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cb474
2009-11-02, 12:20
I'm wondering how the N900's camera stacks up against the N86, both for video and still images. Obviously the N86 is 8MP (instead of 5MP), has lower light sensitive sensor, variable shutter speeds, and a 28mm lens.

Is the N900's camera exactly the same as in the N97? Or are there some refinements. It seems like it's supposed to have especially good video recording. Does this include the improved zooming capabilities of the N86?

Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts/info on how the two phones' cameras compare.

ossipena
2009-11-02, 12:27
there is no way that the lens could be 28mm.

less megapixels could mean less noise if sensor is newer build.

cb474
2009-11-02, 12:52
there is no way that the lens could be 28mm.

less megapixels could mean less noise if sensor is newer build.

Which phone are you talking about? The N86 has a 28mm lens (expressed in equivalent terms to a 35mm camera's focal length). (I guess technically, in non-35mm terms, the N86's focal length is 4.61 mm.) The point is the N86 has a more wide angle lens than the usual phone camera.

ossipena
2009-11-02, 13:03
Which phone are you talking about? The N86 has a 28mm lens (expressed in equivalent terms to a 35mm camera's focal length). (I guess technically, in non-35mm terms, the N86's focal length is 4.61 mm.) The point is the N86 has a more wide angle lens than the usual phone camera.

28mm is always 28mm

28mm expressed in equivalent terms to a 35mm camera's focal length is always related to sensor size

cb474
2009-11-02, 21:55
28mm is always 28mm

28mm expressed in equivalent terms to a 35mm camera's focal length is always related to sensor size

Yeah, that's my point. Given the sensor size in the N86, it has the equivalent of a 28mm lens (in 35mm camera terms). Lens focal lengths in the era of digital photography are talke about this way all the time.

As just one of a bazillion examples, here's the review of the N86 on All About Symbian: http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/item/Nokia_N86_8MP_Review-Part_2-Multimedia.php. They describe the lens on the N86 like this: "There's also a wide angle lens (28mm) lens. This means that the N86 will capture a greater area compared to a standard lens. In captured images (and videos), you'll see extra material on the left, right, top and bottom of images."

Notice that they don't even bother to mention that they mean 28mm in the equivalent of 35mm camera terms. Because they know that everyone knows what they're talking about. This has just become a standard way of talking about lenses now.

I really don't see what your point is, except splitting hairs and being argumentative.

qole
2009-11-02, 22:22
The N900's camera lens cover has "Tessar 2.8/5.2" on it. I guess the 5.2 means 5.2mm. What would that be in 35mm terminology?

attila77
2009-11-02, 22:33
It's only 'standard' in case of non-removable lenses - DSLR class optics from Nikon, Canon, etc still (commendably) lists 'native' focal length, regardless of the camera, exactly because it would more confusion if they followed 'equivalents'.

BTW And since we're hair splitting, let me split it a bit further - equivalents account only for crop, but not DOF so it's not 'exact' equivalent, either.

attila77
2009-11-02, 23:03
The N900's camera lens cover has "Tessar 2.8/5.2" on it. I guess the 5.2 means 5.2mm. What would that be in 35mm terminology?

That would depend on the sensor size. Tell me that and I'll tell you the focal equivalent :) For some (hm) reason manufacturers very much dislike listing their sensor sizes. And, as has been pointed out previously 5.2 is interesting in terms the N97 is 5.4 (meaning the N900 either has a wider reach or a smaller sensor)

b2barker
2009-11-02, 23:17
Never been a fan of the term "equivalent to focal length ...". They should say "equivalent angle of view to focal length xxmm on a 35mm sensor".

As to the original question, I think the only way to compare cameras is side by side in the same conditions.

Failing that try using Flickr:
N86
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/nokia/n86_8mp/

No Flickr camera type for N900 yet but some here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1184299@N24/
and
http://www.tigert.com/2009/10/18/photojourney-with-n900/

cb474
2009-11-03, 01:31
I'm not arguing that the idea of equivalent focal length is perfect, if people want to be super technical about it. But I think it's useful, in a world where 35mm cameras dominated photography for decades and everybody knows what those focal lengths mean, but 5.2mm is pretty meaningless to most people (espcially because we don't know the sensor size). It seems silly to me to object to the practical usefulness of this concept for most people, even if it offends the sensibilities of extremely technically minded people who probably represent a tiny fraction of a precent of the market in digital photography. And frankly, even professional photographers and professional photography publications use this kind of "equivalent" terminology frequently.

Anyway, yes it won't be possible to really compare the N900 and N86 cameras, until the N900 comes out and people start doing direct photo comparisons in the same setting. I was just wondering what people knew about the technical capabilities of the N900 as compared to the N86.

The best specifications that I can find are in the Nokia Developers forum.

http://www.forum.nokia.com/devices/N900
http://www.forum.nokia.com/devices/N86_8MP

The specs that are different there are:

N900

5MP
3x (digital zoom)
5.2mm (focal length)
f/2.8
848x480 (video resolution)
25fps
4x (digital video zoom)
mpeg-4 (video recording formats)

N86

8MP
20x (digital zoom)
4.61mm (focal length)
f/2.4 - 4.8
10 - 50cm (macro focus)
1/1000sec (highspeed shutter)
640x480 (video resolution)
30fps
8x (digital video zoom)
h.263, mpeg-4 (video recording formats)

Then several more features are listed. The only one listed for the N900 but not the N86 is: sequence mode.

Features listed for the N86, but not the N900 are: Automatic Aperture Control, Automatic Motion Blur Reduction, Image Stabilization, Mechanical Shutter, Panorama Mode, Red-Eye Reduction.

So it does seem like, at least from a technical specifications perspective, that the N86 has a lot more capabilities. The only spec that looks better on the N900 is the higher resolution video recording. And some people would argue the 25fps video framerate is more "film like," although clearly it's there because that's the PAL standard for European televison (film is really 24fps and that's what's used in digital video cameras that are deliberately attempting to reproduce a more film-like representation of motion).

I do still wonder what the sensor in the N900 is like and if it's the same as in the N97 or if if has the lower light capabilities of the N86 sensor.

attila77
2009-11-04, 14:36
The N900's camera lens cover has "Tessar 2.8/5.2" on it. I guess the 5.2 means 5.2mm. What would that be in 35mm terminology?

Just a little followup. The N900 seems to have a 1/2.5" sensor, which would translate to a focal multiplier of 6, or, in other words, a 31.2mm focal length in 35mm terminology.

qole
2009-11-04, 19:00
Attila, how did you find that info? Did you peer into the lens or something?

attila77
2009-11-04, 19:45
Something :) The kernel hints at a Dynastron (Toshiba) sensor. There are two 5mpix dynastron sensors, and only one of those fits the timeframe and name - the 1/2.5" one.

christexaport
2009-11-04, 19:56
To simplify the question from the original post, the N900's camera is very similar in performance to the N97, though the N900 captures video at a higher resolution, but at 25 fps vs the N97's 30. The result is a better quality video image, albeit slightly less smooth. Most wouldn't notice, but true video gurus have noticed, but its not a bad video in either case. Both are DVD framerate quality.

The N86 is one of the top two, if not the best, cameraphones on the global market. Its alot better than the N900 for video and imaging, especially in low light without a flash. But the OS of the N900 evens out the battle and passes it in the HOV lane. If you aren't a serious imaging guru, or you don't have experience with Nokia's high end cameras, coming from another manufacturer's device, either device will blow your mind with its quality, and cause you to ditch your point and shoot if its not 8-12 megapixels or greater.

cb474
2009-11-05, 01:27
The N86 is one of the top two, if not the best, cameraphones on the global market. Its alot better than the N900 for video and imaging, especially in low light without a flash. But the OS of the N900 evens out the battle and passes it in the HOV lane.

Can you elaborate on this claim? How does the OS on the N900 even out the battle as far as the cameras go? Or did you just mean more generally that the N900 has a superior OS, aside from the camera? Thanks.

cb474
2009-11-05, 01:28
Just a little followup. The N900 seems to have a 1/2.5" sensor, which would translate to a focal multiplier of 6, or, in other words, a 31.2mm focal length in 35mm terminology.

Thanks for the info. Do you know what size the senosr is in the N86? Is 1/2.5 pretty standard in cell phones? Or are there lots of different sizes?

cb474
2009-11-05, 01:50
One advantage of the N900 that I just realized it has over the N86 is that autofocus works in the video capture mode. On the N86, there's autofocus for still images, but in video the focus is preset at a couple meters.

On the other hand, the N86 has a much superior digital zoom that takes advantage of the 8MP sensor so you don't lose resolution as you zoom in. And its zoom is 8x vs 4x on the N900. And if it's true that the N900 camera is comparable to the N97, then we already know that the video images in the N86 are better quality (from comparisons in reviews).

So the autofocus on the N900 is nice, as well as it's higher resolution in video, but it's not clear (at least to me, yet) that overall the N900 is better for video than the N86.

Laughing Man
2009-11-05, 03:28
If you aren't a serious imaging guru, or you don't have experience with Nokia's high end cameras, coming from another manufacturer's device, either device will blow your mind with its quality, and cause you to ditch your point and shoot if its not 8-12 megapixels or greater.

Haha, I do have an 8 megapixel Canon point and shoot, though it straddles the line between P&S and starting to creep towards the DSLR feature wise (when I first bought it 3-4 years ago). I don't mind the megapixel downgrade (since megapixels aren't all that to me anymore) not to mention how often do I really benefit from taking pictures at 3000x3000 pixels? Though the lack of optical zoom is what will have me still carrying my P&S.

Alex Atkin UK
2009-11-05, 05:07
Haha, I do have an 8 megapixel Canon point and shoot, though it straddles the line between P&S and starting to creep towards the DSLR feature wise (when I first bought it 3-4 years ago). I don't mind the megapixel downgrade (since megapixels aren't all that to me anymore) not to mention how often do I really benefit from taking pictures at 3000x3000 pixels? Though the lack of optical zoom is what will have me still carrying my P&S.

Same here, I have a Canon PowerShot S3 IS and I do not see a phone EVER replacing that. You simply cannot have the sensor or lens size required for comparable picture or zoom quality. (it certainly is not pocket-able)

I have also used a much smaller Kodak P&S which kicked the *** of any of the pre-release N900 taken photos I have seen, but then what do you expect as it was around the size of the N900 yet totally dedicated to the task. (it also broke with hours of buying it which hopefully the N900 will not)

That said, as long as its comparable to what the Xperia X1 could do, I will be happy. I considered that to have a decent camera for the a device not aimed at the photography market.

ragnar
2009-11-05, 06:33
N86 takes better still images. I think the N900 generally takes better videos, partly also because it has more power to do the realtime video encoding: better resolution/framerate. (Or well, there might be other reasons as well.) Anyway: N86 = better stills, N900 = better video.

Still, the N900 also takes pretty good stills: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1184299@N24/ I'm quite happy with them, at least.

attila77
2009-11-05, 09:35
Thanks for the info. Do you know what size the senosr is in the N86?

I don't know the exact model, but most places say it has a 1.75um pixel size which would mean roughly the same, a 1/2.6" or 1/2.5".

I'm somewhat surprised nobody mentioned a major advantage of the N86 camera subsystem - variable aperture. The N900 and N97 have fixed aperture lens.

Is 1/2.5 pretty standard in cell phones? Or are there lots of different sizes?

