Above the screen and sitting either side of the small video calling camera are two more keys of the long, thin variety rather than the rounded variety. These are both camera related.
One opens the camera album as thumbnails, pushing the screen into landscape format for better viewing. When you are running the camera software the same button toggles you through the built-in scene modes. Interestingly the scenes include a ‘document’ mode among the range.
The other button opens images in full screen view and with the camera running toggles through the various shooting modes: normal, panorama, frames (of which there are 14) and BestPic. This latter one is Sony Ericsson’s auto shooting mode. Nine pictures are taken in the space of a second, and you can choose which to keep.
The screen is bright and clear. Its 262 thousand colours are ample and it measures 2 inches from corner-to-corner across the diagonal. It works well both for framing and shooting photos as well as for viewing information more generally.
With all this emphasis on photography what about actually using the camera and image quality?
Well, to get the camera software running you just slide the back-mounted lens cover away from the lens. This reveals the self portrait mirror too. The sizeable Xenon flash unit is permanently outside the cover. Other camera related trickery include a redeye reduction mode and support for picture blogging, so you can see that as a camera phone the K810i touches a lot of bases.
Using the camera was straightforward. As well as the shortcut buttons already mentioned (the ones above the screen), the 1, 4, 7 and * keys double up to provide access to megapixel size, macro, self-timer and flash settings, making it really fast to flick between these and also easier to take candid shots – a task that’s far from slick with some mobiles.
During testing I left the camera on its auto mode and it had no trouble with some tight close-ups. The image stabiliser helped with the cat photo, which was taken at close range and also highlights how well the autofocus coped.
The coloured dish, shot under normal household lighting conditions, is, if anything, overly bright. There is certainly no problem with colour reproduction. The flowers are vibrant and sharp too.