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Nokia E90 Review - Part II

5th August 2007

< Part I

Part III >

Click here to see our video review

Nokia E90: Digital camera and video capture

The camera on the Nokia E90 is a 3.2 megapixel unit with autofocus and a flash. Picture quality is pretty good although there is no dedicated macro function for close-up pictures. The autofocus can be a bit hit-and-miss, but that's common with all autofocus systems.

The position of the camera button lends the phone to be held with the left hand while taking phones, and this is very close to the lens. This means that it is very easy to cover or partially cover the lens with a finger.

The flash is quite bright, but not as good as the flash on a dedicated camera. The Nokia E90 seems to combine this with a low-level light mode to compensate, and this makes the pictures somewhat grainy.

The camera does not record GPS information with the pictures, which seems to be a missed opportunity.

Click the photos for the full-size version.

Two photographs of the same subject show variable results. In the first one, the focus is off and the overall picture quality is poor.

Nokia E90 sample photo


This picture is much sharper, and yet it is the same subject from a different angle. We know more about phones than plants - but we think this is a buddleia.

 Nokia E90 sample photo


A picture of some thistles in a scene that mixes highlights and shadows. The E90 copes quite well here, and all parts of the image are clearly visible.

 Nokia E90 sample photo


This picture illustrates the peril of digital zoom. Optical zoom in cameras is still a very rare feature, and you can see the jaggies that the digital zoom has introduced.

 Nokia E90 digital zoom sample


Here the autofocus has missed the point and has focussed on the background rather than the foreground. Note the poor colour gradiant on the foreground flower.

 Nokia E90 sample photo


But in contrast, the E90 has taken an excellent close-up picture of these cherry tomatoes, with plenty of fine detail and good quality colours.

 Nokia E90 sample photo


The Swan pub, Elstow. Overall quality is fair, although the bright sunlight has caused a problem in the top right hand corner and it looks like a finger is in the way of the lens.

 Swan pub, Elstow


Elstow High Street is very out of focus in this shot. It's hard to say what the Nokia E90 was actually trying to focus on, but it wasn't what you'd expect.

 Elstow High Street


The E90 shows how variable it can be, with this good quality picture of the Moot Hall museum, also in the village of Elstow in the UK.

 Elstow Moot Hall


A pretty good picture, this time Elstow Abbey Church, where John Bunyan (author of The Pilgrim's Progress) used to ring the church bells.

 Elstow Abbey Church


A completely different shot, this time in very low lighting conditions using the E90's flash. Although the picture is quite bright, the overall quality is somewhat grainy.

 Nokia E90 sample photo


Same interior shot with a flash, and the graininess remains. Compare the quality of these two photos with the exterior daytime shots to see the difference in quality.

 Nokia E90 sample picture


Video capture resolution is up to 640x480 pixels @ 25fps (which is higher than most current phones). There's no video output on the E90, so you'll need to transfer the file off the phone to play it back on a larger screen. Video capture uses a standard MPEG-4 format. We did not need to download a codec to view the videos.

The full-size videos are rather large, although the capture size can be adjusted in the camera. You can see a full-size picture of a video clip captured on the Nokia E90 below - QuckTime is being used to play back the E90's MP4 capture.

 Nokia E90 video capture

The Nokia E90 also has built-in digital image stabilisation which can make a significant different to the picture.

This first shot is taken without image stabilisation (note that the clip dimensions have been scaled down by YouTube).

And now with image stabilisation on, you can see that the movement is smoother. You'll also note that the quality of the E90's video capture makes quite high-quality YouTube clips.

In the next part of our review, we will look at the Nokia E90's operating system and applications, and will be comparing them the the old nokia 9500 and the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet.


< Part I

Part III >

Click here to see our video review


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