Lots of more-or-less standard sizes :) See for example http://www.semicon.toshiba.co.jp/ICSFiles/artimage/2008/11/11/ec_senssel/04_1.gif

You can see the sensor sizes are more or less constant, it's the resolution that changes (as technology is improved). The sizes need to fit some standards as the optics has to be matched to sensor size. This also shows why a low mpix sensor is not necessarily 'better' noise-wise. You'll get either a smaller sensor or an older generation, neither of which is promising for good shots.

cb474
2009-11-05, 09:59
I don't know the exact model, but most places say it has a 1.75um pixel size which would mean roughly the same, a 1/2.6" or 1/2.5".

I'm somewhat surprised nobody mentioned a major advantage of the N86 camera subsystem - variable aperture. The N900 and N97 have fixed aperture lens.

Thanks for the further sensor information. Interesting to look at the chart.

Actually, I did mention the variable aperature on the N86, in my post on the first page of this thread, where I list the specs that differ on the N86 and N900. But you might have to look closely at the list to notice it. The N86 also appears to have a faster shutter, although Nokia doesn't list the speed of the N900 shutter. And Nokia specifies that the N86 has image stabilization, but does not the say this about the N900. And there are more differences I listed above, but those are some of the other major ones.

It's a little hard to tell though if all the specs specified for the N86 really aren't there on the N900, just because they're not listed. Fore example, Nokia specifies that the N86 has a mechanical shutter, but does not say this about the N900. But I'm assuming the N900 must have a mechanical shutter too (doesn't the N97, N95, N82, and most of the higher end Nokia phone cameras?). Since the N86 is the flagship camera in a phone for Nokia, it seems like they are playing it up more in the specs, listing every little thing they can think of.

titan
2009-11-05, 10:59
On the other hand, the N86 has a much superior digital zoom that takes advantage of the 8MP sensor so you don't lose resolution as you zoom in. And its zoom is 8x vs 4x on the N900.

Digital zoom (poor man's zoom) is not a hardware feature (you can't add information that is missing) and you always loose resolution
due to the image cropping.

titan
2009-11-05, 11:04
The specs that are different there are:
4.61mm (focal length)
f/2.4 - 4.8
1/1000sec (highspeed shutter)
Features listed for the N86, but not the N900 are: Automatic Aperture Control, Automatic Motion Blur Reduction, Image Stabilization, Mechanical Shutter, Panorama Mode, Red-Eye Reduction.
most of those are just software features - so they camera independent.

I wonder what the max. shutter speed of the N900 is.
Could a N900 owner please take a picture of a bright light
with max. ISO and report the exposure time? Thanks

attila77
2009-11-05, 11:32
The default camera software does not allow for any parameter settings except for flash, so not really possible for the time being. Also, on a phone-cam, you'll probably prefer a low iso to high shutter speed. Take a look at N900 images - when there is a lot of light, it definitely reaches into basic P&S camera land. Deprive if of light, and it gets noisy/smudgy real quick (compared to dedicated cameras). And 1/1000 is exactly that - depriving light from the sensor :) High motion subjects are going to be problematic anyway because of the speed of focusing and shutter lag (which in case of phones has little to do with an actual shutter, but I digress).

Laughing Man
2009-11-05, 11:39
For me the n900's camera is for those moments you wish you had a camera but don't carry one with you all the time. If you know your going on a vacation or road trip I just bring a dedicated camera.

cb474
2009-11-05, 11:43
most of those are just software features - so they camera independent.

Since it's digital photography, can the camera really be said to be independent of the software? I'm not trying to start a whole separate discussion about digital photography. It just seems relevant here, because my sense is that firmware and firmware upgrades with phone cameras have made a big different in the actual quality of the images. So it seems the software differences between the N86 and N900 are important. No?

Take a look at N900 images - when there is a lot of light, it definitely reaches into basic P&S camera land. Deprive if of light, and it gets noisy/smudgy real quick (compared to dedicated cameras). And 1/1000 is exactly that - depriving light from the sensor :)

This is one area where, from reviews I've read, the N86 does really excel and do something pretty much no other phone camera before or yet has done. The N86 really does have a more low light sensitive sensor. Many phone cameras produce pretty amazingly good images in bright daylight. So I take that accomplishment as nothing special. But get even a little shadow or go indoors and it gets bad quickly. The images I've seen from the N86 really do seem to be the first to do better in this arena. This ought to also be an advantage with video on the N86.

attila77
2009-11-05, 12:11
Many phone cameras produce pretty amazingly good images in bright daylight. So I take that accomplishment as nothing special. But get even a little shadow or go indoors and it gets bad quickly.

That's why I explicitly said compared to dedicated cameras :) For any serious comparison we'd need someone with both N86 and a N900 so he could make snaps/videos under the same conditions. But, after nearly a month with the N900 and snapping a lot in various conditions, I can say (even with prerelease firmware) it's IMHO doing *very* well compared to the rest of the phone-cam pack, even if it's most likely not as good as the N86 in a direct 1:1 comparison.

titan
2009-11-05, 13:32
The default camera software does not allow for any parameter settings except for flash, so not really possible for the time being. Also, on a phone-cam, you'll probably prefer a low iso to high shutter speed.

no parameter tweaking possible? that's bad.
Fortunately, some other thread contains some documentation
about how to control the camera settings in the chipset.
Anyway, the test I suggested would be just a stress test (preferably not with sun) to find out min. exposure time if you can't determine it from the settings.
One main objective for maximizing S/N ratio is to maximize
the amount of photons per pixel per exposure.
And given the small pixel size on the 1/2.5" chip we cannot expect too much...

Since it's digital photography, can the camera really be said to be independent of the software?

for every picture taken there's is the A/D process (hardware) and the postprocessing (software, incl. firmware).
What I meant is that the hardware limits the improvements the software can perform on the raw data.
The image quality mainly determined by the hardware, while the software is just convenience and can (hopefully) be replaced (cf. RAW processing on DSLRs).
For some cameras the picture just looks good on a small display because the firmware perform very aggressive perceptual noise-"reduction", but which leads to other problems.

cb474
2009-11-06, 02:19
IMHO doing *very* well compared to the rest of the phone-cam pack, even if it's most likely not as good as the N86 in a direct 1:1 comparison.

I guess part of my point was that the N86 has already been shown in reviews to really stand apart from the rest of the high end phone camera pack, when it comes to low light.

Yes, the N86 and N900 would have to be compared side to side. But if the N900 has a camera that is comparable to the N97 (which has a good phone camera by any standard), then I think we already know that the N900 is not in the same league as the N86 as far as low light situations go. Unless of course the N900 also has an improved low light sensor, but I haven't seen anything to indicate that.

I'm not questioning that the N900 has a good camera. If it's comparable to the N97, then it's among the best of the "pack," as you say. I just don't see any reason to think that the N900 is on the level of the N86, as far as low light goes, since that is the stand out, step above the pack feature of the N86 and this has already been demonstrated in reviews of the N86.

christexaport
2009-11-06, 15:38
Can you elaborate on this claim? How does the OS on the N900 even out the battle as far as the cameras go? Or did you just mean more generally that the N900 has a superior OS, aside from the camera? Thanks.
I only meant the OS negated the advantage the N86 has over the N900 imaging wise, for MY tastes. Others may disagree based on their own priorities.
So the autofocus on the N900 is nice, as well as it's higher resolution in video, but it's not clear (at least to me, yet) that overall the N900 is better for video than the N86.
I like the N86 for video over the N900, but only because of the zooming clarity. The resolution is better on the N900, but the framerate is higher on the N86, which is more important to fluidity.
Haha, I do have an 8 megapixel Canon point and shoot, though it straddles the line between P&S and starting to creep towards the DSLR feature wise (when I first bought it 3-4 years ago). I don't mind the megapixel downgrade (since megapixels aren't all that to me anymore) not to mention how often do I really benefit from taking pictures at 3000x3000 pixels? Though the lack of optical zoom is what will have me still carrying my P&S.
Nikon and Canon make fantastic cameras. I doubt Nokia can match them because of their combination of similar optics with better sensor and processing hardware. I bet the algorithms are better as well. Sony's Carl Zeiss cameras are good, too. But the Nokia devices come close with similar megapixel ratings, only lagging in lower light situations, as mentioned before.
as long as its comparable to what the Xperia X1 could do, I will be happy. I considered that to have a decent camera for the a device not aimed at the photography market.
That camera was pretty lame for the price, and nothing for the Nokia Nseries cameras of the same pixel rating. You should be more than satisfied, especially after the camera processing gets improved with firmware upgrades. Nokia is known for greatly improving camera image quality over the life of the device.

attila77
2009-11-06, 19:10
I like the N86 for video over the N900, but only because of the zooming clarity. The resolution is better on the N900, but the framerate is higher on the N86, which is more important to fluidity.

Note that 25 fps is actually the native PAL framerate, which may be interesting if that video material is going to be shown on a TV.

RTbar
2009-11-06, 20:28
Note that 25 fps is actually the native PAL framerate, which may be interesting if that video material is going to be shown on a TV.

does that mean that video out wont display properly on american sets?

attila77
2009-11-06, 21:05
No. Video out supports NTSC and should work fine. We are talking about the camera record option. If you want to convert it to 480i or sorts, you will need to accomodate for the framerate difference, just as you would for a 24fps cinematic source.

RTbar
2009-11-06, 21:26
No. Video out supports NTSC and should work fine. We are talking about the camera record option. If you want to convert it to 480i or sorts, you will need to accomodate for the framerate difference, just as you would for a 24fps cinematic source.

but what if you wanted to hook up the n900 to a tv, and play videos you recorded off of the phone through the maemo interface, they will play fine right?

christexaport
2009-11-07, 01:04
That isn't affected, since the N900 has a TV out option which converts it into NTSC or PAL frame rate, depending which setting is supported on your set. What he's saying is it won't improve the video fluidity on a typical TV set or large display because 25 fps is native on that platform, and any video source better will only get scaled down or up to 25 fps.

cb474
2009-11-07, 02:09
Digital zoom (poor man's zoom) is not a hardware feature (you can't add information that is missing) and you always loose resolution
due to the image cropping.

Yes, I think we all know that digital zoom in no way compares to optical zoom. Obviously a lot of sacrifices are made with a phone camera on all fronts. But were comparing two different phone cameras (N86 to N900), not a phone camera to a stand alone camera. The digital zoom does work differently on the N86, as opposed to the N97 (and I assume the N900). The N86 uses the whole sensor for video capture, even though the video is recorded at 640x480 resolution (far less than the 8MP sensor). This means that when the zoom crops the image to zoom in, it doesn't lose resolution until after 4x zoom. Steve Litchfield at All About Symbian explains:

Nokia are simply using the whole sensor to capture light for the video - when zoomed in, they're simply downsampling differently.

If you zoom in much beyond 4x, you hit the same problems as digital zoom on other camera phones, i.e. things start to pixellate in ugly fashion. But 4x seems about right, since the VGA rendered frame is about four times (linearly) smaller than the full 8mp sensor.

(See: http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/Head_to_head_the_Nokia_N86_8MP_and_the_Apple_iPhon e_3GS.php)(Example video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDbzQWJP1RQ&hd=1&hq=1)
He also says as far as he knows the N86 is the only phone on the market to use this technique. This technique is also supposed to improve low light sensitivity in video capture mode. So this is a relevant feature of the N86. It's supposed to make the digital zoom somewhat usable, as opposed to totally crap. Maybe that's not great, compared to a regular camera, but it's a first for a phone camera.

cb474
2009-11-07, 02:15
I like the N86 for video over the N900, but only because of the zooming clarity. The resolution is better on the N900, but the framerate is higher on the N86, which is more important to fluidity.

