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Posts Tagged ‘Dual LED’

Video: Dual LED Flashlight for the N900

January 13, 2010 14 comments

Flashlights/Torches – never really around when you need one. Often, it’s too dark to go look for where you’ve put one. Maybe you don’t even have a torch.

With phone screens getting bigger and brighter, some people use their as torches. But they’re not really properly bright enough as torches!

On the bright side, many phones now have LEDs, dual LEDs even and for quite a long time you can use those in your Nokias as torches.

Continue reading…

Camera flash test: Nokia N86 vs Nokia N82 vs Nokia N97 vs Samsung i8910

August 11, 2009 4 comments

James Burland from Nokia Creative has been putting the N86 (from Steve Litchfield) under a few tests. In his latest post, he checks out extreme low light performance using the built in Dual LED flash (which Nokia claims is “70% more powerful than previous Dual LED solutions”), and compares it with:

  • the might Xenon of the N82
  • another Dual LED wielding N97
  • single LED of the Samsung i8910

cam

[testing how much light the respective flash puts out]

I had expected the N82 to win, and not surprisingly it did. What is surprising though is how close the N86 came using it’s latest generation dual LED and those improved optics. Imagine just how much better it could have been if it had Xenon? User reports on the N86 show that although it is very close to illuminating scenes like the N82, it cannot freeze shots like the N82 can.

Though the N86 isn’t the winner in terms of flash, it does have the undisputed title for best low light photos WITHOUT flash. As great as simply sticking Xenon would be to a generic 8MP camera, your low light image quality will suffer when you go beyond the distant limits of your flash. The N86 has superior optics to any of the previous Nseries line that gives it the upper hand in taking in all the available illumination of its surroundings. Even better is the wide angle lens that lets you get a lot more of the subject into the frame.

Via Nokia Creative

Other N86 camera tests include:

FD

[Wide Angle lens gets more of the scene into the frame.When the N82 doesn’t wash out the picture, the colours are much more vibrant, but otherwise, the N86 produces results that are more pleasing to the eye.]

On the subject of N82 Xenon Tests, here’s a post with the N82 versus N97.

Damien’s comments over at Nokia Conversations are really interesting to read. He points out (the official reason) why Nokia’s gone the Dual LED route and not xenon. Basically the issue seems to be space. Nokia wanted to create a good all rounder phone, with the best performance for the given space.N86’s dual LED illuminates a scene quite well, but also doubles up as being a usable video light.

Nokia apparently doesn’t just want to be ticking boxes. i.e. Xenon – check.

“There is a certain amount of space for a lighting solution in the product. For that space which provides the greatest amount of illumination? For the space available in a mobile device LED is now very close to xenon.

I have seen some xenon handsets (which will remain nameless) provide a ‘tick box’ solution. In other words, yes it says xenon on the box but the flash tube and capacitors are so small that the output is less than I have seen even from older generation dual LED solutions. So it’s the real performance that matters, not just what it says on the box,”

Hmm – so be weary. Just because a handset advertises Xenon, doesn’t mean it performs as well as you’d expect from a Xenon Flash. Same goes for advertising video light – it may be there but it might be so crap you can only film subjects 20 cm away.

“mobile device LED is now very close to xenon”. Close, but not close enough. The occasions where you actually do need flash, dual LED won’t cut it. Having decent implementation of Xenon would have given it the edge in being able to capture a photo in ALL situations.

As for the N86, I can sort of accept the reasoning of “space” as to why Nokia went the Dual LED route. It’s a compact, good all rounder, and Dual LED was the best lighting solution for the space available.

But I’m less understanding of why they didn’t include Xenon (or even this new breed of Dual LED) for their flagship that is the N97. The N97 was already a relatively large/thick phone. If the key aim is performance, any added size that would change its camera from being a wishy washy cameraphone to being a reliable all situation camera is definitely worth it.

It would have been an ideal combination – big 3.5″ – the “old 5MP” that didn’t have low light improvements of the N86 – it was screaming for Xenon. But Nokia chose to make compromises (and in the case of the N97 it was making the wrong cuts in terms of best possible performance…e.g. RAM)

hmmm.. Nokia Mantra  “We make so many devices…we’ll just put that in our next phone”. 😛

Future Devices: Xenon coming back to Nokia

Last quotes from Damien which may hint at future devices.

Does this mean Nokia doesn’t understand the benefits of xenon? No.

Does this mean Nokia will never introduce a product with xenon flash? No.

Without being familiar with our future product plans I would encourage you not to make any other conclusions other than does the N86 8MP fit your needs. If it does, then I’m very happy. If not I’ll understand. Maybe we have something in the future or elsewhere in our portfolio which will be more appropriate for you.

Perhaps the rumoured 12MP Nokia with Xenon?

Videos and Photos: Nokia N97 vs Nokia N82 in low light.

June 26, 2009 8 comments

[Sidenote: This test was done with pre-release early edition firmware V10.0.009, and not the “final” firmware V10.0.012]

Just before we went to see “The Hangover”, we went to the pub for a quick drink. Here were three shots I took with the N97 and the N82 in your average moderate/low lighting pub.

