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The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro's camera is another area where you get more than you'd expect from a phone that costs a good couple of hundred quid less than many models.
The 5MP camera has both flash and auto-focus, with the latter coming into its own when selecting macro mode. Shots snap into focus quickly, the images appear on the screen equally fast for your approval, and the whole imaging section is simply miles ahead of what's offered in standard, non-customised Android phones.
Sony Ericsson has also comprehensively customised the stock Android camera option layout, bringing across its corner-based approach to camera navigation.
Only here you're given camera-specific options in each corner, letting users switch between video and stills, select shooting effects, look at the Gallery or toggle the flash on or off.
And once you've taken a photo the corner options change once more, this time giving you the option to delete it, share it through the normal Android social tools or any apps you've got installed that support pic uploads, or set it as the picture of one of your contacts.
It's essentially a camera that reads your mind, with the user interface doing a superb job of taking the pain out of using a phone as a camera.
POWER UP: Close-up shots are superb, with the X10 Mini Pro's focus and macro mode doing a great job of capturing small things that are near
THE DARKNESS: Wider shots are about what you'd expect from a rather cheap 5 megapixel camera – acceptable, but not great in low light
The only possible moan we have here is with the stiffness of the physical photo button. It uses the standard digital camera system of pressing the button halfway down to focus, then all the way down to take the shot – but the button's so damn stiff you have press it with all your might (well, a bit of the might of one finger), meaning you may end up with a blurry pic.
You have to pay attention to pressing and holding the thing still. Which, we suppose, is pretty much the case with any camera. We're just being fussy.
Video is recorded into 3GP files at a resolution of 640 x 480 – an impressive quality for a supposedly entry-level smartphone.
Movies look good, with very little in the way of blockiness – only an occasional tearing effect due to the lack of interlacing. Looks great on the phone, and is more than usable when transferred to computer.
The only change made to the camera as part of the Android 2.1 update is the addition of autofocus when recording videos, which it does quickly. This is a welcome change.
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