Of course, as I mentioned above, I think, some people consider the lower framerate more film-like, since film uses 24fps. Digital film makers used to deliberately get PAL versions of digital video cameras to emulate the film motion effect, until people started making high end digital video cameras with 24fps framerate. So curiously enough, a lower framerate is coveted by a lot of people.

Of course, with a cell phone this may be splitting hairs.

titan
2009-11-07, 14:52
Yes, I think we all know that digital zoom in no way compares to optical zoom. Obviously a lot of sacrifices are made with a phone camera on all fronts. But were comparing two different phone cameras (N86 to N900), not a phone camera to a stand alone camera. The digital zoom does work differently on the N86, as opposed to the N97 (and I assume the N900). The N86 uses the whole sensor for video capture, even though the video is recorded at 640x480 resolution (far less than the 8MP sensor). This means that when the zoom crops the image to zoom in, it doesn't lose resolution until after 4x zoom.

ok, you're referring to video digital zoom, i.e. the output image has always much smaller resolution than the chip.
There are two approaches:

1.) take a fraction of the sensor image (the smaller the higher the zoom) and rescale it to video resolution (apparently, what N86 the does).
this should lead to a the lowest noise level w/o zoom, and maximum noise if you zoom to video resolution.
with even more zoom you get the digital zoom artefacts (interpolation).

2.) like 1., but take a fraction of the inner VGA-sized area of the sensor image

I don't think the N900 or N97 would use 2.)
Otherwise the video would always record the inner VGA region of a still image of the same scene. However, the video seems to be wide angle, if you don't zoom in:
http://www.nokiausers.net/N-Series/N900-Preview-Unit-Video-Samples-Zoom-Macro-and-Natural.html
According to the documentation of the camera chip there is also a builtin resize function
and it is likely that the N900 would use it.

titan
2009-11-07, 14:57
According to http://6mpixel.org/en/?page_id=32
the best resolution for a 1/2.5" sensor is 2.7MP.
Well, the N900 has 100% too high resolution...

attila77
2009-11-07, 22:53
That's a bogus site. They completely ignore sensor technology and basically made up an ideal pixel size.

We calculated how many pixels have space to be in a sensor if one pixel has a size of 3 Ķm which we believe to be a minimum size for good image quality at higher sensitivity levels (>ISO 400).

An engineering conclusion based on beliefs ? Hardly serious.

cb474
2009-11-07, 23:13
ok, you're referring to video digital zoom, i.e. the output image has always much smaller resolution than the chip.
There are two approaches:

1.) take a fraction of the sensor image (the smaller the higher the zoom) and rescale it to video resolution (apparently, what N86 the does).
this should lead to a the lowest noise level w/o zoom, and maximum noise if you zoom to video resolution.
with even more zoom you get the digital zoom artefacts (interpolation).

2.) like 1., but take a fraction of the inner VGA-sized area of the sensor image

I don't think the N900 or N97 would use 2.)
Otherwise the video would always record the inner VGA region of a still image of the same scene. However, the video seems to be wide angle, if you don't zoom in:
http://www.nokiausers.net/N-Series/N900-Preview-Unit-Video-Samples-Zoom-Macro-and-Natural.html
According to the documentation of the camera chip there is also a builtin resize function
and it is likely that the N900 would use it.


I think what I'm saying is that in actual reviews of the N86, people have reported that the video zoom works much better than in previous iterations of Nokia N series camera phones (and all other camera phones for that matter). I don't know all the technical aspects of how it works. I outlined what I understood above. It seems to me that the actual end results are more important. I'm also saying that, as Steve Litchfield reports at All About Symbian, to his knowledge the N86 is the only camera phone to use this improved method. The N97 doesn't have it, despite coming out at the same time, nor the N97-mini that came out after the N86. (Perhaps Nokia wants to keep a few things back to make it's flagship camera phone actually better as a camera?) So given that Nokia left it out of the N97 and N97-mini, it seems likely they will leave it out of the N900 as well. The 5MP sensor of the N900 and it's higher resolution video recording would also not work as well for this technique.

titan
2009-11-08, 01:08
That's a bogus site. They completely ignore sensor technology and basically made up an ideal pixel size.
An engineering conclusion based on beliefs ? Hardly serious.

nope. It's based on physical limitations (wavelength of visible light is ca. 400-700nm)
and the low quality optics of consumer cameras.
The thermal noise has already been reduced so much in previous generations
that the efficiency factor is about 80-90%.
Even if you take into account new technologies (SuperCCD, Exmor-R, Foveon)
there will always be a trade-off between noise and resolution.

attila77
2009-11-08, 01:45
nope. It's based on physical limitations (wavelength of visible light is ca. 400-700nm)

Please, do the math. On the N900 (with a 1/2.5" sensor) it would become an issue at ~f/4 and above. The N900, however, has f/2.8 optics, so it's within that limit even with TWICE the pixels mentioned on the site.

The thermal noise has already been reduced so much in previous generations that the efficiency factor is about 80-90%.


Efficiency factor of what ? You can't do a blanket statement like that, when different sensor technologies result in vastly different signal to noise characteristics, and noise itself is a mixture of at least a dozen different factors, thermal noise is just one of which.

there will always be a trade-off between noise and resolution.

Correct. Except you CAN trade resolution for less noise, but you CANNOT trade low-noise for resolution.

titan
2009-11-08, 09:15
Please, do the math. On the N900 (with a 1/2.5" sensor) it would become an issue at ~f/4 and above. The N900, however, has f/2.8 optics, so it's within that limit even with TWICE the pixels mentioned on the site.

aperture size is independent of optics quality, which also limits the line resolution.
The N900 may have a higher-quality Carl-Zeiss lens and I don't want to defend their
specific MP recommendations based on 2007 technology but there are definitely
physical limitations. Even the Canon marketing dept has realized that and
reduced MP from 14.7 (G10) to 10 (G11) for a 1/1.7" CCD sensor.


Efficiency factor of what ? You can't do a blanket statement like that, when different sensor technologies result in vastly different signal to noise characteristics, and noise itself is a mixture of at least a dozen different factors, thermal noise is just one of which.

It took that number from a current c't magazine article, which compares new sensor technologies. It is the ratio of incoming photons to released electrons.

attila77
2009-11-08, 10:25
aperture size is independent of optics quality, which also limits the line resolution.
The N900 may have a higher-quality Carl-Zeiss lens and I don't want to defend their
specific MP recommendations based on 2007 technology but there are definitely
physical limitations.

The fact that you CAN take good pictures in broad daylight suggests that the optics quality is just fine. If it was a lens limitation, the images would be no good regardless of lighting conditions.

Even the Canon marketing dept has realized that and reduced MP from 14.7 (G10) to 10 (G11) for a 1/1.7" CCD sensor.

That is unrelated to lens quality, it's the diffraction limit that is being overrun. With ~15Mpix per 1/1.7", the Canon is already diffraction limited at f/2.6. The lens is 2.8-4.5, so it's quite clear that nominal resolution images could not be recorded even if it had an optically IDEAL lens.

It took that number from a current c't magazine article, which compares new sensor technologies. It is the ratio of incoming photons to released electrons.

That's not thermal (?) noise. That's just one factor of many in the noise equation. What about readout noise ? What about A/D resolution/quality ? What about the bayer array ?

The bottom line is:
A lower megapixel number does not automatically result in higher quality images. Image quality is a result of the imaging system as a whole.

The anti-megapixel crusade is doing the same thing as the megapixel rush did - making it a story of megapixels ONLY. There is far too many factors involved than to be able to distill such a conclusion.

titan
2009-11-08, 10:38
The bottom line is:
A lower megapixel number does not automatically result in higher quality images. Image quality is a result of the imaging system as a whole.

correct. The purpose of that initiative was to educate the public that they should
not focus only on the MP count, which are already sufficient for most purposes,
but on other factors of the camera such as lower-noise, better optics, aperture and focal length range etc.

sinetype
2009-11-16, 11:11
Saturday, thanks to VDVsx, i was able to play a little bit with the N900.

I'm really pleased with the device (even in pre-prod unit) the only thing that scared me (and i must say a lot) were the limited options available on camera mode.

In picture:


you only have 2 modes (Widescreen 3.5 MPx / 4:3 5MPx)

You don't have all the modes available in the 5800, for exemple.


In Video capture mode (the worst)

You can't modify any value except Exposure and white balance!


You can't choose the size of the video, you can't activate the LED (to use at night) you can't record in B&W, sepia...


And another major flaw... the lens cover is IDENTICAL to the n97 one...




I hope this just a question of firmware and i hope that the issue will be solve in the commercial unit... I have some projects (professionals) for the mobile camera and it will be heart breaking not being able to fully use the wonderful N900.


By the way... Is it possible to somehow use an external mic in the N900 to capture sound wile video recording? Since the jack allow a mic (from the headset) isn't it possible to create someting who could use the mic pluged + the video camera?

Helmuth
2009-11-16, 22:40
And another major flaw... the lens cover is IDENTICAL to the n97 one...

I'm glade to say it is not exactly the same. There iss a bit space between lense and shutter. So it shouldn't scratch the lense. (okay the other side, but this doesn't matter)

I prefer a simple but working lens cover instead of a missing lens cover. I wouldn't buy a Mobile without lens cover any more...

cb474
2009-11-17, 11:50
The Nokia Blog has a review of the N900, which I posted a thread on in the N900 section. But it has this useful paragraph about the N900 camera, which confirms and elaborates on some of what sinetype said above:

The Nokia N900ís camera does not disappoint. It features a 5mp camera labeled with Carl Zeiss lens. It also packs dual LEDs flash, but donít expect miracles when taking photos in dark restaurants and bars. By default, the N900 takes 3.5mp photos. It crops the top and bottom to give a widescreen aspect picture. You can change this to 5mp in options. It does not include all the camera options from previous Nseries cameras. Itís missing sequence, self-timer, color tone, contrast, and sharpness that are found in the Nokia N97.

See: http://thenokiablog.com/2009/11/13/nokia-n900-review/

So it seems the N900 camera is not really comparable to the N97 as has been assumed (including by myself) in some posts earlier in this thread. It's a little perplexing that features would be left out that have become common place on N series cameras. I can't think of a reason other than that perhaps Nokia really is rushing the N900 out the door.

titan
2009-11-17, 11:58
It's a little perplexing that features would be left out that have become common place on N series cameras. I can't think of a reason other than that perhaps Nokia really is rushing the N900 out the door.

the features you've listed are all software features - so they could be added using a firmware upgrade or by a community camera app.

sinetype
2009-11-17, 12:12
I also think it's a software issue but i'm a little worried about it.

Yesterday i thought on something else: Every mobile phone with MMS is able to record in low resolution (to be able to send it).
With the features available in the N900 in camera mode, the MMS function seems to be really far away since you will need to create links between the camera and the message feature so when adding a multimedia element to you SMS, the phone will be pre configured to create 30sec clips in low resolution (under 300k) and pictures in VGA mode.

I know nothing about software (i am a director) but what do you say?

attila77
2009-11-17, 12:47
So it seems the N900 camera is not really comparable to the N97 as has been assumed (including by myself) in some posts earlier in this thread. It's a little perplexing that features would be left out that have become common place on N series cameras. I can't think of a reason other than that perhaps Nokia really is rushing the N900 out the door.

