Cameras no longer a necessity for Windows Phone? EDoF for Nokia WP? :(

| November 7, 2011 | 74 Replies

According to TheNextWeb, the hardware specifications of Windows Phone, as it appears on Microsoft shows that the main camera (of which autofocus was a necessity) is now in the optional section. Since front facing camera is also optional, this means Windows Phones can appear without cameras whatsoever.

TheNextWeb speculates a few possible causes, mainly that Tango – lower priced phones, Nokia trying to reach lower price points. This doesn’t necessarily mean ommision of the main camera.

The main camera is at least one necessity in smartphones, perhaps it could mean, and I worry about this, the introduction of EDoF into Nokia WP? Well that type of full focus has its merits, but not on anything over 150USD. Perhaps Nokia can ship cheaper fixed focus (note fixed focus =/=full focus) to reach that 100USD price bracket.

(btw, wasn’t there an article on Nok Conv showing how much more complex and expensive EDoF systems were? But they were designed to take the ‘hassle’ of AF out, thus not simply a cost saving feature? Also wasn’t EDoF supposedly helping create slimmer phones. Some have pointed out that the 710 with 5MP AF is fractionally slimmer than 603 with EDoF. The quality of those units still has not been tested though, and also note the 710 has more overall surface area/volume to space out its innards – hence how a lot of big screen droids can be so thin).

EDoF as defended by its supporters (and it has some) would say it makes it incredibly easy to take pictures without having to worry about getting a focus.

Check out this post by Richard Dorman:

My concern is that it limits taking pictures of people or things close up. It also prevents apps that seem to rely on AF (eg. bing vision and certain barcode readers).

Although I can appreciate AF being much more versatile, to reiterate – for simplicities sake, instead of possibly investing on simpler, more accurate AF systems, EDoF cuts out the current learning step of waiting for the greenbox. Nokia’s EDoF is certainly better than any fisher-price pixelation cameras RIM enjoys putting on their BB.

Perhaps, if EDoF could’s depth of field could be extended further to allow a certain degree of closeness, it would gain greater acceptance?

Anyway, EDoF discussion aside…

A commenter of TNW article reminds us of uses where you may only be allowed phones that don’t have cameras.

“There are many organisations that require phones not have a camera – industry, secure defence establishments – and windows phones can now be made for those markets.”

Simon J Dawes

I’m hoping it’s more on the side that it just means more flexibility in the type of cameras Nokia can put in their WP. We know they are aiming to repeat something N8-like (and note, a successor is in the works, though it seems to be Symbian) to really bring up Nokia WP cameras [BTW, 800 camera does a good job], but also we might see some WP phones that may be more friendly to developing markets?

Not having front-facing cameras is less of an issue though. The Nokia 700 doesn’t have one. It would be nice if video calling was more mainstream in Nokias but it isn’t.

We would definitely be expecting the flagship 9xx Nokia Windows Phones to have a much fuller feature set. These would hopefully be the Nokia built WPs that have had more time to mature than the first two Lumias, so no excuse in leaving things out here Nokia (that are already in other WPs). Perhaps MS would have got their act together by then and have got Skype and skype video integrated into WP? (There is that “tango” video app, but still, WP is supposed to be all about the Integrated experience).

Standard Hardware

  • A common set of hardware controls and buttons that include the Start, Search, and Back buttons.
  • A large WVGA (800 x 480) format display capable of rendering most web content in full-page width and displaying movies in widescreen.
  • Capacitive 4-point multi-touch screens for quick, simple control of the phone and its features.
  • Support for data connectivity using cellular networks and Wi-Fi.
  • 256 MB (or more) of RAM and 8 GB (or more) of flash storage.
  • A-GPS
  • Accelerometer

Optional Hardware

  • Compass
  • Gyro
  • Primary Camera
  • Front-facing Camera
Additional sensors, such as proximity and light, are on the phone but are not available for developer interaction yet.In Windows Phone OS 7.1, the Search button always invokes Bing Search.
The Next Web also points out this article with a somewhat provocative title. I’ll leave it here instead of making a different post on it as it only concerns itself with the future of the Social Networks and the folks backing them:

Cheers for the tip, Joni!


Category: Nokia, Windows Phone

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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]