Nokia N80 vs. Sony Ericsson K800: 3 megapixel shootout

GSMArena team, 29 April 2006.
Pages: 123

When the light is not that strong

This is where we can see more clearly the difference between the cameras. It seems that Nokia N80 uses slower shutter speeds in these conditions and we had some unusable photos because of motion blur. Unfortunately the shutter speed is not recorded in the EXIF headers and we can't check to be sure.

Full resolution

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Downsampled to 1024 x 768

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Low light

The images from Sony Ericsson K800 show a lot less noise in these conditions than its competitors. Such conditions are hit and miss for all the cameras in the test. Even if you have a steady hand it's good to take several pictures under low light to be sure that at least one is not blurred. All three cameras have night mode, which might help getting better pictures in low light situation if your subject is absolutely still.

Full resolution

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Downsampled to 1024 x 768

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Macro

Both Nokia N80 and Sony Ericsson K800 can take pictures at a close distance. However, the macro modes of the two devices are not the same. In K800 the macro setting is just telling the autofocus system to hunt for closer objects, while in N80 the macro setting is mechanic - it changes the fixed focus from far range to close range, but the focus still remains fixed. What does it mean, you wonder? It means that N80 has a "sweet spot" (about 20 cm from the lens) where it takes best macro pictures, while Sony Ericsson K800 can take sharply focused close up pictures from 5 to 50 cm.

Full resolution

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Take a look at this set of pictures - the two autofocus cameras are doing fine, while N80 is back focused. Nokia N80 can take good close ups (they can't be called macro) if you are make sure to take the pictures from around 20 cm distance.

Downsampled to 1024 x 768

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800 Sony Ericsson K750

Flash

Sony Ericsson widely advertises the flash in their K800/K790 model. K800 is using the same type of flash most of the compact digital cameras are using - xenon flash. It is a lot stronger than the LED flashes most of the phone cameras have. Indeed, we can confirm that K800 can take decent pictures in the dark from as far as 3 meters.

Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800
Nokia N80 Sony Ericsson K800

You can see the difference even when the pictures are taken in close range. To compensate for the weak LED flash Nokia N80 had to boost the ISO sensitivity of the sensor and this way it ends up with a noisier photo.

In K800 the flash also serves as a focus assist light. When it's dark, it first emits red light to help the autofocus system lock the subject, then when the shutter is fully pressed it fires the strong white light.

The flash in K800 is powerful enough to be used for fill flash when shooting backlit portraits. The problem though, is that there is no such setting for the flash. The only available options are "Off", "Auto" and "Red eye reduction". So in the backlit portrait scenario most probably the flash won't fire off. , the options available are "Off", "Auto" and "Red eye reduction". Most of the digital cameras have the "Always On" option available which forces the flash to fire no matter what the lighting conditions are.

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