After 2 weeks of using the Nokia N82, I’m reviewing about its flagship feature: the camera. You can also read the first part reviewing the Nokia N82′s general physical/hardware before continuing. In the end, I think the camera itself should make this Nseries phone worth buying.
Nokia N82′s 5mp Camera with Xenon Flash
The Nokia N82 is the Nseries imaging flagship device. It means that if you ask Nokia, “what phone is currently the best for taking picures?” they will respond, “Nokia N82!” This cameraphone features 5 megapixel lens with infrared autofocus assist lamp and most importantly the xenon flash. Will it replace current standalone digital cameras like the Canon Powershots? Definitely not, but those cameras can’t do half as much what these ‘multimedia computers’ are capable of.
Seamless Experience. I’m amazed at how imaging has evolved in cell phones. I’ve been using the phone to take pictures while hanging out with friends at night, and I can tell you that the experience is a lot better than using any other phones I’ve used (I have not tested the Nokia N95 8GB thoroughly yet and will see how the camera performs against the Nokia N82 soon). The camera application opens immediately after the lens cover is opened and you press the shutter halfway to get an automatic focus and then press fully to take the picture. It works just like any standalone digital camera.
Great AF Assist lamp. The Nokia N82 features an AF assist red light that illuminates the object in a dark environment before taking the picture to determine how to adjust the focus. In a brighter environment, this light does not go on. Learn more by reading Digital Photography Review’s definition of AF assist lamps.
The AF assist light on the Nokia N82
Versus Nokia N95. How does the Nokia N82′s camera compare to Nokia N95? The image quality is quite similar during daytime, but very different during the evening. The main reason for this is the bright xenon flash, but also in part of the AF assist lamp. The Nokia N95′s AF assist lamp uses the same as the flash lamp. It is a white light that goes on when pressing the shutter halfway before taking the picture. This can be confusing for people in front of the Nokia N95′s camera because they think the light was the flash and that the picture as already taken. This is not a problem for the Nokia N82. I also found that the Nokia N82 finds the correct focus a lot more than the Nokia N95 can. Correct focus is found when you see green brackets. Don’t take the picture when it is red, or else the picture will come out blurry.
Words simply can’t describe the image quality. I have taken some random pictures of New York City in a previous post, tested the xenon flash performance in complete darkness, and uploaded more pictures on my Flickr with the N82. A search on Google also leads to many photos taken by the Nokia N82 uploaded on Flickr by others.
Here are some night indoor pictures I took from a Thai restaurant. All pictures were taken in automatic mode with flash on.
Complaints. I noticed a few of my pictures from the Nokia N82 have circular flares from the flash. The flares show up randomly. I know it is related to the flash, but I’m clueless to what specific situations these flares appear in. One more thing I don’t like about the Nokia N82 is that the camera button is not raised enough like the button on the Nokia N95. It is a tad easier on the Nokia N95 to press “halfway” for focusing on objects.
I love the camera on the Nokia N82. This is the phone to have with you on those fun weekend nights out with your friends. I can’t name any other Nseries phone better for the job. It is not perfect, but what cameraphone is?