Tag Archives: Nokia N8

A Look At Web TV On The Nokia N8 – In Video

Web TV is Nokia’s new video on demand application that will be pre-loaded on the Nokia N8 and possibly other Symbian^3 devices when they ship. To put it simply, Web TV is basically Flash lite video streamed over WIFI or 3G from a host of different content providers that vary from country to country.

A Look At Web TV On The Nokia N8 - In Video

There are a bunch of channels pre-loaded on each device based the regions the device is shipping to and you can even download more from the Ovi Store from right withing the Web TV application. While the app will come pre-loaded with CNN, National Geographic and Paramount in most parts of the world, Nokia is also working with content providers in more than 28 different countries to provide local content.

Nokia is looking at all sorts of content for the application, be it episodes of popular TV series, movie trailers, short clips, news and so on.

So what did I think of the application? Here is my overview in glorious HD.

If you are not too keen on watching the video, here’s a quick summary:

  • The quality of the content is good and videos look great on the N8’s screen. Also, because the N8 has a pretty decent loudspeaker, you can keep yourself entertained without needing headphones.
  • One irritation is that you still need to allow access to data everytime you launch a new channel, even on WIFI.
  • The video can be played on a large screen via HDMI, however the quality understandably doesn’t look as pleasing but remains watchable.
  • Apart from that the service is solid, how successful it will be depends on the content Nokia is able to attract. In India,from what I recall channels like NDTV and CNBC are going to be made available in-addition to others.

What I’d like to see next?

  • The possibility to buy paid content such as movies and episodes of popular series from within the app, possibly via the Ovi Store.
  • This is stretching it, but if Nokia can offer HD streaming via their partners, that will really make great use of the N8’s HDMI capabilities.

Are you looking forward to Web TV?

The Nokia N8 Gets Its Second Mod: Continuous Auto Focus In Video

We just saw hyperX carry out the first mod on the Nokia N8 (video at 30 FPS and less image compression) yesterday and the results were pretty impressive. What does he have up his sleeve today? Continuous Auto-Focus in the video mode, complete with an option to turn it off. Here’s a screenshot he has published:

The Nokia N8 Gets Its Second Mod: Continuous Auto Focus In Video

For those of you wondering how well does it work, here is a video sample.

If you have a N8 and would love to test this out yourself, shoot him an E-mail. I do have to admit, HD video at 30 frames a second with continuous auto focus does sound sweet.

The Nokia N8 Gets Its First Mod: HD Capture At 30 FPS & Less Image Compression

What happens when the person who single handedly supported the i8910, when Samsung had forgotten about it, gets a Nokia N8? Mods. It has been barely a day since hyperX got himself a N8 that the mods have started to flow. He has managed to mod the N8 to shoot at 30 frames a second instead of the 25 FPS that it does out of the box. This results in a video that looks very smooth even during fast pans.

He’s been kind enough to upload the raw sample so that you can see for yourself. Unfortunately neither VLC or QuickTime could verify the exact frame rate for me, however I’m willing to place my trust in his claim and the video does look smooth. I uploaded the video to YouTube, but YouTube’s post processing ensures that the video doesn’t retain its smoothness. Its best if you download and see it for yourself.

The Nokia N8 Gets Its First Mod: HD Capture At 30 FPS & Less Image Compression

(Click to Enlarge)

The next mod that he’s carried out is to do with the stills. The average 12 MP image that the N8 takes is around 2 MB is size, but he has reduced the compression dramatically and his image comes comes in at a whopping 11 MB. Does it improve the quality? It is difficult to judge from the single sample that he’s provided, but the image does look amazingly detailed even when zoomed in completely.

Before you ask, there are no instructions on how to do this yet. But with hyperX rocking a N8, the modding scene does look bright. What mod am I looking for? One that boosts the FM transmitter to crazy levels, without frying the chip of course! You?

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

You know what, forget the iPhone. Lets put the N8 up against some serious firepower, a DSLR which in this case is a 18 Megapixel Canon 550D, fitted with the 18-55mm kit lens. You’ve seen unedited pictures and video that Iain and I took with the N8 around Edinburgh. However I was also carrying my Canon 550D along and we decided to put the N8 to test and see how it fares against a full blown DSLR, nevermind those pocket point and shoot cameras. The results may surprise.

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

But before we proceed to the 20 different sets of images, lets clear a few things first. The N8 is not intended to replace a DSLR and as a blanket rule it will not. The N8 has the largest sensor on a mobile phone but even that is nothing compared to a DSLR’s sensor. This means that when it comes to low light photos, it will not even be a competition. Then what is the point of doing this shootout you ask?

