|Damian Dinning is Lead Program Manager of 'Imaging Experience' at Nokia.|
We were in touch with several Nokia representatives throughout the process of producing our recent review of the Nokia 808 PureView. Following its publication, Damian Dinning - Lead Program Manager of Imaging Experience at Nokia wrote to us responding to some of the issues that we raised and explaining why those decisions were made in the phone's development.
August 1st, 2012
Great to see the 808 PureView receiving your Gold Award – thank you. Our team are both delighted and extremely proud of their collective achievement.
I thought I’d just take some time out to share some insights/background behind some of the decisions/trade-offs we made given some of the excellent points you noted in the review.
Whilst we wanted to provide a rich set of controls which cover key elements such as focus, exposure, brightness/colour and composition especially for those who take a more involved role in the capture phase, we also wanted to keep as clean and as uncluttered viewfinder as possible. As you might imagine however, it’s very hard to get this balance just right. Personally speaking I find most of not all digital camera viewfinder/info screens are either all or nothing. We continue to seek the best balance in this regard, but equally, recognise we can never get this right for everyone.
This principle led us to a number of decisions we felt all things considered where the right ones:
We believe not everyone uses it or knows how to use it and even fewer need/use it all the time. Our solution was therefore to provide one click access from the EV adjustment button. You can either just check it or check and adjust, it’s up to you. But then you can easily hide it too. As aid we wanted to retain as much viewfinder real estate as possible.
We felt the conventional method of 'assisted' zoom is too slow and lacks sufficient control and precision. What I mean by assisted zoom is basically anything other than manual zoom as on most SLRs. Whilst manual zoom is fast and precise it’s almost impossible to zoom smoothly, important for video of course. The slide zoom capability we're introducing for the first time with the 808 PureView provides a level of precision and speed pinch to zoom and motorised zooms are unable to provide.
Often with these methods you end up under/over shooting and/or moving the device during the operation. Furthermore, in the case of motorised controls, you’re often having to wait for the zoom to travel from one point to another. With slide zoom it allows you to frame the shot similarly to cropping in photo editing applications and then when happy with the framing, simply releasing your ginger from the display it either quickly zooms to that setting in the case of stills or in video smoothly and more slowly to the pre-set framing.
We use an acceleration/deceleration curve at the start/stop phases of zoom too, impossible with other methods and then aim to handle all those pixels as smoothly as possible. Ideally I would have liked it to be even smoother. Zooming out is more conventional. We did prototype the same method of zooming for zoom out but in trials we found it to be counter intuitive. Again based on trials we found once people had used it for a while it becomes very intuitive, fast and easy. As I think you pointed to in your own conclusion. Our own user testing showed that after this period everyone preferred it to conventional zoom methods.
We found the optimal number of touch controls along the side of the viewfinder in a screen of this size to be 5. This dictated the size of the touch targets. No doubt people will chime in and comment on this point but this was the recommendation from our usability experts to achieve good usability in the camera. This in turn dictated the area for text, which in some languages the characters used require more space than the often used English versions. However, as with all the icons we prioritised at least indicating that a function was set to a setting different to the default. Increasing the size of the buttons would have impacted more on the viewfinder which we were keen to avoid.
The 808 PureView uses a system which is more heavily influenced (unless faces are detected) by objects in the centre. Half press of the physical shutter release button (assuming touch to focus has not been set) locks both focus and exposure which for most situations should provide the desired results. However, this is an area I think with some small amount of innovation can improve the experience for the future.
Given there is no optical viewfinder of course we do prioritise the brightness of the viewfinder in very bright and very dark conditions to increase usability. In bright conditions we increase the brightness of the display accordingly to make it as visible as possible and in very low light conditions we increase the read time (reduce the viewfinder refresh rate) to increase the effective brightness of an otherwise dark scene. Unfortunately this results in a trade-off in such situations in the accuracy of the image as a preview which may explain some of the challenges you experienced with exposure compensation.
Thanks again, and best regards
Damian Dinning, Lead Program Manager, Imaging Experience. Nokia
|It's good to be at home by Nightcrawler12|
from Best photo of the week...
|Tiny tree by Kaappo|
Hot on the heels of the Lensrentals and LensProToGo merger, gadget rental service Lumoid has announced that it is shutting down for good.
