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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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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Nokia N96 – a worthy flagship?

January 28, 2009

I really want to like the Nokia N96 – I really do! After all, it is Nokia’s flagship device, and based on its groundbreaking predecessors, it was supposed to be something special. And therein lies the rub – as much as the original N95 was revolutionary, the N96 is just evolutionary.

Take the N95 8 GB, add another 8 GB of built-in flash storage for a total of 16 GB, add a micro-SDHC card slot for external storage, add hi-speed USB support, add a DVB-H digital TV tuner, replace the single LED flash with a dual LED flash, upgrade the OS to Symbian S60v3 Feature Pack 2, and make it a bit thinner, using Nokia’s tasty new Nseries design language… That’s the N96.

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Nokia N96 camera

January 24, 2009

The Nokia N96 camera has a lot to live up to. It follows in the footsteps of Nokia’s amazing N95 and fantastic N82 cameras and it bears the expectations of excellence bestowed upon a flagship device!

It has the same impressive features as its predecessors: 5 megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss lens, auto-focus with macro and VGA video recording. It also incorporates a dual LED flash, which improves upon the N95’s single LED flash, but falls short of the N82’s xenon flash. Like some versions of the N95, the N96 is missing a lens cover.

Overall, the N96 camera takes very nice pictures, but it’s not good enough for a flagship phone. Noise is a problem – perhaps Nokia is using a smaller sensor to make the phone thinner, or perhaps the firmware is lacking, but low-light performance is noticeably worse than the N95 and the N82

Colors and exposure appear well balanced in most cases, but bright spots (like neon) tend to be smeared in low light. The shutter button on the N96 is almost flush with the body, making it more difficult to use.

Ultimately, I can’t recommend the N96 camera when other devices like the N95 8 GB perform better and offer almost the same features at a lower cost – but that’s just my $0.02 :)

Road trip recap

January 18, 2009

As expected, I created a lot of content (some of it live) on my recent road trip to New Orleans using several Nokia devices + various online services, and proving once again, that the best camera is the one you have with you.

Here are all my posts, pictures and videos:
Here (articles)
On Twitter (updates)
On Flickr (pictures)
On Qik (live videos)
On YouTube (videos)

Enjoy :)

Road trip, part 4

January 1, 2009

We left New Orleans on Monday, and after a brief stop in Houston., we spent Tuesday with friends in Austin.

There, I took pictures and made videos of the Resolution Clock and the Cathedral of Junk using the Nokia N85, N96 and 5800.

We then continued on to Tucson on Wednesday, just in time for the countdown to 2009!

Tonight we’re in Joshua Tree, nearing the end of the road trip

I’ll have more content up soon – until then, happy new year :)

Road trip, part 3

December 29, 2008

We’re leaving New Orleans tomorrow morning, after a lovely few days! The road trip resumes as we’re heading back to San Francisco

I’ve been taking pictures with the Nokia N85 and making widescreen videos with the Nokia 5800. I’ve also been using the Nokia N96 on and off – I even uploaded a set of geo-tagged pictures to Nokia viNe.

Stay tuned for more :)

Road trip, part 2

December 25, 2008

The road trip continues…

After visiting the UFO museum Monday morning in Roswell, we drove to Austin where we spent the night with friends. Then, Tuesday evening we arrived on to our final destination, New Orleans!

I’ve been creating quite a bit content with my Nokia devices, especially pictures on Flickr and videos on Qik. I’ve also posted updates on Twitter, but I’ve not yet uploaded my additional videos to YouTube.

Keep an eye here for more content – in the meantime, happy holidays :)

Road trip, part 1

December 22, 2008

I’m on a road trip for the holidays with my sweetie!

We left San Francisco yesterday and spent last night in Phoenix. After a brief stop in Tucson earlier today, we are now in Roswell looking for UFOs :)

I’m documenting my vacation with several Nokia devices and the following services:
– My Twitter account
– My Flickr account
– My Qik account
– My YouTube account

Come back to discover my ultimate destination…

The holy trinity

December 10, 2008

This is it – the cream of the crop! Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia N85-3, Nokia N96-3

Please don’t hate me :)

PS: No, I have not sold my soul to Nokia (yet) – I just happen to have a whole bunch of Nokia news in a row.


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