Engadget Podcast: Vlad used camera WRONG – did not (and still doesn't) know about the two step auto lock and shutter press.

| October 14, 2010 | 14 Replies

In this engadget podcast, the team get a chance to discuss the Nokia N8 (Skip to 20:55). Sorry it’s disorganized – in a rush and already late for lectures. Will sort out formatting later. The bit about lack of autofocus has a heading midway in this post.

The verdict? Quite Positive. That’s with Vlad (the guy who did the much heated iPhone 4 vs N8 pics that caused so much uproar amongst Nokia fans), Chris Ziegler and possibly the voice of reason why they aren’t as eager to hate and joke on Nokia’s expence, the infamous tnkgrl – Myriam Joire. Myriam has used possibly every type of phone known to man and I could bet that she’d give the most honest opinion about Nokia – without any unecessarily negative angle that we often see from Engadget. BTW, Myriam is not Pro Nokia, the first thing she says at this section is to get Vlad to tell the commenters to go to hell.

  • Vlad goes through the reasoning behind his actions, how he purposely did not analyse the pictures as to which one was better so you could decide for yourself (erm that doesn’t make it any more fair because I can provide you with dud samples versus good samples. You don’t need my additional analysis for you to decide the predriven decision by my previous actions)
Nokia N8 – closer quality to a digital camera than your iPhone 4. Closer to reality colours and higher detail.Gallery: Nokia N8 versus Canon IXUS 130 – 9MP vs 10MP shots – witness the N8′s precision pixels.

Nokia N8 (C) wins the blind shootout, confidently beats the Sony HX5 and smashes Samsung Pixon 12 (via GSM ARENA)

It was awfully confusing my time and time again, sources that were NOT Nokia/Symbian blogs and had slated S^3, could produce such fantastic pictures from the N8 whilst engadget couldn’t

  • When zooming in both at 100% due to N8’s 12mp it appears more zoomed in so unfair. (Yeah I get that somewhat, but that’s the advantage of having those extra pixels as we have seen from above

Interestingly Vlad goes on to say that “we shouldn’t backlash against the commenters, that’s their role to comment and to express themselves, and we should let them”. Funny…what about the censoring?

Vlad says, when you look at the gallery, at first the iPhone 4 looks sharper, punchier with more saturation, but looking through the whole gallery it starts to become over bearing, too saturated. N8 gives you the reality. The buildings aren’t yellow (here’s where it would have helped to have some analysis as Vlad was the only person that could truy verify what those colours looked like on that particular day when he saw them)

“Once you put N8’s pictures through image processing, you can make them so much better than iPhone 4…it shows iPhone 4 overprocesses pictures” to which iPhone 4 users (and I’d agree) who’d want to do that.

The camera shake and failure to lock

A lot of people noticed the camera shake, a valuable thing we also learnt that day (which hell affects even the best of cameras without some super anti shake mechanisms like panasonic’s Mega OIS). Vlad attributes this camera shake to the camera button which causes the shake. Confirmed by engadget pal, Thomas Ricker. Pressing the screen apparently causes less camera shake.

1. There is a touch button to take pictures on the N8 if you prefer.

2. That’s never been a problem before on other camera buttoned Nokias

3. Generally you’d hold the N8 with two hands, like a digital camera, though one hand is fine.

4. First you press half way to lock, then you press down (which is very easy and motionless to the rest of the camera). If you are pressing fully down without the lock then you may get the camera shake, which would explain why certain shots seemed out of focus (it is touch and go when you press all the way down at once whether it would focus, it’s not designed that way), as to generate the force needed to push down the focus lock and shutter at the same time WOULD push the phone down. Hence why it’s difficult in the attempt to make it idiot proof. (I can push it with my pinky and it won’t shake – though not advisable in real life usage. :p)

This is confirmed by Vlad.

“In order to press the camera button, you have to put so much pressure you generate motion in the phone”.

I’m sorry but there’s your idiot right there. The N8 has a two step camera shutter button like digital cameras. Not like your cheapo camera phones that attempt camera buttons with one slight push.

Vlad says the alternative is that he’s arthritic and needs to retire. Erm. I think even a person with Parkinson’s could take pictures with less motion blur.

Myriam adds:

iPhone 4 pictures are artificial, they are designed to look better and most non experts will pick iPhone 4 every time. That is the strength that apple has. They do that with everything. It has its merits. It’s a great camera if you want to whip it out, take a shot and leave it to that. For those of us who are interested in picture quality, and processing our pictures, cropping or maybe tweaking some settings before we take a shot. N8 is phenomenal, it just blows the iPhone 4 out of the water. It is relatively good as a point and shoot. You can whip it out, take a picture relatively well too. When I compared Droid X you had to tweak it so much to get a good picture.

There’s more. Vlad says the only bias possibly in the shoot was that they didn’t change any settings. Just whip out and shoot (Wasn’t auto flash disabled in some shots?) Perhaps it was unfair that N8 had a real flash. N8 apparently has higher aspirations, with the test being concerned about low end usage. aka my fisher price camera.

Myriam says “I’m doing the camera review for N8, you can expect some mind blowing shots from N8 WITHOUT any tweaking” and we have seen such time and time again from normal, every day users. “there’s so much with the N8 it’s a WASTE to just use it as a point and shoot”. Chris adds that the N8’s camera is a POWER users camera. i.e. if you’re serious about photography that’s any time any where, pocketable and isn’t just a camera, the N8 is the way to go.

Myriam: I took 150 photos, took a third away cos I’m picky and also cos I take 2-3 shots of the same thing. I was blown away. I have to remind myself that I’m using a phone. It’s that good.

Being a pro with Nokia, Myriam shares a tip, educating the engadget guys on the image stabilization ability of the N8 during video recording by using the full 12mp to pan around and provide a more stable shot. No loss of quality.

Autofocus on N8 is the fastest on any camera phone I’ve used (Myriam). Vlad agrees, though how would he know, he’s never used it. He goes on to desscribe’ the iPhone 4’s continuous autofocus. I didn’t know that. I knew about touch focus in pic and vid…and Myriam does confirm IT DOES NOT. Isn’t Vlad an iPhone 4 user? Maybe the lack of analysis was not really out of choice eh? I think Myriam must do EVERY engadget camera test. Or at least prevent Vlad from doing so.

There’s a couple more minutes to go. But am already late for my leture.


Thanks to Rich Hafley for the heads up to

Via Engadget


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Category: Nokia, Nseries

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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]