Has The 3.2MP Camera On The Eseries Devices Improved?

2. October 2009 at 07:00

The Nokia E75 comes with the same 3.2MP autofocus camera as the Nokia E71, and so I thought I’d put the two to the test to see which prospers. Both devices come with a single LED flash and the E75 has a focal length on 3.7mm compared to the 3.8mm of the E71. Other than that single millimeter the specs are completely identical, so the results should be quite interesting.

Taking images on the E71 is not the best of experiences, the lack of a dedicated camera key means that you need to go through your menu to find the camera application or use up one of your shortcuts. To focus when taking the image you need to hold down the letter ‘T’ then once it has focused, take image using selection key. Also when taking images in low light conditions, the LED does not light up when you are trying to focus, making it pretty difficult to see what you’re capturing.

Taking images on the E75 is a much more comfortable experience. The dedicated camera key allows you to start up the camera from whichever application you’re in, however you do need to hold it down for almost 4 seconds, irritating to say the least. The key itself is very nice, just the right amount of pressure is needed to both focus and capture an image, its even better than the camera key on the Nokia N86. The N95 8GB still has the perfect camera key in my opinion, it was a lot easier to snap away with ease, I’d love to see future devices sporting that very key. Focus time on the Nokia E71 takes around  2-3 seconds however the E75 only requires a single second. Every time, without fail.

Below on the left are image samples taken with the E71 and on the right those taken with the E75. You can click on the pictures to view the full image and have a closer look at the details.

In daylight:

Without any close examination you can instantly notice the darker tone and colour the E71 produces, look at the grapes for example. The images are less clearer and more washed out when compared to the E75. The E75 manages to capture more accurate colours and produces more lifelike images.

In low light using flash:

In low light using night mode:

In low light using flash stood 2 meters away:

In low light conditions it’s a similar story, the colours are just not represented accurately by the E71 and the images are very noisy. You can also notice the blue tone a lot more and the flash is just about acceptable, and very poor compared to that of the E75. There has clearly been a lot of work done on improving the LED flash. Night mode is also very poor on the E71, there was actually more light in the room than both the pictures made out to be and when stood two meters away from the object, the details are completely lost on the E71, and the white wall remains to be blue.

Complete darkness:

Although both devices sport the same single LED flash, the E75 is no competition for the flustered E71. The image noise on the E71 is immense and even though the flash seems to be more powerful, the quality of the image is dire. A dual LED flash would have made the camera experience on the E75 much better and may have even put the E75 into contention with some of the 5MP cameraphones on the market today.

Close-up using macro mode:

Close-up using macro mode with flash:

Macro mode has become an integral part of my camera voyages, and the true power of a camera device can be demonstrated with how well it can perform up close and personal. Looking at the thumbnails its hard to tell the difference between the two, however if you look a little closer at the images you will see that the E75 does a much better job.

Despite the E71 receiving many firmware updates, the E75 clearly performs much better using the same 3.2MP CMOS camera. The flash has also improved and the colour accuracy is spot on. I’d like to finish off with a short clip that demonstrates the video recording quality of both these devices. So have a look and let us know what you think.

Video recording:

Just a quick note, both the E71 and E75 support the use of the LED as a video light, however the option to disable it exists only on the E75. The video light cannot be switched off on the E71.