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Posts: 203 | Thanked: 68 times | Joined on Oct 2009
#1
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.
 
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#2
there is no way that the lens could be 28mm.

less megapixels could mean less noise if sensor is newer build.
 
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#3
Originally Posted by ossipena View Post
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.
 

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#4
Originally Posted by cb474 View Post
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
 
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#5
Originally Posted by ossipena View Post
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/revie...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.
 
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#6
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?
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#7
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.
 

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#8
Originally Posted by qole View Post
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)
 
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#9
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/pho...ney-with-n900/
 
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#10
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.
 

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