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Sample video taken with Dell Streak rear camera

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The Dell Streak's 5-megapixel rear camera is capable of recording video at VGA resolution . . . and unfortunately it doesn't do it very well.

Camcorder settings include 4x digital zoom (you can't adjust the zoom while you're recording), automatic and night setting, white balance options (automatic, sun, fluorescent, incandescent), adjustable brightness and contrast, flicker adjustment (automatic, 50Hz, 60Hz), video format (MPEG-4, H.263), and resolution (176 x 144, 320 x 240, 640 x 480), but the resulting video quality just isn't impressive.

To show you what I mean, I took a ~20-second VGA video with the Streak yesterday under what I would call pretty optimal conditions (outdoors, natural sunlight) and uploaded the unedited clip to YouTube directly from the device. Lower your expectations and have a look below.

You can download the original video file here to view it without the YouTube compression.

The subject matter is boring, I agree, and the video quality isn't horrible or unwatchable, but compared to all the phones with video recording up to 720p, the Streak's camcorder just isn't good enough. It's better than nothing and would certainly do in a pinch, but I don't plan on using it for anything other than more video tests for this site.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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7 thoughts on “Sample video taken with Dell Streak rear camera

  • I think it looks fine. It may not be full-screenable on your 1600×1050 res monitor but it shouldn’t. Its a 640×480 video! If I want to take a good quality video, I’ll go buy an HD video cam for $200 that shoots in 1080p. You could say the same about stills. For a phone/tablet/anything other than a camera, I’ll take what I can get.

    Reply
  • Seems like an area that could be improved by a software update.

    Reply
  • perhaps one “later this year” in the form of android 2.2? :) I don’t know if that would fix the problem because I have no way of knowing where the problem resides (hardware or software). But we can be hopeful right?

    Reply
  • More than likely a software update may do the trick in helping some of the issues here. But alas video recording on phones is just now beginning to take hold. Eventually like the built in cameras they will get higher resolutions, higher megapixels, better software compression, better audio, etc.

    Reply
  • Avatar of izzykareem

    Not sure about you guys, but that video looks just fine to me. As others have said, you wouldn’t enter a video contest with it, or compare it to a RED ONE camera system. It’s a phone on a camera. It’s for life’s spontaneous moments.

    Reply
  • Aha, the video is terrible, no one can deny it. I’m a videographer but I’ve been really wanting a decent video camera on my phone for a while, for storyboarding/ location scouting purposes.

    Ive decided to go ahead with the streak because I love the device, but the camera department leaves me feeling like a sucker for not having a Galaxy S.

    Hopefully firmware updates may solve the problem, 4:3 VGA!!!! What were they thinking. But all the other devices seem to have the exact same hardware so software should be the trick.

    Reply
  • You want a camera buy a camera. This is an add-on to a PHONE. Video is NOT terrible…it is adequate.

    OH my!! Now it’s a phone, a tablet AND a camera! Something else for small minds to shoot at.

    Reply

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