After a few months of gruelling torture, it has finally arrived in Finland. This is the device I have been looking forward to for as long as I can remember, now bear in mind I am getting on, so we are talking months here, not years. Now you will see a load of review posts about this device over the next few weeks. Not from me, sorry but I freely admit I am terrible at reviews. Instead I will concentrate on the camera with respect to still images, close-ups, HDR etc. Before we start, a couple of pics of my device itself, I know not really part of the post but it is just so damn good looking you just have to.
So without further ado, lets see what this sexy device can create.
First up, some low(ish) light Sunset images, camera set to landscape mode.
Some more Landscape mode shots, taken the following morning, light was better than the previous evening, still not bright daylight though.
Close-ups with and without Flash firing.
Close-ups outside in Daylight
Conclusions so far, well the N9 certainly takes very good close up shots in natural light, obviously this is compromised when flash is needed due to it only having dual LED (although I should point out, that that is an advantage for night video). The low light landscape images were honestly not as good as I was expecting, that is probably more down to me though expecting too much. However the morning shots were pretty good, colour levels are good, but this is where i would have liked an option to set colour tone. Unfortunately, it is not available in the Nokia N9’s software.
Now HDR has proved a little tricky, mainly due to their being no in-built bracketing available. So I have had to use Camera Pro to supply the bracketed images, most of you will know from my HDR images done with the N8 and other Symbian devices that I do not like Camera Pro for this purpose. Unfortunately it is no better on the N9, it does not take the images as specified in the settings, 1 or more of the images will be at the same EV. As far as I can see you have to have take 5 bracketed images, there is no option to reduce that to 3, I have tried changing the timing to 2 seconds between images, this does not help. Also if you do decide to do HDR on the N9 using Camera Pro then make sure you have a tripod otherwise you will have to hold the camera very still for a very long time, not exactly easy. I did try at first.
Anyway here are a few I managed to create, not perfect conditions, the gods were against me.
For those of you that do not use a PC/Mac application to fuse your images to create the HDR image, I should point out that Camera pro does not fuse the image for you. So unless the makers of HDR Photo Camera do a version for the N9 or another nice developer does, even Nokia themselves, then you will have to do without HDR on your Nokia N9.
In conclusion the Nokia N9’s camera is good. Obviously it will not replace my Nokia N8. Macro images are excellent and so are photos taken in good light, although it has a F2.2 aperture (wow I hope I am getting this right as I am no camera geek) I think low light photo are a little disappointing, I almost think the Nokia 701 takes a better image in low light. I might even test this theory out at some point.
But let’s be fair to the Nokia N9, it was not meant to be a camera flagship and you wouldn’t buy it for the camera alone. You buy this device initially because it is quite simply the sexiest phone ever created. Then you use the Swype UI, then you are hooked, it is just so intuitive and well, sexy! You will find yourself swyping every device you have.
So here is a little request from me to Nokia, please develop the Panorama application for the N9, please add bracketing to the N9’s camera capability, and add fuse at low resolution for those who do not want to pay for a PC/Mac Application. Other nice to haves, would be a “Burst” option, and “Time Lapse” (must generate the MP4 video as well at a user specified frame rate).