The HTC Desire S has proved to be a beast of incremental upgrades over the original Desire, and the camera is no exception. The five-megapixel sensor hasn't changed, but it's now possible to record in HD at 720p.
There are no scene modes on the Desire S for easy tweaking, though you can manually adjust the sharpness, saturation, contrast and exposure using sliders, and you can select the white balance and ISO value yourself as well (though we found the auto settings fine).
Photos can be geotagged, and there's a face detection option. You can leave the camera to autofocus itself, or you can tap to focus to bring a specific area into focus.
There are also several effects you can apply, including Distortion, Vignette, Greyscale, Depth of field, Dots and more.
The camera is fast to operate, with little noticeable shutter lag, and reviewing photos is quick and easy. As is so often the case these days, there's no dedicated camera button, so you'll have to use the on-screen shutter, but this worked well enough in our tests.
OUTDOORS: The brightness of this shot is good, and the colours and shadows are all accurate for the scene. There's a good amount of detail for a phone camera in the tree's branches, but the size of the sensor really becomes obvious when you study it at full size – everything becomes soft quite quickly. It's still good, though
CONTRAST: There are parts of this shot that become really quite blurry (the tops of the towers on the left, for example), but it's generally quite detailed, and handles the contrast between the bright sky and shaded guitarist brilliantly
VIGNETTE: The Vignette effect seems to boost the colours as well as shade the corners (you can adjust the exact amount that gets blacked out), and the result is blurry and overly vibrant mess
WARM VINTAGE: This is the Warm Vintage effect, and it picks up slightly more detail than the Vignette version
POSTERIZE: The Posterize effect in all its fuzzy glory
INDOORS: This was taken in good indoor light, but the camera had trouble focusing. Everything's a little blurry, and the artificial lights have washed out the colours slightly
CLOSE UP: There's no macro mode, which sort of shows. The pink is captured well, but the texture of the fake petals has been mostly lost
FLASH: Poor Wall-E is in a sorry state. The flash only barely illuminated him from about 50cm away, and there's lots of digital noise in the picture as the camera tried to compensate. Focusing was also an obvious issue