Camera - Still

The Torch is the first BlackBerry with a 5 megapixel AF camera with LED flash. There’s also some added software functionality as well, including GPS geotagging and facial recognition for autofocus. 

The interface for using the camera is unsurprisingly different from the OS 5 one. What’s frustrating is that tapping on the touchscreen doesn’t autofocus/expose like on other camera interfaces. In fact, autofocus is continuous by default, and primarily changes only when the scene changes dramatically in exposure. The result is that some shots are just going to be out of focus in the preview until the software decides to autofocus.

Portrait and landscape modes work as advertised. The convenience button also changes to shutter, and the volume buttons control digital zoom.

Camera - Options and Scene Modes

There’s a suite of different shooting scene modes. Honestly, I think that most of the time these modes are extraneous, but a number of them sound and are useful - especially discrete modes for Text (which lets you capture things like whiteboards or secret corporate documents) and face detection, which focuses on and exposes for faces. Sports mode seems to reduce the autofocus, LED flash, and other verification steps, and instead just takes a photo immediately. Other modes I don’t feel really do anything that you couldn’t accomplish on automatic. 

The preview isn’t as high framerate as I’d like, as it seems just a bit more stuttery than other devices. 

 Camera - Video Recording

Swtiching into video mode, you’re given a smaller, aspect ratio correct preview. Rotate to landscape and it thankfully gets bigger. The bottom left is a visualizer for how much storage space is free, the right shows you zoom. 


Video Mode

Oddly enough, toggling the video LED light isn’t done by tapping the icon like it is for capturing stills. For that, you’ll have to go into the menus and acknowledge that doing so will seriously drain your battery (no, really?). 

Video recording is limited to VGA (640x480) which is getting long in the tooth for this generation. HD recording is becoming the norm, along with advanced things like multiple mic noise cancellation, both of which the Torch lacks. 

Launching the camera application is thankfully relatively speedy, taking 2.5 seconds. Capture is relatively quick as well, and you can make it faster by switching to sports mode as noted. 

Battery Life - Not really spectacular BlackBerry Torch Camera - Part 2
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • brianmc - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    When are you going to review this line of phones?
  • StealthX32 - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    Agreed. Especially since your sister site Dailytech keeps touting them as the "fastest Android smartphone".
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    I'm actually working on that right now :) I've had the Epic 4G for a little while now and I'm just in the middle of writing up the review :)

    Take care,
  • synaesthetic - Friday, September 3, 2010 - link

    Really interested in hearing your thoughts, Anand. I've been staring very hard at the Samsung Vibrant as my old myTouch 3G is just too slow!

    I haven't flashed it to Cyanogenmod 6 yet (will probably do that today or tomorrow) so I'm not sure what speed boosts I'll get there, but the Vibrant/Galaxy S's AMOLED is just stunning!
  • linccsdfd - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    is my love
    this is a very good !
  • FATCamaro - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    Yeah, I've been waiting patiently for something to push iphone4 off the top of all the charts. Maybe the Galaxy S will do it. Then it only needs a better display, camera, and apps to catch up.
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    Since when has the iPhone4 been at the top?
  • FATCamaro - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    Not at everything, but a lot of important factors like below.
    Performance isn't too bad either. e.g.
  • sammsiam - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    The Droid X comes with 8GB built in memory for OS & Apps and an additional 16GB microSDHC card. It supports upto 32GB cards for a total of 40GB possible.

    see this site:
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    I had it down in my own table right, it just didn't get copied over somehow. Same for the EVO 4G. Fixed!


Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now