All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 28-04-2010, 11:41 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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The making of the Nokia N8's camera

The N8's launch hullabaloo is subsiding and I was pleased to note that Nokia's own social media team picked out its upgraded camera as the centre of the N8's being, if such can be said to exist. Certainly in terms of physical presence, the camera/camcorder is one of the most obvious features. In yesterday's editorial, I looked at the N8's photography heritage, stretching right back to the N90 in 2005; in this article, I want to break down some of the design decisions arrived at by the N8 design team - how can it be as good as it claims it is?

Read on in the full article.

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Old 28-04-2010, 12:19 PM
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Com on, variable aperture lens is a must have! That means no more sharp and good photos of fast moving objects, like cars, floating water, fontanes or birs in sunny days. And this filter that automatically slides into the optics doens not do anything with shooting fast moving objects and has much more potential to have bugs, so we will end up with oversaturated photos, like SE Aino. ... Maybe...

And this "Nokia's traditional noise reduction algorithms" sound like overcompressed photos like in N86, the full advantage of the 12MP is gone. Maybe...

And where ist the video light? No more videos in the disco? Hmmm ... Bad...

I hope the N8 camera will work properly, coz we all know thet Damian ia a GENIUS in making camera phones Lets see

Otherwise all mentined in the article sounds pretty impressive
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Old 28-04-2010, 12:25 PM
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Why capacitive?Why?My only concern would be the keyboard sensitivity....if the keyboard is anywhere near the HD2 crappy keyboard then I`ll have a big time adjusting to it....otherwise it ticks everything in my books....I have an N900 and I`m struggling if I want to keep it or not.

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Old 28-04-2010, 12:27 PM
DamianDinning DamianDinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmuzi View Post
Com on, variable aperture lens is a must have! That means no more sharp and good photos of fast moving objects, like cars, floating water, fontanes or birs in sunny days. And this filter that automatically slides into the optics doens not do anything with shooting fast moving objects and has much more potential to have bugs, so we will end up with oversaturated photos, like SE Aino. ... Maybe...

And this "Nokia's traditional noise reduction algorithms" sound like overcompressed photos like in N86, the full advantage of the 12MP is gone. Maybe...

And where ist the video light? No more videos in the disco? Hmmm ... Bad...

I hope the N8 camera will work properly, coz we all know thet Damian ia a GENIUS in making camera phones Lets see

Otherwise all mentined in the article sounds pretty impressive
Don't understand your comment re fast moving objects. N8 uses a mechnical shutter like N86 just not the variable aperture aspect. We used the space that provided for superior optics. What would you prefer?

This is not the first time we have used ND filter for bright light, it's used in many products such as N82, N95 family. There's no connection between that and over saturated colours.

Thanks for the other comment, I think....

br

D

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Old 28-04-2010, 12:47 PM
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@Damian

Some people just don't understand what they're talking about, but insist on throwing terms they don't comprehend left and right. You can safely ignore them.
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Old 28-04-2010, 12:54 PM
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Agree... capturing fast or slow moving objects is related to the shutter speed, and as Damian mentioned, the n8 had a mechanical shutter. So logically, it can take care of it.

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Old 28-04-2010, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamianDinning View Post
Don't understand your comment re fast moving objects. N8 uses a mechnical shutter like N86 just not the variable aperture aspect. We used the space that provided for superior optics. What would you prefer?

This is not the first time we have used ND filter for bright light, it's used in many products such as N82, N95 family. There's no connection between that and over saturated colours.

Thanks for the other comment, I think....

br

D
Thanks for clarification It seems that I actually really don't know, what I'm talking about

All these technical terms confused me, sorry
And I ment overexposed photos, not oversaturated

Now it's al right I learned something

But what about this missing LED for video recording in darkness? Did I missed something else in the article? Such bulky phone could have 100 LEDs
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Old 28-04-2010, 01:51 PM
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so basically, you say larger optics can compensate the absence of variable aperture?
And please can you confirm us about this video light - is it present or not? Or large optics compensates this as well.

How about you give us some N86 vs N8 shots?

