Tag Archives: Nokia N900 Video

Lfocus Hack Gives You Manual Focus During Video Capture – Makes N900 An Incredible Video Capture Tool

The N900 records video in the 800 x 480 resolution and is one of the few Nokia devices to be able to focus before starting to capture video. But if the position of the subject changes, the N900 is not able to keep up as the focus remains fixed once the video capture has started. This however is about to change.

m2cm2c has put together a python script using v4l2-ctl that allows you to change the focus during capture. It adds two buttons to the status bar that allow you to manipulate the focus either with the on-screen buttons or switch to the keyboard and control focus with the zoom keys. I’ve put together a small demo of how this works.

  • In order to get started you will need to download the script, which is packaged as .deb file so that you can install it like a normal application. Get the latest version from here. I’ve also uploaded the current version (as on 06 May 2010) to our server so that you can download directly.
  • Once you have downloaded the file, transfer it to the N900, locate it via the File Manager and tap on it to begin installation.
  • Once installed, you will see the two icons shown below in your status bar when the camera cover is open. The camera app launches in the full screen mode so to see the status bar, tap a blank space on the screen. Then tap the date/signal/battery cluster to bring up the following menu.

N900 Hack Gives You Manual Focus In Video - Makes N900 An Incredible Video Capture Tool

  • A green indicator means that the keyboard shortcuts are turned off. Tap on it to switch them on.

N900 Hack Gives You Manual Focus In Video - Makes N900 An Incredible Video Capture Tool

  • Red means that they are engaged. In this mode the auto focus at the start of the video will be disabled and you will be able to manually focus with the zoom keys and begin shooting the video. During the video you can continue to change focus with the same keys.

N900 Hack Gives You Manual Focus In Video - Makes N900 An Incredible Video Capture Tool

  • In case you do not wish to enable the keyboard shortcuts and keep the auto focus at the beginning of the video, start shooting as you would. Tap the status bar to bring up the menu, choose the icon next to the keyboard and the following screen will pop up during the video capture. Now use the bar to change focus. You can drag to change focus quickly or tap toward the left or right for a smooth focus effect.

In my experience I have found that it is best to disable the keyboard shortcuts at first, start shooting and then enable them if required at a later stage. This way you get zoom key control for focus as well as the ability to auto-focus in the beginning. This script also allows you to turn on the LEDs for video light assistance and turn off the annoying red light during video capture. Look out for a separate post on this functionality later today.

With this hack the N900 is now one of the more advanced video capture mobiles around. Awesome work from m2cm2c.

Gtalk Video Chat Is Possible On The N900

The front camera on the N900 will be useful after all! Did you know that you can use the N900 to video chat via Gtalk? As it appears from the following thread, the N900 cannot initiate a video chat, however if the person you are chatting with does so, you can enable video from the N900 and can have your very own video chat.

A number of people have confirmed that this works, unfortunately I have had to send my N900 review unit back and am still awaiting the delivery of the N900 I bought – so I cannot test this myself.

Here is what Besides from Maemo.org did to get video chat to work:

I didn’t do anything special:

1. I added a Gtalk account under Voip and IM Accounts in Settings. Entered credentials and Saved.
2. Edited my buddy’s contact entry in Contacts. Added a field and selected Gtalk and entered his Gmail address.
3. Clicked the Status area, connected to my wifi, and changed my Availability.
4. My buddy signed into chat on his PC. He instantly appeared Available in my list – green dot beside his name

What we tried:

1. I called him using Gtalk from his entry in my Contacts. Voice only. I could not initiate a Video call. Worked great but it sounded a little worse than Sjype.
2. He called me – Voice chat. As before. Good.
3. He called me – Video Chat. I picked up and shortly saw him. I clicked the Speaker button and activated the Speaker Phone so I can look at the screen. Then I clicked the camera button and then we were both displayed on my screen. At that point he also started seeing me. It was possible to view me full screen but the quality was not great. Still, pretty amazing.

Video chat, directly out of the box with no 3rd party apps needed. I hope this functionality will be perfected with a new firmware. The N900 doesn’t cease to impress me. Check back for my review soon.

[Screenshot via Anidel]

Unboxing The Nokia N900

I am extremely glad to say that I have finally been able to get hold of a N900 and the first thing I did was unbox on video for your pleasure. In the brief play I have had with the device I have found it to be extremely snappy and the touchscreen to be very responsive – virtually like a capacitive screen. It is like having the best of both worlds as the N900’s resistive touchscreen also has stylus support so you can also sketch all you like.

Back on the topic of unboxing.

If you want any specific aspect of the N900 reviewed or have any queries, do let me know and I will try my level best to answer them. Lastly, if you are still waiting for your N900, I can promise you one thing – the experience will be worth the wait!