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Nokia N8's incredible camera story part 2: All about the video (+ Digital Zoom tests, continuous autofocus coming soon?)

| July 9, 2010 | Reply

scroll below for the originals. This has been edited and compressed.

Here’s part 2 of the Damien Dinning’s piece of the Nokia N8’s camera at Nokia Conversations. In part one, we saw the precision of still images, but now we’re covering video.

Unfortunately there’s no sample yet, but there is an interesting explanation behind the decisions of the N8’s video recording capabilities.

Key points:

  • In the case of Video Nokia are again combining the benefits of the large sensor and incredibly powerful graphics processing engine recording at 12mbps in H.264 (though apparently, the first original sample was at 20mbps?)
  • No compression artefacts during recording, even when panning
  • Handles audio from subtle bird song to loud rock concert
  • Twin mics, forward facing for direct sound, e.g. narration, rear mic for ambient sound – together bringing clear stereo
  • New algorithms to reduce wind noise
  • By using the full 4000×3000 sensor and dropping to 1280x720p, the digital zoom is virtually as good as optical zoom (as opposed to cams that start at 1280x720p and just enlarge those pixels)
  • Recommends that you use touch zoom rather than the zoom keys, and if possible, not to zoom in video at all.
  • Some camera tips (essential for ALL when taking video, such as panning slowly – so often we pan when recording video but the playback appears as a blur because what we see is too fast for the camera. Pan much slower than your eyes would at the same scene – I’ve experienced this even with dedicated camcorders) I reckon digizoom is OK if you just want to quickly upload something online/share a video, e.g. youtube/facebook/twitter and WON’T be editing before publishing. Another tip maybe to zoom in before hand before filming and edit these clips together.
  • N8 uses Active Hyper-focal Distance as opposed to initial autofocus or continuous autofocus. I don’t know, for me, I’d rather either of the latter two. But to preserve image quality, Nokia’s used fixed focus, so anything from 60cm and beyond is always in focus. I must admit, there are times I’ve missed a good video because I’ve focused wrong with the N900. Continuous autofocus might also drain battery as well as showing up those out of focus blurs.
  • This doesn’t seem to be the same as a fixed focus as Nokia says this is actively monitored
  • Nokia tried continuous autofocus in the beginning of development but was not happy with performance to warrant being in the product at the time of sale. But it may come in future firmware. Would be a nice option – for most, the hyperfocal thing would be enough.

Digital Zoom Test (Screenshot from the Video. This is NOT a photo)

X1

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x2

x2,5

x3

via Nokia Conversations.

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Category: Nokia, Nseries

About the Author ()

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 mynokiablog.com and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and  Facebook.com/mynokiablog. Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@)mynokiablog.com or email me directly on jay[at]mynokiablog.com