Pre3 autofocus camera supports up-close macro shots | webOS Nation

Pre3 autofocus camera supports up-close macro shots 39

by Derek Kessler Sat, 14 May 2011 4:06 pm EDT

Apart from the bigger screen and wicked fast processor, one of the things we’re most looking forward to about the HP Pre 3 is finally having a webOS camera with autofocus. With a 5MP unit, the Pre 3 won’t take the biggest pictures out there, but after being saddled with “Enhanced Depth of Field” cameras since the Pre, we’re really looking forward to having photos that haven’t been tinkered with by overly aggressive software.

When we played with the Pre 3 at Think Beyond, the software was pretty much stock webOS 2.1 – a lot of apps weren’t even scaling well for the big 800x480 screen, the camera app included. The camera app itself was only capable of focusing on whatever was in the center of the screen (as opposed to the tap-to-focus paradigm introduced by the iPhone 3GS). We’re assuming that HP’s been putting plenty of work into making webOS work delightfully on the Pre 3, and it seems they’ve been paying some attention to the camera as well.

HP’s Josh Marinacci (of the webOS Developer Relations Team) posted onto Twitter a sample shot of an HP EliteBook laptop adorned with a WebOS Internals sticker taken at just a few inches up, a distance that would result in frustrating blurriness on even the Pre 2 or Veer. But with his Pre 3 sporting “the latest build,” the camera focused right up close and delivered a sharp 5MP photo free of any EDF artifacting. Additionally, the point of focus was off-center, which we’re hoping means that webOS either smartly focuses or the camera app for the Pre 3 has been updated to support user focusing. Either way, we’re delighted to see such crisp images delivered by a webOS device. Marvel at the sharpness in the full-size photo after the break.



I'm just aroused at the thought that the Pre 3 is almost here, and a good chance it'll be on Sprint too! Auto-focus cam? Awesome stuff! More please!

Aroused,eh? Hmm...

...awkward turtle.

I will use it to take close up shots of my Sprint bill!


Wow, that's incredible sharpness from a phone's camera. Crisp and clean! Looking forward to Pre 3 every day and resisting the urge to jump ship!

Wow, you guys are such sleuths. Very cool!

exposure time is faster than iphone 4 !

Exposure Time from that link you posted:

iPhone: 1/15s
Pre 3: 1/60s

I found this link describing the uses of different shutter speeds (exposure times)

The following list provides an overview of common photographic uses for standard shutter speeds.

1/16000 s: The fastest speed available in DSLR cameras. (Canon EOS 1D, Nikon D1, D1X, and D1H)
1/8000 s: The fastest speed available in production SLR cameras as of 2009. Used to take sharp photographs of very fast subjects, such as birds or planes, under good lighting conditions, with a ISO number of 1,000 or more and a large-aperture lens.[5]
1/4000 s: The fastest speed available in consumer SLR cameras as of 2009. Used to take sharp photographs of fast subjects, such as athletes or vehicles, under good lighting conditions and with an ISO setting of up to 800.[6]
1/2000 s and 1/1000 s: Used to take sharp photographs of moderately fast subjects under normal lighting conditions.[7]
1/500 s and 1/250 s: Used to take sharp photographs of people in motion in everyday situations. 1/250 s is the fastest speed useful for panning; it also allows for a smaller aperture (up to f/11) in motion shots, and hence for a greater depth of field.[8]

The Whirligig ride during night at SFGAm at an exposure time of 0.8 Seconds.

1/125 s: This speed, and slower ones, are no longer useful for freezing motion. 1/125 s is used to obtain greater depth of field and overall sharpness in landscape photography, and is also often used for panning shots.
1/60 s: Used for panning shots, for images taken under dim lighting conditions, and for available light portraits.[9]
1/30 s: Used for panning subjects moving slower than 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) and for available-light photography. Images taken at this and slower speeds normally require a tripod or other camera support to be sharp.[10]
1/15 s and 1/8 s: This and slower speeds are useful for photographs other than panning shots where motion blur is employed for deliberate effect, or for taking sharp photographs of immobile subjects under bad lighting conditions with a tripod-supported camera.[11]
1/4 s, 1/2 s and 1 s: Also mainly used for motion blur effects and/or low-light photography, but only practical with a tripod-supported camera.[12]
B (bulb) (1 minute to several hours): Used with a mechanically fixed camera in astrophotography and for certain special effects.

