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Nokia N95 versus the N82 – Any Questions?

Irish Brothers - Nokia N95 Irish Brothers - Nokia N82
Photos of the Irish Brothers taken on Thurs., Dec. 27, 2007 at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, Calif.

The true test of any camera is shooting movement indoors at night in low light situations with no flash. The ultra true test of any camera is shooting a band at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, Calif, as there are no windows, the interior lights are low, the walls are all painted dark red, and there is no stage lighting whatsoever unless the band brings their own. Shooting live band photos at Alex’s is a huge challenge without a pro-sumer SLR camera with external clip-on flash, but extra flash is a no-no in rock photography as it distracts the band, and at many concert venues will get one kicked out of the photo pit for using a flash.
Any good music photographer worth their salt learns how to push one’s camera to shoot in any nightclub or concert venue situation without a flash early in their career. I learned how at age 15 with 400 iso film and setting my f-stops and shutter speed for low light but fast movement. With the advent of digital photography in the late 1990s, this became a challenge as most early digital cameras were point & shoot for daylight at best.
One of the fun & challenging parts of mobile photography with my various Nokia camera phones has been concert photography. To see how I can capture a photo with a camera that was never designed for low light / fast movement situations. Two of my favorite concert photos I have taken in 24 years of shooting shows were two photos I took with my Nokia 7610 – one of Social Distortion’s Mike Ness and one of Mike from the Riverboat Gamblers. The fact that the little kickin’ 7610 could get those photos… rock on! Rock on!
The big disappointment of the Nokia N80 and Nokia N95 is the delay between pressing the shutter button and … and… and… and.. and.. focusing… and… and.. and… photo taken. Many times this can take up to 15-30 seconds, esp. in low light situations. How many times did I wish it would just trust me and snap, like the 7610. Stop over thinking, just do it.
The glories of the Nokia N82 is that it just takes the photo. Rarely is there a delay while it thinks, focuses, and snaps. In most situations, even at night with the flash off, it trusts that I know what I am doing and takes the photo without fuss. Without the big delay to focus and refocus and pick its nose and refocus again, like the N80 or N95 does, the N82 about 90% of the time will take the photo that you saw through the viewfinder at the time of pressing the shutter button. Yay!
In the above two photos (double click for the larger versions) I took the one on the left with my Nokia N95 with no flash and the one on the right with the trial N82 with no flash. The Irish Brothers kindly made my job easier by bringing in their own bluish halogen lights that that cast a strong upward light. In the above photos, the N95 was able to capture the two front men clearly and the background decently. The N82 blurred the Keith & Karl a bit, but captured David the drummer and the background with great clarity and lighter than the N95 did.
I also used the flash on both camera phones, of which I am not displaying the results as it was not conclusive in this case. The N95’s flash did not add much illumination or significant difference, as the dark red walls of the room and lack of light eat up any of the N95’s flash real fast. The N82’s powerful Xenon flash was actually too bright and gave both Keith and Karl glowing red eyes, as well as added some flash light bubbles to the photo. In this case it was better without the flash for both Nokia camera phones.
Using the Nokia N82 to take photos at night and at a show was a delight. This is a big step towards camera phone I have been dreaming of, except for the fact that the N82’s pre-installed Lifeblog is not interfacing with this MT4 powered blog when there is not good reason why it shouldn’t.
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Up next in Ms. Jen’s review of the Nokia N82 – all the night and indoor photos that I have taken with the Nokia N82.

2 Responses to “Nokia N95 versus the N82 – Any Questions?”

  1. jadesmith

    N82 has Xenon flash which gives absolutely amazing videos and photos. The phone is a solid performer with features like GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The only problem I had here was the design which is a bit disappointing.