Video: Nokia N900 Camera Interface – why it's better than what's on the N97

| December 15, 2009 | 48 Replies

Like much of Nokia’s line up, the Nokia N900 has a 5MP camera with dual LED flash. What sets it slightly apart from all the rest is the revamped camera controls, minimising the need for necessary button presses that Nokia’s put us through before.

I’ve talked about what I love in the N900’s camera, shown some samples and screenshots but now, let me demonstrate in video

  • Simple selection of modes
  • New icon indicator appears after adjusting a setting (e.g. ISO 100), from which you can press that new icon and adjust that setting from there
  • Remembering your last saved settings. – If you’re taking photos in a particular area and just took a short break in between shots, you don’t want to have to set those settings again should you decide to close the lens cover
  • Start up is fast, time between next shot is about 1-2 seconds.
  • Autofocus is fast and accurate
  • Nice to have the option of 16:9 photos to maximise view finder when taking photos.


With a touch screen, you’ve got a blank canvas of controls, with limitless possibilities of how many buttons and where to position them. On the N97 it doesn’t take advantage of this. It’s not necessarily an S60V5 issue as the same OS on the Samsung i8910 and Sony Ericsson Satio don’t have the camera interface.

This is somewhat addressed on the N900.

It’s not completely perfect (there could be an additional “button” to switch from camera/video, making it just a one click switch), but these slightly revamped controls make the N900’s camera a joy to use. In future though, I would like to see some of the N97’s imaging options available on the N900:

  • Colour Tones – Black and white/Sepia/Vivid
  • Contrast
  • Camera Grid – helps compose photo
  • Sequence mode – Bust shot (I’d also like the old sequence mode where you can set phone to take photos in longer intervals, 1s, 5s, 10, 30s, 1m, 5m – a niche feature but great for time lapse photography)
  • Self Timer – don’t leave people out in group photos
  • User defined settings – I like to save high contrast/high exposure/black and wide in the N97, and it’s nice that I can select this mode and not have to tinker about with these settings (not that the N900 has these options anyway)

That’s about it for now. I won’trant on new physical features I’d like to see in the next MaemoPhone today. Though, this post more or less sums it up:


Oh ok. One thing. The camera shutter-release button – great to have one, but now I’m preferring the more obvious 2 step press in the N97’s button. [that and of course Xenon – sorry, sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)


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Category: Maemo, Nokia, Nseries, Video

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]