Nokia N82 camera samples

Reviews 13:19, 31 Jan 2008

A selection of digital photographs taken by the Nokia N82 with its 5-megapixel, Carl Zeiss Optics-equipped onboard camera

The N82 is Nokia's best equipped cameraphone to date. It features a 5-megapixel camera on its back panel with high-quality Carl Zeiss Optics Tessar lens built in, similar to that used on Nokia's N95 and N95 8GB handsets. It enhances this by integrating a powerful Xenon flash into the design, adding an extra dimension to low-light shooting capability.

With its 5-megapixel imaging sensor, the N82 is capable of producing fine quality images that be printed up as standard-sized photo prints or larger with excellent results. The camera has an autofocus system and a variety of modes and settings to enhance or adjust the default automatic system. As well regular shots, a macro mode can provide sharp, focused images of subjects between 10cm-50cm from the lens.

The N82's camera uses a digital rather than an optical zoom. On lowest resolution VGA (640x480 pixels) setting, you can boost the zoom up to 20x, although this is limited to 6x on the largest 5-megapixel (2592x1944 pixels) resolution setting. There are five different resolution settings in total.

There's a second camera on the N82, at the front above the display. This lower quality CIF (352 x 288 pixels) camera is used primarily for face-to-face video calling.

The main camera is also capable of capturing video in good quality for a cameraphone, shooting footage in VGA quality at 30 frames per second. This looks smooth and is acceptable quality for TV playback (Nokia supplies a TV-Out AV cable in-pack).

To protect the lens from wear and tear, Nokia has included a sliding lens cover, which also serves to activate the camera when opened. A dedicated camera button sits on the side, coming to action when the phone's held sideways, like a standalone digital camera. The volume rocker keys double up as the zoom in camera mode.

The user interface is almost identical to that used on the Nokia N95 8GB. There are a wide variety of settings adjustments to optimise shooting, and you can create your own package of personalised settings for instant retrieval as one these.

White balance can be changed from automatic to sunny, cloudy, incandescent or fluorescent, for variable indoor or outdoor lighting conditions, while adjustments can be made to levels of exposure, sharpness, contrast. ISO can be set manually to low, medium or high. Users can also switch on or off the flash, or enable red-eye reduction mode.

In addition, there's a timer setting (2, 10 or 20 seconds ), a set of sequence modes that enable you to take a multi-shot burst of six images, or time lapse shots every 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes. You can also add colour effects before shooting, bring up gridlines to help frame shots and get rid of icons off the display.

Once you've taken shots, there are a series of in-phone editing controls to tweak, tidy and enhance both stills and video. With stills, you can crop, rotate, re-size, add text or clip-art, add effects or frames, and adjust red-eye, sharpness, contrast and brightness. It's not PhotoShop, but it can do some basic adjustments without the need for PC programs.

Image quality
Getting high quality images isn't purely about megapixel count. However, in this instance the Nokia N82's high-benchmark 5-megapixel shooter is a genuine top-class cameraphone. Its imaging performance is stunning for a phone, probably the best we've yet seen from a Nokia mobile. It is capable of capturing some exceptionally detailed images for a cameraphone, with real clarity and precision.

There's no optical zoom facility on the N82, a feature that we've seen implemented to good effect on Samsung's recent G800 5-megapixel cameraphone (and on Nokia's far larger N93 series mobiles). Optical zooms to give more flexibility for zooming close while maintaining high picture quality.

Nonetheless, the automatic system onboard is very accommodating, allowing users to shoot on default settings in a wide variety of conditions and still get great results. Colours are rendered naturally, with auto white balance adjusting surprisingly efficiently in the background. Auto exposure levels are reliable too, so you don't have to worry too much about fiddling with default settings, even if they are easy to play around with.

The autofocus system, with its 2-step capture operation works well enough, and macro shooting is much easier and effective than on many cameraphones bearing this option.
Low light shooting benefits from the addition of the powerful Xenon flash, and this is well integrated into the camera's metering system to avoid over-exposure and whiting out of images, even when shooting relatively close up.

Handling is excellent too. Any concerns about camera shake from holding the phone can be dismissed; we found it a very stable device to use.

Generally, the camera on the N82 functions like a basic, easy to use point and shoot standalone digital camera. Nonetheless, the N82 is capable of high quality shots in a variety of lighting conditions.

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