Y’know, in some ways, I feel a little bad doing this review.
From the shoot-it-as-a-DSLR point of view, I mean.
See, this isn’t just ANY cellphone.
The E72 is the successor to the E71 and grandchild to the E61i.
This is a quality blood-line we’re looking at here.
The E71 was Nokia’s answer to the BlackBerry. Only… slimmer… and faster… AND prettier. The suits loved it, and it went on to be widely recognised as the best business phone ever, from the Finish giant.
And this E72 model we’re looking at, has had only minor changes, from that winning recipe.
So, why do I feel bad doing a review on a phone with such solid credentials?
Simple. This phone is a respected corporate heavyweight, in a Armani suit.
But, it’s about to get in the ring with a Muay Thai fighter, and be asked some tough questions.
Unless there’s a miracle, we all know this is going to end badly.
Oh well. Undaunted, and ever in the spirit of: “Give it a fair whirl and let’s see what pops out”, let’s take a look at the E72 as a camera.
The specs are simple but adequate. 5MP sensor, Autofocus, LED flash, a 320 x 240 QVGA display. The lens housing protrudes a little from the phone back, but sadly does not contain the Carl Zeiss optics, like the N-series models do. Pity.
How about the the software? Well, rather ask about the lack of software. Seriously, you can tell there wasn’t much spend in the box for camera software. It’s minimal, clunky and offers a meager range of settings.
OK, maybe it’s just really smart, and makes all those decisions for you? Let’s shoot it and find out.
Bad start. There is no dedicated camera button. There’s just a short-cut above the right-hand selector below the screen. OK, camera eventually boots-up, next problem…How to focus and shoot? Center button on the navi-pad, right? Well yes, just that, the required input is neither intuitive nor responsive, so as to inspire confidence. Half-press to focus, full-press to shoot is the standard, please. No need to re-invent the wheel.
I eventually got it figured out and went to shoot some frames. Here’s what I got:
Hmmm… Seems the Armani suit has some game! Very nice. From these and other images I took, it appears that the camera is a constant aperture, constant ISO device, and exposure adjustment is handled simply by shutter and flash. If that’s true, it makes the achievement all the more remarkable. Given sufficient light, the images are sharp, well metered and colour reproduction is good, if a tiny bit coldish (blue).
There was also a Panorama mode that I had a try at, out of curiosity:
OK. Not that great, E72. Although the overlap process while taking the images for the pano was simple and straightforward, the alignment of the horizon is very bad, and the blending is poor, creating visible bands in the sky, at the joins. Nice try, no cigar here.
All in all? A surprisingly polished result, from what seems to be a somewhat lame duck of a camera. Even though it offers minimal adjustability, the E72 can shoot impressive images.