Sunday, July 29, 2012

Black and White PureView

The 808 can take quite decent pictures with enough details to mess around with Lightroom. However I do wonder what would it be to access the RAW data.

Here is a comparison between a monochrome Lightroom treatment and fresh out of camera.

Pure Crazy

Ok it is official I am crazy about the PureView.

At a StarHub shop, the conversation went like this
Me: What is different about the HTC One phone.
Nice HTC Promoter: Oh it has quad core and runs the latest Android. It has Beats Audio and has the best camera of it's class..
Me: No it doesn't, my phone has the best camera.

It was a lighthearted conversation, nothing serious, the nice guy asked about the PureView, he was surprised about the availability in Singapore. Still somehow this cameraphone has gotten me rather defensive, I hardly jump at things like that.

Note to Nokia: Your marketing sucks for the PureView. The young man didn't even know the phone was available in the shop just OPPOSITE. Then again he works for HTC.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

More PureView Pictures

Car park of Garden by the Bay
Love the greenery and sunlight pouring in like a spot light.

Resort World Sentosa

Puss in the Mountain

The big kitty cat from the mountain has arrived. Based on the introduction by Apple, it makes your Mac feel like any iOS device. Their default browser Safari has come out from the wilderness and feels more like....Chrome, the one from Google, although I must say the pinch-swipe to navigate tabs is pretty neat. Not quite enough to make me jump on the Safari ride as yet.

For once Apple is making it cheap to upgrade and everyone else seems to have been eager to shut up and part with money.

Looks like we are getting deeper into the Walled Garden of Cupertino with iClouds overhead. Once you are in, you can never get out....*cue evil laugh*

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Unexpected Garden

Sometimes people can screw up your schedule, but at times it can end up an opportunity for a unscheduled distraction. With an hour to spare, I made a quick trip to latest attraction of this region if not the world.

Good for testing the Nokia 808. I have only explored the entrance area, so there are plenty to see still.
PureView with Lightroom ahead.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My bag feels so light after reading this from Gizmodo. It shares the bag contents of one Steve Wozniak.
Then again, he can afford it.

I heart PureView

Well well, looks like I am not quite alone in liking the poor orphaned child of Nokia. In the short time since it's launch, the 808 has gotten quite a fan club.

PureView Club
This group actually started since the 808 was announced. Talk about love at first sight. Lots of news and discussion. Which led me to the next item.

From ZDNet, the title is self explanatory: Another week with the Nokia 808 PureView convinces me it's worth the $700. I think the main problem is the Symbian OS or rather the perception. I had used Symbian S60 previously and by the E52 it was clearly buggy. Belle is definitely different in performance, far more responsive and stable.

One thing I find missing is the ability to upload to Picasa webalbum directly. If I am ever desperately in need of connecting to Picasa, I can actually transfer to my N9 which in turn can upload to my account.

So much trouble you say? Three simple letters: NFC. I snap on the 808, open the gallery, put them together at the NFC antenna and voila! The image is sent via bluetooth automatically provided the phones have been paired previously. Very fast and automatic.

Volker Weber is the owner of the blog vowe dot net, I particularly like this post about going back to the 808 , something I can attest to.

Lastly this Finnish blogger, Jarmo Timonen, has patiently gathered all the music videos he made with the PureView. Quite amazing recordings for a mobile phone.

Enjoy this video of a misunderstood, underrated and under sold phone

Sunday, July 15, 2012


PureView with a little Lightroom magic.

Things to be thankful for:

Shade on a sunny day.

Solid ground. No mudslides, flooding or bomb craters, how great is that!

Look up. Best wallpaper on the best Super definition screen.

Update on the PureView


What is a gadget without accessories?

Screen protectors are generally a must, even with the magical Gorilla Glass cover. A little quirk is the left and right edges of the PureView screen curves down into the poly-carbonate casing, so the current screen protector available is actually short of the long edge of the screen, by at least 2 mm. That is irritating because it will always have gunk building up there. Good thing is Nokia actually supplies the phone with quite a good temporary protector. From past experience, they last pretty long for something temporary.

Official casing offered is the C-3046 which comes with a lens cover. It is a pretty stiff silicone casing, which I do recommend as the bulging lens assembly has some shiny metal parts that can get scratched, worse is cracking the lens glass.  Interestingly behind the glass cover the lens has a separate cover, that automatically opens while the camera app is active. Negative about the casing is I think the loudspeaker is dampened a little. The dedicated camera button becomes a little harder to press, resulting in accidentally taking a shot while trying to turn on the camera..

Nokia has on offer a tripod adapter as well, the HH-23, which is available in Singapore despite it missing from the local website. Costing SGD$18, it is a poly-carbonate spring loaded clamp with a tripod screw hole. Unfortunately I think it was designed for use without the casing, so beware of flying phones if not too gentle.

Update: As I suspected. the tripod mount does not work well with the casing, there is a tendency for the phone to slip out of the clamps. In fact, I think it needs a bit of adjustment as it does not allow for the curved backing and deeper body of the PureView, even the placement of the slider lock key is not considered. It works perfect on the N9.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Purity in Vision

Nokia PureView 808.

