Mega 34 Question, 6800 word FAQ on the decisions behind the Nokia N8 Camera (30FPS 720p coming soon?)

| July 12, 2010 | 8 Replies

I was just off out for lunch when I saw this mega post by Damien Dinning on Nokia Conversations detailing virtually every decision behind the N8 (from the frequently asked questions) in a 34 part question, including some photogrpahy tips from Damien. (Thanks again for the heads up marc!)

Some interesting points again, won’t discuss them all as I have to go but:

  • On the video front, 30FPS 720p maybe coming soon, “We will be looking for opportunities to further improve the video performance in later software updates. Can’t say anymore than that at this stage”
  • N8 AMOLED performs very well in bright light -60% brighter than previous displays plus there’s an anti reflection coating apparently
  • Best shutter button feel on any mobile
  • Note on the digital zoom and why it’s limited to x2 in stills and x3 in video – quality, usable zoom (heavens knows why articles on iPhone 4 promote the stupid 5X digital zoom as a feature. Jeez)
  • No RAW images – (most digicams don’t do this anyway as most point and shoot photographers will not know what to do with these images.)
  • On the missing LED, “Current generation single LEDs provide little more than a tick box on a spec sheet”. IMO the Xenon far outweighs the benefits of having LED or Dual LED for video. For still photography, now, LED flash is an utter joke. only xenon will do if you want low light photos of subjects within 2-3m (especially if they’re people which with xenon with firing duration of 1/200,000 of a second will freeze any action). There is a LED for autofocus, like N82.
  • Mentioned before – investigating possibility of continuous autofocus in video
  • N8 has video stabilization.
  • Why 12MP as opposed to 8MP or 5MP. Going forward on performance (e.g. with bigger sensor), not just pixel number. It was never nokia’s intention to lead in megapixel number – they’ve consistently adopted getting larger pixels e.g. N86.  Damien’s listed the advantages of this (in Q5). GTG

Complete collection of questions below:

  1. Why doesn’t the Nokia N8 include a mechanical lens cover?
  2. The Nokia N8 uses the largest image sensor ever in a mobile, bigger than many digital compacts, does this mean the noise levels will be much lower than any other competitor product?
  3. Sharpness vs. detail, what’s the difference?
  4. What improvements have you made in response times in the camera?
  5. Why did you choose 12-megapixel rather than 8-megapixel or 5-megapixel?
  6. Is there a mechanical shutter in the N8’s camera?
  7. When shooting video, sometimes the scene seems distorted, almost jelly-like, why is that?
  8. Does the Nokia N8 include image and video stabilization?
  9. Why didn’t Nokia implement a continuous autofocus system for video?
  10. There appears to be an LED by the Xenon flash. Can that be used as a video light?
  11. The N8 uses Xenon flash for stills but why didn’t you include an LED solution for video?
  12. What’s the flash range?
  13. Given you have the largest sensor ever in a mobile phone I am expecting the noise to be extremely low especially in low light?
  14. At a glance, images from other devices tend to look sharper, why is that given the N8’s Carl Zeiss optics?
  15. Why did you choose a 28mm lens rather than the more typical 35mm?
  16. With the 28mm wide-angle optics, surely there’ll be distorted images which will mean I can’t capture portraits?
  17. The Nokia N8 provides only 2x digital zoom in stills and 3x zoom in video, can you explain why?
  18. Can you comment on the actual measured performance of the optics?
  19. How close will I be able to shoot still images?
  20. The Nokia N86 8MP used a variable aperture lens design but the Nokia N8 doesn’t, why?
  21. I’ve heard the sensor used in the Nokia N8 is the largest ever used in a mobile. Could you confirm the size?
  22. Can you please describe the audio recording capability?
  23. What resolution does the HDMI provide?
  24. How well does the AMOLED display perform in bright light?
  25. How does the shutter key feel?
  26. In previous products, Nokia has used a large area for autofocus. Why the change to a more conventional small centre spot area?
  27. Why didn’t you include features such as smile detection?
  28. Are the red-eye removal and face detection systems the same as in the Nokia N86 8MP?
  29. Can you comment on the recording capability in video?
  30. Nokia have tended to provide very small file sizes. Looking at the file sizes of some of the images on the web, it looks as though Nokia are continuing in this way?
  31. I noticed that in some images, even in bright light according to the EXIF information, the sensitivity appears to be slightly above 100 e.g. ISO 105. It seems strange to not use ISO 100 all of the time in bright light?
  32. Are you able to comment on your approach to auto white balance?
  33. Do you use any dynamic range booster with the Nokia N8?
  34. Will there be a RAW output mode for still images?

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Category: Nokia, Nseries, Symbian

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