The Nokia Flagship Face Off : Nokia N900 vs. Nokia N97 : Part I, Night Video

Tues 12.01.09 – By a chance of delicious WOM/Nokia induced trial phone fate, I currently have both a Nokia N900 and a Nokia N97 in my hot little mitts, so I have been putting both through their photographic paces to see which one is the better Nokia Nseries flagship phone / mobile device of the year 2009.
While I do love the petite-r size, design of the phone, and the lovely flip hinge (thwack!) of the Nokia N97, the Maemo operating system of the Nokia N900 is winning me over even though the form factor of the N900 is a chunky monkey with a non-thwacking sliding qwerty keyobard. Delightful form over amazing brains?
Which to choose, as both the N900 and the N97 have 5 megapixel cameras with a Carl Zeiss lens, though the N97s seems to be more wide angled than the N900, both devices have LED flashes, and good sensors as well as software to render the images and video.
Which is better in real life rather than on a tech spec? Well, let’s see how the pretty form vs. hot brains perform in the all important Photo and Video departments:

In the camera / video testing of the last few days with the Nokia N97 and the Nokia N900, I have been taking video and digital stills of challenging situations to see which of the N97 or N900 camera mobile / phones would win the challenge. Even though the software is a bit different and the N97’s lens is a bit wider, I have done everything possible to make sure that all the settings and compositions are as equal as possible.
In terms of trying out the video on the N97 and the N900, I wanted to try night, low-light video on both to see how they would capture light, how clear the video would be and how correct the color would be, as night mode would test the clarity, color, and light capacities.
One of my neighbors here in Seal Beach, Calif, loves to dress up their turquoise 1960s house with tons of Christmas animatronic decor, of which the best is the singing Santa that is on a motion sensor. They set up multiple moving Christmas / winter decorations that move each year and each year they add another piece.
While the diorama is amazing in the day, It is truly amazing at night as you can see in the videos.
It becomes quite obvious when watching both of the above videos that the Nokia N900,at the top above, wins for the best video sound, light and color capture in this round. The Nokia N97’s video sound is not as clear or loud, the light is less, the objects are blurrier as they move, and the color is not as clear as the N900.
In this case, the N900’s video wins over the N97’s.
Related N900 Posts:
Nokia N900 : The Artist Phone
Nokia N900 : The Gold Standard Test
Nokia N900 – Views from the Pundit Analysts, Maemo & Python

3 thoughts on “The Nokia Flagship Face Off : Nokia N900 vs. Nokia N97 : Part I, Night Video

  1. Hi iceburner and baG,
    As I stated above, I made sure all the settings were as equal as possible. In the above case, I set the N97 on Night video mode as well as shooting a new video on automatic to see which would turn out better. In the case above, the Nokia N97 did not get the sound nor the light/colors as nicely as the N900. The same is true about the still photos I also shot of the same Christmas decorations.
    baG – More details for you: The N900 does not have a night mode at all. In the digital still photography, there is only Automatic, Macro, Portrait, Landscape, and Action. In video, there is on a Automatic Video mode. But the software is so good along with the sensor, that it gets some of the best and clearest night shots I have ever gotten out of a camera phone. Mind you, I have not shot with the N86 firmware 20 yet, which is also supposed to be very good. Since the N900’s has less mode choice than the N97, I did everything I could to make sure it was an level playing field, by shooting both in Automatic video and then the N97 in Night mode. Each time the N900 still came out ahead even when I gave the N97 two opportunities.
    smiles, jen ;o)

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