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To be fair to BlackBerry, the camera on the Bold 9900 isn't its main selling point. Which is just as well, because it's pretty average.
What we're given is a 5MP snapper – the same as we had on the 9900's predecessor, the Bold 9780. It's not too shabby but also not very adventurous, considering that various phones (including the iPhone 4, which is more than a year old) come with that spec.
Thankfully, it comes with an LED light too, which makes things a little bit better in darker conditions.
Having said that, pictures taken on the Bold 9900 at max resolution are actually slightly smaller than those taken on the 9780 (2560 x 1920 versus 2592 x 1944).
The camera app is exactly the same as before. The only notable exception is that the autofocus option has disappeared from the menu. We assume this is because it is now automatic. If that is the case, somebody really needs to tell it, because on several occasions it didn't bother to rise to the challenge. We reckon a touchscreen should come with tap-to-focus functionality too, but that wasn't present here.
Photographs taken in good light reproduced well and colours were fairly representative. 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. We thought our dog was auditioning for The Simpsons at one point.
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.
There are various snapper modes from face detection to sports, landscape and party. In reality, we noticed little difference.
As a phone camera, it's manageable, but you won't be taking it as your only one on holiday. We're sad that for such a premium handset, an average 5MP camera with last season's software is all RIM could manage to give us.
Close up, our image looked quite yellow and looked slightly blurred even with minimal movement.
Colours reproduced well but the autofocus couldn't seem to get out of bed.
Taken in good light with artificial lamp ahead. The image looks slightly grainy when it shouldn't considering the conditions.
In pitch black, the LED light picked out our show-off frog with little difficulty.
In macro mode, text wasn't focused on automatically which made us wonder what the point was in having it
Some images seemed overly processed and the colour in direct sunlight wasn't true to life. This blue ended up looking more grey,
Same here – this was daylight at 2pm on a bright day but looks like some kind of filter has been applied.