Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nokia EDOF

Nokia released N8 which is the “king” of mobile phone cameras. Although for practical use it does not perform as good as a normal compact despite having a larger sensor, it is still the King of mobile camera.
Now for some reason, in Nokia’s new line-up E7, C7, instead of using the N8 camera, nokia came out with a new one of which is known as “EDOF” or “full focus” camera. The idea is that it takes sharp pictures where everything is in focus from 50cm to infinity. Some argue that this is similar to those old crappy fix lens camera with small apertures.

From my experience, 50cm is kinda low, i still can't get clear images but 100 cm is more like it. Also do note that the next generation of EDOF is already available in DXO that could shoot 10cm - infinity with twice the performance of this one, but no news on Nokia yet as to when they might use this new generation of edof sensors.

Now back to the existing Edof as in C7,E7,C6...
Is there more to it than just marketing gimmick? See the samples below, u tell me!
Taken on Nokia C7-00 EDOF.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nokia N8 Zealot - A case of over zealous

Today i saw a weird reply on facebook about how "N8 have the biggest sensor and better than all compacts". I replied by correcting his assumption that there are other compacts like S95,S90,LX3,LX5,Oly XZ having similar sized sensors and yet performs much better. Apparently he
thought his N8 is smaller than S95 as well -.- and that N8 performs like an entry-level dslr.

As the discussion went on...he claims :-
- compacts are dead
- Image stabilization are only for telephoto
- Canon/nikon/digital photography school description of Image stabilization usefulness in lowlight is bogus and misleading

Well, once the zealot starts getting personal and giving me labels, i decided to stop wasting my time.

Now for any readers here who is thinking of getting the N8 to replace a compact, just bear in mind the following :-

1. Sensor size is just part of an equation. Lens, processing engine, UI matters.
2. N8 have no image stabilization and the f is around 2.8, so low-light shooting it would not be able to compare to compacts that have IS. That basically means almost any compact today.
3. N8 have no variable aperture, so basically ur stuck with that 2.8, now use that on a group photo with that and see how others are blurred.
4. N8 is nowhere near entry level dslr. Read this : http://www.nokiaviews.com/2010/06/about-nokia-n8-image-sensor.html
Basically any entry level dslr even the old ones produces 10x image quality than the N8.
5. N8 have quirky interfaces, eg getting to the scene mode needs 5 taps. Zzzz
6. No optical zoom, yada. While most compacts optical zoom are no big deal either but it does
helps ALOT when all u needed is that extra reach.

Having said that, is the N8 a crappy camera? No, its the best mobile camera we have to-date but just don't let those fanboyish fever screws up your head. Nokia new line-up decides to go with the EDOF camera instead of N8, so we are left to see if there will be a good succession to N8 and hopefully iron out some of the issues above.

Perhaps in the near future, all compacts will be like DSLR and mobile cameras will be like a good compact and all DSLRs will like medium format kinda resolution or maybe SD1 change the world and it doesn't matter.

Here is a portrait taken using a compact with 1/2.33 in a Nikon roadshow @ midvalley today.