The BlackBerry Bold 9790 comes with a 5MP camera. Clearly this isn't a snapper aimed at budding paps. Although some readers will point out that there's more to a camera than the pixel count (such as aperture, lens quality, processing software and so on), we still maintain that 5MP isn't the best out there.
The current standard is 8MP, with 12MP the next logical step. HTC is about to launch a 16MP version of its Titan in the US. With all that in mind, 5MP seems so 2009.
Luckily, one glaring omission from the BlackBerry Bold 9900 has been fixed here - autofocus. We were staggered to see it left out, but the camera gods obviously heard our wails, for here on the BlackBerry Bold 9790, it works as well as you'd expect and hope.
Sadly there's still no tap-to-focus, which is a crying shame since you may want to take care of this yourself (and why shouldn't you with a touchscreen?) but maybe one day RIM will see sense.
Photos taken in good light reproduced well, and colours were fairly representative. But those taken close up in normal light with the LED on auto mode seemed to be bathed in something that made everything look more yellow than in real life.
In pitch black, the LED light does its job well, picking out images from complete darkness. Whack it into a low light setting or just turn the light off completely and you'll see that objects are almost impossible to see.
The camera app on the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is pretty much the exact same as that offered in the Bold 9900. And that was pretty much the same as that offered in the Bold 9780. Yes, you get a few customisation options - such as a plethora of scene modes ranging from face recognition to all of the other usual suspects - but we found these to be more style than substance.
The shutter speed is still miles off that of a dedicated point-and-shoot camera, which makes something like an iPhone 4S or other excellent camera phones a far better alternative if you're looking for a phone that will also replace your bog standard camera.
ARTIFICIAL LIGHT: Taken with ceiling light on, the camera focuses well.
FLASH: With the same photo in pitch black conditions, both the flash and autofocus manage a stellar job.
MACRO: Macro mode is good at picking out text and focuses in a millisecond.
STONG FLASH: The flash can illuminate a whole room that is completely in darkness.
GRAINY: The zoom is obviously digital, not optical. And it shows.
DAYLIGHT: Photos taken in good daylight come out clearly.
SCENE MODES: The various scene modes make a little difference, but not that much.
MOVING BLUR: The shutter speed is slow. You won't be taking many snaps of kids or pets.