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Review: Casio G'zOne Brigade

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap-Up Comments  4  

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The camera on the Casio G'zOne Brigade was surprisingly robust, especially compared to the shooters on previous Casio G'zOne phones. The 3-megapixel camera doesn't try to overload the pixels on the sensor, and that might work to its benefit. You get auto focus, controlled automatically by the camera, though I prefer a two-stage button for focus control. You also get a powerful flash and even a macro mode (for close-ups). There are keyboard shortcuts for almost all of the camera options, and though they weren't intuitive, once I had them memorized controlling my shots was fast and easy. There are even Best Shot scene modes to help tweak the settings for various shots, like a personal portrait or a scenery shot. Not too many options, but those present are useful and easy.

I wish the camera was quicker on the draw. I like being able to press the camera button from any menu or screen and jump into the action immediately so I don't miss a shot, but on the Casio Brigade you need to be in standby mode to open the camera. Even then, the camera opened slowly, and a few times the phone crashed completely when I held down the camera button, requiring a battery removal to fix. The center button is mapped to sending images on the image preview screen, you have to use a soft key to actually save the picture, and I wish I could swap these assignments to keep the shots flowing quicker.

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Once you've taken a picture, you can send it via MMS message or upload it to Verizon Wireless' own picture storage service. You can also send the file via Bluetooth, though this failed when I tried it with my Macbook Air. I wish there were more sending options from the camera, like the ability to send it via e-mail or perhaps upload to a social networking site.

Photo Gallery

The picture gallery on the Casio G'zOne Brigade is as simple as can be, with few features. There are some basic editing tools, like crop, rotate and resize. There's even a strange Perspective Adjustment setting that I couldn't quite maneuver. It's supposed to skew the picture to fit a trapezoidal box, so that a shot of a painting or building taken at an angle can be straightened to look like a head-on shot. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to control, and my results were lousy. You get the same sending options in the gallery that you'll find in the image preview in the camera app: Bluetooth, MMS and Verizon Wireless' online photo storage. You can even print pictures via Bluetooth, if you have a printer that can handle the task. There are no tools to change the quality of your pics, which doesn't bug me as much as a lack of good sending and transfer options.

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