Update: Nope, the camera wasn't fixed because of a silent software update or because of wiping the lens clean (we wish!). The problem of autofocus was caused because of a 'rounding error bug'. To quote:

There’s a rounding-error bug in the camera driver’s autofocus routine (which uses a timestamp) that causes autofocus to behave poorly on a 24.5-day cycle. That is, it’ll work for 24.5 days, then have poor performance for 24.5 days, then work again.

The 17th is the start of a new “works correctly” cycle, so the devices will be fine for a while. A permanent fix is in the works.

Since we're on the 'good end' of it now, the patch releasing on December 11th should fix the issue entirely.

We know some of you have had issues with the DROID's autofocus--the issue being that it never focused right--but now it looks like there may be a fix to all your woes. According to one DROID user, if you simply clean the lens with a soft cloth, your Motorola DROID will begin to autofocus correctly. Apparently, there may have been some residue or oily film on the lens that caused the autofocus issues.

If you're having problems with the DROID's autofocus, we say you give it a try and let us know how it works. If your DROID can autofocus fine but still only takes cruddy pictures, stick to taking pictures on a sunny day, outside or hope for a software fix.

[via techcrunch]


Reader comments

Fix The DROID's Autofocus Problem By Cleaning the Lens ?


I can't confirm or deny, since I haven't had any problems with my camera, but this is great news for Droid owners. Those with camera issues can hopefully fix it on their own, while those with other issues can be more comfortable exchanging their unit with less fear of trading one set of woes for another.

I thought, nah... thats not possible but upon inspecting my Droid... Sure enough, there is an oily film on the lens. I tried using my cotton shirt to lightly rub it off and it would not come off easily. I had to use a little bit of cleaner to get the film off. Works great now! The autofocus took about .5 secs where before it would take 2-3 secs if it focused at all.

I think the auto focus working has more to do with the silent patch they sent out last night that is being talked about all over the place and less to do with wiping the lens....good try though.

I couldn't believe it I cleaned my lens and it started working. I was astounded. Then I realized from the post above it had nothing to do with the lens cleaning.

Just wiped mine down with a lens cleaning cloth, held my capture button halfway at random objects in my room to initiate the auto-focus about 10 times, worked every time.

Dam AndroidCentral. You're getting scooped by Engadget and Boygenius? Can you at least add an "update" to your story???

HOLY COW! When I read this this morning I was like no way. So, I was just sitting here at work reflecting on the day and thought, hey wait I forgot to try cleaning my lens. I whipped out the glass cleaner and gave it a good once over, and HOLY COW! I can't believe I'm saying this, but there's a big difference. Pictures are coming out really well. It's unbelievable to me that a little residue on the lens was causing that. I'm very happy now!

Now we need all these reviewers to go back and update their reviews stating the Iphones camera is better then the Droid.

The auto focus issue is being caused by a bug with the camera app using a time stamp for the photo. Just to experiment, go into your phone's settings and turn the date back a few days, then try to use the camera's auto focus. We cycled into the good end now, so the app works properly. The OTA on Dec 11th should fix this bug.