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Sony Ericsson S700 – abilities of the mega-pixel camera
Two devices in one - camera and mobile phone - in Sony Ericsson S700 model is yet another example of Company’s endless ideas for various combinations. Sony Ericsson K700 was the first model to perform this idea although in reality it turned out slightly artificial. However, S700 is a completely different story – you would barely tell which is dominant of a function here - the phone or the digital camera. On the one hand, S700 is just a regular phone (display, keys), but on the other it is a wholesome digital camera. I tested my friends’ reaction here. First, when I showed S700 to my friends, I did not see them interested anyhow - they took the phone for a common camera and only the manufacture evoke some curiosity. The surprising effect was nevertheless achieved when I demonstrated that the model was also a phone.
As for the size, the phone could be compared to the relatively small digital camera, which means that it is certainly bigger than the modern phones. On the backside, you can see a camera’s viewfinder covered by a shutter. When you open the shutter, the camera is automatically activated. Yet, when the keypad is locked, you would not be able to switch on the camera. Having this in mind, the developers equipped the left side of the phone with the unlocking key (this key is also used for the “flash” in the camera mode). The key to activate the camera, a pawl of a kind, is located on the right side.
To use S700 as a digital camera and to attain the maximum resemblance with the regular digital cameras, you have to put S700 into a horizontal position. The big display is just great - you can view the image you are taking a picture of. The scroll key and the functional keys are used to operate the camera. The pawl is located above since it is a separate button.
The camera’s interface is to be managed in the horizontal position; all the necessary data is displayed on the screen. For example, you can see in the upper left corner the selected picture resolution, the memory type (phone memory or the memory card), the available number of shots with the chosen settings. The forward line is also displayed; it shows whether the zoom is on (vertical tilt of the scroll key).
The variety of settings is decent and actually resembles the one offered in the regular digital cameras. You will see them displayed when you activate the camera - they are shown on the semi-transparent background that slightly darkens the picture. You can see the icons of different settings lined up; let us shortly tell you about all of them.
The selection of memory type allows you to choose either the one of the phone or the memory card. In the first case, you would be able to save a bit more than 100 pictures in the maximum resolution, while when it is the second case, you can save the same pictures’ amount on the standard 16 Mb memory card (in some kits it would be 32 Mb).
No files numeration. They will be automatically titled in the numerical order starting with “one”.
The automatic power off function. The camera can be switched off after 30 seconds, 1, 2 or 3 minutes.
Locking sound. You can select up to three options of locking sound and you cannot turn it off.
Spot photometry. The model is surprisingly (for the mobile phone) equipped with the function of Spot photometry.
White mode. The option of the automatic mode and the Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, and Cloudy modes.
Backlight. You can activate the backlight or else switch it off by shifting the key on the left side.
Effects. You can apply several special effects here such as Negative, Solarize, Sepia, Black&White.
Timer. You can activate the timer for a set time of the self-portrait.
Night mode. The camera is equipped with the night mode for the shots taken in the nighttime or in conditions of insufficient lighting. Then, the light exposure is longer and the noises on the background are increased (if you move the camera, the picture will come out murky).
Shooting mode. The normal shooting mode is the mode of regular pictures. There is a Burst 4 mode that allows you to take four pictures at once, a series of a sort. The last mode is the one with the frames. You are offered fourteen frames in the camera.
Picture size. As for the picture size, the camera is provided with four picture resolutions (1280x960, 640x480, 320x240, 160x120). As different from the other cameras, you cannot set the quality of pictures’ diminishing; they are all saved in the maximum quality.
Taking pictures indoors and outdoors
You will obtain the best pictures when shooting outdoors; the matrix is designed exactly for the outdoor conditions. The pictures look great and even better than on the PC (they might get misty) on the phone’s display in most cases. All of the obtained files are saved in the JPEG format; their size varies from 150 to 220 Kb.
You can hear the background noise on the pictures taken indoors.
The night mode activation would not help either - although the overall lighting increases, the level of the noises rises.
The light spectrum of the picture amends for the better (the yellowish color vanishes) as well as the quality of pictures taken on the small distances (up to twenty centimeters) when the backlight is activated (which is not a quick flash, but a real backlight working constantly). The quality of the picture is not that high, which is explicable due to the darkness and to the distances, the picture is taken at.
I would not judge how exciting it is to apply special effects while shooting since you can do all the same things in the image editor.
You can make videos of two resolutions (176x144, 128x96); the files are in the 3GP format. The length of the video clips duration can be set either as limited (up to ten seconds) or unlimited (up to one minute 44 seconds) one. The quality of the video clips does not differ a lot from the akin cameras.
The picture’s quality in Sony Ericsson S700 is one of the best in its class (compared to Sharp GX30, better than Nokia 7610, Samsung P730). The amount of the additional settings is great and almost maximum. A great advantage of this model is that it is a phone and a camera at the same time. Actually, the presence and the quality of the camera let us assume that this model will be of a success among the similar phones.
You can read the conclusions about the phone and its features in the preview>>>
Published 13 July 2004
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