Photo Credits: All photos taken by Ms. Jen either with her Nokia N95 (v.1) or Dustin’s Nokia N97 prototype on Sun. March 15, 2009 at the Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas, during SXSW Interactive. Nokia N95 photos on the left column, Nokia N97 on the right. Click on first photo to start the lightbox slideshow.
One of the best parts about SXSW Interactive this year was getting to not only hold the upcoming Nokia N97, but use it to take photos. Yes, I did actually put the Nokia N97 through its paces rather than just pet it.
Big thanks to the Nokia USA folks who were hanging out in the Austin Convention Center hallway and let folks stop by to check out (fondle, really) the new & upcoming Nokia Nseries and Eseries devices.
Thus, the above photo comparison is a straight showdown between my own Nokia N95 (N95-1 – two years old) and the soon to be released, much ballyhoo-ed, Nokia N97.
Yes, the touch screen and qwerty keyboard on the N97 were delicious. Yes, I drooled. Yes, I love the new Symbian Series 60 version 5 OS. Yes, I want one. But… and the big but for me, before I purchase, is how will the camera really perform?
All the features are great, but if the camera is not as good as my current, 2 year old, completely paid for Nokia N95, then what is the point of getting a new device? I am in the market for a new Nokia Nseries, but I want a camera that is better than the one on my current N95, not as good or less than.
All the photos above were taken in the Austin Convention Center hallway during the Nokia Sunday afternoon meetup to see how the Nokia N97 would perform against the N95 (with most recent firmware update v. 30.something.something). I asked all the people to hold the same pose so that the photo set up would be the same for each photo and I turned the flash off on both camera phones. The lighting was sun streaming in through big windows and some overhead fluorescent lighting. Between the lighting, the neutrals of the ACC, and the white walls, I was interested to see how clear the Nokia N97 images would be and would they veer towards the warm or cool in the color spectrum.
Disclaimer* aside, while the Nokia N97 prototype that I used for the above photos did an ok job, the photos were slightly less clear than my Nokia N95’s photos and warmer in color tone. I was really hoping that Nokia would seriously up the ante with the N97’s camera, but for a camera phone that will be the top of the line and the flagship product from Nokia in 2009, I would hope that between now and release that the Nokia engineers and programmers will upgrade the N97’s software and tweak the camera performance so that my Nokia N95 will not beat it in another photo comparison in a couple of months time.
*DISCLAIMER: The Nokia N97 that Dustin Randall (aka DocMobile) had for me to play with is a prototype, of which the browser and other software bits were not fully ready for prime time. Which if some of the software on the prototype N97’s was faulty, then it stands to reason that other bits may be to. Whether the camera software on the device was ready or not , Nokia does have some work to do, as the N95 is still taking better photos..
Follow up: My Nokia N97 Review from July 2009: The Nokia N97 : Photos, A Story, Thoughts, and Asides
March 31, 2009 – The Nokia N95 vs. The Nokia N97
July 5, 2009 – The Nokia N97 and Close-Ups (aka Macro Mode)
August 2, 2009 – The Nokia N97 : A Conversation with Jeb and Al
August 26, 2009 – The Nokia N97 : Photos, A Story, Thoughts, and Asides
November 4, 2009 – The Berm and a Worm, furthermore, I Repent What I Said About the Nokia N97
November 28, 2009 – Nokia N97 Camera & Video : A Snipet of Royal Crown Revue’s Zip Gun Bop, Or How the N97’s Flash Misbehaves
July 11, 2010 – Al P. on his (Nearly) One Year with his Nokia N97
August 27, 2010 – TuttleLA Photo Comparison: Nokia N97 v. N86 v. E73
September 7, 2010 – The Nokia N97, More than One Year Later