Video: Nokia N8 Replaces DSLR for Pix Magazine Dec-Jan Front Cover shoot

| December 20, 2010 | 23 Replies

So here’s the Nokia N8 again taking on some professional work: Replacing a DSLR for a magazine shoot!

There’s a 9 minute video accompanying this post that shows the entire process:

  • Initial worries about the N8 << but they go on to say it’s not the equipment, it’s the technique. But it still has to be good.
  • How to attach a screw-less Nokia N8 to a tripod?
  • Right lighting is key for ANY camera – some tips for N8 users we’ve received from the Nokia N8 Camera school
  • Helps to have a really fit model. It’s hard to take a bad photo this way 😛

Result – fear over – “they look fantastic!”amazed at the details on the lashes, “It’s a cellphone!!!!”


“The camera pulled it off”…”camera?” …”the phone pulled it off!”

Cheers Smith!


GSM ARENA via daily mobile via


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Category: Nokia, Nseries, Symbian, Video

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 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]
  • Smith

    It’s time for a Christmas story I think.

    Ahaaa…it is the ghost of Christmas past I hear, the voice of the Nokia doom-mongers and naysayers…”oooo Symbian is dead….Nokia is dead….the N8 is crap….wooooo” and then “the N8 and DSLR can not be mentioned in the same sentence….woooo..oooo…how dare you!? Are you mad!?…wooohoooo…..nothing can ever match a DSLR…what an outrageous suggestion….aaaaahhhhoooooh…I refuse to accept what I see before my eyes – I refuse to accept that experienced professionals who know what they’re talking about say an N8 can match a DSLR… dare you….Nokia dead…oooohh…I am the ghost of Christmas past!


    • Dave

      At some point you’ll hopefully make some sense.

      The N8 does have an excellent camera. But it doesn’t rival a DSLR.

      Sure, it can take sharp pictures, and thats all they wanted for this shot, and to demonstrate that a quality picture is as much about the photographer as anything else.

      You don’t get any bokeh or advanced creative controls with the N8 though, which is a shame, but not particularly surprising – you don’t even get such with any compacts.

      And as the end of the day, when you look at 100% crops comparing the two, there’s no comparison. The N8 does control noise well, but nowhere near as well as even an older DSLR – even with a relatively large sensor, the N8 pales in comparison to even an APS-C sensor, let along a 35mm or larger frame sensor.

      • Smith

        A good answer, but actually what matters is can you tell the difference between an N8 and a DSLR in the contexts the shots generated by either are used. i.e. not zooming in and doing a detailed analysis of every pixel, but instead for blown up photos, web shots or as in this case, professional magazine covers. The N8 clearly matches a DSLR in these scenarios. If you start wanting manual focus control and massive zoom or macro clearly it’s not in the same league due to the laws of physics.

        The pro outfit in the video reckon the N8 is as good as a DSLR for this shoot, did a comparison with a DSLR in auto mode a little while ago and the N8 easily held it’s own for most shots and was superior for some, and I have seen several testimonies online from people saying the N8 is as good as their DSLR for some people.

        So I think my argument and point still stands, fair and square.

        • Rant

          While the N8 is amazing, any DSLR blows it away. My Nikon D60 resolves better color, isn’t affected by light flare as much, captures more detail, and is just capable of more engaging shots.

          This doesn’t refute the fact that the N8 is amazing, but comparing it against a DSLR is ludacris. Comparing it to the better digital compacts is more sensible. :)

          • Dave

            I’ve got a Sony A200, same sensor as in your D60.

            Whilst the N8 is good, it just doesn’t even compare to older/lower end DSLRs like the A200 or D60.

            Sure, for casual snaps its fine, or possibly portraits with specific requirements, but it just doesn’t have the flexibility to be anything more.

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  • Rant

    Mad respect to Damian D and his team. So, Nokia can apparantly make software work with excellent hardware.

    @Jay, any chance you can get that cover picture in a better resolution. The one posted now looks a bit so-so.

    • Jay Montano

      Hey, sorry, I don’t know where the original source is. When I find it, I’ll swap it. It might also be a problem with my internet pushing out lower res (i’m on mobile net as my wifi drivers broke – long story).

      • Andre

        Check GSM arena

    • Smith
      • Jay Montano

        Cheers Smith 😀 – should be updated now.

        Didn’t realise how low res the original pic in post was as my tmob connection somehow reduces image quality of all pics (save on bandwidth!)

        • Smith

          You’ve kind of updated it Jay :)
          The JPEG you uploaded appears to have been affected by the usual compression that mobile networks do on pics, and if you’re on T-Mob as I was until recently this is definitely the case.

          You won’t be able to see the difference, but there is in fact a visible difference in quality using landline broadband between the pic you’ve uploaded (tho it’s now the right size if you click through) and the pic I’ve linked to.

          • Jay Montano

            DARN TMob, I thought I was just viewing differently, did not realise it was actively also compressing images when I upload.

            Hmmm..Oh well. New lappy should arrive tomo. (Not that I don’t want to fix this one, it’s just that I can’t until new one arrives)

      • Rant

        Nice, but not the most flattering picture for a cover. Too dark in my opinion and the outfit of the model was better in other shots.
        But perhaps they chose this for the more detail and noise proneness of it.

  • Raj

    tell me the name of tripod and where i can buy this ? :)

  • Jay Montano

    Another plus with the Nokia N8 is that due to the more natural looking colours, larger print sizes, it does lend it self better to post production editing than other smartphones, that would say, cast obscene contrast and saturation.

  • James

    The thing is, due the the wide angle lens on the N8, they are not even using the full 12MP for the shot. To compare it with a DSLR, one should use a 28mm lens on a DSLR to do the same shot with the same crop. They question is though, why would anyone use a 28mm lens to shoot a job which requires massive cropping. So naturally, in this sense, a DSLR trumps the N8 being able to us a more suitable lens and the sensors’ full resolution for the job.

    However, being what the N8 cam is, for myself at least, it has allowed me to forego any of my huge collection of P&S cameras including some of the relatively new products like a Sony TX1 when I go out and feel comfortable knowing I have an competent camera in my pocket at all times. I don’t carry my Nikon D40 anymore either but the N8 is only part of the reason among other considerations.

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  • El Marko

    N8 is a wonderful camera, which also makes phone calls. Now, if Nokia can deliver a decent keyboard, a decent browser (or when Opera Mobile can deal with multitouch) and when Symbian can sync categories with Outlook and Google Calendar, etc., we’d actually have a competitive smart phone.

    But it is a nice camera, which also makes phone calls.

  • naya

    i think the pic so dark

    every one ues n8 says the camera is so dark in the pic but the viedo is 100% good

  • silver shadow

    u guys r so Amateur
    the nokia n8 can do what ever the DSLR can do
    and if u dont have the nokia n8 dont talk about it
    i have a fuji camera and my n8 is better

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