Compal MID Photography

Posted on 26 January 2009, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

Hands-up who’s a big fan of having a decent camera in a smartphone? Hands-up who likes pushing photo’s direct to Flickr while on the go?

Hands-up who would like to take this to the next step and to have high-end on-cam editing of images, post processing and a built in full-screen browser with which to use the amazing range on online applications. Add a 3G connection and you’re able to all that while on the go. Having a great camera on a MID (or MID on a great camera – how about that for a modern data-back!) is something I’m looking forward to and when you add on-device video processing (live or post), live streaming, multiple high-brightness LEDs, concurrent, multi-format video recording, audio-only capabilities, background uploading to a web server, and a huge 4.8″ 800×480 screen, you’ve got something very special.

I’ve been testing out the camera on the Compal MID which is, for the first time on any MID, ultra mobile PC or Netbook I’ve tested, a reasonably good quality auto-focus 3mp device. With the high-brightness 4.8″ screen you get more than enough of a viewfinder, there’s a dedicated two-stage focus-and-shoot shutter button and on-screen controls for brightness, shutter and resolution. White balance is automatic as is aperture/shutter speed adjustment. There’s an override for brightness too.

I’ve taken some test shots and as you can see, the results aren’t that bad. The color balance seems good, there’s minimal flare/fogging and the auto-focus is working well. There’s a lot of compression though and it would be nice if there was an option to get a less compressed image. The shutter takes a long time to react after pressing the button too which is something you need to be careful of.

Compal MID 3mp AF test.

Compal MID 3mp AF test.

Compal MID 3mp AF test.

More photo’s at Flickr. Uploaded direct from the Compal MID
through Flickrs browser-based tools.

Video quality on the device I have here isn’t up to the same quality as the images unfortunately. The quality is low-end smartphone level and should really be much better. There is a nice one-touch Internet broadcast application included (using Livecast) but again, the video quality is no better than what you might see from a smartphone. The video side is a little disappointing.

If the video support can be improved and the software layer improved to allow for a bit more creativity and some streamlining of posting to websites, blogs and microblogging services, this could be make a great near-live Internet media production device. As we move forward, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of improvements in this area. With citizen journalism, high-speed microblogging and moblogging becoming more and more popular, this form factor with this spec, this screen and this keyboard make absolute sense.

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