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Pictures taken with the Sony Ericsson C905a

The Sony Ericsson C905a follows in the footsteps of the excellent Sony Ericsson K850i, but adds WiFi (once debranded), a larger screen (2.4″ vs. 2.2″), and a presumably better camera (8 MP vs. 5 MP)…

As such, it competes with two other great 8 megapixel cameraphones, the Samsung Memoir and the Nokia N86. How does it compare to these known performers? Find out after the break!

It’s clear that the C905a is just an evolution of the K850i in term of both user experience and image quality. The resulting pictures are very good (slide show), but reveal similar camera limitations.

Low-light photography is difficult, especially indoors – exposure times are long, and the auto-focus struggles. The sensor is noisy, more so than expected for this class of device.

The variable aperture on the N86 allows the camera to capture significantly more light before noise becomes a problem, while the sensor in the Memoir is extremely clean for a cameraphone.

Colors on the C905a are a bit muted, which is disappointing. The macro works as expected, but the xenon flash is often too bright. Shots generally contain enough detail, thanks to quality optics (albeit not Carl Zeiss grade).

The controls are similar to most point-and-shoot cameras, with several dedicated keys (shutter, mode, playback, and zoom). In stills mode, the D-pad controls the flash, macro, timer and exposure settings…

In contrast to the decent interface, the device uses a proprietary audio/USB/power connector (Fast Port), and a proprietary memory card format (Memory Stick) – complete nonsense!

Of course, the C905a also features auto-rotation, geo-tagging, and video recording, which is relegated to a paltry QVGA (320×240 at 30 fps), vs. VGA (640×480 at 30 fps) on the N86 and DVD (720×480 at 30 fps) on the Memoir.

Here is a sample video (download original):

Ultimately, I can’t recommend the C905a. It’s a nice enough cameraphone, but it’s overshadowed by both the competition and sibling devices like the 12 megapixel Satio.

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