Nokia E7 Review
Alright, if you're looking for a great photo taking experience with a Nokia phone, it's clear your best bet will be the N8 with its 12-megapixel auto-focus camera with Carl Zeiss lens. Granted that we still have an 8-megapixel camera in tow with the Nokia E7, but we're saddened to see it's nothing more than a fixed focused one. That means it focuses on everything beyond 20 inches or so, but for a macro shot you'll need a magnifying glass.
The lack of moving parts and need to prefocus means the camera is incredibly fast, though, you can just snap and snap without delay with the dedicated shutter key. Here is what Nokia’s camera guru Damian Dinning has to say about the company’s Full Focus (as he calls it) cameras, as found on the E7:
1. “With a Nokia Full Focus camera you can simply grab moments without the fear of images or videos ever being out of focus for subjects from around 50cm through to infinity, regardless of lighting conditions or subject position in the frame etc.
2. No shooting lag waiting for autofocus. Despite the Nokia N8 featuring the fastest autofocus of any mobile at just 350ms (average), it’s still a delay.
3. Everything from approximately 50cm to infinity in the same picture/video appears in focus. Hence the name ‘Full Focus’ cameras. Conventional cameras have less ‘depth of field’ than Full Focus cameras and therefore, distant objects will appear blurred. Those more experienced photographers may – of course – prefer the reduced depth of field look. However, those less involved (the vast majority of those who take pictures) find the “everything in focus” look very appealing.
4. Slimmer camera modules – leading to slimmer product designs.”
Fixed focus cam does make sense, since the E7 is positioned to be a business class handset first. Furthermore, the huge camera sensor on the Nokia N8, coupled with the added volume from a physical keyboard would have made it impossible to keep the thickness in check. We're not going to go into detail about the camera interface, since it follows accordingly to what we see with the N8, with plenty of settings and scene modes, albeit not very touch-friendly.
The camera captures plenty of detail outdoors, and the color representation is rather accurate, but the pictures turned out a bit soft, and lacking on contrast. The indoor shots were decent, with the noise-suppression algorithms blurring the image a little when the light was low, but the dual-LED flash illuminated the scene sufficiently up to ten feet or so.
Not necessarily the first thing that stands out for most business oriented users, but the Nokia E7 has the ability to shoot fluid video in 720p with 25fps. We are again observing good amount of detail and accurate colors in the clips, but, again, we wish the image was a tad sharper.
Nokia E7 Sample Video:
Running the music player, it combines the customary elements we'd expect out of any other player out there, but sprinkles a dash of visual appeal in the form of its 3D carousel for browsing albums. Although it follows in fashion to the iPhone's Cover Flow mode, we're amazed to see its buttery smooth responsiveness in browsing albums, but nonetheless, its energetic radiance is quite appealing to the eye. Dolby Digital Plus is available on the handset, for some surround sound trickery when watching movies via the HDMI port. The loudspeaker is surprisingly powerful for a mobile phone, and manages to produce a rather crisp sound to boot.
Playing high definition videos is no problem for the Nokia E7, as we managed to load a video encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 resolution. Naturally, its AMOLED display and relatively larger size makes for the perfect combination in watching videos in their full fidelity, but its smooth and lag-free playback complements its already premier status in this department.
The Nokia E7 comes with the same picture and video editors that Nokia N8 has preinstalled, which have plenty of settings, and are actually quite useful for rough editing on the go, like cutting, stitching, adding text and background music to your videos, or doing basic image adjustments to your photos.
Thus, it might not be advertised as a multimedia device, but the Nokia E7 has everything the Nokia N8 offers in terms of music and video performance, lacking only its stellar camera for the still shots.