More official info on the Nokia N9 camera, and comparison samples with the Nokia N8

More official info on the Nokia N9 camera, and comparison samples with the Nokia N8
Nokia's camera guru Damian Dinning is behind the shutterbug delight, called Nokia N8, with its 12MP camera, Carl Zeiss optics and healthy 1/1.83" camera sensor.

His team spent countless hours perfecting the outcome from that sensor, and has also been behind the Carl Zeiss endorsement of the 8MP camera in the Nokia N9.

The biggest achievement was that they managed to shrink the N9 camera module sensor to 70% of the Nokia N8 one's size, paving the way to slimmer devices with comparable performance, and, as it became quite evident with the "unofficial" Nokia Sea Ray leak, this sensor will likely make its way in the first batch of Nokia Windows Phones.

Today Nokia posted an interview with him, which reveals a little bit behind-the-scenes info on the Nokia N9 camera peculiarities, which he summed up as follows:

  •     Industry-first imaging sensor which is FULLY optimised for BOTH 16:9 AND 4:3 images
  •     Industry-leading Carl Zeiss optics
  •     Super wide-angle optics – the widest in the industry. Up to as much as 60% more viewing area than other broadly comparable devices
  •     f/2.2 aperture – largest ever in a mobile device
  •     Extremely responsive, especially switching from stills to video and vice-versa and shot to shot
  •     Touch AF for both video and stills
  •     Full time continuous AF in BOTH video and stills plus face detection
  •     HD video with stereo audio (still one of very few devices that provide high quality audio recording in video)
  •     Seamless workflows optimised for speed or editing & sharing
  •     Zoom in to images directly in the post capture view, edit and share all without leaving the camera – the most seamless mobile imaging experience
  •     Non-destructive editing of images – go back to the original image at any time. Undo or redo edits even months later
  •     New high power dual LED flash – 20% more powerful than our previous most powerful LED flash despite its compact size
  •     Geo tagging with place names rather than just co-ordinates
  •     AMBR – Automatic Motion Blur Reduction
  •     Not forgetting the touch to share of images between handsets using NFC technology

We did see last week the first sample HD video taken with those test Nokia N9 units that the Finns are sending around, and the result was quite pleasing, with nimble continuous autofocus and good amount of detail.

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We didn't know how the real scene looked like, though, so we couldn't judge for the color reproduction accuracy, although the colors looked a tad on the blown-up, oversaturated side, especially visible in the red flowers on the balcony.

Well, now we have two videos of one and the same scene posted, taken with the 8MP Nokia N9 and the 12MP Nokia N8, both with Carl Zeiss optics. The colors in the HD 720p video from the Nokia N8 look more toned down, compared to the saturated colors from the Nokia N9, and we know from our camera comparisons, and from Nokia itself, that the N8 strives for accuracy by default, making the results lightly colder than reality, but pretty close, and leaving ample room for post-processing, if you wish.

Looking at these videos below, we can safely assume that, if the software on the Nokia N9 has been the final deal, its video capture will produce some vivid, oversaturated imagery, which many typical users prefer, right out of the box, and this is visible in the stills below as well:

On a different note, the same video taken with the Nokia N8 looks sharper and more in focus than the one from the Nokia N9.

It either does worse in low-light conditions than the huge sensor in the Nokia N8, or some continuous autofocus/noise suppression/non-final software performance reductions might have influenced the outcome. Granted, it seems that the Nokia N8 is running its customized Symbian Anna update, which officially brings continuous autofocus and 30fps video recording, so that might have affected the results as well. Have a look at both videos below.

source: Nokia & via DailyMobile (samples)

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