Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

Started Apr 27, 2010 | Discussions
Jon Rty Veteran Member • Posts: 3,838
Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

The Nokia N8 launched today and should have a 1/1.9" sensor: http://blog.gsmarena.com/how-large-is-the-nokia-n8-12-megapixel-large-image-sensor/

There's also a small gallery taken with a pre-production phone: http://conversations.nokia.com/2010/04/27/first-12-megapixel-sample-photos-shot-on-nokia-n8-untouched/

Some of them are pretty nice considering that the phone won't be launched in 4 months or so.

Simon Zeev
Simon Zeev Senior Member • Posts: 2,888
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

Amazing picture quality for a phone!

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ofhumanbondage Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

yes , it is amazing quality for a camera phone but these days phone cameras are nothing to laugh at, I have a N86 and it takes some amazing pictures. See Below.

Adrian Lewis Regular Member • Posts: 423
No-longer a gimmick -- *useable* convergence has arrived

Phone cameras have long been seen as a crappy gimmick. Once they add an optical zoom (which has alrerady been done with the smaller sensored phone cameras) useable convergence of phone+camera+MP3/video+GPS+++ has arrived.

The only down-side is that I hate Nokia phones.

An HTC HD2 plus this sort of camera module and (price notwithstanding) most of the ultra compact cameras are out of a job (e.g: Coolpix S70, Finepix Z-series, etc.)

Even better, combine this with (say) a Sony Ericsson C702 or Sonim XP2.10 Spirit and even the Samsung AQ100 / Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 / FinePix XP10 /Stylus Tough series / Lumix DMC-TS2 are in danger of becoming obsolete.

G10Rebel
G10Rebel Contributing Member • Posts: 788
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

although the sensor is quite large for cellphone, the problem of noise is still prevalent. Noise is clearly visible on the samples, worse than G10's 14.7 MP (some say) noisy sensor.

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OP Jon Rty Veteran Member • Posts: 3,838
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9

Yeah, but you'll have to consider the fact that the phone's 4 months away from being released. If I remember correctly the Ricoh GXR samples taken with a prototype looked pretty horrible, so much can be improved before the final release. Also, without EXIF's we've got no way of knowing at what ISO the pictures are taken. Some of them look quite clean, others, even in sunlight, don't so I'm not sure what's going on there.

Theoretically a 1/1.9" module coupled with a Zeiss designed lens and a CPU+GPU combo thats far more powerful than in a normal P&S should be able to deliver satisfying results. Now it all boils down to algorithms.

RUcrAZ
RUcrAZ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,847
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

You may wish to look at a previous thread, with posts of Nokia N95-8G 5 Megapixel shots and some criticism of the Nokia controls.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1000&message=35115589
RUcrAZ

Simon Zeev
Simon Zeev Senior Member • Posts: 2,888
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

Nice pictures.
Even today a lot of people prefer shooting a camera-phone and not caring a P&S.

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Leswick Veteran Member • Posts: 3,102
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9" 12 megapixel with + Samples

Maybe this is too early to say, but it appears that my DSLR will not be replaced. Well, at least not in the next few months. Will I be able to sleep at night ?

Leswick

Peter Khor Regular Member • Posts: 424
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9

Jon Rty wrote:

Also, without EXIF's we've got no way of knowing at what ISO the pictures are taken. Some of them look quite clean, others, even in sunlight, don't so I'm not sure what's going on there.

EXIF seems to pull out fine for me, accuracy of meta data's another question altogether though.

eg, the indoor shot in a shop with jeans in the foreground:
f/15.2
1/33s
iso 146
fl 4.6mm

Heart-signed fingers:
f/15.2
1/33s
iso 125
flash on

Red shoe:
f/15.2
1/50s
iso 127

Peter Khor Regular Member • Posts: 424
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.9

ops, forgot to add:

outdoor shot with rock cliff in the back:
f/1.4
1/227s
iso 152

Looks like f-stop meta data is a little messed up, imo needs to be swapped around?

Damian D Contributing Member • Posts: 892
Nokia N8 sensor is 1/1.83"

Hello all.

Just thought I'd add a few comments here:

Sensor is 1/1.83"

EXIF data is not reporting the aperture correctly in this version of the SW we used to take these early shots. That will be fixed shortly. The aperture is f/2.8. The shutter speed and ISO is reported correctly.

We're still tuning the various parameters. There's a video been posted today on the same site. Would love to here comments in regard to what you think...so we can still make further improvements.

atb

Damian

Damian D Contributing Member • Posts: 892
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.83" 12 megapixel with + Samples

G10Rebel wrote:

although the sensor is quite large for cellphone, the problem of noise is still prevalent. Noise is clearly visible on the samples, worse than G10's 14.7 MP (some say) noisy sensor.