There is a common problem here - non-tech folks compare on what they are used to compare in the past - a smartphone either has or it hasn't got the functionality of another. Maemo devices (and the N900 is no exception) do not fit this mould. Think what would you say if this was a netbook ? 'the built in webcam application has no timer and no settable contrast, etc'. Most people would say, big deal, I'm doing to install a different webcam application that works the way I want it to. And that's exactly the freedom Maemo gives you. It (almost) doesn't matter what the camera application (cannot) do as long as it has it's source or API available and the hardware is actually capable of the required operations.

cb474
2009-11-17, 13:29
the features you've listed are all software features - so they could be added using a firmware upgrade or by a community camera app.

Yeah, they could be added, but I'm not going to count on it. Things do not always play out that way, by a long shot. And I still think it's odd for Nokia to leave these features out, given that they've developed them for many previous N series devices. It's not like some new thing that Nokia doesn't know how to do.

There is a common problem here - non-tech folks compare on what they are used to compare in the past - a smartphone either has or it hasn't got the functionality of another. Maemo devices (and the N900 is no exception) do not fit this mould. Think what would you say if this was a netbook ? 'the built in webcam application has no timer and no settable contrast, etc'. Most people would say, big deal, I'm doing to install a different webcam application that works the way I want it to. And that's exactly the freedom Maemo gives you. It (almost) doesn't matter what the camera application (cannot) do as long as it has it's source or API available and the hardware is actually capable of the required operations.

Again, I'm not going to get a N900 counting on the idea that someone will create a different camera application that does what I want it do. Maybe they will and that's definitely something that's great about Maemo. But if the application doesn't already exist, so I know I can get it from a third party, then I don't think it's reasonable to count on it. And to me, it still seems like for a $600 device, Nokia ought to be able to provide a camera application that at least does what other recent N series devices do. What's the point in having the N900 camera application be a regression from the N97 camera application (as well as many devices before that)? Nokia knows how to do this.

As a somewhat exaggerated example, Nokia could have just not included a phone application at all. And then people could say, well there's a cellular radio built in, so someone will create one. I would not find that reassuring.

Maybe anything can be written and provided for the N900 after the fact. But I think it's reasonable to judge it by the out of the box features it has. I expect certain basic things to be there right away. I'm not just buying a computer without an OS, to configure however I want. For a $600 phone, the camera application could at least be on a par with other recent Nokia camera applications. Nokia has demonstrated this is one area that it's particularly good at with phones. What's the benefit in Nokia withholding its expertise in this area?

To me Nokia either did this because they're rushing the device out the door or because they're trying to create some sort of differentiation from other N series devices (although I find this second reason not to make much sense--differentiate from the N86, sure, but from the N97?).

titan
2009-11-17, 13:42
Yeah, they could be added, but I'm not going to count on it. Things do not always play out that way, by a long shot. And I still think it's odd for Nokia to leave these features out, given that they've developed them for many previous N series devices. It's not like some new thing that Nokia doesn't know how to do.

I'm going to count on it. You can find several threads here with people already discussing
how to implement DSLR style camera control and computational photography..
TI offers API documentation for the camera module, so we should be able to hack it.

I agree that Nokia should have those features on a established platform
but AFAIK it's the first Maemo device with a camera.
With the N910/N920 at the latest they're supposed to offer all those features.
For the release date Nokia should focus on getting the basic functionality working properly. Extra software features may be added later.

I'm going to buy the N900 for the potential of an open platform,
not for the built-in features of a pre-release device.

Flandry
2009-11-17, 13:58
The argument that other N-series devices had the features, so they should be found in the N900, are understandable but not really reasonable. Other N-series devices have used a different operating system, so there's really no common ground. The good news is that each new Maemo device that comes out will be able to benefit from an additional evolution/iteration of the supporting software, much like the Symbian(?) N-series devices have. Remember that this is the first smartphone-like N-series device. Being a mostly open system will only accelerate the accretion of good support software for each new hardware product.

attila77
2009-11-17, 14:02
Yeah, they could be added, but I'm not going to count on it. Things do not always play out that way, by a long shot. And I still think it's odd for Nokia to leave these features out, given that they've developed them for many previous N series devices. It's not like some new thing that Nokia doesn't know how to do.


Maemo is not Symbian. This is the same 'mistake' people make with MMS, portrait mode, T9, etc. The things that were written for Symbian (before Qt) can't just be copypasted into Maemo. The APIs of the two are so different that you need to rewrite those features (which Symbian also didn't gain in a single release) from scratch.

And as for counting what is and isn't included in the box - you certainly can view things that way, but it's neglecting one of (if not *the*) strongest aspect of Maemo.

cb474
2009-11-17, 14:24
I'm going to buy the N900 for the potential of an open platform, not for the built-in features of a pre-release device.

If I buy the N900, I would buy it for both. I mean, why include any features at all, if it's just about the platform and the applications that will come later? I think the camera is pretty basic and they could have done more, from what I've read.

The argument that other N-series devices had the features, so they should be found in the N900, are understandable but not really reasonable. Other N-series devices have used a different operating system, so there's really no common ground.

Maemo is not Symbian. This is the same 'mistake' people make with MMS, portrait mode, T9, etc. The things that were written for Symbian (before Qt) can't just be copypasted into Maemo.

Okay, I absolutely never said that programs could just by copy and pasted. I know what Maemo is, alright. It's a big part of what I like about the N900. But what I said in my post is that Nokia knows how to do camera applications. The common ground is Nokia and the N series. It's knowing how to do the design that counts, far more than having to rewrite it for another OS. Nokia knows what features people like and have come to expect in an N series device. And being one of the the best camera's you can get in a phone is one of those things. It's not rocket science, because Nokia's already figured out the design questions.

In fact, if it's such a big deal to develop the same features for Maemo as were already in Symbian, then why did Nokia include so much and leave a few things out? It makes no sense for Nokia to decide to put a lot of work into a camera application, but leave it a little incomplete, because maybe the community will fix it for them later. And in the end, if Maemo is such a break from Symbian, then why call it an N series phone? Why deliberately provoke all the expectations that come with that? Why not make up some new series name?

It seems to me, that if people want to maintain that not having more than two resolutions available for images and no self-timer nor contrast controls, has come to pass for the N900, because it's Maemo and not Symbian, then people have to give a reason why these things were deliberately left out. Otherwise, they were left out simply because Nokia didn't get around to it. And for $600 and a phone that Nokia wants to call an N series phone, that's a little shoddy.

cb474
2009-11-17, 14:32
By the way, this is also supposed to be a thread about the camera in the N86 vs in the N900. So I was just providing some information from a review about features that the N900 lacks, that people might be used to seeing in other Nokia N series phones. That seems like relevant information, regardless of what the justification/excuse there is for this state of affairs. When someone actually produces a functioning alternative camera application for the N900, then that will be relevant too. Until then, people might want to know what they're going to get.

attila77
2009-11-17, 14:52
@cb474: The Nseries question is a different one. It was a corporate call - the first Maemo device (the 770) wasn't an Nseries. I mean, if you find the N900 lacking in terms of Nseries 'standard features', the N800 is.. well... what ? :)

cb474
2009-11-18, 00:15
@cb474: The Nseries question is a different one. It was a corporate call - the first Maemo device (the 770) wasn't an Nseries. I mean, if you find the N900 lacking in terms of Nseries 'standard features', the N800 is.. well... what ? :)

That's true, regarding the N800 also being an N series device. But it still seems pretty obvious to me that Nokia is going at a different, much broader consumer market, with the N900, as compared to the N800. They're going after customers that might purchase something like the N97. So they have a different set of expectations to fulfill.

Also, the N800 didn't have a camera in it. And the N900 with Maemo 5 is clearly a huge reworking of the features and interface on the N800, N810. A reworking that again is trying to appeal to a much broader audience.

So given the many many features that Nokia did put into the camera applicaiton, even a first like autofocus with video, it's remains to me just a bit curious to leave out a random smattering of previously standard features like more than two image resolution settings, a self-timer, and contrast controls. All I suggested was that maybe this reflects that Nokia is rushing the N900 out the door a bit. It's hard to imagine a deliberate reason for leaving these features out. And maybe Nokia doesn't care, because this is more of a developer's/early-adopter's platform and a step to Maemo 6 and the N920 or whatever comes next. That would certainly be congruent with people's assertion Nokia is still working on the transition from Symbian to Maemo.

But again, it had been asserted earlier in this thread that the N900 camera is essentially equivalent to the N97. And that doesn't quite seem to be true. So for anyone who cares about the camera, that's relevant information. Of course, the N900 also has some better features (like higher resolution video and video auto-focus).

qole
2009-11-18, 01:19
Also, the N800 didn't have a camera in it.

Yes it did. <snicker, snicker> Sorry, it's hard to say that the webcam on the N800 (or on the N900 honestly) is a "camera" without laughing... :)

cb474
2009-11-18, 01:35
Yes it did. <snicker, snicker> Sorry, it's hard to say that the webcam on the N800 (or on the N900 honestly) is a "camera" without laughing... :)

You mean the front facing camera on the N900? It seems like the main camera is pretty decent, for a cell phone, my criticisms notwithstanding.

Anyway, perhaps it was porting the webcam applicatioin to be the camera application for the N900 that accounts for it's odd omission of random features. (I'm joking too.)

christexaport
2009-11-19, 05:01
I'm the one that said the N900 and N97 cameras were basically identical. I meant hardware wise. Its not exactly the same, but typical of what Nseries flagship users have seen the last few years.

I don't think people get Maemo. First, the camera app was prerelease. Wait for the final retail firmware and then let's talk. Also, being open source, apps will always improve, and on a regular basis, because this is open source. From the look of the camera app, it looks as if Nokia plans to mimick the N97 camera's feature set. Even if they don't, we can make our own. THIS is the entire point of Maemo, and something no other smartphone OS can claim to allow as easily. As long as Nokia allows us to use its processing algorithms, I'd prefer a community camera app with a beastly set of features over the same camera app I've been using for 5 years.

cb474
2009-11-19, 10:03
I don't think people get Maemo. First, the camera app was prerelease. Wait for the final retail firmware and then let's talk. Also, being open source, apps will always improve, and on a regular basis, because this is open source. From the look of the camera app, it looks as if Nokia plans to mimick the N97 camera's feature set. Even if they don't, we can make our own. THIS is the entire point of Maemo, and something no other smartphone OS can claim to allow as easily. As long as Nokia allows us to use its processing algorithms, I'd prefer a community camera app with a beastly set of features over the same camera app I've been using for 5 years.

Look, I am a long time Linux user. Debian used to be my main distribution. This is what interests me in the N900 and Maemo. So I get what Maemo is about.

But I think it is completely relevant to 1) want to know and 2) question what features are actually implimented in the N900 camera application when you buy it. If Nokia wants me to fork over $600 for a phone, saying maybe it will be fixed later by the community is not good enough. The value of the open source community is all the cool applications and modifications that might come down the line later. But that doesn't just let Nokia off the hook for shipping a device with incomplete features. For $600 and an N series phone, it's not unreasonable to expect the camera application to have the same features that have become standard for a long time in other N series devices, with high end camera hardware. Nokia is selling this as a consumer device, not a development platform.

So I wish people would stop saying I don't understand Maemo. It's really condescending. I understand it very well. I just don't agree that expecting the community to fill in the blanks on the camera application at some unknown future time is good enough for $600 and a device like this. I think it reveals, what has been said plenty of times in this forum anyway, that the N900 and Maemo 5 do not represent a real, final, consumer product for Nokia. Maemo 6 and the next device(s) are the real goal. And that's fine. But I think $600 it's a bit much to ask of people for what is essentially an unfinished product.

