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Nokia Lumia 900 Review

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As a camera buff, I was a little bit disappointed with the camera output of the Lumia 900. This is supposedly the same camera module as found on the N9 and Lumia 800. I already found the N9 somewhat underwhelming though once I started tweaking I was able to get images on that device that compared favourably (and better in a lot of cases) with the Galaxy S2, similar sensor and optics size. On the other hand with the exact same hardware the camera becomes very disappointing on the Lumia 900 and continues a trend I picked up with the Lumia 800 as well. Much of this is said to be a software issue, rooted with the Windows Phone platform. So essentially, Nokia really can’t do much here other than try and patch through software. The Lumia 900 is certainly a very useable camera phone but it seems to have a narrow range that hits the sweet spot. I found the camera produced images that were dull, lacked the detail that other 8 MP camera phones resolved, and more often than not colour and white balance were inaccurate. Low-light performance was average to poor and the LED flash inconsequential once the sun has set. To be fair to the Lumia 800, only a handful of smartphones, the N8, Motorola XT720 and the very recent Nokia 808 PureView are of any use when flash photography is called.

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia also includes the rather useful Creative Studio photo-editing app. I played around with it and it is great for making minor adjustments to photographs as well large scale changes with effects and filters. Camera Extras is a download away from the Marketplace and adds features like Action Shot, Smart Group Shot, Panorama and Self Timer. I tested out the Action Shot and Panorama features and both worked really well.

Nokia Lumia 900

I hardly shoot video with my phones but I liked the output of the Lumia 900 more than I did the still photography. Something I didn’t like was that there was no way to zoom once a video was being shot. So one has to zoom in to the right level and then take the shot. To be fair though since this is digital zoom on a small sensor it is probably a good thing. Continuous autofocus worked well I found. The adjustment is noticeable but happens quickly enough.

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By , Columnist, Johannesburg office

Published on Aug 27th, 2012 GMT +2

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