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Review: Motorola Droid 2

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Image quality on the Motorola Droid 2 was a mixed bag, mostly filled with coal. On a few occasions, I managed to coax a picture from the Droid 2's 5 megapixel camera that looked great, even print-worthy. But pictures of the same subject snapped just before and after could show dramatically different lighting and color. In fact, no two pictures I took back-to-back looked identical, they all varied in terms of white balance and lighting.

There's no easy way to tell when things will go right, but it will usually happen outdoors. Outdoor pics looked much better, though some still faded into a hazy mass of pixel noise at full crop. At best, though, I saw plenty of detail, accurate colors and even a nice depth of field. Indoors, colors were mostly washed out. Even under good lighting, noise trumped fine details in images. The flash completely blew out the lighting balance in most pics, overexposing white areas and creating a dark gloom over the poorly lit parts.

The camera has modes for macro and panoramic shooting. Macro did not work at all. The camera insists on controlling the flash with macro shots, so most were poorly lit. Even under bright light, macro mode allowed shooting no closer or more detailed than the normal mode.

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Panorama, on the other hand, worked very well. The camera takes pics automatically as you pan slowly around a scene. The final image stitched together looked great, and the camera take a larger, higher resolution panorama than most other cameraphones I've seen.

 

Video

Videos taken with the Motorola Droid 2 camcorder were surprisingly bad. I saw plenty of choppy motion, and the camera had a very hard time switching from indoor to outdoor light quickly. The camera shoots in 720 by 480 resolution, an odd size that is halfway between VGA and real hi-def.

Check out my video sample below. For the most accurate quality, be sure to change the vertical resolution from 360 to 480.

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