Also, it's not even clear that Maemo 6 will actually run on the N900, when it comes along. In this respect, the Maemo project is not entirely like other opensource projects and distributions on the desktop, which can be continuously upgraded on the same hardware. And I'm pretty certain that if Maemo 6 is the real end goal, when it comes along, a lot of developers are going to jump ship. So this further makes it relevant to be wary of whether or not the features I'd like to see will ever make it onto the N900.

I don't buy products because of how they might be in the future. I buy them because of how they are now. Even with Linux on the desktop, I don't use it because of options it may have in the future, I use it because of options it has now. I've never had anybody in the Linux world say to me, well you should use Debian because in the future it might do what you want. People point you to real, existing, already functional projects.

christexaport
2009-11-19, 11:06
cb474, I'm not talking about you in particular. That's why I said "people". I do think alot of people have expectations born from commercial ecosystems and a MS Apple world. There is little trust for the platform minders because users have no invested interest in it. We have to unlearn some instinctive behaviors. But just as well, we should expect the camera to match the features of previous flagship models.

Now we haven't seen the final camera app, so we just may be jumping to conclusions. Secondly, we don't know Nokia's development roadmap for the camera app. The missing features may be planned for later implementation, or available as add-ons. We just can't say until we get the devices in our hands.

I see your point on a desire for instant satisfaction. If you pay, you should get what you want, so I'm with you there. I look at tech in terms of possibilities and limitations. The more possibilities and less limitations, the better suited to my tastes it will most likely be. Different strokes for different folks. Some iFolks like to be told what to like, so we're all different, and there's always going to be alternatives for this reason.

cb474
2009-11-19, 11:57
Okay, thanks for the clarification. In posts above, people kept telling me I wasn't getting what Maemo is about, because I criticized the camera application and some of it's odd (almost random seeming) omissions, which made it seem incomplete or rushed out the door to me. So I thought you were agreeing with those posts.

It's true we haven't seen the final camera application. Here's hoping.

I totally appreciate that Maemo has a lot of potential, given it's Linux based opensource nature. That's what attracts me to the N900. But history is filled with technology that has potential and never goes anywhere, for one reason or another. There are plenty of applications in the Linux world I've waited to see certain features implimented and it's never happened. So I just don't know that the potential of Maemo let's Nokia off the hook for an imcomplete camera app (assuming the features mentioned in posts above are not in the final shipping version of the N900). To me, the potential of Maemo lets Nokia off the hook for not having an app store with much in it yet. Or for not having tons of plugins available for the browser. Things like that.

I also think there's a difference between potential and incompleteness. For example, with Linux, I expect my desktop environment to have certain basic elements. A working file manager, a panel with menus, a window manager. If one of those things was missing, it would be odd. (I realize that's a bit of a hyperbolic example, I'm just trying to make a point.) So I don't think this is about instant satisfaction. This is about whether something is really functional yet or not. You know, a bunch of chips not put together on a motherboard have a lot of potential, but you couldn't sell them as a computer.

I'm not saying this is the state of the N900. I'm just saying, it is a little bit the state of the camera application. It has odd and random omissions. Given that Nokia put such good camera hardware in the N900 and bothered to create a camera app at all, I would have thought they would have done something more comparable to what's in the N97, etc. They know what needs to be there. They implimented most of it on the N900. Why leave out a self-timer, more than two image resolution choices, and contrast controls (amongst a few other things as well), but include the first in a Nokia device of autofocus in video? It really creates an impression of, we didn't have time to finish this, but we're shipping anyway.

attila77
2009-11-23, 00:31
While digging for standard icons for various services for Shepherd I ran into a few camera icons suggesting some (currently disabled) resolutions:

The video resolutions are 800x480, 640x480 and 320x240
The camera resolutions are 5, 3.5 (wide), 3 and 1.3 megapixels

Doesn't mean much, but hey, at least we know somebody in Nokia was/is at some point thinking about extra resolutions :)

cb474
2009-11-23, 02:29
While digging for standard icons for various services for Shepherd I ran into a few camera icons suggesting some (currently disabled) resolutions:

The video resolutions are 800x480, 640x480 and 320x240
The camera resolutions are 5, 3.5 (wide), 3 and 1.3 megapixels

Doesn't mean much, but hey, at least we know somebody in Nokia was/is at some point thinking about extra resolutions :)

Thanks. Could that possibly be something buried in Maemo for future possible devices?

attila77
2009-11-23, 07:53
Thanks. Could that possibly be something buried in Maemo for future possible devices?

Either a device (less likely) or a future cam firmware update (which was hinted at the Summit as coming this year).

attila77
2009-11-26, 19:55
According to http://6mpixel.org/en/?page_id=32
the best resolution for a 1/2.5" sensor is 2.7MP.
Well, the N900 has 100% too high resolution...

Well, if I ever had any doubts about the megapixel count and sensitivity of the the N900 sensor, it pretty much gone. If it's good for astrophotography, it's good for anything :)

http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=394424

qole
2009-11-26, 23:43
The camera is great, but the flash stinks. I have become so annoyed at the terrible things the flash does, I leave it disabled. And if I need to enable it, I ask myself, "Can I live without this picture?" Only if the answer is no do I turn on the flash and take an awful picture of the subject.

attila77
2009-11-26, 23:54
Hard to contradict that one :) Had to teach myself to keep fingers far enough... Also, have you tried to take photos with the backplate OFF (no haze, uneven lighting, etc) ? It's amazing how much that helps (not that it's a practical solution :)

MountainX
2009-11-27, 00:11
To me Nokia either did this because they're rushing the device out the door or because they're trying to create some sort of differentiation from other N series devices (although I find this second reason not to make much sense--differentiate from the N86, sure, but from the N97?).

Or how about because Maemo is a relatively new operating system and it costs money to do these things? Yes, it takes time to take Symbian features and migrate them to Maemo. No, Nokia cannot do everything before it releases Maemo 5 (some things have to wait for Maemo 6 -- just like some things have to wait for the next release of OSX or Windows). That does not have to imply that Maemo 5 was rushed out the door.

The more I read here, the more I see evidence of unrealistic expectations. Oh well, many of the "old timers" saw this coming.

MountainX
2009-11-27, 00:21
But I think $600 it's a bit much to ask of people for what is essentially an unfinished product.


I've been reading the Droid forums today. Without a contract, the Motorola Droid is $600. It has a list of problems/bugs that apparently has many people lining up to return it before their 30 day Verizon return window closes (judging from my reading of the forums). Reading over there is exactly like reading this forum. Some people are complaining. Some people have hardware that doesnt' work. (And some people are loving their devices, just like here.)

So it appears that the current state of the art in technology is that new "smart phones" cost around $600 and they are far from perfect. If Google/Motorola/Verizon can't make a $600 phone with a camera that is good, then we must recognize that some of this isn't trivial. Apparently, these companies are pushing the envelope.

At least the N900 camera is a heck of a lot better than the one on the Droid (even after the recent fixes the Droid required).

MountainX
2009-11-27, 00:31
I realize (now) that this is the 3rd time in a row I quoted you. It is just a coincidence. I'm just reading in a bit of a random way and I keep seeing your posts ;)

In fact, if it's such a big deal to develop the same features for Maemo as were already in Symbian, then why did Nokia include so much and leave a few things out? It makes no sense for Nokia to decide to put a lot of work into a camera application, but leave it a little incomplete


I saw you say that you were a long time Linux user. But I have to assume that you have never been a developer. Adding features adds tremendous complexity. The rule of (good) software development is to keep it simple and to not try to put everything into version 1. Release early (and release often) is a good rule. It is actually smart to release new software with fewer features. (When teams do not do this, they almost always release crap or -- quite often -- never release a working product at all.)


And in the end, if Maemo is such a break from Symbian, then why call it an N series phone? Why deliberately provoke all the expectations that come with that? Why not make up some new series name?

Seems clear to me:
the N900 is the successor to N810, N800, etc. (3 digit names go with Maemo).
The recent N-series phones seem to have 2 digit names, but since I have never owned a Nokia phone, I may be wrong. Anyway, the name implies lineage with the NITs and I think that is proper.

cb474
2009-11-27, 06:10
@MountainX

I think I've already gone in this circle with several other people. I think the camera app on the N900 is incomplete to an extent that it feels rushed out the door on. You an others think this is too much to expect from a new platform.

It's obviously a subjective judgement. The camera app is incomplete on the N900, compared to other recent N series phones. That's a fact. In fact, from reviews I'm reading now that the phone is out, the camera app is more sparse than I had thought. So no amount of excuses will make features be there that aren't there. The question is just whether or not you think the incompleteness is acceptable. You and others do. I don't.

I understand that the N900 is a new device, as well as the Maemo 5 platform being new in many ways. And I understand the complexities of development. But I think Nokia is releasing the N900 as a consumer device and it will inevitably be compared to other devices that already exist, including preceding devices from Nokia. In the consumer marketplace this is an entirely fair comparison to make and that's a real problem for Nokia if it wants to sell the device and create a market for Maemo.

Not every device that is released has the same number of bugs and missing features. Some are done much better than others, upon release. So the fact that the Droid has a lot of bugs to me does not excuse the state of the N900 camera. People expect a certain level of quality from Nokia N series cameras and if Nokia doesn't think those expectations will carry over to the N900, they're just bizarrely naive for a company that's been in this business so long.

So I get that the development process is difficult and complex. But when you bring a device to market, none of that matters. People will judge the device as it actually is. I think, as far as the camera app goes, Nokia has released a device that does not live up to the N series.

cb474
2009-11-27, 06:32
Here's the page from GSMArena's review of the N900 that covers the camera:

http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_n900-review-421p7.php

They were basically disappointed with the camera. They noted right away that the camera application is "basic" and missing features. And they found the actual image quality to be "about average" for 5MP phone cameras, with "pretty high" image noise.

On the video application, in terms of basicness, they found it "took things to the extreme," even compared to the already basic camera application. And they felt the video capture was really flawed. They found the N900 was not able to sustain its specified framerate and produced choppy video.

In general, they found the N900 looks better on paper than in actual performance.

*

I'm providing this information and the link to the review, just because I thought people might be interested (view the video sample and images, make your own conclusion).

But to me this further confirms my feeling that the N900 camera function was rushed out the door and/or not a priority. If I accept MountainX's argument that it's better to keep it simple and add features later, then Nokia ought to at least have focused on having the images and video created be high quality. But they even fall short here, compared to other devices currently on the market from Nokia themselves.

Also, the GSMArena review I think further confirms that from the perspective of the consumer marketplace (to which the N900 is geared) the camera is going to be viewed as incomplete and disappointing. The GSMArena review actually gives Nokia a lot of slack in other areas, acknowledge that the big Linux developer community will probably fill in the blanks and fix things later. And GSMArena's review overall is very positive and excited about the N900. But on the camera they seem to just think it falls short.

cb474
2009-11-27, 06:53
Here are the direct links to the video samples from GSMArena for the N900 and N86 (the N86 has been seen by some as having one of, if not the, best video capture on a phone). Both videos are shot in the same location, although not at the same time. The sample files have the same name, so you'll have to change one name if you download them.

