Some phones have a physical Camera button that launches the Android Camera app, but you can also just launch the camera from the app menu. Newer phones no longer bother with the button.

Once your camera is launched, you'll see a basic camera interface. Figure 2-2 shows the camera controls in Android 2.1. On most phones, tilting the phone rotates the camera for either landscape or portrait mode. The top-left square shows the last photo or video you shot, the toggle at the middle right allows you to switch between video and camera modes, and the button at the bottom right starts shooting pictures or video.

Figure 2-2. Camera

Android cameras generally have autofocus, but don't expect this to be perfect focus. This isn't a substitute for a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. That said, you can get surprisingly good pictures from Android phones. You just have to keep a few things in mind. Most cameras come with a delay you'd think was way too long in a dedicated point-and-shoot. Use this to your advantage. Pressing the virtual button on your phone makes it shake, so you have a second or so to steady your hand. Anticipate the delay and hold your phone steady.

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