I am doing this to see if there is a possibility of leaving a bulky DSLR home when you know you will be taking shots mainly during the day and do not intend to shoot landscapes at night. Lets face it, no matter how much you love taking images with your DSLR, carrying it around is a pain. There were a lot of times when despite having my trusty Canon 550D slung on my back I was happy using the N8 to take photos. Its too much of a pain to take it out of the bag every 5 minutes when you want to take a snap and lugging almost a kilo (800 gms.) around my neck also isn’t something I particularly look forward to.

Right then, the images. To fit this webpage I have resized the images, if you want a look at the larger version, just click on each image. But if you are still not satisfied and want the absolute unedited shots, I’ve uploaded all of them here, the ones with ‘DSLR’ in the name are from the Canon 550D and are numbered in co-relation to their N8 equivalents.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Once resized, there isn’t much to choose between the shots. The Canon has better lighting, but that could also be because the shot was composed a little differently.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • With the sun playing hide and seek from the opposite direction, photography is always tough. It slid out a little to make the N8’s task even more hard.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • This is where the Canon takes the clear lead with much better exposure, a lot more of the picture is visible.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • If I didn’t label these images, you would be stressed to tell which was which.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • The sun again playing spoil sport with the N8, but I’m glad to see that it has still been able to get a pretty decent shot in despite it blaring into the sensor.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • At this point I was pretty happy with how the N8 was coping with virtually shooting into the sun, in the above shot its been blocked by the building.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • The Canon may have gotten much more natural colours, but I like how the N8’s version pops up.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • This time the Canon wins for me with better exposure.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Again a slight victory for the Canon because of the fact the greater detail visible in the houses.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Personally speaking, I’d like to give this round to the N8. The Canon has over-exposed it for my taste.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Both great looking pictures, but I love the deeper blues on the N8.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • On this one, I prefer the N8’s version. Better colours and exposure.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Not natural, but I prefer the deeper blues that the N8’s post processing algorithm creates.

I personally don’t put too much value in actual size crops that are done to show how much detail could a camera capture as there would hardly be an occasion when I would need a 12 Megapixel image at its 100%. However, for those of you who care, here are ‘actual size’ crops from the Canon 550D (18 Megapixel) and the Nokia N8 (12 Megapixel).

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

As you can see for yourself, the detail on the N8’s shots is very impressive indeed.

Who would have thought that the N8 could even give a DSLR a run for its money. There will be things the N8 will not be able to match such as depth of field, low light performance, speed and sometimes even detail but for something that stays in your pocket 24/7 and weighs nothing compared to a DSLR, I’d say the N8 has come out with flying colours. The results have shocked me as well, even while I was taking the pictures I could not imagine that the results the N8 produces can look good to an untrained eye, even when put up against a DSLR. Remember, all the untouched, full resolution images from both devices are here.

After all the images I have taken with the N8, after the tons of video that I have seen it produce; I can only come to one conclusion, the N8 is the best camera phone on the market today, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Looking for more N8 coverage?

Nokia N8 Review: HD Video – Samples Across All Conditions

Yesterday you saw the beautiful pictures the Nokia N8 is capable of producing, today we put its HD video capture to test. The N8 is Nokia’s first device that is capable of capturing video in the 1280 x 720 resolution. It records at around 90MB a minute capturing 25 frames a second. Another thing that Nokia has brought back from the N93/N93i era is stereo audio capture, powered by its dual microphones.

Nokia N8 Review: HD Video - Samples Across All Conditions

To give you a real world scenario of the quality you can expect from the Nokia N8’s video camera, Iain and I shot video in low light, bright light, daylight, at night, in noisy places, with stabilization, without it, with digital zoom, without it, panning, speaking, testing – in short trying to cover virtually all the different conditions the N8 could be used to shoot video in. The result ran into Gigabytes with over 30 clips. But instead of uploading them separately, I decided to capture the essence of each and mix them into one 8 minute video that should give you a taste of what to expect.

Do keep in mind that the video has been reprocessed twice, once in iMovie and then by YouTube, so you will see a slight drop in quality. I have also created the following timeline, to give you an idea of the conditions the N8 was filming in. Make sure you watch it in HD.

