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 :)