Thursday, October 7, 2010

And N8 is the best camera phone after all

Image taken from

You may notice that I'm not posting any article about n8's camera and comparison to other camera devices. Other blogs already posted different comparison (n8 vs iphone 4, etc etc), there's also reviews floating around but I didn't care sharing them to you. Why? because I found some inconsistencies on their post and i feel that there's something missing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not good at reviewing cameras but I feel it when articles are lying (and so other websites notice that too).

Good thing we have GSMarena to do some scientific testing. Meaning tests and results gained are based on scientific process meaning their are numbers to compare and objectives to complete. Also, tests are done fairly,as I see it, since they've included different people (population , statistics? whatever) to perform the test which already decreases (if not remove) the author's subjectivity on the topic Another this is that the test participants didn't know which photo is from which phone, so the best photos they selected depends on what they thing looks the best. 

Anyway, the results are quite amazing, N8 won by a large margin over Samsung Pixon12 and Sony DSC-HX5v, making some blogger's claim some how unreal. Now I'm thinking what will happen to their credibility now.

A bug? so its not yet the best for camcorder , yet
But anyway, this phone can't be perfect. GSMarena also found a bug while testing the video recording. This bug is about the digital zoom while recording where in when you zoom between the x1 -x1.5, the quality is not good compared to the quality when you zoom after x2.

The bad news is that we found a strange bug - the Nokia N8 only starts doing that smart zooming when you are at about 2x. Before that it behaves identically to every other handset out there and looses quality.

A future firmware update can fix this. Its not a hardware problem after all.

To know more about the test check out N8 vs Pixon vs HX5v shoot out: blind test.
To know more about how the results are generated , go to page 4 of Nokia n8 preview.
Links posted above are  both from GSMarena.

Full credits goes to GSMarena. Thanks much!


Pinaylover said...

Actually that zoom behavior is not a bug. It's the normal way of functioning, with two zooming stages, imposed by the camera design team. Damian Dinning talked about this aspect a long time ago, in one of his articles :

"Between 1x and 2x the image becomes progressively a little softer but remains highly usable. But at 2x zoom we’re at a point where we’re simply downscaling the video. This means there’s no loss of resolution which usually occurs through the binning process. I think you’ll agree the performance at 2x is really stunning. This performance is pretty much maintained up to 2.5x as you can see where it starts to tail off a little at 3x which is pretty much the limit imposed by the original resolution of the sensor. This is why we’ve capped the zoom at 3x in video to ensure you always have great video quality."

Hihey said...

Well, as a quality person, i would assume that if its not a bug then its a design problem, cause its working for 2x - 3x zoom. They could have limited also the zoom to start at 2x instead if that's the reason why they capped it at 3x zoom (to ensure great video quality).

But its just me, im kinda control freak when it comes to quality. That's my job :P

Pinaylover said...

Removed double post.

Pinaylover said...

So you are working in quality control? That means you control the quality of my work (I'm an engineer) :P

Anyway, GSMArena updated the article regarding that zoom behavior, it seems to be related to the inability of the sensor to supply full 12MPix at 25fps speed.

Damian Dinning also gave a little more detailed explanation of the zooming process :
"The whole area of the sensor is used but that's way too many pixels and therefore data for the sensor to output 25 times every second. So we take a version of that which is still virtually the entire area of the sensor but rather than 4000x2248 (16:9 area of the sensor) it's a lower resolution version, similar to when you use a lower resolution still image setting. You're still using the same w x h of the sensor but just not using each and every pixel as you would normally. This then means we can output less data at 25fps from the senor to the ISP. The ISP then does the downscaling. At 2x zoom we reach a point where the area of the sensor that corresponds to 2x zoom (the cropped centre section of the sensor) can be output at 25fps. This output mode is effectively more efficient and resolves more detail. This mode then runs until we reach a self imposed cap at 3x zoom. This is the point where roughly the crop is now 1:1. If we went any further with zoom we would have to start upscaling which we have tried to avoid to maintain the performance as high as possible. My advice is to shoot at 1x zoom or between 2x to 3x zoom for best performance. But we allow you to zoom all the way from 1x to 3x for convenience."

Hihey said...

That explains it :P so its really a limitation then.

and yes, I'm the one who control the quality of your work, the one you're very irritated when it comes to releases because we hold of any product release if we found some major bugs. We are the one who tells which bugs should be included and must be fixed :P peace to all devs. We are just doing our job

Pinaylover said...

Lol, then I guess its a good thing you didn't had to check into N8's quality too, because that would have been a conflict of interests for you (wanting it to be perfect but the same time on the market ASAP) :P

Hihey said...

But i know how to compromise also. :P As long as its acceptable, its ok :)