Steve Litchfield points out that megapixel numbers aren't the only things to bear in mind when comparing the digital cameras in smartphones.
Read on in the full article (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/Megapixels_not_everything_when_looking_at_smartpho ne_cameras.php).
07-07-2006, 04:45 PM
It was interesting to see how the various cameras compared. I wonder when photography sites will begin reviewing camera phones like digital cameras. Keywords like 2MP, 3MP and Carl Zeiss optics could have come straight out of a digital camera review just a few years ago.
Despite the overall washed out look I actually thought the N80 captured the most detail of the flower. (Is that an advantage of the 3MP?)
I'm a little surprised that overall I like the photo taken with the N70 better than that of the N90. Somehow the N90's photo seems a little ... um... smudgy? I would have expected the Carl Zeiss optics of the N90 to win. (I don't know which one is more true to the colors in the scene though.)
The problem with the N80 seems to be the exposure. Is there an exposure compensation feature on the N80 or is it possible to override the automatic settings and choose the aperture and shutter speed manually? If that's possible, you should be able to get much better results by settings the exposure compensation to -2 or -3 IL or using the manual mode.
As for the N90, i can't seem to find the focus point which is why the picture looks blurry. Since you've extracted a part of the original picture, it is possible that the focus point is actually outside the part that you've shown us which would explain the disapointing results. What could have happened too is that you might have taken the picture before the N90 had had time to focus (i've never used this phone so i don't know how long it takes for it to focus and whether or not it allows a picture to be taken before focus has be acquired).
07-07-2006, 09:57 PM
Yes, I gave the N90 time to focus 8-)
And yes, the N80's camera app does have a manual exposure tweaker, but a) it's limited to two 'stops' and b) it's not a setting that's saved and the user would have to remember to dive into the setup menus every single time they booted up the camera. 99.999999% of N80 camera use will be with automatic settings, which is what I tested.
As an experiment, I've put my N70 aside for a couple of weeks and am living with the N90 as my main smartphone. A high-res screen (though still on S60 2nd Edition) and proper focussing camera, at the expense of a more bulky and arguably awkward form factor.... should be an interesting fortnight!
So the N80 is a bit rubbish as far as the camera is concerned. I'd like to see how the P990 and N93 do as these are the two camera phones I would consider buying. I think I'll wait for the N93 to arrive, but perhaps the P990 might still be worth the wait.
10-07-2006, 05:51 PM
Doing a comparison of a single scene accross camera's is just not scientific, or representative of a camera's all round performance.
Surely, a range of indoor/outdoor and possible standard ISO chart shots would give some more tangible results.
The N80 has captured much more detail then the others, but it has incorrectly exposed the scene, but that is a complex scene to meter, if it doesn't pick up on the bright sky portions, it will overexpose, this could be a software thing or just a matter of 'framing' the shot.
You are right in saying that it's not just about megapixels, the lens quality, auto-focus, and exposure, etc are all key elements, and need a more thorough investigation before coming to any conclusion..
11-07-2006, 10:37 AM
Oh, sure. I did take half a dozen shots though, different scenes, and the N80 was the worst in all of them. The one included in the article showed the problem best though. It can't handle the same range of light and dark as the N70 and N90, which have different camera electronics.
I guess I should also do a comparison on indoor shots at some point as well, just for interest.
It wasn't a scientific comparison, just my own observations. I had planned to twist Nokia's arm to keep the N80 as my main device for a while, but I simply didn't want it - I preferred the N70 (and current toy, N90) 8-)