Preferably, for a comparison, I would have actually tested it on a proper night out in a club (like the collection here with the N82)- with much less light and a little more thought into certain making the tests fair.

Nevertheless, here’s what I managed with 5 minutes to spare – some “real world” testing of the N97 and the N82 in low lighting conditions (with flash).

N97 (and dual LED Flash)

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N82 (And Xenon Flash)

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N97

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N82

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N97

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N82

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For me – I prefer what the N82 produces. Crisp, non blurry, well lit images as opposed to the N97 under low lighting appears to be taking pictures through a murky muddy bottle.

Video

Supposedly – the LED light is meant to help, but as you can see – the N82 manages fine without it (seen in first few seconds of N82 video, thereafter “assisted” by N97). But the focus is blurry, the video is grainy and overall poor. I guess if it was pitch black then the N97 may have won slightly by having the LED light to give your face a slight gray halloween tint.

Sample from a Nokia N97

Sample from a Nokia N82

I really want to get the N97, but it kills me that for something so important to me (people photos – nights out – I am a student :p) there’s a lot I’ll have to sacrifice in terms of no longer being able to carry just one device again. Unless that is, I go and wait for the Satio. Hmm. It’s early days yet. I’ve not even had the N97 for half a day.

(Note though, it’s not all bad, the N97 performs well in optimum conditions – i.e. bright sunlight – something of a rarity in Wales)

Camera Tests: Nokia N82 vs Samsung Innov8 vs Nokia N97 vs Nokia N86

June 25, 2009 7 comments

Nokia and Carl Zeiss have bestowed upon the N86 imaging enhancements beyond just upping the resolution from 5MP to 8MP; wide angle, improved latency, large aperture, better sensor in general all resulting (at least on paper) in improved image quality.

CAM TEST 2

Check out full size photos from AAS

As you can see from Rafe’s test, the N86 is superior in all conditions, except low light, where the N82 and its Xenon flash show exactly how to freeze time in .jpeg format.

CAM TEST 1

Check out full size photos from AAS

When there’s a low light scene however, and no flash is used, the N86 is leaps and bounds beyond the other three in the tests. That’s great for:

  • low light situations where  xenon flash would not help because the subject is too far away
  • Situations where you’re not allowed to use flash (although it would really help) – e.g. in an art gallery or music/sport event.
  • when flash would produce too much gastly reflections (e.g. trying to take a photo through glass)
  • when you want to take quick successive shots in low light (xenon flash takes a second or two to charge up)
  • taking pictures of your pets/other animals [in low light] – they may not enjoy the sudden bright flash, of either xenon or dual led.
  • [insert other reason for not using flash]

As you can see when the scene was pitch black – the N82 was able to light it up and produce vivid reds of the car, the Innov8 and N97 poorly just bouncing off reflections, but the N86 – although only dual LED, with the combination of improved sensor,  illuminates the scene, though not to the standard of the N82.

However, as pointed out in the AAS podcast by Steve Litchfield, though it can light up the scene a bit more than usual dual LED, it doesn’t freeze it like Xenon, so expect some blurs if you’re taking pictures of say…erm…people…in low light situations.

nj7 sums up best what I think of the N86:
…..:( Without a Xenon flash it´s not possible to have a great all situation camera.
It’s a shame really, that with the Xenon flash, the N86 could have been the best still-photo cameraphone for all lighting conditions.
Don’t even get me started on how dreadful the low light pics of the N97 are (when you remember it’s meant to be the over all king and flagship and the price, you get more p’d off). Seems that I’ll have to start bringing a compact cam or switch back to the N82 for nights out and other occasions where I’m taking photos indoors. :(!
Oh well – tis your “Nokia thing” to upset the geeks and leave out a feature that we think is obvious to keep, justifying it with excuses of either space constraints or best option economically. Neither excuses fly in a world that’s starting to expect more from their phones.
Is Nokia playing too safe and making the wrong cuts and compromises? It may work out best business wise, but each “almost there” phone does not help Nokia’s, and particularly Nseries’ reputation amongst consumers.

Nokia N97 Camera Test

June 9, 2009 4 comments

James Burland of Nokia Creative is putting the Nokia N97 (which he helped his work colleague win from the Search for N… contest) through a series of rigorous tests.

Notice in the colour shots how much more vibrant the colours are from the N97 than the N95 8GB, particularly the yellows reds and pinks. Also worth noting is that it seems there’s less noise in the blue areas – a common problem the N95 suffers when taking photos that feature a lot of blue skies. There seems to be better contrast over all too.

Nokia N97

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Nokia N95 8GB

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James also tests out the resolution of the camera, and if you check out the full resultion [Nokia N97][Nokia N95 8GB] you’ll see that the N97 picks out slightly more detail, with lines looking more defined than on the N95 8GB.

n97 v 8

N95 8GB on the left, N97 on the right. Notice that the lines are clearer on the N97.

n97 8

N95 8GB on the top, N97 below - oddly the numbers and the splaying thicking fanned lines on the right looks sharper on the N95 8GB (bit of noise on the N97), even though the lines on the right appear sharper on the N97

Note below – the N97 seems to have very little or no barrel distortion. Much more obvious is that the N97 appears warmer whilst the N95 8GB appears to have a slight cool blue tinge.

