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Figure 9-4. Camera advanced settings menu

Figure 9-4. Camera advanced settings menu

Depending on your camera and your phone, you can turn your flash on or off. This is helpful if you want to take pictures in a museum where flash isn't allowed, or you want to take a picture of someone who is lit from behind and the camera sensors don't detect that you need the extra light.

White balance is a way to remove color imbalances in your pictures, so white shows up as white. You can leave this set to automatic, but if you notice that pictures look funny in incandescent lighting or seem to consistently have an odd color cast, try adjusting this setting.

Some phones let you play with digital color effects like sepia tones and simulated solarization. Remember that you can always alter a photo after you take it with the right software, but you can't change a photo with a color effect back to the original settings after you've snapped it.

The "Store location" setting allows you to specify whether your camera will include your geographic location in a photo's metadata. Use this to keep track of exactly where you took photos on vacations or during field work. This is why some photos offer a Show on Maps option when you review them. Keep in mind that others will also be able to see your geotagging data if you upload these types of photos to the Web.

Your picture size and quality settings depend heavily on your hardware. If you have no need for large photos, by all means keep the file size small and adjust this setting. Quality refers to the amount of compression used to store your photo, so a low-quality photo takes up less room but has more compression.

The Motorola DROID gives an extra option to change your scene mode. The choices are Auto, Action, Portraits, Landscape, Night, Beach, Snow, and Sunset. This has to do with your lighting conditions. The Nexus One running Android 2.2 offers exposure settings, as shown in Figure 9-5. Higher numbers make your picture lighter, and lower numbers make your picture darker. This is the equivalent of under- or overexposing film. This is especially useful when you want to take photos of backlit subjects or sunsets.

Figure 9-5. Exposure in Android 2.2

The focus mode gives you the choice of autofocus or fixed focus. On Android 2.2, these are called "auto" and "infinity" (Figure 9-5), but the meaning is the same. Some phones also offer a macro setting for closeups. If you find that your photos are usually blurry, try adjusting your focus settings.

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