Cheers,
Miki

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Old 28-04-2010, 02:07 PM
_big_mac_ _big_mac_ is offline
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Very promising

This phone is very promising. I bought an n97 mini after reading all the poor reviews and I found it to be a great phone other than the (very) poor-disappointing quality camera. The capacitive touchscreen and really great camera are very promising. I'm surprised at hearing from friends that are willing to have only a DSLR and a camera phone (no "point and shoot") even with the crappy cameraphones that currently exist (they don't have n86's, k850i's ...).
Also, thank you for publishing the sensor size, I'm really impressed. This is roughly the same sensor size as the Canon G11. My only recommendation is that you reduce the resolution to 10mp and bring back the variable aperture. Camera consumers are realizing that "how many megapixels" is not the question to ask when deciding which is the best camera(phone). This is why Canon reduced the resolution of the G11 (10 megapixels) from the 14 megapixels of the g10, The canon s90 and the panasonic DMC-LX3 also came out with lower resolution that their competitors. Win the respect of the camera enthusiast community, get Dpreview, Steve's digicams etc to review the N8 and Nokia may have a huge winner on their hands. Also publish the sensor size in your specifications (not just this blog).

I think the smartphone community needs to realize that many devices are really usable now. The delta between the best ones and the good ones are pretty small. I'd rather have the usability of an n97 mini and a great camera (like the n86) and a xenon flash (like the n8) than have slightly better usability and a mediocre camera.

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Old 28-04-2010, 02:11 PM
DamianDinning DamianDinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmuzi View Post
Thanks for clarification It seems that I actually really don't know, what I'm talking about

All these technical terms confused me, sorry
And I ment overexposed photos, not oversaturated

Now it's al right I learned something

But what about this missing LED for video recording in darkness? Did I missed something else in the article? Such bulky phone could have 100 LEDs
There is a red LED by the side of the xenon flash, itís used exclusively for auto focus assist. There is no separate LED for video usage.

Some important points: The only way you are going to get sufficient illumination from LEDís over a usable distance available today would be if you had a dual LED. Single LED just is not going to provide any benefit in video, it would have been a tickbox solution and nothing more than that.

We simply didnít have the space for the Dual LED as well as Xenon, the area around the camera is really packed!

I know some of you will say that Iíd rather the device was a few mmís thicker etc but we have to balance the design against the functionality, otherwise people will say itís ugly and then that will influence sales, which of course we need to factor in.

But we continue to listen and continue to try and develop the perfect solution, but for some, sometimes thatís just not possible. In a world of over 6.5b people thatís hardly surprising.

The final point which is important is that weíre using pixels which have a surface area 47% larger than broadly comparable devices so you should find video is pretty good in low light, but weíre still fine tuning that area right now, so I honestly canít make any statements how good, but it should be as good if not better than N86 in low light when shooting video. In stills case of course the Xenon flash and the large sensor make a big difference and results are looking good, but again, weíre still playing here.

atb

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Old 28-04-2010, 02:20 PM
DamianDinning DamianDinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miki69 View Post
so basically, you say larger optics can compensate the absence of variable aperture?


Cheers,
Miki
Let's clarify this:

Incorporating the variable aperture means less space for optics. By removing the variable aperture we were able to improve the performance of the optics.

The difference between the f/2.4 and f/2.8 aperture is removed by the increased sensitivity of the sensor in the N8 vs the N86. The continued development of the sensor is responsible for this. So in low light sensitivity terms N8 is equal or slightly better. Add the improved optics and the result is greater detail but with relatively low noise whilst still retaining the vibrant but natural colour we prioritise. We could reduce the noise further but that will reduce the details. The details right now I'm pretty happy with, they look quite natural without the sharpening artefacts that I've seen in many other devices.

There's a difference between sharpness and detail. You can create perceived sharpness but you can't recreate detail if the optics are not able to resolve it in the first place. It's this combiantion of low noise from the sensor and great optics that provide the stunning detail in video for example. In other products you see either significantly less detail or lots of noise, we have neither of those in video case. Added to that of course is really great audio, which when you put it altogther makes a pretty compelling package. :-)

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Old 28-04-2010, 02:26 PM
gcameron00 gcameron00 is offline
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Steve - are you still waiting for the "Top camera phone..."

