If you have a phone with a camera you may already be used to taking a lot of photos you wouldn't take under different circumstances. Of course, you may carry a higher quality dedicated digital camera around with you for important occasions, but for ad hoc photos it is likely that your phone does the trick nicely.
Well, your Android tablet may also have a camera, and this opens up a new range of possibilities. The camera may or may not have a flash, and if it does then you might be able to take good photos in low light conditions. But even if there is no flash, you may find the camera being used fairly regularly.
One of the main reasons you might start taking photos is the big screen of your tablet makes it a lot more pleasurable to view them than a smaller screen on your phone does. You can use your own photos as wallpaper too, so that if you have a particular family snap or favourite scenery shot, you can put it on the home screen and have it constantly available. And because it is easy to change wallpaper, you can swap photos as often as you like.
And it isn't just about the photos themselves. In the Android Market you will find lots of applications for having fun with photos. Some applications can be used to edit photos, applying filters or distortion effects. Others can be used to annotate photos, adding text and pictures. A lot of these applications are free, so there is plenty of opportunity to have fun with photos without having to pay a lot for the privilege.
And because your Android tablet is a connected device, by SIM and via Wi-Fi, you are able to share photos, either as you took them or after editing. You can attach photos to emails or send them as MMS messages.
It goes even further than that, though, because you can also upload photos to online storage areas such as Flickr or Picasa, and once they are there you can share them with other people such as friends and family.
Some tablets come with image editing or other camera related applications on board. Our Samsung Galaxy Tab has a Digital Frame application, for example, which you can use to deliver a slideshow of images to the screen, immediately turning the tablet into a digital picture frame.
So, suddenly, the presence of a camera lens on your Android tablet opens up yet another new world of possibilities for you to get creative, have fun, and share stuff with other people. To really get the most out of your Android tablet's camera, you'll have to explore the Market and see what is on offer, but doing so could provide you with plenty of new opportunities.
Step-by-step: Take a photo
Start the camera
Look for an icon called 'Camera' on the main screen of your Android tablet. If it is not there, open the Applications list and look for it there. Tap 'Camera' and the camera software will start to run.
There are lots of settings you can make. Tap the top icon on the left hand column and you can set up the type of shot you want to take by tapping your choice.
Choose a scene
The lighting conditions or type of shot you want to take can be helped by choosing a scene mode. The scene modes alter some key settings such as how much light the camera lets in and the shutter speed. Tap 'SCN' to get started.
Configure the flash
There are times when using the flash is really helpful, such as when taking indoor shots, but other times when it is not needed. Tap the flash icon to choose how you want it to work.
Set white balance
You can control how much light is let in by the lens using a sliding calibration tool. This can help if there is a lot – or too little – ambient light. Tap the icon, then slide the calibrator.
You can make a host of additional settings by tapping the wheel icon at the bottom left of the screen. Tap 'Image' and 'Setup' to see all the options and make your choices by tapping.
The image resolution affects the size of the image and the kinds of things you can do with it. Larger is better but takes up more storage space. Set the resolution by tapping 'Resolutions' then tapping the one you want.
Choose an effect
There are some fun effects you can apply to images. Choose 'Effects' then select the one you like the best by tapping it then tapping 'Save'.
Tips and tricks
When you are ready to take a photo press on the capture icon to the right of the screen. Hold this icon down and wait till the image is focused. There will be a little beep when the job is done. Now release the button and your photo is taken. Hold the tablet steady during this process for the best possible quality image.
Store photos on a microSD card rather than the internal memory of the camera. This will mean the internal memory does not get clogged up, and also that you can easily get photos off the camera by slotting the microSD card into a reader on your computer.