The Camera on the Blackberry Z10: no more Eyes-Wide-Shut

In this Facebook-ing Twitterr-ing BBM-ing Instagram-ing Sharing days, one of the most used features on a mobile phone is the camera. The BlackBerry Z10 camera has to step up to meet these high demands so I set out to find if its up to the job – and boy is it ever !

The Basics

The BlackBerry Z10 has an 8-megapixel camera on the back with 5x digital zoom and capable of video recording at 1080p HD Video recording. It also has a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

To access the camera: tap on the camera icon that is available on the bottom right of the main screens. You can obviously also access it from by tapping the camera icon on the apps page.

Taking a photo is simple especially with the image stabilisation. Point the camera and tap anywhere on the screen. However you can shift the focus from the centre of the screen to anywhere by holding your finger down on the screen and moving the focus to where you would like.  Then tap away and your pic is taken. 

To get into the options screen, tap the 3-dots-menu and you can switch between front and rear cameras, toggle shooting modes, select from one of four scenes (Auto, Action, Whiteboard, Night, Beach or Snow), Set the Flash to auto/ off/ on and select aspect Ratio between 16:9 and 4:3 images.

BlackBerry Z10 - CameraBlackBerry Z10 - CameraBlackBerry Z10 - CameraBlackBerry Z10 - Camera

Time Shift – the wow app:

When you attempt to snap a group photo, there is always at least one person whose eye are closed. Not anymore. BlackBerry Z10 has Time Shift built into the camera which detects people’s faces. You can tap on anyone’s face and you can “go back in time” until you find the right facial expression eg. when their eyes were open instead of closed. You then repeat this process with any other eye-shut person until you correct everyone’s expression and save the picture.

Moms in particular were so excited by this as they often have the problem where their kids do something Facebook Worthy Cute but by the time they snap away the moment is lost. This solves that issue.

This features has amazed everyone that I have shown this to and could be the killer app for the Z10.

BlackBerry Z10 - Time ShiftBlackBerry Z10 - Time Shift 

Camera Effects

There are many apps that apply lens-effect to photos. However, what I didn’t realise at first is just how powerful the BlackBerry Z10 Photo Editor is.

After you take your pic, you can press the Edit button (pencil icon) and it fires up the Photo Editor that allows you to: Add camera effect (think Instagram types), Styles, Enhance the photo (Red Eye Reduction, Brightness, Saturation etc.) and Transformation (rotation of the photo, flip the photo, cut it up etc.) . Once you are done, you can save and share via your BBM, Email and any social media.

The enhancements work so well that I managed to rescue some photos that usually I would have simply deleted.

Even though Instagram is coming to the BlackBerry World, if you are just looking to add some effects, you can do it now without Instagram (and so much more).

BlackBerry Z10 - Photo EditorBlackBerry Z10 - Photo EditorBlackBerry Z10 - Photo EditorBlackBerry Z10 - Photo Editor

BlackBerry Z10 - Photo EditorBlackBerry Z10 - Photo Editor

Video Camera

This too has been given the magic touch. The BlackBerry Z10 allows you Edit your video clip right on the device. You can edit the length and cut away the bits and pieces you don’t need or want. You can then enhance the picture quality and rotate the video to suit your needs.

BlackBerry Z10 - Video CameraBlackBerry Z10 - Video CameraBlackBerry Z10 - Video CameraBlackBerry Z10 - Video Camera

Story Maker

This is pre-built in app that allows you to take your photos and transform them them into a movie Oppa-Spielberg Style. You select your photos, choose a background music, give it a Title, choose some effects and your movie is made. Your photos are displayed and zoomed into as they transition from one to another whilst the background music plays. Save and Share.

The Story Maker is pretty neat. Its one feature that surprised me as I didn’t think I would use it at all. However, I find that when I want to “group” pictures of an event or of a day out with the family or of any work situations, there is no better way to share them then with a video clip.

BlackBerry Z10 - Camera Story Maker BlackBerry Z10 - Camera Story MakerBlackBerry Z10 - Camera Story MakerBlackBerry Z10 - Camera Story Maker

BlackBerry Z10 - Camera Story MakerBlackBerry Z10 - Camera Story Maker

So in Summary

Overall the BlackBerry Z10 Camera packs a punch. At 8 megapixels it does the job superbly well with enough quality for most people. The editing software is fast and slick and simple to use. Within seconds of getting their hands on my Z10 my kids were shooting pics, editing them and turning them into movie clips. No help from me. 

I also like the way BlackBerry kept the Flow that with simple swipe of the finger allows you to add effects and enhancements to your photos and upload to Social Networks in a flash.

Simply Shoot, Scrub, Style & Share – superb !

Other hands-on BlackBerry Z10 Reviews: Elegantly understated BlackBerry Z10 Browser and How to change the default search engine

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