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This paper proposes a recognizable-image selection algorithm for fingerprint-verification systems that use a camera embedded in a mobile device. A recognizable image is defined as the fingerprint image which includes the characteristics that are sufficiently discriminating an individual from other people. While general camera systems obtain focused images by using various gradient measures to estimate high-frequency components, mobile cameras cannot acquire recognizable images in the same way because the obtained images may not be adequate for fingerprint recognition, even if they are properly focused. A recognizable image has to meet the following two conditions: First, valid region in the recognizable image should be large enough compared with other nonrecognizable images. Here, a valid region is a well-focused part, and ridges in the region are clearly distinguishable from valleys. In order to select valid regions, this paper proposes a new focus-measurement algorithm using the secondary partial derivatives and a quality estimation utilizing the coherence and symmetry of gradient distribution. Second, rolling and pitching degrees of a finger measured from the camera plane should be within some limit for a recognizable image. The position of a core point and the contour of a finger are used to estimate the degrees of rolling and pitching. Experimental results show that our proposed method selects valid regions and estimates the degrees of rolling and pitching properly. In addition, fingerprint-verification performance is improved by detecting the recognizable images.