It doesn't meet your requirements published very recently:

http://conversations.nokia.com/2010/...about-symbian/

"The top camera phone of tomorrow, then, will need to be friendly to all parts of your life and not just that lived out in favourable light conditions. It will have a large, high quality 8 megapixel sensor (12mp forces individual sensor pixels to be too small), a N86 8MP-class variable aperture (for better handling of extremes of light), a top-brand lens (such as the Carl Zeiss ones Nokia often use) and a Xenon flash. Finally, Iíd strongly advise a mechanical (sliding) protector for the camera glass (as on the N82, N95, N86 and N97) Ė since even small scratches can have a big effect on flash-lit photos."

For my part, I'm very pleased to see a new Xenon from Nokia, I might move from my 6220 classic.

Can anyone comment if pushing the camera shutter button on the N8 when in another application switches the phone to taking a picture? This is the case when opening the shutter on the 6220 and is very useful when running with Sports Tracker.

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Old 28-04-2010, 02:27 PM
DamianDinning DamianDinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _big_mac_ View Post
This phone is very promising. I bought an n97 mini after reading all the poor reviews and I found it to be a great phone other than the (very) poor-disappointing quality camera. The capacitive touchscreen and really great camera are very promising. I'm surprised at hearing from friends that are willing to have only a DSLR and a camera phone (no "point and shoot") even with the crappy cameraphones that currently exist (they don't have n86's, k850i's ...).
Also, thank you for publishing the sensor size, I'm really impressed. This is roughly the same sensor size as the Canon G11. My only recommendation is that you reduce the resolution to 10mp and bring back the variable aperture. Camera consumers are realizing that "how many megapixels" is not the question to ask when deciding which is the best camera(phone). This is why Canon reduced the resolution of the G11 (10 megapixels) from the 14 megapixels of the g10, The canon s90 and the panasonic DMC-LX3 also came out with lower resolution that their competitors. Win the respect of the camera enthusiast community, get Dpreview, Steve's digicams etc to review the N8 and Nokia may have a huge winner on their hands. Also publish the sensor size in your specifications (not just this blog).

I think the smartphone community needs to realize that many devices are really usable now. The delta between the best ones and the good ones are pretty small. I'd rather have the usability of an n97 mini and a great camera (like the n86) and a xenon flash (like the n8) than have slightly better usability and a mediocre camera.

Thanks for your comments. Found myself nodding in agreement a lot when reading your post. This is an incredibly complex industry. We have to balance what the vast majority of people believe and what we believe is right for our customers.

With the N8 we didn't want to go backwards from the N86, only forwards, but we also need to be competitive in the industry. For these reasons, we concluded the only way forward was to do this properly and that meant using the biggest sensor ever in a mobile.

Longer term, we continue to debate and discuss all kinds of interesting views of possible directions we could take, but for now, I'm pretty proud of what the guys have been cooking for us. :-)

Sorry, I know I'm biased ;-)

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Old 28-04-2010, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamianDinning View Post
Thanks for your comments. Found myself nodding in agreement a lot when reading your post. This is an incredibly complex industry. We have to balance what the vast majority of people believe and what we believe is right for our customers.

With the N8 we didn't want to go backwards from the N86, only forwards, but we also need to be competitive in the industry. For these reasons, we concluded the only way forward was to do this properly and that meant using the biggest sensor ever in a mobile.

Longer term, we continue to debate and discuss all kinds of interesting views of possible directions we could take, but for now, I'm pretty proud of what the guys have been cooking for us. :-)

Sorry, I know I'm biased ;-)
I was nodding along with it as well - there's a breath of fresh air coming along in imaging, with dropping of pixel counts (or at least slowing down the increase in pixel count), and improved sensitivity. Until this announcement, I thought improved sensitivity was mainly in the high end and with DSLRs - some of the low light sensitivity shown is getting almost ridiculous. Some of the sans-flash Nikon shots I've seen over the last few months have been absolutely stunning.

If it wasn't for that irritating "review" from Eldar (who should be getting a seriously bad name in the industry now), this would have been an absolutely perfect launch.

Its getting more and more likely that this will absolutely have to be my next phone

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Old 28-04-2010, 03:47 PM
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MP and Pixel density

Hi I was just wondering about the choice of a 12 mp sensor and how something like a 6 mp sensor with a lower pixel density would compare - I understand the marketing side is very important and to sell the phone as a great camrera phone it almost has to have amongest the hight mp count of the competiton but I've notice a push to use pixel density as a selling point in addition to just the mp count and I think a phone camera that produces good shot at high isos would get a good reputation.
 

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