Nokia N97

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Nokia N95 8GB

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James has uploaded original resolution photos of all these images to his flickr account >here<

via Nokia Creative

In his next post, James will be testing out a feature I’m excited yet dreading –  flash photography. We’ve seen the N97 produce some okay low light photos, but without flash here. It’s also worth noting the N82 sample pics under extreme low light at the bottom of that post with xenon flash.

Nokia 5800 mods: Nokia 97’s widgets and capacitive screens!

April 18, 2009 8 comments

This is two separate news but I’m covering them both in this post.

Nokia N97 firmware on the N97

The first is the 5800 with N97’s firmware – this means the coveted active widgets that N97 product managers have said would be exclusive to the N97.

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[via JUSTAMP]

New Nokia 5800 to get Capacitive displays?

According to DIGITIMES, Nokia is going to replace future batches of their popular 5800’s resistive screen with capacitive displays. You most likely know what the differences are; if not – the basics are that currently, capacitive is a lot more sensitive to finger touch whereas resistive needs a little extra pressure.  Although with resistive you can use other things other than your finger – stylus, finger nail, even if you’re wearing gloves. I’m not really sold on those apparent advantages of resistive myself, although the whole handwriting recognition is quite useful for input of non standard latin text, e.g. Chinese/Arabic/Farsi etc.

It seems these new 5800s with capacitive displays maybe available as soon as May-June.Will this mean real multitouch capabilities for future 5800 users? (Probably the bigger advantage of capacitive; 5800’s resistive display is really good, it’s the NON touch centric UI that hampers it)

Here’s sort of a multitouch solution for current 5800 owners though:

If Nokia can change hardware of current models, can they do it before the debut launch of one? I.E. the N97? How great would it be if the N97 had a capacitive display? Whilst Nokia are adding changes, please get rid of the dual LED flash and replace it with XENON. Pretty please ^_^? Brightly lit pictures > half assed attempt of video light which is apparently one of the main reasons why the N97 has LED flash rather than Xenon…or being greedy, lets have both! Xenon and dual LED! Haha.

Anyway, if not the N97, more capacitive display handsets may be coming within the third quarter to Nokia’s portfolio of touch screen phones.  Hurray!

Via digitimes.

Hmmm…XENON…We’ve waited so long for the N97, October doesn’t seem that much further away – and you know what October means: launch of the 12.1MP XENON monster from Sony Ericsson.  se-idou-silver-back-open-cam[Via boy genius report]

This also comes in a white/silver colour scheme.

Sony Ericsson Idou: Coming Soon 2009?

March 31, 2009 1 comment

Carphonewarehouse (CPW) has Sony Ericsson’s Idou on their coming soon page for 2009. Whatever the Idou (I do? I do you? ee dow wu?) will actually be named, it puts it back into contention for possible phone purchases for 2009 (previously outwritten as it was expected for 2010). Like all of CPW’s coming soon line up, all their dates are subject to change; and with a rather vague 2009 instead of specific months, there’ll be a rather swift slap on ones face if one had waited so long only for it to turn up next year.

With that said, June is looming. June means prepare for a sudden £700 deficit in your bank balace as June means N97! With a price so steep  (at least as quoted early March on the possible price of the N97), it’s good to know alternatives and the “Idou” is definitely one of the three I’m considering (along with N97 and Omnia HD).

With most of the features beloved in the N97 demonstrated too in the Idou (Screen size, screen resolution, OS maybe) I’ve got to start nit-picking at what else is brought to the table. The Idou brings 12.1 MP with XENON flash.

If only the N97 had maintained the XENON flash that the N82 had, I would have no hesitation as to which of the three or in fact any other phone to choose. As a student, most of my pictures are taken in the vampiric hours in clubs and pubs and appreciate that all I ever need to bring is my phone if I ever felt the need to capture the alcohol inspired antics of my friends to share on facebook. Dual led flash exhibited by the N85 has proven a little adequate in this situation but literally pales in comparison to the N82. I don’t know yet how the N97 will fare as it has been shown that not all dual LED flashes are created equal (N85>N96). Hopefully much brighter than previous offerings, to not only make still photos more acceptable in low lighting, but provide sufficient intensity as to make the video light more useful than capturing video footage of things 5cm away.

But that’s just my personal opinion and speculations – 2mp with no flash or autofocus although feable is more than enough it seems for the iPhone crowd in flickr.

As it stands the N97 offers the fact that: it has a qwerty keyboard, huge on board memory, subjectively better aesthetics, and that it is indeed coming soon!

So roll on June! End of exams! Class trip to Alton Towers! Moving house(term-time one)! Summer Ball! And of course, the NOKIA N97!!