First off I should point out that I am not that impressed with the camera on the Nokia N9. Don’t get me wrong, it is ok but it’s just not what I was expecting. This, of course, is more than likely my own fault, having too high expectations of it. I am a Nokia N8 user after all and it has undoubtedly spoilt me for all other mobile cameras. That is until Nokia release a new camera flagship of course. Fingers crossed on that one.
Anyway this is about Camera Pro, a free app from the Nokia Store. So what is different about Camera Pro from the in-built camera application? The short answer is: quite a lot. The long answer is… well, you’d better continue reading.
Some screenshots to show you the main camera screen, menu and settings.
Here is a list of Camera Pro features, some I will go into more detail and give samples, some I will just give an overview.
Obviously self explanatory. One piece of advice, the target box does not show automatically (next to the capture button there is a cross-hairs button that activates it: red for out of focus and green for in focus). This is much needed when taking macro shots – I tried to do it without and it’s not easy.
A few sample shots
Time lapse is where you take a series of still images to create a video so that you can speed things up e.g. clouds etc. Camera Pro will take the images for you, and you can alter the time between images, but that is all it will do. To actually attain the video you will have to transfer the images to your PC or Mac and use an application to achieve this. I know Quicktime Pro can do this. I am yet to find a good PC application for this purpose.
Pretty simple, you can set a time delay for a picture, useful if it’s of a group of people and you yourself wish to be in the image, or even a portrait of yourself.
This is where you take a series of images (all of the same subject keeping the camera as still as possible) at different exposures. Then fuse the images together to create a HDR image. Unfortunately Camera Pro does not do the fuse for you, so you will need an application that will do that ( I use Protomatix Pro on my PC).
These images were taken freehand. If you want to do HDR on the N9, I recommend using a tripod. Holding the camera still for what seems like an eternity to take the 5 brackets is not easy. Yes Camera Pro does 5 brackets on the N9, there is no option to reduce that.
Now I will be honest, I am not sure of the effect of this. You have 3 choices; Insensitive, Sensitive and Very Sensitive. What it seems to do is delay the image capture until the camera is still. Depending on the person, this could take some time and personally I would never really use this feature.
Now to me burst means rapid shots, something I would use for a fast moving object. This however does not seem to be the case in Camera Pro, you can set the time between images and the number of images. I have tried and you cannot set the delay to zero to get a rapid burst. So I guess it has its uses, but to me in this guise it just becomes a cut- down Time Lapse.
Sample Burst shots (3)
Well those are the main features of Camera Pro, one thing I like about Camera Pro is the zoom, on my N8 it will zoom to 11x. On the N9 it allows the slider to go up to 11x as well, but for some reason stops actually zooming in at 4x. This coupled with the poor setting screens makes me think this was a rushed port of the Symbian app, I can see why it is Free!
Here are 3 examples to show you what I mean; the first without zoom; the second at 11x zoom (according to Camera Pro) but actually at 4x zoom; and the third is at 4x zoom
So is Camera Pro a perfect match for the N9? In short no, it is not. The application seems to have been rushed, the settings pages are horrible, the zoom functionality is compromised, it does not fuse the HDR, it does not create the Time Lapse video. So unless you have the applications necessary to do HDR and Time Lapse on your PC or Mac then I suggest you stick with the in-built camera application and hope – like I do – that Nokia develop the camera more themselves.