A 5-megapixel camera was a strong offering on a mid-range handset when the Samsung Galaxy Ace originally launched a year ago.
But now the handset's rear-mounted image capturer seems little more than an ample offering that fails to meet the possibilities of the rest of the market, which can ably spit out quality pictures even at the budget end of the market.
Lacking a well-functioning dedicated macro shooting mode, the Samsung Galaxy Ace's rear-mounted camera struggles to focus when close to its target. Attempts at close-ups often leave the handset's autofocus feature confused, out of sync and responsible for poor quality, highly disappointing images.
Trying to rectify these close-up issues by using the camera's zoom opens up a wide array of new issues.
Although touted as boasting two-times digital zoom - a spec that is far from impressive - in reality this feature can only be used when shooting at a reduced image quality. The camera's upper limit of 5MP snaps doesn't enable any form of zoom, whether optical or digital.
There's no quick key to launch the camera for those sporadic happy-snap moments, and a tiny amount of on-board memory (only 158MB) means that the camera is disabled until the 2GB memory card that comes in the box is inserted.
More than capable of taking a selection of impressive images when given the correct lighting conditions, the phone's camera offers a choice of single or continuous shot modes, as well as smile-activated shutter and panorama shooting modes.
But the Samsung Galaxy Ace's camera is far from perfect, with the inbuilt LED flash often proving overpowering, highlighting some aspects of shots but causing others to be cast into deep stark shadows. It's of little use when pursuing the perfect snap.
Although a feature that is rarely used for its desired video calling purposes, the lack of a second, forward-facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy Ace is an omission that is becoming increasingly noticeable as the mid-range smartphone market leaps forward at a rapid pace and removes the chance to take portrait shots.
There are a variety of shot modes to choose from, and most of them improve the quality of the image.
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