Review: HTC Thunderbolt
The Thunderbolt's 8 megapixel camera is fairly solid, and the software is carried forward from other Sense devices. Lack of physical camera key aside, it scores well on pretty much every other detail.
Once you find the camera app, it launches in about 1 second. There are controls on the right side of the screen screen that let you adjust the flash and effects without opening the menus. This is nice. Fast access to the flash is a must-have feature for me.
You have to toggle the Thunderbolt's menu button to get at many of the camera's other controls. The controls let you adjust the shooting mode, exposure, saturation, sharpness, add effects, as well as dial down and alter the core settings. ISO (the camera's "speed") ranges from 100 to 800. The camera natively shoots in a 5:3 aspect ratio. You have to change it to 4:3 to get the full megapixel count. Most people won't notice or bother with this. Other options include geo-tagging, face detection, and auto focus can be turned off.
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The Thunderbolt has touch focus; if you see something on the display and you want it to be in focus, press it. The camera will focus on that spot. Press the shutter button on the screen to actually take a picture. The Thunderbolt focuses fast and shoots pictures fast. The review screen lets you send the photo off wherever you want to send it with just a few quick taps.
As with other Sense phones, the Thunderbolt uses an HTC-made gallery. It can be opened from either the camera or the menu, and presents pictures in either a timeline or via grid. The timeline mixes pictures and videos into one long stream of images and movies. The entire stream flows back and forth as you swipe your finger to and fro, in a very fluid manner.
I really like the sharing tools in the Gallery. While you're browsing your photos, you'll notice some sharing icons at the bottom of the gallery for Facebook, Flickr, or Connected Media (like your HDTV). These are nice, but I wish there were a few more of these options available. For example, Google's own Picasa is absent.
Pictures can be cropped and rotated, and select effects can be applied. The effects include typical options such as black and white, vintage, antique and so on. If you want to edit things such as exposure, you can do so only with these effects, such as Auto-enhance, Overexposed, and High Contrast.
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