Treo 600 Camera Tips

By | February 12, 2004

The first thing you need to do to learn how to get good photos from your Treo 600’s camera is to read this article at Lighting, lighting, lighting.

And if you still don’t believe you can get decent photos from the camera, check out his portfolio of photos taken with it. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t slowly been getting better and better photos from my Treo 600.

The next thing you need to do is download QSet (requires free registration with before downloading). QSet lets you set the compression factor that the Treo software uses. The default is 65. If you bump it up to 90, you will often get significantly better photos. The photos will take up more space, but it’s a small price to pay. With the Q set at 90, my photos are usually about 65 KB each. With a Q of 65, they averaged about 45 KB.

Timing is key. Since the Treo doesn’t have a flash to illuminate the scene, the software gets very aggressive about boosting the gain. In low light situations, I’ve noticed that when I switch to the camera, the image starts out very dark. After about five seconds, the brightness and contrast start looking okay. But, after about ten seconds (the exact timing depends on the light level), the infamous blue pixels start appearing near the edges, and sometimes dance across the whole screen. The problem is that the Treo software has boosted the gain so high that the signal is clipping. Apparently they made the max value a blue pixel instead of a white pixel. Otherwise, it would look like snow.

So, what you need to do is get the time right between when you switch to the camera and when you snap the photo. That’s a hassle, but it’s usually an issue only in low-light situations. Obviously, you also need to hold the Treo as still as possible when taking photos, especially when indoors.

Of course, you shouldn’t waste too much time trying to use it indoors. What can you expect from a tiny camera with fixed focus, no flash, and no manual settings to control the gain? But if you are outdoors with moderate lighting, you can take some surprisingly acceptable photos.

9 thoughts on “Treo 600 Camera Tips

  1. matt

    I noticed this as well, you can tell the camera to start its GAIN CLIMB over again by placing your finger over teh lens for a second.

  2. Robert

    Thanks for the tip! I turned the Treo off and back on again, which therefore also required hitting the center button to unlock it. Your method is much faster, and usually works pretty well. If the scene was already really dark, it didn’t seem to reset. Of course, the camera doesn’t work well at all with poor lighting, so that’s not a big deal.

  3. Andrew

    If you sign up for a Flickr account, and are using (outside of the USA)for your blog, moblogging is now possible. In your flickr account settings there is a way to set up blogger for auto-posting. They give you an e-mail address to post to and bam, you are moblogging with Blogger.

  4. Laura

    Ever since unlocking my phone into new country (performed by a jerk!)the camera shows colorful stripes only – no picture can be taken. Please help ! Laura.


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