While Nokia N90 can boast about its Carl Zeiss labelled optics and its auto focusing, the new N70 model makes a step back to standard photo mobiles. It does not feature auto focus, it has fixed focus lens. Yet its camera and video applications origin from the Nokia N90 and thus offer plenty of options.
So, how exactly does Nokia N70 take pictures? It is brilliant in comparison to all current photo mobiles. Even though we could hardly speak about its optics as of something exceptional, the number of pixels manages to balance the situation, so picture quality is good. N70 performs brilliantly even in a direct comparison with its most successful competitors. I hope Carl Zeiss does not get offended, but the reality is sometimes cruel – in many cases Nokia N70 takes better pictures than N90, even without the blessing of the famous label. As a whole, however, Sony Ericsson remains the only photo mobile that shows high-class performance without exceptions.
The maximum resolution, in which Nokia N70 takes pictures, is 1600 × 1200 pixels, which is exactly 1.92 MP. The phone offers lower resolution options as well: 1024 × 768 (wrongly quoted as 1280 × 960 in the manual) and 640 × 480. In my opinion, resolution characteristics in N70 have been selected more successfully than those of Nokia N90. Pictures are saved in a JPEG format. File sizes are approximately 400 KB.
The fastest way to activate the camera is to remove the back cover, revealing this way the camera lens. The phone makes its first picture in 4.4 s – a bit far from ideal, not to say a disappointing performance. In this test Nokia scores the worst among all photo mobile phones that have undergone our testing so far. Allied Nokia 6681 manages within 2.67 s from a stand-by mode; Nokia N90 does it within 3.32 s.
Next to the camera lens you will see the matt white glass of the built-in flash. As usual, the flash is set to auto once the camera application has been started. You can force the flash manually to enabled or disabled. Be careful though, because once you close the lens cover, all selected settings disappear. The flash is quite necessary for picture taking in low light conditions. It helps a lot, indeed.
When you press the release button, it gives out a sound that resembles the real sound of a lens shutter. However, if you select a quiet mode, the phone gets truly silent, with the short flash of the diode next to the camera lens being the only detail, which might alert the photographed person that they are being taken picture of.
Nokia N70 has another camera on its front side. Originally, it has been developed to support video calls, but it can also be used for taking self-portraits. It works with resolution of 640 × 480 pixels. As it lacks a single setup option, the pictures it takes are quite low quality.