As with the original Xperia Arc, the photo-taking powers of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S are a particular high point of the smartphone.
Sony Ericsson has included an 8.1MP Exmor R camera sensor, which creates bright and vivid images. They're perhaps a little too bright in places, because the sensor seems to exaggerate colours a little, like we've seen with most Sony Ericsson phones this year.
Despite this issue, it's still one of the better smartphone cameras around today.
The camera app has a broad selection of options. The 8.1MP setting is only available if you select 4:3 aspect ratio shots, with the camera dropping the megapixel count to 6MP if you'd rather capture images in 16:9 format.
Set the capturing mode to Normal and you get even more choice, because this enables you to specify the scene setting yourself. There are eight to choose from, although we didn't really bother using anything other than Landscape and Portrait.
The camera app itself is very fast in use. You can fire off a rapid succession of shots with no issue, thanks partially to the lack of a full-screen image preview.
Instead of the usual image preview, your five most recent shots are shown in a sidebar down the right-hand side of the screen, which, as with the email app's preview pane, can be pulled out for a better look if you've just taken one you're particularly proud of.
There's one other new software feature in here that's yet to filter down to the original Xperia Arc - Sweep Panorama. This is a stitching tool with support for building 3D images as well, which produces wildly varying results.
SWEEP PANORAMA: This is a panorama, built by moving the phone from left to right, with results stitched together automatically. We found the software pretty unreliable, often coming up with error messages about incorrect movements and the sensor moaning about "grey areas" in the images. But when it does work, it makes some impressive extra-wide shots.
MACRO: Great performance from the macro mode.
LANDSCAPE: The Exmor R sensor manages good contrast between light and dark, capturing scenes well. But the detail of the grassy areas isn't great.
FLASH: Inside, the flash is good performer. Low-light images are pretty good.
INDOORS: Even without the flash, indoor photos emerge well.
PORTRAIT: Slightly crazy reds has become Sony Ericsson's trademark this generation, but the facial recognition works and portrait shots come out very nicely indeed. As long as your subject doesn't have too red a face.