Behind the scenes: Damian Dinning talks Nokia N8 camera

Mobile camera guru Damian Dinning shares some behind the scenes information on the fine tuning on the 12 megapixel camera on the Nokia N8. He also shares one stunning camera sample along with a few crops, that illustrate the approach they've taken with Nokia N8 imaging processing.

We've had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Damian Dinning on the Nokia N8 camera before, but back then the Nokia N8 was still early in the development process and he couldn't share some of the juicer details.

Now, as we're inching closer to release, he penned a lengthy post over at the official Nokia blog and gave an interesting inside look of what it takes to tune a camera. This first part deals with the still camera, and on Friday he'll delve into the video camera details.

The Nokia team has been working on the Nokia N8 camera since January and this camera sample sums up what they've been trying to do, says Dinning. He explains it one word - "natural" (as in unprocessed).

Nokia N8 camera sample

Damian Dinning gives a short list of image enhancement techniques used in all mobile phone cameras and says that in the pursuit of that natural look, they almost did without any altogether. For example, edge sharpening is all but disabled.

To illustrate his point, Dining presents three exhibits - A, B and C. Exhibit A shows the white halo, which often results from the edge sharpening meant to make images look more detailed. Exhibit B also relates to edge enhancement - how it alters the appearance of things (makes the blades of grass look thicker) and how it amplifies the noise in the water (note: exhibit B is the top image, the bottom one is the Nokia N8 image).

Exhibit A Exhibit B Exhibit C

Finally, Exhibit C (left) and the Nokia N8 sample (right) show off how much more finer detail the Nokia N8 is able to preserve.

If you prefer the more processed look, you can adjust the color and sharpness settings on-the-fly and the Nokia N8 will remember those settings for the next time you start the camera.

As for the flash, Damian Dinning says it performs better than the one on the Nokia N82.

It is also smarter - if you're trying to shoot a person who is backlit the flash will fire automatically if the person is within flash range or would stay off otherwise. All the improvements should result in lower noise and more detail compared to the N82.

We can't wait till Friday to read what he has to say about the video camera tuning.





Behind the scenes: Damian Dinning talks Nokia N8 camera - reader comments

  • Good,Nokia!.

WOW!.That IS better pictures,what Samsung M8910 Pixon -model camera!. =/ Nokia N8 VS. Samsung Pixon12.

  • Reply
  • 2010-07-12 19:05
  • 3ifK
  • Wilna

I wonder if it will distort faces when taking a picture with more than one person on, had this experience with my N95.

  • Reply
  • 2010-07-12 16:50
  • fq4H
  • r 3 b 3 l

If i were to buy a 12mp mobile it wont be because i intend taking super pics. Infact i would most definitely not be taking pics above 5mp. It would be because me the advantage of digital zoom without degradation in quality. At the present state of mo...

  • Reply
  • 2010-07-12 13:39
  • Mtyp