This is a CAMERAphone, depending on how you define a mobile phone. It is relatively smart, though not top of the class, so you get a fair bit of your social media connection and internet whatnot. In this era of Apps and Gazillion Apps, the PureView seems rudimentary, with the basic apps to process your photos, nothing to the slickness of iPhoto or Photoshop but enough to get a stray ear or finger out of the frame and brighten that most embarrassing photo of you puking after a binge.

I have very minimal needs for my phone, so this serves me well especially since I still have the N9. The one key difference from the N9 is Whatsapp which runs on Symbian but not MeeGo. The service has improved a lot since I last PAID for it on iOS, now it is the better alternative to iMessage and almost platform agnostic. And it's FREE.

Until iOS6 is released, one thing that beats the iPhone is the turn by turn navigation. Nokia Drive is pretty accurate and now includes voice guidance with street names. Fun to hear things like SLE to CTE pronounced as "Slay" to CTE with an American accent.

Symbian Belle is relatively light footed, and definitely streamlined for this monster of a camera. Except for a quirk while shooting continuously for some time, it had not crashed.

Now the CAMERA part.

Nokia effectively squeezed in a compact camera into a phone. It is the equivalent of a Ricoh GX series type camera. While the 41 megapixel specification seems incredible, my experience is that you have to treat it like any point and shoot. Do not expect something to compete with say a Nikon D800. The sensor SIZE is 1/1.2" which competes with most top of the line compact point and shoots. The dense pixel count is used with pixel binning, so you don't get huge files.

There are plenty of reviews online, I have posted a few previously, so I won't repeat with a review, rather I will share my experience.

Incidentally it is the bi-annual Singapore Garden Festival again, lovely to attend, tough to photograph.

I left my GXR behind, determined to test out the PureView in a "lucky I have my camera phone with me" situation. It was very similar to my first experience with the Ricoh R5, thus why I say treat it like any point and shoot.

The first thing to note is how fast you can start shooting. Dedicated camera button. It allows you to jump to the camera view from a locked screen with a screen saver running in almost 1 second and you can actually shoot by simply pressing the camera button again.

I haven't tested how fast it can focus, but it is relatively faster than average for a mobile phone. Focusing is activated on the touch screen with a default to Autofocus, but with a long press, you can then select  from Automatic, Close up, Hyperfocal and Infinity. Would have been nice if they could do something like Ricoh's snap focus.

There area 3 modes, fully automatic, typical scene mode or "creative". Which basically means semi-manual. You have no control over shutter and aperture, but have access to ISO control up to 1600. There is exposure control and surprisingly a built in ND filter.

Zoom is purely digital, but with cropping instead of extrapolation, and is silent. It does not work in "Full resolution" mode. One magical touch, you can zoom in Video mode silently without losing resolution.

The PureView theoretically should work quite well in low light situations, but I noticed the shutter speed tends be in the low 1/10 to 1/30. This unfortunately means blurry picture for me. Shaky hands and the fact the phone is held in an awkward position most of the time rendered a lot of my photos blurry. I also find that touching the screen to focus and shoot makes it worse. Stabilizing on a post or fencing did not help me either. Would be nice if Nokia added a timed shutter release. My bad, it DOES have a timer release, in steps of 2, 10 and 30 seconds. Annoyingly it beeps counting down.

The screen though large has a lower resolution which makes the blurry pictures hard to detect unless you spend time zooming in. Everything looks good zoomed out.

Here are some less blurry photos. They are untouched except for some cropping.

Nokia also threw in 5 free photography apps which includes Panoramic shots and an Instagram copy.

I am pretty impressed by the Panoramic stitching.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


It was a wet morning, with winds creating strange patterns. Nice weather to have when tucked away safely at home.

Lonesome 9

Like the gentle giant of the Galapagos, the N9 is all alone.
Before us users could even savour the latest update, it was announced that the MeeGo team is leaving Nokia

So to Sotiris Makyrgiannis and his team: Kiitos ja näkemiin

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

It is still alive! N9

Yippee! Any N9 users reading this : New update available!
Thanks to MyNokiaBlog and Nokia Swipe

Nokia might be crumbling under the assault from within and outside, but thanks to the Engineers toiling away, the one strange N9 is still getting updates. Sure, its nothing fantastic like iOS6 and Jelly Bean, but it gets the work done. It has some smarts to it and best of all, I don't have to worry about updates killing paid apps or slowing things down. Call me iRebel.

Oh as an aside, Corning Gorilla Glass is one tough a** cover. The video is in Italian, but the visual is pretty conclusive.  I can testify as I have been carrying my N9 around without a screen protector for the longest time or front cover either. Of course you have to treat it with care, but not as much as an iPhone considering they are quite similar in form. After so long, I only see very tiny scratches.

Nokia Pureview 808 scratch test

VIA MyNokiaBlog

PS: I love to listening to Italian being spoken, donta eska mia wai, Mamma Mia! è molto bella!


Considering how pervasive the internet is in our lives and how immersed we can be in that virtual world, it is a timely reminder that Mummy Nature can whip our behind. While a testament to the strength of the internet, this incident says it can be all turned off with a switch.
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