Smartphones once again dominated Flickr's most popular cameras of 2017, making up half of all uploads, but it's not all bad news for 'real' cameras. In fact, DSLR use is on the rise again.
NiSi Filters has announced a new variable ND filter that offers 1.5 stops and 5 stop of density variation and, at least according to the company, doesn't suffer from the dreaded X-effect at its most extreme settings.
National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen and the Sea Legacy team were filming through tears, as they documented some of the final hour of a starving polar bear's life. The resulting video is haunting.
This year, plenty of amazing cameras, lenses, accessories and other products came through our doors. As 2017 winds down, we're highlighting some of our standout products of the year. Check out the winners of the 2017 DPReview Awards!
Maybe you want better photos in low light. Maybe you're tired of digital zoom. Whatever the reason, if you're looking for a capable, beginner-friendly camera to grow and learn with, we've got you covered.
The Olympus 17mm F1.2 promises to open up new possibilities for Micro Four Thirds shooters seeking razor-thin depth-of-field and smooth, 'feathered' bokeh. Take a peek at our extensive sample gallery.
Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes 'zoom'? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child's soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.
Still yearning for an Aperture replacement? Here's a quick overview of RAW Power, a Raw image editor for iOS that pairs with the Mac application introduced in 2016. Take a look at some of its capabilities.
Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.
Tech lover Albert Lee was one of the first to pre-order the intriguing 16-camera module Light L16. Two months in, here's what he has to say about using this not-so-little computational camera.
The public art installation featured blurred portraits, ostensibly captured by the artist under that same underpass... except they weren't. They were actually portraits of comedians, pulled from the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival program.
Edelkrone has upgraded its SliderOne with a SliderOne Pro and introduced a new generation of Wing and Wing Pro models, all while simultaneously improving the app that controls its entirely lineup.
People have waiting a long time for the Canon 85mm F1.4L IS lens, but how does it compare to Canon's 85mm F1.2L and Sigma's 85mm F1.4 Art? Phillip Pettit of Lensrentals took all three lenses for a spin to find out.
Affinity Photo for iPad, one of the first full-featured Raw editors designed specifically for tablet use, has been named Apple's Best iPad App of 2017. And what's more, it's currently 50% off!
VSCO Messages allows VSCO X subscribers and free users alike to share text, images, photo editing 'recipes', VSCO journal entries and more.
Flickr has revealed their top 25 photos of 2017, and there are some truly stunning shots in the mix.
Testing of the Canon G1 X Mark III is well underway, inside of the studio and out. We've just added it to our test scene comparison tool, where you can take a look at its performance side-by-side against peers like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V.
Whether it's a trip to the beach for some snorkeling or scrambling up a 10,000 ft volcano, the Olympus Tough TG-5 proved to be a great travel companion for Jeff. That's why it's his 2017 Gear of the Year.
Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $2,000.
Meyer Optik Goerlitz is resurrecting yet another classic lens. This time, the company has set its crowdfunding sights on the Primoplan 75mm F1.9, a lens originally manufactured in a run of just 2,000 back in the 1930s.
The folks at Kolari Vision—an infrared camera conversion company based in New Jersey—recently tore down a brand new Sony a7RIII, giving everybody a peek at the camera's much-improved weather sealing.
Resource Travel's Brandon Cunningham recently joined The Giving Lens for a 10-day adventure in India. A trip he won't soon forget, to a country that left him in "sensory and soul overload."
Meet the new Freefly Movi, a handheld gimbal stabilizer designed by cinema stabilization pros for use with the iPhone. Freefly is calling this little beast "the world's most portable, adaptable, and intuitive cinema robot."
Photography portfolio site PhotoShelter is adding their voice to the growing group of online companies that are speaking out in favor of net neutrality, and against the FCC's upcoming vote to kill it.
The Direct app would replace the current Inbox on the Instagram app, doing for Instagram what the Facebook Messenger app did for Facebook on mobile.
Qualcomm's latest high-end mobile chipset offers higher frame rates and a wider color gamut, among other important camera improvements you can expect to see in next year's flagship smartphones.
Photographer Josselin Cornou recently got trapped in a blizzard in the Snowy Mountains of Australia with his Fujifilm GFX 50S and new Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 lens. Find out how they held up to 110km/h winds and -15°C temperatures.
While film nostalgia reaches an all-time high, Seattle-based pro photographer Sofi Lee is turning back to 'digicams' made between 2008 and 2011.
The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.