Shooting Video

If your phone is capable of shooting video, you can change the camera from still-picture to video mode in Android 2.1 and above by sliding the selector on the right upward to the video camera icon. This is shown in Figure 9-6. You'll notice right away that the shutter button at the lower right turns into a video button with a red dot in the middle to start the recording.

Click the button to start recording, and press it again to stop recording. The button will change to show a square VCR-style stop symbol in the middle to indicate that you're recording, and you'll see an overlay of the time elapsed on the lower-right side of the screen.

Figure 9-6. Video recording

Just as with still photos, you can slide out the preferences tray on the left in Android 2.1 and below, or use the buttons on the right for Android 2.2. For the Nexus One, those options include

1. Video quality: Choose "high" for videos you want to upload to YouTube or edit on your desktop, and choose "low" for videos you want to send as MMS messages.

2. Video duration: By default this is set to 10 minutes, the maximum length for most YouTube accounts. You can set it to 30 seconds for sending MMS video, and you can set it to 30 minutes. Be careful if you set it to 30 minutes, because that will eat up a lot of space on your phone's storage card.

3. White balance: Just as with still images, this lets you override the automatic light settings. Use this if you notice your video is yellow in incandescent lighting or has other color balance issues.

4. Color effect: Just as with still photos, this lets you apply color filters to your video. Be aware that you can't unapply a filter, but you can use third-party tools to apply filters later if you need them.

On Android 2.2, you can also use the flash while shooting video. In this case, the flash will stay on during the recording and give your subject a bit of lighting.

You may have also noticed that the preview photo in the upper-right corner changes when you switch to video mode. You can use this to review the last video you took. The review mode is similar to that for still pictures, but instead of a "Set as" button you have a Play button, since videos can't be used as wallpaper or contact icons.

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