Nokia E75 camera

May 25, 2009

There’s no doubt the Nokia E75 is a great device. But the camera really surprised me…

With 3.2 a megapixel sensor, auto-focus, macro, a single LED flash, and VGA video recording at 30 fps, the E75 camera specs fall somewhere in between the “mehNokia 5800 camera (which features dual LED flash and Zeiss optics) and the mediocre E66/E71 camera (which only features QVGA video recording at 15 fps).

But in reality, the E75 leaves the 5800 in the dust, beats the decent T-Mobile G1 and teases the excellent BlackBerry Storm to the finish line – check out the pictures and judge for yourself!

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Pictures taken with the Nokia N85

March 7, 2009

In 3 months of ownership, I snapped nearly 1000 pictures with my Nokia N85, US version, including some truly great ones! That covers most of the pictures taken during my holiday road trip to New Orleans.

Right about now, you probably expect me to write a glowing review of the N85 camera, but I can’t – it’s pretty nice, but it’s not good enough.

Despite almost identical specs, it falls short of the cream of the 5 megapixel crop: the Nokia N82, the Nokia N95, the Motorola ZN5, the Sony Ericsson K850i, and the i-mobile 902

The culprit? Noise, noise, and more noise – just like its sibling the Nokia N79, the Nokia N96, and the 3 megapixel 5800/E71/E66. Do you see a trend here?

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Pictures taken with the Nokia 5800

January 29, 2009

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic boasts an impressive list of features for a mid-range device. The camera, while falling short of the current state-of-the-art, certainly looks good on paper: 3.2 megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss lens, auto-focus with macro, dual LED flash, and VGA video recording!

How does it perform in real life?

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HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 camera

November 29, 2008

I really like my HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 – I do :)

But to be honest, based on my brief experience with other HTC devices and the small-looking 3 megapixel sensor, I was not expecting much from the T-Mobile G1 camera. In fact, I was fearing the same dismal performance as the Nokia E66/E71 camera…

So I was pleasantly surprised with the pictures produced by the T-Mobile G1 camera. While being no match for the current state-of-the-art, I’m satisfied with the results.

Pros:
– Auto-focus
– Excellent macro (requiring no user intervention)
– Decent low-light performance
– Dedicated 2-stage shutter button
– Geo-tagging

Cons:
– Inconsistent color balance
– No flash, zoom, or video recording
– No manual settings (exposure, white balance, ISO, etc…)
– Volume keys get in the way when taking pictures

In summary, this is a camera I can live with, much like the LG CU920 (Vu) camera. Still, I’m hoping for future firmware improvements!


Pictures taken with the Nokia E71

November 8, 2008

A few weeks ago I reviewed the Nokia E71. As I mentioned at the time, it produces disappointing pictures for a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, macro and flash…

Overall picture quality is marginally better than the Nokia E66, which uses the same tiny noisy sensor. Low-light performance is still poor, and color balance is inconsistent.

Unfortunately, there’s no dedicated 2-stage shutter button for the camera. The middle button on the D-pad is also the shutter button, causing the camera to focus and then immediately take the picture.

To focus ahead of time or re-frame the shot after having already focused, the “T” key on the keyboard can be used as a focus button, but this is not ideal!

In the end, I really liked the E71 overall, but I can’t recommend the camera.


Nokia E71 business phone

October 1, 2008

Thanks to WOM World, I’ve been using a Nokia E71 as my primary phone for a few weeks now, and I’m pretty impressed overall. It’s a business phone similar in specs to the E66, but with a QWERTY keyboard – it’s Nokia’s followup to the E61i.

Unfortunately, this E71 is a Euro/Asian model (UMTS/HSDPA at 2100 MHz) – a US model is also available (UMTS/HSDPA 1900/850 MHz). Fortunately, I was able to enjoy 3G on this device while visiting Finland for the Nokia Open Lab.

The E71 shares its elegant design language with the E66, complete with patterned stainless steel back. It’s a very thin device – it’s a touch (pardon the pun) smaller in every dimension than the original iPhone :)

Build quality is top notch with no flexing, no squeaks, and no cheap painted plastics. Why can’t Nokia make N-series phones as polished as this?

One of the best features of the E71 is the QWERTY keyboard, which provides superb tactile feedback, despite being smaller than the one on the E61i.

One of the worst features of the E71 is the camera, which is almost as disappointing as the one in the E66. Picture quality is low for a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, macro and flash. At least the firmware is not as buggy.

On the software front. the E71 packs Symbian (S60v3 FP1) with enterprise-class messaging features, such as Exchange support and a handy text-to-speech interface. BlackBerry Connect is now gone, however.

Pros:
– Same features as the E66 (3.2 megapixel camera, WiFi, GPS, etc…)
– Superb QWERTY keyboard
– Top notch build quality
– Candybar form factor (lighter, fewer moving parts)

Cons:
Disappointing camera (compared to other 3.2 megapixel devices with auto-focus, macro and flash)
– No 2-stage shutter button or accelerometer
– 2.5 mm audio connector (adapter required)
– Fingerprint magnet

Check out my pictures and videos (1 and 2) of the Nokia E71.

Playing with the E71 solidified my desire for an N-series device with a QWERTY keyboard – are you listening, Nokia? So if you crave a solid, well-rounded Symbian phone and you can live with the disappointing camera, look no further than the E71.


Nokia E66 camera

August 23, 2008

I recently unboxed the Nokia E66. It’s a nice phone overall, but the camera is disappointing. Take a look at my pictures.

I don’t expect all Nokia devices to feature a good camera, and certainly don’t expect a business phone to have a decent camera. But based of the specs alone, I was hoping for more with the E66. Picture quality is low for a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, macro and flash…

Colors are over-saturated, and low light performance is very poor. The tiny sensor is quite noisy, and there appears to be excessive image processing. The LG CU920 (Vu) takes better pictures with its 2 megapixel camera!

Furthermore, the firmware is buggy, and the image is displayed upside down unless the phone is started and kept in offline mode! No fix is available for this yet (in fact the E66 is not even recognized by NSU).

Hopefully some of these problems will be resolved with future firmware, but ultimately I can’t recommend the E66 camera.


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