Monday, March 07, 2005

Treo Camera Tips

Everyone I have spoken to has recommended Pickem to replace the built-in camera application. The advantages of Pickem are that it has a zoom, a 'blue pixel' correction and the ability to set the jpeg compression ratio. The disadvantages are that, depending on the settings, the images can become corrupted when exported, there is no way within Pickem to move images from RAM to an SD card let alone to save them directly to the SD card, and there is no auto-save option.

Personally I have no use whatsoever for digital zooms, I like to keep shooting without having to save (if you press the select button twice in Pickem, it takes a photo then tries to email it!), and I like to get images safely onto a memory card asap. So Pickem is not for me. But its compression settings affect the built-in camera app, so that is one use (though QSet does that as well).

I found out about the infamous blue pixel problem here: it seems that the Treo is desperately compensating in software for its poor hardware and in extremis sets the pixels to blue. Pickem just sends them back to white, but an alternative solution is to reset the process, perhaps by switching to view mode, and click the shutter when all looks good.

This collection of images shows what can be done with the Treo if you are a good photographer. Reading his tips it is 90% about getting the lighting right. But there was one more technical tip: reduce the photos (on the desktop) to 320x240, which hides some of the 'compression artifacts' introduced by the Treo software.