We apply quite a lot of colour correction, this can increase noise levels. In studies we do in controlled viewing conditions we find regularly that the majority of people using our products prefer vibrant (but still true to the original) colour. Hence the colour correction we're using. If we were to tone this right down you'd see a reduction in noise levels.

The Canon you refer to has the luxury of much larger optics which helps too. Would love to be able to fit those size optics in our products but I don't think it would make a very desirable product

Having said that the technology is always developing and there are some interesting opportunities we're looking at for the future...

atb

Damian

G10Rebel
G10Rebel Contributing Member • Posts: 788
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.83" 12 megapixel with + Samples

Damian D wrote:

G10Rebel wrote:

although the sensor is quite large for cellphone, the problem of noise is still prevalent. Noise is clearly visible on the samples, worse than G10's 14.7 MP (some say) noisy sensor.

We apply quite a lot of colour correction, this can increase noise levels. In studies we do in controlled viewing conditions we find regularly that the majority of people using our products prefer vibrant (but still true to the original) colour. Hence the colour correction we're using. If we were to tone this right down you'd see a reduction in noise levels.

I see. Are you using local-contrast color corrections rather than global saturation adjustment? I have never seen adding vibrancy can increase noise if the method is global, but if the method is local it can. Furthermore, vibrancy increase can add noise, imho, if there is already noise in the neutral image.

But, don't take my word for it. My experience is based on using Topaz Adjust contrast and color manipulator software plugin for Photoshop.

The Canon you refer to has the luxury of much larger optics which helps too. Would love to be able to fit those size optics in our products but I don't think it would make a very desirable product

Samsung tried, but dunno the appeal. I'd love it if nokia can join with Canon to produce a Canon Ixus 200 with added GSM+Wifi capabilities

Having said that the technology is always developing and there are some interesting opportunities we're looking at for the future...

atb

Damian

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Smithhill Regular Member • Posts: 445
Hype for phone users, not photographers

The market is in the phone area, not photographic. Not enough people here.

No, I do not want to take a photograph with the kitchen toaster, nor the waffle iron, nor the telephone. I want a camera that is a camera, not an attachment to another applicance. Combination appliances like the refrig. TVs have not gone over too well. If the phone people can make a camera, fine, do it and I will consider it. Gene

Adrian Lewis Regular Member • Posts: 423
Damian, a bit thicker is fine by me

Damian D wrote:

G10Rebel wrote:

although the sensor is quite large for cellphone, the problem of noise is still prevalent. Noise is clearly visible on the samples, worse than G10's 14.7 MP (some say) noisy sensor.

...

The Canon you refer to has the luxury of much larger optics which helps too. Would love to be able to fit those size optics in our products but I don't think it would make a very desirable product

Having said that the technology is always developing and there are some interesting opportunities we're looking at for the future...

atb

Damian

Damian,

I know of about 8 phones that have managed to get in optical zooms, and there are a heap of cameras that have got optical zooms into ultra slim bodies. Of course most of these used tiny sensors, but there are a few precedents for where the all-in-one phone+camera could go without becoming ' an undesirable design ".

The phones:
Samsung W880 -- 3x optical zoom (external zoom barrel)
Nokia N93 / N93i -- 3x optical zoom (internal zoom, straight optics)
Samsung G800 / G810 -- 3x optical zoom (internal)
Sharp 903 / 904 / 902 -- 2x optical zoom (internal)

The W880 is a solution that I think falls into the undesirable design category -- an external zoom barrel on a phone is just wrong.

The Gxx and 9xx solution probably can't be done due to the physics need for the optics for a 1/1.9" sensor.

The N93x solution is interesting in that it actually looks a bit like a C-series Sanyo Xacti camcorder. But it would be more a niche design; a flat single-piece design is probably what the bulk of the market would like.

Turning to the slim-line cameras for inspiration ...

Most of the slimline cameras that use an internal zoom do so using folded optics -- e.g. the Sony DSC-Txx series, the Olympus Tough series, etc. -- but again most use tiny sensors.

There was an exception however ...

Five years ago the Konica Minolta DiMAGE X1 used folding optics to get a 3x optical zoom + an 8MPx 1/1.8" sensor into a camera a bit thicker than the N8 (X1: 95x68x19.5 mm , N8: 113.5x59x12.9 mm).

Actually, the X1 is damn-near exactly the same size as my current phone, an HTC TyTN II. Sure, the TyTN II is regarded as a chunky phone by 2010 standards, but it doesn't bother me

In summary, I think your next aim for the N8+ is to try and put a camera with the kind of specs of the X1 into the N8.

