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?
It does a relatively decent job, but there’s room for improvement. Like the Nokia E66/E71 camera, the small sensor is noisy, resulting in poor low-light performance. The optics and image processing are significantly better than the E66/E71, although color balance is hit and miss…
I think the T-Mobile G1 takes better pictures, especially in low-light – this despite its small sensor, generic optics and missing flash. Let’s compare the two.
Here’s a shot made first with the 5800, second with the G1 (click to enlarge):
Note that the sky is less noisy in the G1 picture (bottom)…
Here’s another picture taken first with the 5800, second with the G1 (click to enlarge):
Note how the 5800 picture (top) is ultra noisy- it’s like night and day!
Video recording with the 5800 is very nice, other than the aforementioned low-light limitations. In addition to VGA (640×480 pixels at 30 fps) there’s also a widescreen mode (640×360 at 30 fps) which perfectly matches the native screen resolution of the phone
The verdict? The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic takes decent pictures and records above average videos as long as you avoid shooting in low-light. But in the end, I was expecting more from Nokia.
Update: More comparison pictures vs. the BlackBerry Storm camera.