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Take Photos with Your BlackBerry PlayBook

Taking a photo with the BlackBerry PlayBook is as easy as can be, except that the tablet isn’t shaped like a camera (or shaped like a handheld smartphone).

First tackle the rear-facing camera, the one on the back of the tablet. You’re going to have to deal with the fact that it’s slightly awkward to hold up a half-inch-thick 5 x 7-inch rectangular slab at arm’s length and press an onscreen button to take a picture. This isn’t exactly a simple point-and-click procedure.

It’s a little bit easier when using the front-facing camera, because you might be able to prop it on your lap or a desk as you frame your handsome visage on the screen. The tricky part with using the front camera is to avoid including your finger in the picture.

When you do press the virtual shutter button on the touchscreen, it takes a second or so before the image is actually collected. The delay allows the internal circuitry to come up with the best exposure level and focus setting, and it lets the auto-stabilization feature reduce blur caused by motion of the tablet itself. And, it should give you enough time to get your finger out of the picture.

The internals of the camera are quite complex but the controls for the user are quite simple. Here, you can see the onscreen buttons and sliders.

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Turn on the camera in your BlackBerry PlayBook

If you’ve created and placed a separate icon for the camera in another location, or if you’re using an app that will automatically load the camera, you may have another way to get snapping on your PlayBook. Otherwise, follow along:

  1. Go to the PlayBook’s home screen.

  2. Tap the Media tab.

  3. Tap the camera icon.

    Or, from the home screen, tap the All tab and then tap the camera.

Switch between the front-facing and rear-facing camera

The standard setting is to use the rear-facing camera.

  1. Tap anywhere on the touchscreen (except on the virtual shutter release).

    The additional controls appear.

  2. Tap the icon in the lower-right corner.

    The icon shows a small camera with a pair of green arrows that seem to chase each other around a circle. Tap once to switch to the front-facing camera; tap again to switch back to the rear camera.

It is very appropriate to protect your BlackBerry PlayBook in a soft and padded carrying case. One problem with this, however, is that the case blocks the rear-facing camera. You have to remove the PlayBook from the case and carefully hold it in your hands in order to use the camera on the back.

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