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Review: Samsung Captivate

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Samsung has borrowed yet more software from its actual camera products and carried them over to the Galaxy S line. The camera can only be launched via a software key on the Captivate's screen. Why there isn't a physical camera key is baffling. Samsung generally likes camera keys. Instead, users are stuck with on-screen controls only.

Once the camera is up and running, there are controls on the left and right side of the display to change the Captivate's settings. A focusing square is in the center of the screen. The Captivate lets users touch-to-focus, meaning if there's something in particular they want the Captivate to focus on, simply touch it on the screen and that's where it will focus.

The controls are extensive, and offer features such as Smile Shot, Panorama, Continuous; scene controls (notably, it includes one for "Fireworks"); white balance control; ISO (sensitivity) settings; metering and even image stabilization.

The most interesting feature is that the Captivate lets you fine tune the resolution it uses to capture photos. You have the standard 4:3 settings at 5, 3.2, 2, and 0.3 megapixels. You can also choose 16:9 wide screen settings, which are 4, 2.4, 1.5, and 0.4 megapixels.

The captivate takes about a second to focus before it captures images. The "shutter" button is placed at the bottom of the Captivate's display.



The gallery application is the Cooliris-made one that's found on the HTC Nexus One. It offers stacks of photos that are organized by time/date. You can quickly jump back to photos taken months ago, and have an idea of when they were shot. It's a better way to to sort through a huge photo library, if you ask me, when compared to a huge grid of photos. Opening each stack of photos will show a grid, and then pressing in individual images will load them into the viewer.

Oddly, the Gallery features are really limited. You can share via Gmail, MMS, Picasa, AllShare and AT&T's for-a-fee Online Locker, but that's about it. There are no editing features to speak of.


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