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Review: Motorola Droid 4 for Verizon Wireless

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  2  

Media Camera Photos/Video Browse/Customize Extras  

Camera

The Droid 4 doesn't have a dedicated camera button, but the camera can be accessed from the lock screen. It launches quickly. The camera controls are nicely arranged and intuitive to use.

The Droid 4's camera can shoot at a maximum of 8 megapixels if you shoot with a 4:3 aspect ration. If you want to shoot in a 16:9 ratio — which is what matches most of today's TVs and computer monitors — images are 6 megapixels.

The focusing box hovers in the middle of the screen, but the Droid 4 also includes touch-to-focus if you want to be specific. There's a slide on the left of the display for zooming (and the volume key doubles as a zoom key.) Then there's a small button in the lower-left corner to access the Droid 4's full settings.

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Once pressed, a drawer pops out that provides access to six different control panels: Settings, Effects, Scenes, Shooting Modes, Brightness, and Flash. There's plenty to choose from when it comes to adjusting the camera's behavior. The effects are limited to colors, but the scenes range from portrait to landscape, and from close-ups to sunsets. It has an easy panorama mode for taking shots of wide vistas.

Overall, the camera functions well. It opens quick, is quick to focus, and fast to capture/save images. The Droid 4 can go from locked to snapping its first picture in about 3 seconds. That's faster than most point-and-shoots I've used.

 

Gallery

The Droid 4 makes use of the same Motorola gallery application that we've seen on other high-end Motorola Android devices in recent months.

The gallery segregates photo libraries, with the default view set to the images shared by your Facebook friends. The images appear as cards floating in a carousel and you can scroll through them sideways. It's a breeze to add a comment, or open the photo in the Facebook app for full interactivity. There are buttons below this carousel that open the camera roll, your image library, your online accounts (defaults to Picasa and Facebook), and DLNA devices.

You can upload/share with tons of photo/social services, and even add comments to your own photos. The gallery can be set to support automatic uploads, which means photos will be sent to the one social network of your choice automatically, in the background.

As for the main gallery of camera photos, it lays things out in a grid of thumbnails and supports slide shows. The editing features are robust. The Droid 4 can adjust effects, colors, and brightness, as well as crop, rotate, flip (horizontal or vertical), and even resize the image. It is really nice to have these features. I will complain about how deep these editing tools are buried, however. You have to make at least three menu selections to find the editing features (More -> Edit -> Advanced Editing).

 
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