N900: http://pic.gsmarena.com/vv/reviewsimg/nokia-n900/camera/new/gsmarena_v001.mp4

N86: http://pic.gsmarena.com/vv/reviewsimg/nokia-n86-8mp-preview/camera/gsmarena_v001.mp4

It's really too bad about the sudden jumps and chops in the N900 video. Because the higher resolution of the N900, over the N86, is nice, I think. And the more subdued colors on the N900 I like better too. Too many cameras seem to be oriented toward a taste for oversaturated colors. There is something a little fuzzy about the N900 video though, perhaps that's the compression.

Here's hoping the video capture gets fixed in firmware. That sort of "maybe in the future" position is not very inspiring for me, though, when I think of whether or not I want to buy this device. It's okay for other things, for me, but not the camera.

jessi3k3
2009-11-27, 07:15
Im also concerned about the N900's camera quality (More on the video side) so I made this thread.

http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=35071

Do you guys think it might be a hardware issue (hardware too constrained) or simply a software/firmware issue (needs a better camera app)?

ragnar
2009-11-27, 07:37
They were basically disappointed with the camera. They noted right away that the camera application is "basic" and missing features. And they found the actual image quality to be "about average" for 5MP phone cameras, with "pretty high" image noise.
--
But to me this further confirms my feeling that the N900 camera function was rushed out the door and/or not a priority. If I accept MountainX's argument that it's better to keep it simple and add features later, then Nokia ought to at least have focused on having the images and video created be high quality. But they even fall short here, compared to other devices currently on the market from Nokia themselves.


Well, the simplest way is just to just look at the N900 photo stream in Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1184299@N24/pool/

81 members, so it's a really wide selection of photos from people taken with the N900, under different times and locations.

attila77
2009-11-27, 09:14
I wonder if all those reviewers are going to re-review the N900 in, say, a year, when new SSU-s, community fixes and brand new imaging oriented applications will be available ? They (and, well, most reviewers) reviewed it as they would a 'classic' phone, as a what-you-get-shipped-is-what-you're-stuck-with, and that's a paradigm the N900 does not fit.

cb474
2009-11-28, 01:36
Well, the simplest way is just to just look at the N900 photo stream in Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1184299@N24/pool/

81 members, so it's a really wide selection of photos from people taken with the N900, under different times and locations.

Thanks for the link. It's interesting to see those photos. But it's not a very meaningful way to compare the N900 to other phone cameras, in particular to the N86, which I'm also interested in. Also, those photos are all very small size, which tends to make images from any camera look good. So I find it hard to judge much from those images.

I wonder if all those reviewers are going to re-review the N900 in, say, a year, when new SSU-s, community fixes and brand new imaging oriented applications will be available ? They (and, well, most reviewers) reviewed it as they would a 'classic' phone, as a what-you-get-shipped-is-what-you're-stuck-with, and that's a paradigm the N900 does not fit.

It's true that many reviewers don't tend to come back and re-review a camera after the firmware has been upgraded. I find that annoying. GSMArena is guilty of this. Although All About Symbian tends to be better (they have an All About Maemo site now).

It's not true though that the N900 is in some special category. At least with the high end N series phones and other high end phones, they are not "what-you-get-shipped-is-what-you're-stuck-with." They often have firware upgrades that significantly effect the quality of the images, as well as the features in the camera application. The N86 has already seen updates improving image quality and adding specialized auto-focus features. Perhaps the N900 will see more radical changes, possibilities, and application alternatives come along for the camera. Although that's a big if, since this is uncharted terroritory for development on a phone. But many phone cameras suffer from being reviewed when they first ship and then not getting their reviews updated when the cameras are later improved in firmware. So I don't see that the N900 is especially in a different "paradigm" here with respect to how the reviews treat it.

cb474
2009-11-28, 03:47
Im also concerned about the N900's camera quality (More on the video side) so I made this thread.

http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=35071

Do you guys think it might be a hardware issue (hardware too constrained) or simply a software/firmware issue (needs a better camera app)?

Thanks for the link. It looks like, in that thread, both reviews and forum users who have the N900 are really saying the video recording is subpar. Everyone is seeing the issues with frames being dropped and therefore choppy video.

cb474
2009-11-28, 04:52
Here's the page from the Phonearena review that covers the N900 camera:

http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/Nokia-N900-Review-review-r_2318-p_4.html

They generally like the camera application, although they also note there are some missing features. Mostly they focus on the application being well adapted for use with the touch screen.

But they were even more negative than GSMArena about the images. The described the still images as "mediocre."

There is nothing about the images that will impress you and their quality is mediocre. The colors are real, but appear rather thin. The situation with the image details is, however, much worse and the excessive sharpness does away with them almost entirely. Things get worse with snapshots taken in artificial lighting conditions, although worse overall quality in this case can be expected.

The video application they also find to be very sparse, noting like GSMArena that there are almost no options. The video quality itself they say is "nothing to write home about." And they also experience the problem of choppy video, with "clearly visible hang-ups every several seconds."

Phonearena concludes saying:

We arenít pleased at the performance of the camera of the Nokia N900 at all.

Now note that this review is otherwise extremeley positive and excited about the N900, from beginning to end. They have almost nothing else critical to say. They're even positive about some things that GSMArena was more lukewarm about (like the contacts applicaiton). Their only other substantive complaint was about what they felt to be a lackluster calendar application. But they conclude by calling the N900 an "exceptional device."

So the criticism of the camera and video applications and performance stands out as a particularly dark note in an otherwise pretty positive review. This is very similar to GSMArena.

So I don't know. This makes me hesitate more about the N900's camera. And certainly further solidifies my impression that the camera application was really ignored and rushed out the door, compared to the development put into much of the rest of the device. It seems like the N900's camera is no substitute for the N97 or N95, to say nothing of the N86. So if you want the N900 for other reasons (myself included) it just means taking a step down with the camera application. Yes, maybe in a year, as attilla77 suggests, the bugs will be fixed, the image quality improved, and third party better imaging applications will be available. But by that time Maemo 6 will be out, there will be more Maemo phone devices, Nokia may have improved their own camera application, and who know what else will be available. It just doesn't seem like much of a recommendation for the N900 right now, from the perspective of the camera application.

qole
2009-11-28, 06:46
Also, those photos are all very small size, which tends to make images from any camera look good. So I find it hard to judge much from those images.

What's "very small size" mean? You do understand how to use Flickr, right? you can click on a photo to go to its photo page, and then click on "all sizes" to see a larger version... Many of the people there are "pro" users, so you can click on "Original Size" on the "all sizes" page and see full resolution.

(EDIT: here's an example (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdamt/4135608834/sizes/o))

(EDIT: here's another example (http://bighugelabs.com/onblack.php?id=4116181695&size=large), in 3.5 MP mode. Note my choice of low light pictures; they're going to show the most noise)

And cb474, just so you know, you've made your point now. Really.

attila77
2009-11-28, 12:40
Yes, maybe in a year, as attilla77 suggests, the bugs will be fixed, the image quality improved, and third party better imaging applications will be available. But by that time Maemo 6 will be out, there will be more Maemo phone devices, Nokia may have improved their own camera application, and who know what else will be available.

The one year period was just a made up interval. It might very well be that the next SSU, which should come out it less than a month includes some of these improvements. As for Maemo 6, it's a radical departure from Maemo 5 - there is no guarantee that the rewritten version of the M6 camera app will be any more feature complete than the current one.

Another point - inspired by the results of Moon photos, I took a glimpse at the insides of camera-related stuff. Guys, there are really cool things down there. And for some of that, you don't have to go that deep - take a look at /etc/gdigicam/gdigicam-camerabin.conf - does that wet your hacker lips or what ? :)

And if you're really hardcore (gdigicam/camerabin level of hardcore), I won't say you can obtain DSLR level control of things, but WAY more is possible than what the 'stock' camera app exposes. Stay tuned.

cb474
2009-11-28, 19:43
What's "very small size" mean? You do understand how to use Flickr, right? you can click on a photo to go to its photo page, and then click on "all sizes" to see a larger version... Many of the people there are "pro" users, so you can click on "Original Size" on the "all sizes" page and see full resolution.)

I don't really use flickr much. Where is the link to the all sizes page? I don't see that. Do you have to be logged in to get that? I don't have a flickr account, since I don't use it.

And cb474, just so you know, you've made your point now. Really.

Thanks for the obnoxious snarky remark. 1) I started this thread, to discuss the relative merits of the N900 vs. the N86. 2) I made a point about the N900 camera applications seem rushed out the door. 3) I was done with that point a long time ago. 4) But people keep picking up my comments and coming up with a response to what I said about how I don't understand Linux or the development process, etc., and so somehow my criticism of the current state of the N900 camera is unjustified. People also seem like they just can't stand anything negative being said about the N900 (a device which I've repeatedly pointed out that I'm very interested it). 5) So I think it's perfectly legitimate for me to respond to those sometimes rather dismissive critiques of my claim. I have not made my point any more than people have kept responding to it and repeated the other side. Why aren't you directing your snarky remarks at those people as well? I assume because you agree with them and not with me. If you have nothing to add or don't care about the discussion, why don't you just ignore it?

cb474
2009-11-28, 19:57
The one year period was just a made up interval. It might very well be that the next SSU, which should come out it less than a month includes some of these improvements. As for Maemo 6, it's a radical departure from Maemo 5 - there is no guarantee that the rewritten version of the M6 camera app will be any more feature complete than the current one.

Okay, well you used the one year period, so I was just responding to your claim. Now you're changing your claim. It's true that maybe there will be a bunch of improvements in a month. But I still think the whole idea of defending the demonstrably bad state of the current camera application and the images/video it produces, based on what might come to pass in one month or one year, is not a good reason to buy the device now if the camera is important to you. I'm probably going to wait and see.

But of course, if it does take a year and not a month, then the N900 will have the problem of competing with whatever the new devices are available then. To me it's just a a bit of apples and oranges. It makes sense to compare devices to other currently existing devices and not to future possibilities.

Also it's true that Maemo 6 will be a whole new thing, but I find it really hard to imagine Nokia won't improve the camera app themselves in the intervening year. They have to see that it's not even up to their own standards with other N series camera phones. Why would they just let in languish?

Another point - inspired by the results of Moon photos, I took a glimpse at the insides of camera-related stuff. Guys, there are really cool things down there. And for some of that, you don't have to go that deep - take a look at /etc/gdigicam/gdigicam-camerabin.conf - does that wet your hacker lips or what ? :)

And if you're really hardcore (gdigicam/camerabin level of hardcore), I won't say you can obtain DSLR level control of things, but WAY more is possible than what the 'stock' camera app exposes. Stay tuned.

Can you post the contents of the gdigicam-camerabin.conf file? For those of us who don't have the N900 currently. What options are in it? Thanks for pointing that out. It is cool to know there's more there. And I really do look forward to seeing what might be done with this. I don't really want to have to hack the phone myself though just to achieve results already available in other phone cameras. That's great for some people. Not very realistic for the consumer marketplace.

abbra
2009-11-28, 20:55
Can you post the contents of the gdigicam-camerabin.conf file? For those of us who don't have the N900 currently. What options are in it? Thanks for pointing that out. It is cool to know there's more there. And I really do look forward to seeing what might be done with this. I don't really want to have to hack the phone myself though just to achieve results already available in other phone cameras. That's great for some people. Not very realistic for the consumer marketplace.

gdigicam-camerabin.conf allows you to configure what specific GStreamers elements are used when configuring video and still image pipelines. While this is useful for hardcore people, currently users will find nothing useful there. The way camera is configured indeed opens a lot of possiblities for third-party extensions but do not try to be entusiastic right now as end user.

qole
2009-11-28, 23:59
Thanks for the obnoxious snarky remark...


