Pros: 5 megapixel resolution • active multi-plate camera cap • autofocus • a wide range of function settings • very high quality images • high quality videos in VGA resolution
Cons: strong JPEG compression • frequent use of cold color nuances • flash cannot be activated permanently • xenon flash would have been handy • no manual exposure settings
Since we already published a separate article about Nokia N95's camera we will just copy part of the article here. Click to read the whole camera review here.
The camera is located on the rear side of the device; the lens is protected by a mechanical cover opened with an easy slide. Fortunately it's not that easy to let the cover open spontaneously, for example in case of pulling the phone out of one's pocket. The cover is active, that is, its opening activates the camera application. When you closed it, the keypad lock is activated automatically and vice versa - opening it unlocks the keypad.
Both activation and deactivation of the camera application is accompanied by gradual l lighting up of the side functional keys backlighting, just like in Nokia N73. On the right side, under your right pointing finger you will find a large release button; right next to it is an instant-access key to the Gallery; there is also a dual zoom key located under your left finger. To sum up, taking pictures with the phone is as natural as with your common digital camera.
On the front there is another camera for video calls, which can also be used for taking pictures. It creates images of up to 640 × 480 pixels and might be quite useful for portraits to go into the phonebook.
Inside the frame of the lens you will also see a powerful LED flash (not as powerful as a xenon flash, of course). Unfortunately, there is no setup option in the menu that would allow permanent activation of the flash so that this can be used as a torch, as seen in other Nokia phones. A special program providing such an option could probably be downloaded additionally, though.
The QVGA display (2.6 inch) serves as a viewfinder of the 5-megapixel camera.
It takes 6 seconds to get the camera application running. If you manage to focus immediately, then your first shot will probably take you about 8 seconds, which is rather slow, especially considering the frequent use of photo mobiles as opportunist cameras for taking instant shots.
To take a shot, first half-press the release button until the focusing frame becomes green, and then press the release button fully; just like you would do with a standard digital camera. Available are 4 different shutter sounds, each of which can be silenced completely should the phone has been set to silent mode.
The camera application is very user-friendly and easy to manage. Function icons are displayed on the right and switched between by using the vertical ways of the navigation key. The horizontal ways duplicate the zoom function, also available on the phone side. When a function is selected, an additional menu pops out. The upper context key closes functions, while the bottom one opens the option menu.
Among other options here you will find camera resolution settings, automatic insertion of images into albums, shutter sound setup, or default storage. Once you have set up all above mentioned features, they remain saved even if the camera application has been restarted. However, the same does not hold true for the functions displayed in the right menu column, which load their default settings each time the camera is activated.
Let's now have a closer look at the camera functions displayed in the right menu column:
Nokia N95 can be also used as a video camera. You can record videos of average quality in 3GP format, suitable to go into MMS as well as high-quality videos in resolution of 640 × 480 pixels; the latter speed up to 30 shots in a second. High-quality videos are recorded in MP4 format, but they use an enormous amount of MB - half a minute of such a video "eats up" approximately 10 MB. Videos maximum length only depends on the available free memory.
Video function menu is somewhat poorer than the camera one. Here you will find shooting mode settings, white balance, and a number of color nuances. You can zoom in digitally while recording, but zooming is not fluent, and most of all, it worsens the overall image quality. The microphone can be silenced if you wish. Another unusual function in the menu is the so called image stabilizer, but its influence is almost invisible.
Here is a Nokia N95 sample video.
Videos look brilliant both on the phone display and on a TV screen. On a PC screen, however, they come out much too colorful, with a far too high contrast. Nevertheless, for the moment this is the best you can get from a photo mobile on the market.