T-Mobile G1 Camera Sample Photos

This page shows some examples and information about the camera of the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream). I've tried to show both good and bad qualities of the camera. For more photo examples and a comparison with the Nokia N95's camera, see the T-Mobile G1 vs Nokia N95 page.

T-Mobile G1 Camera Spec

Megapixels3.2Mp
Resolution2048x1536 pixels
GeotaggingYes
Auto-FocusYes
Digital ZoomNo
Optical ZoomNo
FlashNo

T-Mobile G1 Camera Samples

These are by no means the best results I've had with the T-Mobile G1, but are some examples to illustrate some points as detailed to the right of each picture.

T-Mobile G1 Sample Photo Scaled Down [1024x768]
Original [2048x1536]

The G1 hasn't done too bad a job of this picture, nice bright colours, and has managed ok with the big range in contrast.

T-Mobile G1 Sample Photo Scaled Down [1024x768]
Original [2048x1536]

If you ignore the stupid pose of my cat and look at the carpet, you can see a big change in colour and sharpness between the edges and the middle. Not very impressive. This picture really shows the poor quality of the G1's camera.

T-Mobile G1 Sample Photo Scaled Down [1024x768]
Original [2048x1536]

If took a few shots to get the camera to auto-focus on the flower in the middle. The G1 was determined to take a picture of the background. (See the focusing problem described below). Once it did focus on the subject, the picture is bright, fairly sharp and altogether quite good. The background is a bit dark, but overall the exposure is pretty good.

T-Mobile G1 Sample Photo Scaled Down [1024x768]
Original [2048x1536]

This shot didn't include many extremes of contrast and gave the G1's camera an easy time of it. So for everyday shots like this, the results are good. You can see the sharpness of the gravel diminish towards the edges along with a slight darkening but it's not really noticable.
Good result.

T-Mobile G1 Sample Photo Scaled Down [1024x768]
Original [2048x1536]

Cats make easy subjects. :-) A really nice result.

T-Mobile G1 Sample Photo Scaled Down [1024x768]
Original [2048x1536]

Close-up Sample

The eye and nose are nicely in focus and show off the good close-up capabilities of the G1's camera. Unsurprisingly, the background is totally overexposed, but we can't blame the G1 for that.

T-Mobile G1 Sample Photo Scaled Down [1024x768]
Original [2048x1536]

Often the G1's camera has a hard time picking out a focus point with the white cat and you can see here that it's chosen to focus on the background. I guess this is because it can see more contrast to focus on in the background. The focusing would be so much better if there was a visible focus point in the middle like many of the other camera phones.

Conclusions

  • Most G1 pictures exhibit very cold blue colour cast and over-exposed whites. There is no white balance setting available to compensate for this. *
  • Quite slow response when taking pictures.
  • Relatively good macro close-up performance.
  • No camera settings to change whatsoever. *
T-Mobile G1 White

* Some of the shortcomings of the G1's camera can be overcome by installing a third-party camera application, notably SnapPhoto. In my opinion though, it's not really worth the extra hassle as it only really give you the advantage of being able to adjust the white-balance and jpeg quality of the photos. On top of that, the SnapPhoto app has been unstable in my tests, crashing my G1 occasionally. Obviously no app is going to be able to improve upon the lens/sensor quality of the G1.

The auto-focus is good, when it works, but is very hit and miss. There is no specific focus point, instead the G1 decides what it wants to focus on, which usually isn't what YOU want to focus on. Often I get home and check out my pictures and frustratingly find that my subject is out of focus and the background is in focus.

In summary, the T-Mobile G1's camera is okay, but not really on par with the rest of the phone's excellent features, and is certainly lacking for a modern high end phone such as this.