You're more than welcome! I have lots more where that came from! :D

Why aren't you directing your snarky remarks at those people as well? I assume because you agree with them and not with me.

It's not so much about agreement, but about the amount of content in various posts.

If you have nothing to add or don't care about the discussion, why don't you just ignore it?

There's some really interesting stuff being written in this thread. I was suggesting, in my obnoxious, snarky way, that I prefer technical discussions and comparisons over opinions, speculation and impressions.

cb474
2009-11-29, 01:30
It's not so much about agreement, but about the amount of content in various posts.

Yes and my point was that the people disagreeing with me have posted just as much content in their posts, but you have no snarky words for them. So I think you're disengenuous complaining about my posts and not others. As I said, it seems like you just don't agree with me, so you reserve your snarky comments for me.

There's some really interesting stuff being written in this thread. I was suggesting, in my obnoxious, snarky way, that I prefer technical discussions and comparisons over opinions, speculation and impressions.

Yeah, and I've been posting links to reviews of the camera and summarizing what they're saying, as well as citing links to the specifications for the N900, to back up my point of view about the current state of the camera and camera application on the N900. And other people have just been speculating about what might come to pass with updates and third party applications in the future. Or providing completely general posts about nature of development in the Linux world or how complicated it is to make a device like the N900 or the nature of first version firmware (things that could be said about almost any device). So again, your post seems disengenuous. I've been providing actual information and specifications about the N900 itself, but you see the other completely speculative posts about the future and general comments about Linux as somehow more substantive and on topic. Honestly I think I've been sticking far closer to the topic of the N900 camera application, it's actual state as it actually is, and how it compares to other Nokia N series devices (which is after all the topic of this thread, which I started).

attila77
2009-11-29, 01:37
Obivously, no end user should ever touch config files or mess with other low level things. It will turn up in Extras when/if improvements are ready. Let me repeat, touch this and you can hose your camera functionality. You have been warned. Now, for people still with me, let's see what we've got:


[videosrc]
element=v4l2camsrc

[imageenc]
element=jpegenc
quality=95

[videoenc]
element=dspmp4venc
#element=omx_mpeg4enc

[videomux]
element=hantromp4mux

[audiosrc]
element=pulsesrc

[audioenc]
element=nokiaaacenc
bitrate=128000
width=16
depth=16
rate=48000
channels=1

[imagepp]
#element=ipp

[vfsink]
element=xvimagesink
colorkey=16


Okay, now, several interesting things here - the ability to replace gst elements, as pointed out, or to influence their parameters, like jpeg and audio quality (gitorious suggests newer firmwares using dsp for jpeg encoding), etc. I'm unsure how imagepp (postprocessing) is being used, hopefully more info will surface.

One low hanging fruit for interested hackers is probably the 'vfsink' - replacing that with custom elements would allow for more HUD style action, like showing an accelerometer based horizon, etc.

qole
2009-11-30, 00:16
I think it's funny how you think my comment was obnoxious, snarky, etc.

I had my phasers set to "tickle".

But since you've been insulting to me, other posters in this thread, and the Maemo developers (whom you have repeadly accused of "rushing the camera app out the door")...

This would more of a snarky comment:

I don't really use flickr much. Where is the link to the all sizes page? I don't see that.

I understand how all those tubes on teh Internets can be confusing to some. Perhaps you should practice a bit using some of these "web apps" before asking how to use things like Flickr.

Have you tried this web site (http://funschool.kaboose.com/preschool/index.html)? It has lots of buttons and things; you can practice finding and pressing buttons and links there before moving on to Big Complicated Things like Flickr.



Wow that felt good. I haven't let myself be really snarky in a while. :D

cb474
2009-11-30, 20:03
New Note 14

I think it's funny how you think my comment was obnoxious, snarky, etc.

I had my phasers set to "tickle".

But since you've been insulting to me, other posters in this thread, and the Maemo developers (whom you have repeadly accused of "rushing the camera app out the door")...

This would more of a snarky comment:

I don't really use flickr much. Where is the link to the all sizes page? I don't see that.


I understand how all those tubes on teh Internets can be confusing to some. Perhaps you should practice a bit using some of these "web apps" before asking how to use things like Flickr.

Have you tried this web site (http://funschool.kaboose.com/preschool/index.html)? It has lots of buttons and things; you can practice finding and pressing buttons and links there before moving on to Big Complicated Things like Flickr.



Wow that felt good. I haven't let myself be really snarky in a while. :D

It's a little bit beyond me how asking for help with Flickr, because I don't see the link for different size images is a snarky comment. I honestly don't see the link. And it's telling that you use my honest request for help as another excuse to attack me, which seems to have been the only goal of your posts since you started commenting on my posts. You've had nothing substantive to say in response to my view of the N900 camera app, all you're doing is attacking me personally.

I also don't see how criticizing the camera app in the N900 is "insulting" the Maemo developers. People have opinions in this forum about the N900, positive and negative. Are they only allowed to say positive things? Is this only a forum for fanboys? Are all critical comments of the N900 somehow tantamount to a personal insult to the developers? That makes no sense to me.

I also absolutely reject your false claim that I have insulted anyone posting in this thread. I have disagreed with people about the topic at hand vigorously, but I have never directed a comment personally toward any poster (such as you are doing toward my posts). Saying that I've insulted anyone is just slandering me and part of the apparent goal of your posts to personally attack me. All this just because you seem to have gotten tired of what I was saying about the N900 camera app (in a thread that I started).

It's astonishing to me that you're a moderator in this forum. All you've done is attack my posts and me personally. This is what moderators do? If you have something to say about the topic in this thread say it. Or start your own thread on the N900 camera app, if you don't like the direction this one has taken. Otherwise, I don't need to be attacked.

jessi3k3
2009-11-30, 20:10
Hmm, is it just me or does this video make anyone else cringe?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZKPTXsKO8c

cb474
2009-11-30, 20:15
Yeah, the juddering, choppy video, which I guess comes from frames dropping, seems to be a consistent problem in all the samples I've seen. I feel like the higher resolution on the video is nice. But there's something a bit soft and fuzzy about the way it's being compressed also. I guess this is one of those things one can only hope gets fixed in updates.

qole
2009-11-30, 20:34
I also don't see how criticizing the camera app in the N900 is "insulting" the Maemo developers. <snip insults to this forum> Are all critical comments of the N900 somehow tantamount to a personal insult to the developers? That makes no sense to me.

It is one thing to say that the camera app is lacking in features, or executes some of the features it has poorly. (I would actually agree with you if you just said that. Once. Or twice. Probably even if you said it three times.) It is another thing to repeatedly say that you feel that the developers rushed it out the door. You are no longer commenting on the application, you are commenting on the developers. See the difference?

I also absolutely reject your false claim that I have insulted anyone posting in this thread.

Ok. That was an emotional, exaggerated overgeneralisation on my part.

See? I can admit when I do it.

All this just because you seem to have gotten tired of what I was saying about the N900 camera app (in a thread that I started).

Thank you for starting this thread! But you don't own it. That's not how forums work.

I don't need to be attacked.

Agreed. And as much as I like arguing with people on the Internet, I'll stop this offtopic bantering now. I'm not even sure why I snapped in this particular thread in this particular case. I should have gotten all snarky in one of those ten-billion-post "did your N900 ship yet" threads, to get lost in the steaming pile.

cb474
2009-11-30, 22:44
It is one thing to say that the camera app is lacking in features, or executes some of the features it has poorly. (I would actually agree with you if you just said that. Once. Or twice. Probably even if you said it three times.) It is another thing to repeatedly say that you feel that the developers rushed it out the door. You are no longer commenting on the application, you are commenting on the developers. See the difference?.

I was commenting on the impression that the state of the camera application, upon release, makes. It seems perfectly plausible that a device might be rushed to release. We all have seen, I assume, devices that are more and less polished upon release. I think the impression the state of the device's applications make upon release is a legitimate thing to comment on. That's a comment on the device, not on any person.

Also, what I repeatedly said was that the device seems rushed out the door, as far as the camera applications goes. I never referred to the developers specifically. So for all I know some developer somewhere was objecting to that state of things, but Nokia at the end of the day made a decision to go ahead for business or marketing reasons. Obviously the buck stops with Nokia and they are ultimately responsible for all the decisions made that lead to the release of the device, as well as for the state of the device upon release. So it's putting words in my mouth to say that I made any claim whatsoever about the developers. I never referred to the developers once or used the word "developer," when remarking that the camera application seems rushed out the door. In the exactly three places where I did use the word "developer," I was saying positive or neutral things about the developer community.

That said, I apologize if any developer responsible for the camera application felt insulted. It was not my intention. Please take a look at my posts themselves and not the ways they are misrepresented in responses to my posts.

christexaport
2009-12-01, 06:02
someone call the cops. two little kids are running loose...

qole
2009-12-01, 06:28
He started it!



Well actually I guess I did.



It wasn't my fault, however. Satan made me do it.

cb474
2009-12-01, 19:01
someone call the cops. two little kids are running loose...

Why are there so many wiseass posts in this forum? I'm tired of being insulted. Chris, you usually post very thoughtful comments, this doesn't seem like you. All I did was defend myself against being personally attacked and having completely false claims made about my posts for the purpose of making them look bad.

He started it!



Well actually I guess I did.

Yes, you did start it, by attacking, misrepresenting, and maligning my posts for whatever reason I don't know.

christexaport
2009-12-01, 20:01
I just want you two to stop baiting each other. its ok to be wrong and to disagree. I like you both, and we're more useful to the community when helping others, not arguing

cb474
2009-12-01, 20:21
I just want you two to stop baiting each other. its ok to be wrong and to disagree. I like you both, and we're more useful to the community when helping others, not arguing

I appreciate that sentiment. But from my perspective we weren't just in some heated internet debate, with two equal sides. My posts were being completely misrepresented. Completely false claims were being made that I said things, which I in fact did not say at all. And these false claims about my posts were being made for the purpose of personally attacking me, not just as part of a disagreement about some topic having to do with the N900. I think if you were in my position you would have taken offense also.

So I really reject the idea that we were both doing the same thing. I was defending myself and pointing out what my posts actually said. Whereas the other poster was making false claims about things I said and personally attacking me. I don't accept that what was happening was just a disagreement, with two equal sides.

daperl
2009-12-01, 20:33
Yes, you did start it, by attacking, misrepresenting, and maligning my posts for whatever reason I don't know.

Okay, I'll tell you why, because I was thinking the same thing, and then BOOM!, qole posted my thoughts. You were generating too much noise in the middle of some interesting stuff. You were giving me a bigger headache than those n900 videos. Are you satisfied? It wasn't just qole; he didn't randomly choose you, he just drew the shortest straw. Now please, let's move on.

cb474
2009-12-01, 20:45
Okay, I'll tell you why, because I was thinking the same thing, and then BOOM!, qole posted my thoughts. You were generating too much noise in the middle of some interesting stuff. You were giving me a bigger headache than those n900 videos. Are you satisfied? It wasn't just qole; he didn't randomly choose you, he just drew the shortest straw. Now please, let's move on.

