Nokia 6233 is equipped with a 2 megapixel camera. The maximum resolution is 1600 x 1200 pixels. Lower resolution as well as three types of compression quality is available, too. Furthermore the camera offers 8x digital zoom, which only makes digital crops of the original large image, so when you take pictures with the zoom used, you actually get a smaller resolution picture output.
The phone takes pictures in landscape mode using the camera right side button as a shutter release key or the central OK button of the D-pad. Now we ended using mainly the central OK button since as we already mentioned the side keys among which is the Camera shortcut key are rather hard to press. The camera has a nice shooting speed. When taking pictures at the maximum resolution and maximum level of quality it takes around 3 seconds from pressing the shutter key to actually saving the picture on the memory card. When shooting in poor lighting conditions, the same exercise takes up to 4 seconds.
Nokia 6233 offers a night mode, a self-release timer, and an image sequence shoot mode. In the image sequence shoot mode the camera takes up to four photos in quick succession. The higher the resolution, the fewer photos you can take sequentially. At the maximum resolution the phone takes a total of two pictures. There are several white balance presets you can choose from, along with an automatic mode. A good thing is the option to turn off the camera shutter sounds.
Besides all that, the camera offers several image effects such as Sepia, Grey scale, Negative, etc.
The quality of the pictures taken is average. It shows good resolution, but the photos have a preprocessed look - just take a look at the foliage at the sample pictures and you will see what we mean. To make the pictures visually sharper some of the edges are oversharpened, even jaggy. It is strange that Nokia takes exactly the opposite approach in the cameras of their Symbian phones – for example Nokia N71 takes a lot cleaner pictures, which respond better to editing.
An exciting feature of the camera is the option to record video clips at VGA (640 x 480 pixels) resolution. Video clips are recorded in the .3gp format at a speed of 15 frames per second. In video recording mode you can again apply color effects and adjust the white balance manually or automatically.
For the videos taken by a mobile phone the VGA resolution alone is an impressive feature. There aren’t many other available phones that can shoot videos in this resolution – Nokia 6280 and some XCute models. Just for comparison, we can say that for each frame Nokia 6233 records 12 times more pixels than for example Sony Ericsson K800, which shoots in QCIF resolution. In the examples you can see the amount of detail the phone captures. It’s interesting that in low light conditions the video doesn’t lose as much of the picture quality as the still pictures.
In reality it turns out that for such high resolution the 15 frames per seconds are not enough. When panning, for example, the videos look jerkier than the lower resolution videos with the same frame rate. If you want to shoot in VGA resolution with 30 frames per second you have to wait for the upcoming Nokia N93.
In case you want to save some memory space, you can use lower resolution for video capture. Here is a sample video shot in CIF resolution (352x 288 pixels).