Nokia N86 8MP camera

February 17, 2010

There are two ways to look at the Nokia N86 8MP:

1) It’s Nokia’s flagship non-touch media-centric smartphone, the successor to the mighty Nokia N95/N95-3/N95-4, and a proper substitute for the disappointing Nokia N85.

2) It’s Nokia’s flagship cameraphone, the rightful successor to the awesome Nokia N82, now packing an 8 megapixel sensor and a wide angle, variable aperture Carl Zeiss lens.

Maybe it’s a little bit of both?

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Samsung T929 (Memoir) camera

July 20, 2009

It’s been almost 6 months since I picked up the Samsung T929 (Memoir), the first subsidized 8 megapixel cameraphone in the US, and I’m overdue for a review :)

Over the years, I have tested a plethora of 5 megapixel devices – the i-mobile 902, the Nokia N95/N95-3/N95-4, the Sony Ericsson K850i, the Nokia N82, the Motorola ZN5 (ZINE), the Nokia N96, the Nokia N85, the Nokia N79, and more recently the Nokia N97

There are now several 8 megapixel cameraphones available from Samsung (Pixon, Memoir, INNOV8, Omnia HD), LG (Renoir, Viewty Smart), Sony Ericsson (C905, W995), and Nokia (N86 8MP) – not to mention upcoming 12 megapixel units.

I’m getting a Nokia N86 8MP review unit soon, but so far I’ve only played with the Samsung i8510 (INNOV8), the Samsung i8910 (Omnia HD), and of course the Memoir.

For over 4 months I used it as my primary imaging device, and 1000+ pictures later, I have to say that the Memoir features the best camera I have ever enjoyed on any phone – and by a wide margin!

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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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Nokia N79 – the sleeper

May 17, 2009

sleeper \ˈslē-pər\ noun: someone or something unpromising or unnoticed that suddenly attains prominence or value

The Nokia N79 is a stealthy device. Figuratively, because it’s been flying under people’s radar, overshadowed by it’s slider twin, the Nokia N85. Literally, because beneath its elegant but understated, thin and light casing, there’s a bona fide, feature-packed Nseries phone.

I’ve been using the N79, US version (UMTS/HSDPA 1900/850 MHz) for a couple months now (thanks to Molly at Nokia Blogger Relations) and I’m suitably impressed – it’s very much the sleeper of the current Nseries stable. Take a look at my recap video.

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CTIA: Nokia N86 8MP hands on

April 9, 2009

Amongst the plethora of devices on display at CTIA was the Nokia N86 8MP, which is basically an N85 with an 8 megapixel camera, 8 GB of built-in flash (in addition to micro-SDHC support), a kickstand, and a glass screen cover… Take a look at my pictures!

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Noise – a case study

March 8, 2009

Other pictures taken with the Samsung T929 (Memoir) are available on my Flickr account.

So I decided to do a little experiment: take 3 pictures with 3 devices (one each) at night in the same location around the same time! The goal? Evaluate how megapixels affect low-light performance.

The megapixel myth tells us that more megapixels is not necessarily better. It generally means smaller pixels, which means more heat, which results in more noise, which impacts low-light performance…

Of course there are many variables here: differences in optics, sensor type/size, image-processing/noise-reduction software, and more. Because this is meant to be a real-life test with real-life devices, I can’t control these variables – I can only pick suitable devices.

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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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Unboxing the Nokia N79, US version

March 3, 2009

Oh hai – I can has Nokia N79, US version!

Think of the N79 as the N85‘s candybar twin – it’s packed with tasty goodness, including the same 5 megapixel Zeiss camera, WiFi, and GPS.

However, it’s also slightly “detuned”, with a smaller non-OLED screen (2.4″ instead of 2.6″), US-only 3G (1900/850 MHz), and no USB charging – it’s definitely the sleeper of the current crop of Nseries devices…

Interestingly, the design language is closer to the N97/N86 than to the N85/N96. Check out my unboxing pictures and video.

I used the Samsung T929 (Memoir) to take most of the pictures :)

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Podcast: Talking with Matt #7

March 2, 2009

It’s time for another podcast (26 min) with Matthew Bennett:
- Audio version
- Video version

This week we discussed contacts and context, the Samsung T929 (Memoir), and the Nokia N79.

Other topics include the Samsung Omnia HD, the Nokia N86 vs. the Nokia N85, and the ever popular Nokia 5800 XpressMusic – enjoy :)

Click here to subscribe to this podcast.


Podcast: Talking with Matt #6

February 17, 2009

It’s time for another podcast (24 min) with Matthew Bennett:
- Audio version
- Video version

This week we discussed upcoming cameraphones and the Sony VAIO P!

Other topics include the Nokia N85 and the Nokia 5800. amongst other things…

Click here to subscribe to this podcast.


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