I guess I learned something today. I got to say that PreCentral readers are very well-rounded, the elitist of the smartphone realm.

This is not a feature of the camera. Cellphone cameras do not have an adjustable aperture, meaning they control the exposure by adjusting shutter speed and sensitivity. The iPhone photo was simply taken in lower light, therefore using a longer shutter speed to capture more light and create a correct exposure.


I want one of those webOS Internals stickers! Oh, and a Pre3 :)

This makes me full of hype all over again. June is certainly a good time for releasing it!

I hope its June... This is gettin pretty rough haha

It looks like it will be releasing soon. Hopefully with all 3 carriers on board, please. I have VZW and I'm almost certain they will carry it, I just hope you sprinters will be able to enjoy it too, and soon.

Hi all,

1. Thank you for the great find!

2. I'm a photography buff and since my background & education are in horticulture, I tend to do a great deal of macro photography. The macro shot is quite good when you think it is shot from a smartphone camera. It's good to know b/c sometimes dragging my Nikon DSLR is a bit of a pain!

3. This is just another reason why I can't wait to get my hands on a Pre3!

Take care,


At this point I dont even care about the camera. The camera on my pre perfectly fine for me.

PLEASE JUST PUT THE DAMN PHONE OUT!!!!!! ...... on sprint

Very nice. Just got off chat with Sprint CS. He may or may not have been a fluent English speaker; you be the judge:

Sprint guy: Are you concerned about windows phone?
Me: No. WebOS from HP.
(a minute later)
Sprint guy: We are closely working to launch this phone as soon as possible.
Me: Any idea of a timeline?
Sprint guy: As of now the time is not confirmed.

I'm sure he still thinks you're talking about windows.

Unfortunately, I think you may be right.

Well, I know this is a downsized version of that 5 megpixel snapshot, but, still, that's pretty good stuff for a camera phone at just a couple of inches away!


Click on the "Josh Marinacci (Twitter)" link above and you can view/download the full-size 5mp version. Focus is sharpest on "Elite Book," and it IS a pretty good image for a phone camera, particularly at that close range, and F 2.8.

I think an important piece of information was left out of this article....

where can we get some of the webOS Interals stickers?

That is certainly a good, crisp photo, but I am unconvinced until how it does with a business card.

When I first saw the headline of this article, my first thought was "Maybe this means we'll *finally* see a business card scanner app!" I've wanted that (without switching from my OS of choice) since the Treo days.

Let's hope we get one or more and good performance from it/them.

Oh!! I also have the HP Elitebook, but not the sticker. Where can I get it?

Great cam :) would love to see a video and some more pics...

Business card scanner apps!

I hate that I don't have auto focus on my pre minus. I've been waiting for this for 2 years.... and still waiting I guess.

Maybe the barcard scanner apps will be more useable now on webOS phones. I thought those barcode scanner pricing utilities might be useful but probably just as easy typing in the model name in a search engine.

whats the ISO for the photo

Now how COOL is it that the dev relations guy has a lappie with a webOS-internals sticker, ie the skunkworks, on it. Talk about having the goodwill of the mothership eh? What other Big Corp does that?

Hopefully pre-3 has a better sensor with better images at night besides autofocus.

God just release the phone already. Stop trying to hype a phone that we have already seen and should have been out like a year ago. You have 1 more month and then im gone. My pre requires like 5 retarts a day now.

When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When?


Realease that sticker... I mean Pre3!!

somebody please start working on snap'n'ocr soft, please!

The full sized picture looks pretty bad. The parts in the middle that the article is talking about being in focus, despite being not in the center, actually are not in focus at all. Take a look at the words on the side of the box the penguin is in, that's about what you can expect business cards font to come through like.
Way better than current Pre camera's, but not as crazy as the article hypes it to be.

Either way, I still want this phone haha

If I get one, I will not even care about the close up macro picture quality of shots not taken head on (as they should be for macros).

"Oh no, I said "if"! I'm sorry Great Pumpkin, I didn't mean if, I said little slip like that can make the Great Pumkpin pass you by..."