Possible camera problems on DROID? **Updated 11/18/09**

Below is a video explaining some of the camera problems that I am facing with my DROID. I checked out Motorola and Verizon forums and it seems that some other consumers are facing some of the same problems. A Motorola forum moderator says that Motorola is aware and a “software fix” was coming.

Are you having any problems with your new-fangled DROID? Respond to the poll!

Here are the links to the discussions on possible camera problems:

***UPDATE 11/16/09***

So, here is what has happened since the day of this post.

I went to two different Verizon stores and explained my problem to them. The first Verizon rep told me that “there is always something wrong with new devices” that it was “just the nature of the industry”. That may be somewhat true. But, please don’t tell me! I just spent $300 on this thing!

Anyways he said that there should be a new software fix coming December 11th from Motorola regarding this issue as well as many others. I found this post on a Phandroid with the update list. I told him that since the camera on the phone is very important to me that I want my 30 day trial period to be extended passed the day of the update; if it fixes the camera issues I’ll keep my phone, if not then I may go for the Eris. Maybe. He noted my account so I could have 5 extra days to evaluate the software fix.

I went to another store to see if this was the standard way that Verizon was dealing with this known issue. It clearly was not. He told me that there was a fix in the works but he would exchange my DROID for a brand new one. I asked him if the new DROID would have the same problems and he said that he honestly didn’t know and that it probably would.

As you can see this is sort of confusing for a regular consumer. Some stores say that it is just a software fix and will be out on the 11th of September. Others say that it is a software fix and that they want to exchange your device for a new (this doesn’t make much sense to me).

Some advice for those with DROID camera problems:

If you absolutely need your camera to work the way that it is intended then make sure that your trial period is past the day of the software fix on December 11th! Just call Verizon customer service, tell them that the auto-focusing issue is a known problem, and to note your account to extend your trial past December 11th. This will ensure that you have an opportunity to evaluate the fix and make sure that it meets your needs.

***UPDATE 11/17/09***

It appears that Motorola pushed out a “silent” fix for the DROID’s camera last night. You can view the reports here, here, and here. I am noticing clear pictures and the DROID has no problem focusing. Very nice, although these “silent” updates seem a bit disturbing.

Anyways, happy focused-picture taking fellow DROIDIES!

***UPDATE 11/18/09***

OK. Enough of the camera focusing madness. Engadget found that Dave Morhill of the Google Android team confirmed that there is a bug that is tied to the date on the phone, giving the DROID 24.5 days of good camera action and then 24.5 days of bad camera action.Β  It is nice to know that it is a just some software glitch that will be worked out in the December 11th fixes. It is also nice to know that Motorola and Verizon were not getting into the “silent OTA update” business. That would be creepy.

So, enjoy your bug-fixed DROID cameras!

6 Responses to “Possible camera problems on DROID? **Updated 11/18/09**”

  1. sull Says:

    Thanks for the post, Christopher.
    I’ve been keeping up with this issue too.
    Hoping that their is an official confirmation from Motorola soon… Might even be both hardware and software related.

    The camera was a big chunk of my criteria for a new mobile device. I would like to mostly replace my Sanyo Xacti HD700 which is the camera I most often take with me for randomness.

    I was going to buy the Nokia N900 mainly for the quality camera/lenses they tend to use but I cannot use that device on Verizon and I was qualified for a phone upgrade on the day the Droid was released so went with the Droid with the hope that I would be replacing both my old phone (moto razr) and my camera.

    Obviously, I am not thrilled with the camera right now on the Droid, though I have taken some nice pics with it and as far as phones go… it’s not horrible. But now I just love the Droid too much and will be keeping it. I enjoy it more than my new iPod Touch. So it replaces that too (actually a R&D work device).

    The Droid’s camera seems to have more potential and I think new software will help a lot. If their is also a hardware issue, then i’m sure that we would be allowed to replace the device even after 30 days… maybe even a recall issue. This is not that uncommon for initial batches of a product. I never buy new product lines immediately but like I said, nov 6 was my upgrade day and resistance was futile against the mighty droid πŸ˜‰


    • Christopher Smith Says:

      Yes, I hope that it isn’t a hardware issue! Nothing crappier than swapping out devices, although with Google cloud backup it may be easier.

      I just updated my post with the most current information that I have. Hopefully this new software fix will help. It all make me a little nervous though! It just seems that there is more to the camera problems than a simple software fix. Hopefully I am wrong.

      I do remember when I had a Palm Pre the camera was initially very slow and junky. After a quick update the camera was a joy to use. Much faster than the DROID’s. So, it may be possible that there is a quick fix! πŸ˜‰

  2. David Berger Says:

    Here’s where the focusing problem is a real pain – I’d like to use a barcode scanner app, but the camera can’t focus on the barcode image – it keeps zooming in and then unlocking focus before the image can record.

  3. dotlizard Says:

    the focus issue should be worked out in the OTA update on 12/11.

    you know, the weird thing is, i was using the barcode scanner in the bathroom today (hey, i was bored) and it had no trouble scanning a shaving cream can and a thing of hand soap – but they were fairly flat, and it was good bright light. just now, it totally failed at scanning a beer label that was curved (in less direct light)

    I’ve had a lot of fun using FxCamera and PicSay Pro (FxCamera takes the pics and applies the FX right away, PicSay you have to use after pic is taken), and Photoshop for the Droid is pretty cool (though not nearly as many filters and adjustments as PicSay Pro).

    I’m going to buy the Camera ZOOM FX right now (heck, it’s only a buck or 2) and play with that too. It has a ton of awesome features, plus a gazillion plugins to add.

    The only thing really wrong with the Droid cam is that it has potential that has yet to be fulfilled. I’d advise patience, but I’m really bad at that sort of thing πŸ™‚

  4. Jerry Fahrni » One week with the Motorola Droid Says:

    […] 11. The camera is very nice and I haven’t had any of the auto-focusing problems listed elsewhere. […]

  5. live neon girls Says:

    Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done

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