There are numerous settings to fiddle with if you don't want to rely on the very able auto mode. There are a selection of modes for different types of lighting and conditions, while the autofocus system is complemented by face detection and macro functionality. The face-detection system works well within a reasonable range, and can automatically identify up to three faces in a shot to help you get focus right. Within the shooting modes, there’s a Smart Contrast option that can automatically balance dark and light levels to improve images in tricky lighting conditions, processing the image as soon as you press the shutter.
Autofocus and xenon flash present and correct
Another Cyber-shot trick we really like is the BestPic shooting mode. This clever feature helps you get the ideal image by capturing a spread of seven shots in a burst, snapped as you touch the shutter button and grabbed fractions of a second before and after you click. You can then select the best, hopefully free of annoying blinks or blur. It’s particularly good for capturing images where there might be some random movement.
Some of the gadgetry seen on its rival eight-megapixel phone shooters, such as blink detection, smile shot options and touch focus, aren’t included here, but the C905 does offers a pretty good range of image adjustments. Exposure levels and white balanced can be changed, though not the ISO level. The xenon flash can be enabled or disabled, and there's a red-eye reduction setting. There's a timer too.
In addition, you can stamp exactly where a picture was taken thanks to the on-board GPS receiver, which also works with Google Maps. While other Sony Ericssons use approximated cellsite-based geo-tagging, the C905 can nail precisely where the shot was taken.
Improving imaging performance isn’t solely about upping the megapixel count, but the C905’s shooter looks to have raised the bar for the Cyber-shot line-up. It produces exceptional levels of detail for a cameraphone, making possible crisp, precise shots.
Watch the birdie
Colour rendition is generally well balanced and vivid, though some redder tones can occasionally come across a smidge too vibrant. Macro close-ups are well handled, while dynamic range boosting using the Smart contrast option doesn’t add excessive noise.
Return to form after the K850i excuse for a camera phone
I've had this phone for a couple of months and it's excellent. Infinitely better than the K850i as a camera phone.
- Fast and slick user interface.
- Brilliant call sound quality and from external speaker.
- Did I mention the excellent camera?
- Eats battery with wi-fi enabled. Even in power saving mode. Even when not actively used.
- No manual lock. You have to open and close slider again, or wait for auto lock timeout.
- Texting is very tricky. The T9 software is very good, but I still haven't got used to the spongey feel of the number keys.
I recommend it, unless you're one of those people that sends tens of texts a day then I'd look at something else.
Also as another point, Orange seem to let me send MMS's with 2MP pictures included. What's the maximum now, or do they scale it down on their MMS server for the recipient?
Re: Meaningless megapixels
I wholeheartedly agree, I had a conversation with someone at an airport who said that their 8mp cameraphone produces "almost identical" pictures to my 10mp Canon 400d (and I had my 70-200 F2.8L hanging off it at the time, cheeky get), but he really was convinced.
How about a proper review? take the same photo with several cameraphones over a range of lighting conditions (with/without built in lights) then add these pictures to the article, with some zoomed areas, both native digital zoom and "post production", would take a couple of days to do but it would be worth it.
got one for the missus.
... all piks come out a bit yellow unless you turn on the auto levelly wossit thingamibob.
Paris. Cos she's yellow too.
Poor review of the most superior phone on the market.
I'm sorry this review, whilst highlighting some of the features of the SE C905 does fail to show just how good it is. SE's sensors and camera pedegree has been well established now for some time and SE will always have the better Camera capabilities, that's not in doubt at all. I have a Nikon DSLR and a Panasonic FZ-8 as a backup and let me just say that side by side the C905 not only equal's the FZ-8 but rival's my (admittedly old) Nikon in basic shooting modes. (If you want to see pictures taken with it I'd be glad to post a link to some if asked)
As for the GPS, there are 3rd party mapping softwares that mean you don't pay a penny for usage of the GPS (Trekbuddy for one). Using this software side by side with a standard GPS unit it is obvious that the phone is not as sensitive but this is because it never seems to pick up all the available satellite signals...not sure why. Either way the SE is good enough for hikers as a backup.
As for touch screen....anyone who owned, as I did the K850 will have seen that the touch area was not brilliant. Personally I think SE did the right thing by pulling out of the idiotic touch screen market with this phone. I was one of those who complained because I don't want touch screen on my phone. Quite frankly after toying with the iPhone I can't see why anyone would want it either.
My only real problem with the C905 is the slider. I HATE slidy phones and would have preferred a K900 candybar style myself. The other thing I worry about is that on other SE phones I've got (I've had K 700, 750, 800, 850 and have used for a good portion of time Z530) where they have tried something new there it does take a couple of batches to get everything prefect. My advice with ALL new SE phones is to ensure you wait about 3 months and get a later batch...you'll save yourself the repair later down the line. In the above case it has been the K700 (mouse/nav button), K850 (Touch area), and Z530 (Microphone failure).
In any case SE's tend to be the better phones by a mile. K700, K750, K800 and K850's all lasted about a year as the best camera phones on the market. I have no doubt it'll be that long before the C905 is superceeded, and my prediction is it'll SE who superceed it.
Great phone, annoying butons
I've had a C905 for a few months and am quite happy with it. It takes great pictures in all sorts of conditions and the connectivity options are great (even if they do suck battery life!). Only issue I have so far is a couple of the buttons have lost their 'click' so need to be pressed quite hard to function - annoying when texting.