Have you ever seen someone with a big digital camera and wondered why there is a little cap on the end?
This is to protect the lens from dirt, dust and scratching ad these all impact the picture, because the camera is taking the image through these.
Now we are not talking about professional cameras, we are looking at smartphones, but this is just as important.
If one of the main reasons for using your smartphone is for the camera you may want to be particularly careful of how you handle the phone. Most smartphone cameras are on the back and when put in pockets or on desks etc are vulnerable to being scratched or marked.
The best are designed so that the lens itself is fractionally recessed or something stands proud of the lens so it is less prone to damage. Putting the phone in a case is another way of reducing this issue.
So you keep it clean and protect it, but what more can you do?
Well a lot of smartphones have a back cover on them which includes a cut out for the camera. This cut out may have a thin sheet of plastic over it rather than being a true cut out or hole in the back cover. This extra protective plastic has its uses but also impacts on the camera and it’s ability to take a good photo.
The HTC Desire is a good example of this. In certain situations you may actually choose to remove the back cover and expose the camera more to allow it to take a better picture without the restriction of the plastic that usually covers it. Do be careful as you could scratch or damage the camera but every now and then it is worthwhile and big differences in the picture can occur.
Here is one example:
If you ignore the focusing which could have been better – you cansee big differences between the two photos. This first one was taken with the rear cover of the Desire left on.
This second image was taken with the cover removed.
You can quite clearly see that the whole image is brighter, and colours appear richer as well as some additional sharpness in the image.
The good news is that manufacturers seem to be picking up on this and have reverted to not putting additional protective screens/covers in place. Thus many rear facing cameras have a lens, with a back cover that fits around the camera.