  • 00:10 Nokia DLR Station: Video shot waiting for the DLR at the station right next to the venue for Nokia World. Broad daylight, moving train. Gives you an idea of how smooth the video from the N8 can be, you might see the odd jump though.
  • 00:40 The English Countryside from a fast train: Video shot from inside a train to Edinburgh, you will see the reflections from the window. But despite the speed at which we were traveling, the N8 seemed to hold its own.
  • 01:00 In very windy conditions: Right on top of a hill overlooking Edinburgh, no protection from the wind, making it very hard to keep the phone still and rendering the audio capture ability of most phones useless. The N8 manages to get a bit of my voice in, no mean feat at all.
  • 01:20 Digital Zoom in Action: The thing about the N8’s digital zoom is that it offers around 3x zoom at negligible quality loss. At about 2x, its almost as if you were using an optical zoom. If you’re wondering how this works, this post is a must read.
  • 01:50 Panning the N8 in windy conditions: Probably the time at which the N8 will be at its worst, not even dedicated devices hadle pans well and the wind makes the phone very shaky.
  • 02:35 Very Noisy Conditions: Gives you a good idea of the N8’s dual microphones’ capabilities. One microphone is situated on the back, under the camera while the other is on the front. Great for capturing your own voice/commentary and the background collectively.
  • 03:00 Flowing Water: A look at the amazing detail the N8 can capture, smooth as you like.
  • 03:30 Following a subject around: A slow pan.
  • 04:10 Digital Zoom: The N8’s brilliant digital zoom in action again, birds at the beach.
  • 05:25 Chirping Birds: Gives you a good idea if the sensitivity the microphones posses.
  • 05:40 A road scene, in broad daylight: Gives you an idea of what a steady hand can produce.
  • 06:20 The road again, but this time at night: What really impressed me was the minimal noise and how well the N8 handled all the lights directed at its sensor. Amazing performance for a handheld device, dedicated flip HD camcorders would be proud.
  • 07:25 Scenes from the Nokia World party: Virtually no noise in low, moving lights. Then we head into the Nokia World party’s famous Gin & Tonic cloud, a room full of vaporized Hendrick’s Gin. The air was so dense that you couldn’t see properly with your own eyes, wonder what the N8 saw?

When you buy the N8, not only do you buy a great digital camera but also a very handy camcorder. No dedicated pocket digital camera (sub $200) that I have used came close to offering quality similar to the N8’s, specially when it comes to audio capture. The N8’s Active Hyper focal distance video focus system doesn’t allow it to focus closer than 60 cm, but anything farther than that remains in sharp focus throughout. This is a bit of a trade-off, but one that will help the majority of the people get great video without thinking about it. In any case, Nokia is still working on making this better and we can look forward to new firmwares that will make this functionality even better.

Looking for more N8 coverage?

Nokia N8 Review: Camera – Includes 75 Photo Samples

After having used the Nokia N8 to take pictures while I was visiting Edinburgh, no doubt remains in my mind that the Nokia N8 is the absolute best camera phone that you can buy in the market today. We took a ton of pictures and video in very trying situations, without bothering to stop and compose a shot properly. Most images you see here were taken while walking around the city, N8 in hand simply snapping away. Some were taken from within a car, a bus, while actually walking (without even a pause) and the N8 kept delivering.

Of course there were some shots that were ruined by incredible camera shake, or the sun blaring into the lens and we being obstinate and still trying to take a picture. I walked away blown by the N8’s camera, infact I always had my DSLR on me, but there were times I was happy just using the N8, secure in the knowledge that I won’t regret it.

Before you scroll to the gallery of 12 Megapixel N8 Camera Samples, there are a few shots that I am especially keen to show off. Click through to see the images in their full glory.

Nokia N8 Review: 75 Camera Samples From The Nokia N8

(This picture is a great indicator of the detail the N8’s camera is capable of producing)

Nokia N8 Review: 75 Camera Samples From The Nokia N8

(Amazing depth of field, the macro mode in action)

Nokia N8 Review: 75 Camera Samples From The Nokia N8

(Its almost as if the N8 doesn’t care about low light, no really)

The following images are either in the 4×3 12 Megapixel Mode or the wide screen 9 Megapixel Mode. Switching between these modes on the N8 is very easy, just pinch the screen while the Camera’s viewfinder is on to go to the 4×3 mode and pinch out for the 16:9 widescreen. Click through to see the images in their full glory.

In most of the cases, we could have got a better shot if we had spent a little more time playing with different settings and composing it better, but I guess these ones would serve you better as they give a ‘real world’ idea of the kind of shots the N8 will bring to you.

Speaking of a DSLR, I also did try and take some comparison shots of between my Canon 550D and the N8, look out for them very soon. Plus, there’s a review of the N8’s HD video capture in the pipeline as well. Exciting times!

[Update: Nokia N8 Review: HD Video – Samples Across All Conditions]

Much credit to Iain Wallace at Do It Different for taking a bunch of these pictures.

(Note: The above images were taken with the N8 running the PR 1.0 v11.011 firmware, which is just short of the firmware the N8 is shipping with.)