And after that, make the N8++ a ruggedized phone (at least IP54-class or better, like the Nokia 3720 classic).

To restate what I said earlier in this thread, put a camera with the kind of specs of the X1 into a smartphone like the HTC HD2 or the HTC Desire (sorry, I really don't like Nokia's) and there really is no need for ultracompact cameras to be a separate device anymore.

And before someone counters with "smartphones are too expensive" or "it won't have as many features":

  • I regularly see unemployed deadbeats getting iPhones on 2-year plans, so I think the cost issue is mostly irrelevant

  • Most people don't delve into 80% of the advanced functions of even a low-end modern digital camera, so I think the features issue is also mostly irrelevant.

Radu P Senior Member • Posts: 2,338
Re: Nokia N8 announced: 1/1.83" 12 megapixel with + Samples

Damian D wrote:

Having said that the technology is always developing and there are some interesting opportunities we're looking at for the future...

Nice photos (for a cellphone), but why so many MPs on that sensor? There is a lot of noise visible in the sky. And would it be possible to add a RAW mode too?

steve1984 Senior Member • Posts: 1,257
Damian - here's what I think...

...the samples look very good. And I think there are lots of users (me for one) who would love to have a phone that takes pictures good enough to make carrying a proper compact camera no longer necessary.

But could the images from the N8 have been even better (i.e. lower noise) by using a sensor with fewer MP? People on these forums know that 8MP is more than enough for snapshots, but I guess 8MP is not enough to help sell a phone these days?!

Anyway, I managed to see the N86 photo exhibition at Heathrow's Terminal 5 earlier this year and I was very impressed with some of the images ( http://www.digitalpanorama.co.uk/ ). If the final production N8 can produce better images than the N86 I may well be tempted away from my iPhone!

Damian D wrote:

G10Rebel wrote:

although the sensor is quite large for cellphone, the problem of noise is still prevalent. Noise is clearly visible on the samples, worse than G10's 14.7 MP (some say) noisy sensor.

We apply quite a lot of colour correction, this can increase noise levels. In studies we do in controlled viewing conditions we find regularly that the majority of people using our products prefer vibrant (but still true to the original) colour. Hence the colour correction we're using. If we were to tone this right down you'd see a reduction in noise levels.

The Canon you refer to has the luxury of much larger optics which helps too. Would love to be able to fit those size optics in our products but I don't think it would make a very desirable product

Having said that the technology is always developing and there are some interesting opportunities we're looking at for the future...

atb

Damian

Damian D Contributing Member • Posts: 892
Re: Damian - here's what I think...

steve1984 wrote:

...the samples look very good. And I think there are lots of users (me for one) who would love to have a phone that takes pictures good enough to make carrying a proper compact camera no longer necessary.

But could the images from the N8 have been even better (i.e. lower noise) by using a sensor with fewer MP? People on these forums know that 8MP is more than enough for snapshots, but I guess 8MP is not enough to help sell a phone these days?!

Anyway, I managed to see the N86 photo exhibition at Heathrow's Terminal 5 earlier this year and I was very impressed with some of the images ( http://www.digitalpanorama.co.uk/ ). If the final production N8 can produce better images than the N86 I may well be tempted away from my iPhone!

Thanks for your comments. 1st, this is definetly better than the N86, more detail and more natural looking details.

Re your other comments, I'll paste this that I wrote on another forum:

This is an incredibly complex industry. We have to balance what the vast majority of people believe and what we believe is right for our customers.

With the N8 we didn't want to go backwards from the N86 [which is 8mp as you know], only forwards [in performance is what I mean here not mp's], but we also need to be competitive in the industry. For these reasons, we concluded the only way forward was to do this properly and that meant using the biggest sensor ever in a mobile.

Longer term, we continue to debate and discuss all kinds of interesting views of possible directions we could take, but for now, I'm pretty proud of what the guys have been cooking for us.

br

Damian

Damian D Contributing Member • Posts: 892
Re: Hype for phone users, not photographers

Smithhill wrote:

The market is in the phone area, not photographic. Not enough people here.

No, I do not want to take a photograph with the kitchen toaster, nor the waffle iron, nor the telephone. I want a camera that is a camera, not an attachment to another applicance. Combination appliances like the refrig. TVs have not gone over too well. If the phone people can make a camera, fine, do it and I will consider it. Gene

As an avid user of SLR's for many years and having been at Minolta for 10 years I am very familiar with the benefits of SLR's today. However, the convenience of a camera that is with me 24/7 is incredibly compelling. Carrying my SLR or even a compact with me always with my lifestyle at least, is simply not practical. This is where the benefit is today. If we can make that opportunity even better for you, surely you would benefit?

atb

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