The HTC Desire HD has an 8MP camera, making it one of the best from the brand so far. It's only bested by the Windows Phone 7-powered HTC 7 Mozart on the market, by dearth of the fact that has a Xenon (proper) flash.
But the Desire HD comes with a dual LED flash, which although slow can double as a video light and torch. Beat that, Xenon.
While the modes are simplistic, there is a little bit of range on the camera shots you can take. Using simple slider bars, you can alter the contrast, sharpness and exposure, and these go a long way to altering the quality of the shot you get.
One problem is said shots do look a little, well, camera-phonesque. There's a processed quality to some of them, especially in overcast conditions, that you might not expect from an 8MP offering.
The shutter speed is awesome though, and it's very easy to capture the picture you want when you're ready to go in less than four seconds, less if you turn off auto reviewing of pictures.
The standard shots can look a little over-processed with some digital artefacting, although they look good on the phone screen
The macro mode is non-existent; instead HTC's auto focus can handle pretty much any scenario - even as shown here, less than 5cm away from the subject
Touch to focus allows you to take a shot that highlights a certain aspect of the photo - here we've touched the tree
And here the sky - the difference in detail and light levels is impressive
Bright light is something of a hindrance to the small-sensored 8MP camera, but it doesn't completely destroy a shot if you focus on the right area
Here's our subject taken in normal, automatic mode
And again with high exposure
And again with low exposure
Here's an oddly purple shot taken again in automatic mode - as you can see below, the change in effect is quite marked
With high contrast
With low contrast
With high saturation
With low saturation
The digital zoom is average - here we took a photo using some exposure and contrast tweaking
Zoomed in it looks relatively similar - we've seen worse digital zooms, but it's nothing in the same league as the Nokia N8