Nokia E72 vs. Nokia X6 camera

E72 sample pictures (slide show):

X6 sample pictures (slide show):

The Nokia E72 and the Nokia X6 have a lot in common despite being very different devices. They arguably represent the best QWERTY non-touch business phone and best touch media-centric device currently available from the lovely folks in Espoo.

Both are feature-packed, reasonably-priced Symbian smartphones with nice cameras, and follow in the footsteps of good devices with disappointing cameras, namely the Nokia E71 and the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. More after the break…

The E71/E72 business phones feature an autofocus camera with a single LED flash while the 5800/X6 media devices feature an autofocus camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a dual LED flash.

On paper, the only major upgrade between the older E71 and 5800 vs. the newer E72 and X6 cameras is a bump from 3 to 5 megapixels (the E72 also captures VGA video at 30 fps vs. QVGA video at 15 fps on the E71).

But in practice, the newer E72 and X6 obliterate the older E71 and 5800, especially in terms of low-light performance. In fact these two 5 MP shooters are within arms reach of the cream-of-the-family-crop.

The E72 just takes absolutely brilliant pictures for a business phone. Color balance and exposure are generally spot on, but the auto-focus is often hit and miss, requiring several attempts!

The middle button/optical trackpad on the D-pad is also the shutter button. Touching it focuses the camera and pressing it takes the picture. Unfortunately it’s unreliable, and I’d prefer a dedicated 2-stage shutter button.

Strangely, the E72 camera lacks auto-rotation and geo-tagging, which is rather unfortunate.

The X6 definitely snaps excellent shots, and lives up to its media device credentials. The results look a bit less neutral than the E72, with color balance and exposure overdone at times, but I’m being pedantic here :)

The dedicated 2-stage shutter button is above average and gives the user pretty decent control. Also, the X6 uses a wider angle lens than the E72.

Video recording is identical on both phones, with a respectable 640×480 (VGA) resolution at 30 fps. The E72 often drops frames during the first few seconds of capture – this can be reduced by restarting the phone and will hopefully be fixed in a future firmware update.

E72 sample video (download original, 640×480 @ 20 fps):

X6 sample video (download original, 640×480 @ 30 fps):

Ultimately, I think the X6 comes out on top, thanks mostly to the dedicated 2-stage shutter button, and the expected extras – auto-rotation and geo-tagging.

But the E72 certainly holds its own, so it all boils down to a bigger question: hardware keyboard or capacitive touchscreen?

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12 Responses to Nokia E72 vs. Nokia X6 camera

  1. […] has two devices in her hands and has put their cameras up against each other. The E72 and the X6 in a camera battle where she captures some images (click on the slide shows) with each and discusses the actual […]

  2. j-d says:

    Hi,
    I am thinking of replacing my old black brick, an N95 8GB. I love it but it has become rather rattle-and-squeaky and it seems I should replace it eventually. The thing is, even though it’s three years old, I have yet to see a phone whose camera rivals the N95’s. Is the E72’s camera in the same league?

    Thanks

    • tnkgrl says:

      The E72 camera is close (mostly held back by the usability issues I mentioned above), and the X6 camera is extremely close.

      The N97/N97 mini are both currently equivalent to the N95 in terms of camera performance.

  3. j-d says:

    Cool, thanks for the info. TBH I am a little disappointed that Nokia has rested on its laurels with the cameras on its phones; the N95’s was practically revolutionary when it came out and while it’s still quite good for a phone camera they could have done so much with it. Yet it seems that from N97 to N900 they are neglecting camera development. And they’re not even exploiting the economy of scale as it would probably not add much cost to add exactly the same sensor/Zeiss lens setup to the E72. Probably this is to make the NSeries more desirable, but deliberately crippling products leads to, ahem, losing market share to newer, more flexible competitors.

    Despite all that I am still a big fan of the E72 and am now seriously considering picking one up (actually a T-Mobile USA E73). Thank you for the advice :)

    • tnkgrl says:

      The N900 improves upon the N97 with better video recording and takes fantastic stills with the latest firmware. The N82 improved upon the N95, and the N86 improved upon the N82.

      But you are right, the N95 camera was revolutionary for a phone when it was launched, and everything since then has been evolutionary.

      The N8 looks like a significant improvement over the current crop.

  4. N H Sarja says:

    I’m using n82, for me its one of the best camera phone from Nokia! In terms of camera, everything is outstanding!

    But having a plan to switch to new gadget at the ending of this year! Hey whats the camera performance differance between n97/n97 mini and x6?

  5. N H Sarja says:

    Oh! Thats great! Then, I can stand for nokia x6! One more feature to know, what about the gps reception of nokia x6? As i love to capture geotag photos and geo tweet!

  6. j-d says:

    Wow, just found this in my bookmarks. I thought I would mention that I ended up buying the T-Mobile E73 “Mode” and it’s a fabulous phone. The camera situation is precisely as you say: as good as the N95’s, image quality-wise, but not as usable. I find the touchpad focus to be infuriating and wish they had kept the option to press “T” to focus. I also notice that night shots are a little lacking compared to the N95, which was itself no master of darkness. Finally, the image size is for some reason somethin glike 2MB when the N95 could always squeeze it in under 1.

    I’m keeping the N95 around for when I know I’ll be out at night, but otherwise the E73 has replaced it completely. The touchpad is actually a great little tool for scrolling and the rest of the phone is top-notch – thanks for the advice!

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