take ZOOMING picture.
MUST be something wrong with the high megapixel. Blackbeery MUST do something to Clean 9900 image.
Please investigate and do recall to UPGRADE 9900 camera.
For me i'm feel fruslated to hold this 9900 as well.