Sony Ericsson K800 review: Digicam in disguise
Going on a shooting spree
Now comes one of the most interesting things about that phone. In all other departments we saw only a moderate upgrade or improvement of functionality over K750 but the greatest of all is the camera. The camera application itself has not changed much since K750 too. But that's not bad at all since K750 has one of the best cameras in its market segment.
You can have a look at our detailed review of the camera qualities of Sony Ericsson K800 in the 3MP camera shootout in which we compare head to head Nokia N80 and K800 in order to see which of the two has got the most advanced digital eye. We are not going to get into details here regarding the available options and settings since those are covered in the shootout. We just want to take you around the most significant features of this mobile. For your convenience we just insert some of the sample photos in this review.
Let's mention the video calls camera on the front of K800 first. We are pleasantly surprised by the functionality that the VGA camera offers. The other party's video feed is viewed in a large frame in the middle of the screen while you view your own image in the very same time in a small frame in the lower left corner. There is also a possibility to view your own image mirror-like, meaning that the image gets reversed and looks as if you are staring at yourself in a mirror. It's much more natural that way. You can also zoom digitally your image at a 2x degree or choose to replace your live video feed with a picture of your taste. You can also do that during an actual video call and it's handy when you want to show the other call party an interesting picture you have taken for example. The options don't end here. You can further on control the exposure compensation of the camera or even switch it into a night mode.
There are 3 different video quality modes: Smooth, Sharp and Normal. Smooth delivers a smoother picture flow while Sharp provides more detailed images.
Anyways, let's cut to the chase and see what's new as far as the main camera capabilities of the phone are concerned. The first and most obvious thing is the new 3.2 megapixel matrix which delivers pictures at the resolution of 2048 x 1536. The picture size varies between 100-200KB at 1 megapixel normal quality setting and reaches 800-900KB at 3 megapixel fine quality setting. The second of the goodies that really warm our hearts is the xenon flash which is the same as the ones we are so used to see in regular digital cameras. The flash itself does a great job in lighting the surroundings when shooting in dark places.
The camera sports an image stabilizer which is only used in video recording mode. Let us just say that the term "video recording support" would be the most suitable one when describing the video capturing capabilities of the handset. The thing is that the video camera shoots in the ancient QCIF resolution (176 x 144 pixels) at 15 fps which is far outdated and is more than useless really.
Anyways, this camera truly inspired us and we went on a weekend shooting rampage in the country in order to see what the autofocus and macro mode could really offer us. Here are some shots that you won't find in the 3MP shootout.
We are more than happy with the fast processing of the images which is a definite plus when shooting at such high resolution. So in conclusion - great job with the camera from Sony Ericsson, they deserve our sincere compliments.