It's a wrap!
Well, I was very impressed with this camera. Camera? But isn't Nokia a phone company, I hear you say? Yes that's right I said, camera. This device is obviously weighing in to compete with the Blueberries and iPhones of the world, oh; and by the way, you can also use it to make phone calls. During the time I had the Nokia N82, I highly doubt that I ever got beyond scratching the surface of this device's capabilities. As I only had the device for 2 weeks and Australian telco charges are prohibitive for me personally, I kept my use of the phone's web capabilities to a minimum. These being twitter and flickr, both via the web interface. [I've never been able to get my phone account to utilise any overseas services a fault of Optus or me, not the Nokia, I feel.]
Having said that, I set up the phone to access my flickr account directly, and was able to choose what I do with each image, once captured. A double edged sword, as there was, then, another layer of decision making added to the process, with it's resulting costs, if I wasn't careful! So I had to think long and hard about each image after I captured it.
A phone or Camera?
The camera functions on the phone are extensive and given it's whopping 5 megapixel chip, it actually compares to my Nikon Coolpix 5400, bought in 2004. The only thing that my Nikon Coolpix 5400 does that the Nokia, didn't was capture in raw. The cost of adding storage, was too prohibitive for a 2 week loan camera and as a consequence, I twice emptied the camera to keep space available. [The phone hols 116 photos in the highest settings]. The card seems to be of a type not made by 3rd parties, thereby adding to the cost so if a cheaper one came on the market I would definitely buy one. Of course, like most camera phones, these days, it has all the usual functions, white balance, shooting modes, and choices for colour and special effects, and then some. What many don't have is, ISO settings. Where ever possible I try to keep my noise in my images to a minimum and one way to achieve this is using low ISO settings, the trade off being blur. The different flash modes were a bonus as well. And of course what is nearly the killer feature, on the Nokia N82, for me was the zoom lens.
Something strange happened to my photography though while I was testing the camera. I seemed to have cut back or dropped off in my output. Was this because now I had so many features to choose from? Or was it because the newness of the camera slowed me down? I'm not sure and it will take some time for me to work that one out, I suspect.
Bring Bring.... Hello?
As for the phone itself, well it was very good, the quality of sound and reception was impeccable, far superior to my Sony Ericcson K610i. The first few days things were a little slow and awkward for me, as I re-learnt a new interface, but after a few days of phone calls txt messages and photography, I felt pretty comfortable about it all.
The phone aspect of the Nokia N82, as I said was exceptional, my only beef about it was the size of the keys. I found them a little difficult to operate especially, while using the phone to send SMS messages. Perhaps a 40 something, 190cm, 90kg+ bloke should get used to this idea, who knows.
I'm going to assume I'm like most people, reading the manual supplied was a bit of a hindrance, and it wasn't until I downloaded another pdf of the instruction manual that I managed to nut out a few issues, such as predictive text, and adding symbols. Some of the features of the phone that I thought were interesting were, the office suite, and pdf reader. Useful but for a desk-bound person like myself probably overkill. The barcode scanner seemed useful too, but, time just ran out when it came to working out how to use it and sent it up.
So this phone or camera or whatever you want to call it, is a powerful tool in this day and age of portable digital devices. If I was less desk-bound and in need of a powerful phone/camera/productivity tool, I would consider purchasing the Nokia N82, just for the camera alone. Of course I've never owned a palm or blueberry or any organiser type device, so I guess I'm not that qualified to pass much in the way of judgement. As a photographer though, experimenting with the idea of using a phone daily, almost hourly, this is one killer camera. Personally, and this won't apply to many people, I do however, have reservations about it as a photographic tool as the choices are endless, and these choices move the phone right into the realm of fairly serious amateur photography. However from my perspective I am more interested in what I call gestural photography, something that is about time and space, and operating in a totally intuitive response mode. "Don't Think Just Shoot", in a totally stripped back tool kind of way; where all you are working with is the light and and your own ability to compose an image.
USB & Battery
One last note. USB connectivity was an issue for me, and battery life may have been an issue for me. Given Nokia's poor support of Mac users in the past, it's unlikely that I would buy this camera/phone. I prefer to use USB based tools like, Image Capture to control what, and how, I download from camera to computer, and after plugging the USB cable into my computer and the phone, nothing seemed to happen. Bluetooth was adequate for this task during time I had the camera, but in an extended time frame where I am trying to keep my images organised over several projects, it may not be enough. The battery life on the camera was poor, [I tended to get about 36 hours out of charge] but again I doubt I had set the phone up to get the optimum from it, and I'm sure I was not the 1st to test the phone either, so who knows what state the battery was in when i received it. Despite all this I enjoyed my time with this camera, and was ecstatic, at the quality of sound offered by the phone, all round a great tool. Thanks womworld.com for giving me the opportunity to play AND work with this powerful and flexible tool. One day I'll get a couple of prints made from the images I created using the Nokia N82.