Home > Nokia, Nseries > Nokia N8’s incredible camera story part 2: All about the video (+ Digital Zoom tests, continuous autofocus coming soon?)

Nokia N8’s incredible camera story part 2: All about the video (+ Digital Zoom tests, continuous autofocus coming soon?)

scroll below for the originals. This has been edited and compressed.

Here’s part 2 of the Damien Dinning’s piece of the Nokia N8’s camera at Nokia Conversations. In part one, we saw the precision of still images, but now we’re covering video.

Unfortunately there’s no sample yet, but there is an interesting explanation behind the decisions of the N8’s video recording capabilities.

Key points:

  • In the case of Video Nokia are again combining the benefits of the large sensor and incredibly powerful graphics processing engine recording at 12mbps in H.264 (though apparently, the first original sample was at 20mbps?)
  • No compression artefacts during recording, even when panning
  • Handles audio from subtle bird song to loud rock concert
  • Twin mics, forward facing for direct sound, e.g. narration, rear mic for ambient sound – together bringing clear stereo
  • New algorithms to reduce wind noise
  • By using the full 4000×3000 sensor and dropping to 1280x720p, the digital zoom is virtually as good as optical zoom (as opposed to cams that start at 1280x720p and just enlarge those pixels)
  • Recommends that you use touch zoom rather than the zoom keys, and if possible, not to zoom in video at all.
  • Some camera tips (essential for ALL when taking video, such as panning slowly – so often we pan when recording video but the playback appears as a blur because what we see is too fast for the camera. Pan much slower than your eyes would at the same scene – I’ve experienced this even with dedicated camcorders) I reckon digizoom is OK if you just want to quickly upload something online/share a video, e.g. youtube/facebook/twitter and WON’T be editing before publishing. Another tip maybe to zoom in before hand before filming and edit these clips together.
  • N8 uses Active Hyper-focal Distance as opposed to initial autofocus or continuous autofocus. I don’t know, for me, I’d rather either of the latter two. But to preserve image quality, Nokia’s used fixed focus, so anything from 60cm and beyond is always in focus. I must admit, there are times I’ve missed a good video because I’ve focused wrong with the N900. Continuous autofocus might also drain battery as well as showing up those out of focus blurs.
  • This doesn’t seem to be the same as a fixed focus as Nokia says this is actively monitored
  • Nokia tried continuous autofocus in the beginning of development but was not happy with performance to warrant being in the product at the time of sale. But it may come in future firmware. Would be a nice option – for most, the hyperfocal thing would be enough.

Digital Zoom Test (Screenshot from the Video. This is NOT a photo)





via Nokia Conversations.

Categories: Nokia, Nseries Tags: , , , , ,
  1. July 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The zoom on the Nokia N8 is amazing. I didn’t know a cell phone can do that. Iam very impressed.

  2. John Wiegand-forson
    July 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    This phone is without doubt the best camera phone out there! aren’t Nokia spending a bit too much time on the camera rather than getting the experience right I mean do camera’s sell phones I don’t know I guess we will see

    • Andre
      July 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      They have separate teams working on EACH major aspect of the phone. I’m guessing there are the browser teams, imaging teams, Multimedia teams etc all doing their thing and hopefully a couple guys doing integration and optimisation of each major aspect of the phone

  3. July 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    How a about a marketing team. By the time this phone is released, hope people won’t be totally burned out hearing about it. The 4g, lte and other phones will be coming out. Another great phone that is lost in the HTC, Motorola, Samsung media blitz.

    • Andre
      July 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      There won’t be any proper 4G phones any time soon, first and foremost Voice over 4g isn’t finalized. The 4G footprint isn’t nearly large enough and current 4G antennae and modems seem to be killer on battery life. 2012 is when we might actually see decent development on that front.
      And no, Wimax is not 4G

  4. mrbean
    July 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    thanks Jay for summing that up,abt to have busy day and hottest day

  5. Andre
    July 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Just did a napkin calculation…. based on what Dinning is saying about the bitrate, the image quality per frame should be marginally higher than the image quality available on other smartphones.

    480 Kbits/f or thereabouts.

  6. Keith
    July 9, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Man these still looks amazing. N8’s is almost gonna replace my P&S. (Not fully coz mine has iso 3200, and continuous autofocus HD video). But if Nokia does enable continuous autofocus (or tap to focus would be a great idea too ), I might just be VERY VERY VERY pleased with Nokia. And from the tutorials, I could see quite a big improvement in S^3 user experience. So I’m expecting alot from this device!

    • Andre
      July 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      They’re looking into it, the problem with continuous autofocus is determining what to focus on and losing track of the subject of the video as well as an inability to determine focus in low light situations. Tap focus is a good idea though

  1. July 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

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