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Decrease The Blur of Your Camera (Really)

Long time readers will know about my obsession with getting the camera to work on the Fuze. It really takes good photos…when they’re not blurry. And that’s always been the issue. Well today my wife was complaining that her Touch HD takes blurry photos so I went and applied the tweaks that we’ve all gone through in the past to decrease the camera delay (those tweaks do help and I’ll repost them at the end for you) but none of them really resolved the extreme blurriness of her photos. So I  tweaked her registry so it would show me the frames per second that the camera was shooting at and that’s when I learned that my Fuze had about 50% more frames per seconds. And frames per second is a great indicator of blur (it’s literally the test of how quickly images are being captured or refreshed so one frame per second is like opening the camera lens and not reopening it until 1 full second has passed so everything in between is a blur). The specs and internal chips of the Touch HD and the Fuze are pretty similar except for the fact that the HD is a 5mp camera and at first I was thinking that the larger camera lead to a read delay but even decreasing it to 3mp did not change the frame rate. As I toggled through settings I realized there was one difference – the brightness level on my Fuze was set to 0 and her Touch HD was set to +2. And when I decreased the brightness level I watched as the frame rate jumped up substantially with each decrease…and that’s the answer. It’s now apparent that the higher brightness is caused by the camera keeping the lens open longer to allow more light in (like ISO settings on a regular camera and the reason why photos at night are often blurry with digital cameras). How substantial is it? Well varying the brightness from +2 to -2 leads to a 50% increase in frames per second on average but in a lot of cases it is far more than that (with very extreme darks and brightness having the least impacts but in dim light having the highest impact). Just take a look at the photo of the same area taken seconds apart with nothing changed but the brightness levels but that is admittedly a pretty extreme range (just so happens it’s the only sample I took so it is fair). Note that when using the onscreen FPS you will initially see a high number that comes down after a second – that is normal and you should wait for the number to level off before using it as an indicator.

So it’s pretty simple, just open your camera, hit the ‘cog’ icon to go to menu and then hit brightness and set it to -2.0.  And you can watch as a moving arm in front of the camera has less blur (not no blur – but less blur:)) and this applies to both the camera and video camera. In looking at the photos they aren’t ‘dark’ and in fact they are pretty close to the real color. The brighter the setting the brighter the photo (sometimes brighter than reality) but that’s at the expense of quality and I don’t think the cost is worth it. Maybe you can find a happy medium for yourself like -1:)

And now for the tweaks we’ve gone through in the past but I think are worth repeating for ease:

To enable the frames per second on your camera just make this tweak (click for original posting): HKLM/Software/HTC/Camera/Common and change EnableFrameRateInfo to 1

To decrease the time it takes from pressing the button to taking a photo just change the settings using the Advanced Configuration Tool. Under the camera options, capture delay should be disabled, key delay disabled and capture key delay set to zero. [For those of you who like to do things manually, this changes HKLM/Software/HTC/Camera/Captparam/ and sets CaptureTimer = 0 and EnableCapKeyDelay = 0 and CapKeyDelayTime = 0] (click for original posting)

Other camera tweaks include:

Changing the white balance to prevent yellow photos

Taking high resolution panoramic photos

Understanding the touch/touch and press options for faster shooting

Add Sport and burst modes to your Touch Pro

Finally, go into the camera advanced settings (in the camera itself) and turn off the click sound.

So there we have it. Give it a try and tell me what you think but in my apartment at night I can now move the camera and get a relatively clean photo with the brightness at -2 and nothing more than a streak at +2. What do you think?