Nokia 6630 review: Focus on camera

Marek Lutonský, 20 November 2004. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Video

Nokia can also record video. Depending on the memory card capacity it can be up to one hour long but the highest resolution is only 176 x 144 pixels. I would appreciate higher resolution video format instead of long records.

Video recording environment

The video settings are almost identical to the camera settings. Again it's possible to set brightness and contrast, turn on the night mode and use the zoom. There is no self-timer and logically the sequential shooting is missing. The new Mute function in the context menu is recording with the microphone switched off.

What to shoot and what not?

Camera phones are not meant for taking scenery pictures. You'll get best results with objects which are quite near. However Nokia 6630 is not a friend with macro-pictures and everything will be fuzzy if you get more than half a meter close to the subject.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630
You can't do macro-pictures with the camera phone

A well-known problem of almost all camera phones is the overexposed sky. Due to the missing manual exposure compensation it is almost impossible to avoid it - adjusting brightness and contrast doesn't help. It seems like the only possible solution is to use "fake" exposure measurement. That means to focus on one place then move fast to another place and take a picture. Nokia 6630 however is a very fast mobile phone and will adjust the exposure according to the actual conditions before you could possibly press the release.

It's not useless to shoot the same scene several times, you might get different results and later you will be able to choose the best one. That could be seen on the following series of pictures.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630
The same scene at the same time and the different results

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630
The automatic exposure measurement brings problems: on the first picture the sky is bright, so a tree is dark. On the second picture the sky is overexposed, the third picture is too bright overall

How does Nokia 6630 manage text? By shooting from shorter distance the lens system can't focus on text. When you make a picture of a text from a longer distance, the text is not readable. The phone is good enough with bigger texts or various boards and signs.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630
Nokia can't cope with small texts • It can handle large posters or maps in the park (full resolution)

By shooting in worse light conditions you should remember the visible distortion. It's well seen on the pictures I made. In darker environment the phone needs a bit longer time to light up a picture. You'd better forget the night mode - it's really not helpful.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630
Pictures in worse conditions are quite good

Nokia 6630 is a fast camera phone, but it has a tiny time lag of the release. On the following picture you can see a car going; I pressed the release at the time when the front part of the car drove on the crosswalk.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630
Time lag

Unless the scene is very well lit, the shutter speed won't be fast enough to freeze the action. Faster moving objects will look blurred like on this sample:

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630

Storage - where and how?

Pictures are saved in the phone's Gallery. You can view them using a standard tool or the new Pictures manager. The manager allows showing pictures in a horizontal view or in an almost full display size. The link between the pictures is spectacularly animated and because the program is reading the pictures in advance, there are no excessive lags.


New view on the pictures • Standard view • Horizontal view over a full display

You could transfer pictures from the phone to a PC. You could send them directly via Bluetooth, download them using the Nokia Phone Browser or a cable. In the Browser case the phone memory is shown in the PC as a usual hard drive. If you wish to send a picture to long distances, it's possible to send it from the phone via email or MMS. The MMS capacity increased from 100 kB in previous Nokia phones to 300 kB in the 6630 model. The phone makes the pictures in full resolution smaller.

Megapixels are here

Nokia 6630 is an excellent camera phone. Pictures which you get with it are better than those taken with other camera phones. Only Sony Ericsson S700 stands a step ahead of Nokia 6630 phone. Sony Ericsson's adds a lot of settings possibilities and the pictures are of a better quality. On the other hand Nokia is a first-class for normal shooting without artistic ambitions. With Sony Ericsson you have to learn how to make a photo with the best results possible. You can read our extensive Sony Ericsson S700 review.

Megapixel cameras are definitely here and if the Nokia 6630 is an expensive phone for you, in the end of the first quarter 2005 a new, much cheaper, 3230 model will be launched. Nokia claimed that in 2005 they will introduce more than twenty mobile phones with megapixel digital cameras.

At the end, take a look at several pictures which I have improved a bit with level adjustment, resize and focus. I think they are quite good.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630
Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630 Click to zoom. Nokia 6630

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