Home > 3rd edition, Nokia, Nseries, S60, Video > Video: The Nokia N86 has ‘real’/usable digital zoom!

Video: The Nokia N86 has ‘real’/usable digital zoom!

Digital zoom – probably the first thing you ever hear when you first start using any sort of digital camera is NOT to use it. Take the photo/video and crop it when you get the file to your computer.

Now this is still true for photos. The only thing the digital zoom is good at is readjusting the light within your zoomed window, i.e. if you zoom in on a bright light, the camera adjusts so instead of being a wash of light, you can make out some detail.

Other than that though, especially in video, you shouldn’t really bother at all with digital zoom as you just loose out on detail. (If you just want to quickly upload/share something – then go ahead and use the digital zoom)

Steve Litchfield shares an interesting find from the Nokia N86 (stumbling upon this gem from here) – it has somewhat of a usable digital zoom. Instead of being limited to expanding VGA pixels, resulting in horrendously blurry videos, the N86 apparently uses the whole sensor which maintains more of the details within the VGA video when you use the digital zoom.

It’s no optical zoom – but it’s a really good start. I’d like to see comparisons with an N93 to see how well this new digital zoom compares to Nokia’s optical zoom. On the flip side of this exciting discovery, James Burland’s comment points out yet another Nokia flaw. Apple would have this feature in your face right about now.

This video makes me extremely depressed. If Nokia could not see a way to market this feature, or even just tell bloggers about it then there is something serious amiss with their marketing department.

What a wonderful feature! A killer feature in fact. Nokia you need to make some noise about this. Seriously.

Usable digital zoom aside, there’s something obscenely annoying about the video and that’s the jerkiness of the zoom.

Other rooms for improvement include autofocus during video perhaps? Anyone remember when the N93i was shown to have autofocus during video but then it got removed? The barcode reader app had somewhat of continuous autofocusing…


  1. July 14, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I’d like to see some of the original zoomed footage. The Nseries video isn’t as clean as I’d like and the YouTube conversion process seems to make things a lot worse.

    Auto-focus in video mode (much like the iPhone 3GS) would be an excellent, and much overdue addition.

    For me, the thing to remember with this new digital zoom method is that like most zooming you would probably hardly ever be filming whilst actually zooming. Normally you would pause, reframe the subject using the tighter angle afforded by the zoom, and *then* resume filming.

    • Jay
      July 14, 2009 at 5:08 pm

      Yeah I guess you’re right there James – for clips you know are going to be edited later, setting the zoom first is the best option, and as you said, then continue filming.

      hmm – I seem to have posted the wrong video link there…

      It’s meant to be :

      but I’ve linked to a N93 video

  1. August 18, 2009 at 8:54 pm
  2. May 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

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