Last month Sony Ericsson donated 20 phones to a team of independent developers to help them in their mission to make custom ROM CyanogenMod suitable for Xperia handsets.

It also promised to make camera library binaries available under a special EULA, which would allow developers to better manipulate each phone’s camera technology.

The good news for the FreeXperia team and other devs is that Sony Ericsson has kept its promise, announcing its support and offering the camera libraries for download on their website. The bad news is that the Xperia Play is excluded because it has a different camera module. This means that whatever work the CyanogenMod team does on the camera software is unlikely to make it into its Xperia Play build. And other developers will likewise be unable to circumvent problems with the camera technology on the Xperia Play.

“When we decided to support the FreeXperia group working on the custom ROMs for Sony Ericsson phones, we quickly found out they had problems with our cameras,” said Karl-Johan Dahlström, head of developer relations at Sony Ericsson. “This is because the camera technology used by Sony Ericsson is a very advanced – we actually consider it to be the best in the market. However it is a closed implementation, so we can’t share the source code for it.

“However, after some discussions with the FreeXperia team, we agreed to allow the FreeXperia team to use our libraries (which can be seen as drivers) for the cameras.”