If you really want to move on, you could try not continuing the personal attacks that have already happened. If you're tired of the thread or my posts, you could just ignore them. Anyway, I can only repeat my initial response to qole, because you're doing the same thing he did

1) I started this thread, to discuss the relative merits of the N900 vs. the N86. 2) I made a point about the N900 camera applications seem rushed out the door. 3) I was done with that point a long time ago. 4) But people keep picking up my comments and coming up with a response to what I said about how I don't understand Linux or the development process, etc., and so somehow my criticism of the current state of the N900 camera is unjustified. People also seem like they just can't stand anything negative being said about the N900 (a device which I've repeatedly pointed out that I'm very interested it). 5) So I think it's perfectly legitimate for me to respond to those sometimes rather dismissive critiques of my claim. I have not made my point any more than people have kept responding to it and repeating the other side. Why aren't you directing your snarky remarks at those people as well? I assume because you agree with them and not with me. If you have nothing to add or don't care about the discussion, why don't you just ignore it?

daperl
2009-12-01, 21:17
If you have nothing to add or don't care about the discussion, why don't you just ignore it?

I cared about the discussion, as did others. That's why some of us wanted you to back away from the keyboard. I do it all the time. Here, let's try it together. On three. One, two, three...

qole
2009-12-01, 21:40
So anyhoo.

Are there any other sample videos from the N86 for me to look at, other than the digital zoom example one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDbzQWJP1RQ&hd=1&hq=1) posted earlier?

I'm just wondering... The N900's video recording seems, to my untrained eye, to have actually gotten worse from the early firmware I first tried at the beginning of September. It has always struggled on scenes with complex motion, like sunlight in water, but in the Summit firmware, it started to struggle even with basic panning.

I thought I noticed a small bit of struggle with the N86's video on the train driving away and the panning... Nothing like the N900's difficulties, but still, noticeable to me.

So, any other N86 videos to compare?

cb474
2009-12-01, 21:40
I cared about the discussion, as did others. That's why some of us wanted you to back away from the keyboard. I do it all the time. Here, let's try it together. On three. One, two, three...

Well, again then I don't know why you are singling me out. As I've pointed out several times now, the discussion you're complaining about involved me and a couple of other posters. It was the other posters, for much of the debate, that kept bringing it back up. And their points weren't even about the N900 per se, but just general comments about Linux and the development process. So I think it's disengenous to single me out and ingore all the other parties that were engaged in the discussion. It seems like your reasons have to be other than what you're stating. Either because you disagreed with me or because you were tired of the discussion.

But, you know, I don't really see it as helpful, generous, in the spirit of the community, or appropriate for posters to take it upon themselves to police the discussion, because they don't like the direction it has taken. Earlier in this thread, there was a long digression and heated debate that I was not part of about pixel density on sensors and now to calculate it (or something like that, I don't remember exactly), which I wasn't really interested in and seemed off topic, so I just stayed out of it and let the other posters settle the debate between themselves. That to me seems appropriate. Let other people have the discussions that they want to have.

And at least that debate was about a topic having something to do with technical issues and tangentially related to the N900. Not just completely off topic personal attacks and attempts to be the police of the discussion. The most extended, most off topic dicussion in this thread was initiated by a personal attack on me and now extended in this vein by yourself, all the while claiming it's because you want the discussion to be of some sort of higher quality. It seems really disengenuous to me in the extreme. I think the snarky remarks and self-appointed attempts to police other members brings the whole tone of the forum down.

cb474
2009-12-01, 21:53
So anyhoo.

Are there any other sample videos from the N86 for me to look at, other than the digital zoom example one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDbzQWJP1RQ&hd=1&hq=1) posted earlier?

I'm just wondering... The N900's video recording seems, to my untrained eye, to have actually gotten worse from the early firmware I first tried at the beginning of September. It has always struggled on scenes with complex motion, like sunlight in water, but in the Summit firmware, it started to struggle even with basic panning.

I thought I noticed a small bit of struggle with the N86's video on the train driving away and the panning... Nothing like the N900's difficulties, but still, noticeable to me.

So, any other N86 videos to compare?

There's this video with the N86, from GSMArena:

http://pic.gsmarena.com/vv/reviewsimg/nokia-n86-8mp-preview/camera/gsmarena_v001.mp4

And these videos from All About Symbian:

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/images/n86/n86video.mp4
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/images/n86/n86night.mp4

And it looks like more can be found searching around on Youtube.

ZackMorris
2009-12-01, 22:07
Kind of an unrelated note, but somewhat relavent. I owned the N86, prior to that the N82, and though the N86 is a much better camera, the daytime shots are amazing comparing to any other camera phone out there, the one thing that ultimately made me sell it and use the money for a N900, is the fact that most of my pictures are taken a night in a bar, club, etc...environments where the flash is going to go off. The Xenon flash of the N82 cannot be beat almost no motion blur, there is always going to be motion blur with Dual LED flash. I experienced this with the N86 and ultimately was one of the main reasons I decided to sell it. If I'm going to get motion blur with my night shots might as well have the best pocket computer take the shots too. I adore my N810, no way am I going to sell my N82 its great for taking out on those party nights and waking up with a bunch of great shots you don't remember taking, and for regular use I'm just waiting for my N900 to come in. All in all the N86 is a great camera phone, but if you're going to be taking night shots with alot of motion going on, always be a bit leary of Dual LED flash. That being said as well, I cannot wait for the video capability of the N900.

christexaport
2009-12-04, 18:59
I'm a bit disappointed that video light isn't implemented yet, and Nokia continues to ignore requests for a xenon and LED flash. Both have their plusses.

aioni
2009-12-07, 16:55
Does anybody know what happen to "sequence mode" and "self timer"? They are missing on N900 but mentioned on several spec list like http://www.forum.nokia.com/devices/N900/
Are either one coming to the camera application in some software update? I really could use them both..

christexaport
2009-12-07, 20:35
don't confuse Symbian development with Maemo. Symbian had a five year fead start, so its features are farther ahead.

cb474
2009-12-08, 01:07
Isn't aioni pointing out that in the specifications for the N900 on the developer forum it says the camera application has sequence mode and a self-timer, when actually it doesn't? What does that have to do with Symbian? That's just pointing out a discrepency in the specs Nokia published for the N900.

Anyway, aioni, the relative lack of features in the N900 camera application has been discussed above in this thread. Reviews (linked to above in this thread) have mentioned the lack of self-timer and sequence mode (as well as other features being missing), although I hadn't notice the discrepency with the listed specs for the N900 and the actual specs as it ships. Thanks for pointing that out. It's a bit odd. Hopefully the discrepancy means Nokia plans to add this features soon and just wasn't able to get around to it before shipping the N900 (that's my general impression of the camera application--that it just didn't get done before shipping). In contrast to me, most people who've been posting in this thread feel pretty positive that the Maemo developers will improve the camera application in the future. I'm sure at least some improvements will come. But when is anybody's guess. At least, no developers have chimed into this thread to explain what's going on and what the timeline is.

christexaport
2009-12-08, 10:10
You're right, cb474. Sorry, aioni. I'm just used to the forum Nokia site having specs wrong. Like saying the N96 had a separate dedicated graphics accelerator, when it didn't. I see your point. Just know that they're known for notoriously printing wrong info on that site.

cb474
2009-12-08, 11:11
That's funny. I've had the opposite experience. The regular Nokia website has errors, but the developer's forum has been accurate. I guess neither is reliable.

christexaport
2009-12-08, 11:25
They're all liars right now, since I'm still waiting after 3 months for my Amazon order...

aioni
2009-12-08, 16:41
OK.. thanks everybody..
Spec list maybe written long before actual device and forgotten then..
I cross my fingers that those features are coming someday.

born2wonder
2009-12-11, 05:47
This thread inspires an addition to the "READ THIS before posting a new thread " at
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=27900

It should mention using the Enter button when posting long posts; that is if the poster wants anyone to bother reading them.

PS: cb474, did you figure out than you can click on the thumbnails to view the pictures on Flickr :confused:

christexaport
2009-12-11, 20:03
What do you mean using the Enter button for long posts?

born2wonder
2009-12-11, 20:19
What do you mean using the Enter button for long posts?

Enter key = Return key

As you obviously know, the enter key is used to end a paragraph and start a new one. A well formatted post or reply will increase the chance of the poster getting helped.

At least that's what I think.

Shaq

MrWh1t3
2009-12-13, 02:37
don't confuse Symbian development with Maemo. Symbian had a five year fead start, so its features are farther ahead.

And yet still behind. Go Maemo!

cb474
2009-12-13, 02:38
This thread inspires an addition to the "READ THIS before posting a new thread " at
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=27900

It should mention using the Enter button when posting long posts; that is if the poster wants anyone to bother reading them.

PS: cb474, did you figure out than you can click on the thumbnails to view the pictures on Flickr :confused:

Enter key = Return key

As you obviously know, the enter key is used to end a paragraph and start a new one. A well formatted post or reply will increase the chance of the poster getting helped.

At least that's what I think.

Shaq

I'm sorry you have trouble reading paragraphs with more than one sentence in them and thoughts that are complex in any way.

You're also totally misunderstanding the problem I was having with flicker, which had nothing to do with thumbnails.

Your post is just one more irrelevant potshot from the peanut gallery (ironically under the guise that you somehow have a better grasp of forum etiquette and propriety).

If you don' t like the thread ignore it.

born2wonder
2009-12-13, 08:57
I'm sorry you have trouble reading paragraphs with more than one sentence in them and thoughts that are complex in any way.

You're also totally misunderstanding the problem I was having with flicker, which had nothing to do with thumbnails.

Your post is just one more irrelevant potshot from the peanut gallery (ironically under the guise that you somehow have a better grasp of forum etiquette and propriety).

If you don' t like the thread ignore it.

I am going to ignore it now since you took my advice and finally started using the Enter key :p

I, obviously, can read and understand your (repetitive) paragraphs. In my experience though, a well formatted post will have a better and more helpful response.

I am just trying to save you frustration in the future. You heard my advice but you can do what you want.

Welcome to t.m.o.

Shaq

cb474
2009-12-13, 10:43
I am going to ignore it now since you took my advice and finally started using the Enter key :p

I, obviously, can read and understand your (repetitive) paragraphs. In my experience though, a well formatted post will have a better and more helpful response.

I am just trying to save you frustration in the future. You heard my advice but you can do what you want.

Welcome to t.m.o.

Shaq

Well obviously we disagree about what a "well formatted" post is, as well as what a paragraph is. You apparently think a paragraph is made up only of one or maybe two sentences. And you apparently also think a well formatted post is just a string of single sentence paragraphs, like bullet points. I personally think that simply reflects writing (and thinking) that is extremely simplistic and has no organization other than a series of loosely connected thoughts, in no particular order.

I was actually being sarcastic in my last post, when I wrote the way you do with single sentence paragraphs. Apparently however writing the way you suggest did not help you understand my post any better. You don't even seem to understand the nature of the disagreement I had with other posters above, which makes your unsolicited advice completely irrelevant and condescending.

In any case, I don't really need suggestions from the self-appointed grammar police. And I continue to be astonished by the number of posters here who love to jump in and tell other people what they should and should not say or do. It's very obnoxious. If a thread doesn't interest me or I don't like the posts in it, I ignore it. I don't arrogantly leap into a thread that I have not been part of at all just to tell other people how to write.

spinnukur
2009-12-14, 03:35
Is their a shortcut for camera timer, cause sometimes taking a pic with myself in it, would be nice.

cb474
2009-12-14, 11:25
Do you mean in the N900 or the N86? I believe the N900 currently lacks a self-timer feature. This has been discussed above.

christexaport
2009-12-17, 00:09
ideally, the N900 cam app grows up to become the N86 cam app plus smile recognition and touch focus. Nokia hasn't let on if it will, but the once hallowed Nseries label and Carl Zeiss optics scream for it.