Nokia Lumia 710 visits the Ellerslie Flower Show...

, posted: 3-Apr-2012 10:20

In my continued desire to jump right in with the Nokia Lumia 710 I decided to use it as my camera for the day at the Ellerslie Flower Show in Christchurch. It was a beautiful cloudless day so all the outdoor shots I expected to be perfect but the real test was the Starlight tent (a wonderful indoor marquee of stunning exhibits that I knew would test it). Two years ago my iphone 3gs was very average at the same venue.

Leaving the manual at home straight away some things became obvious. The camera button is on the side of the phone so easy to push by mistake. The phone does have to be on (i.e. active) for it to work though which is good. So turn on, flip up the wallpaper, push the button and click. Simple. Except now you are walking to the next exhibit and get a great shot of the ground.

Three other buttons are also on screen. An up arrow to scroll old pictures and a flower type symbol for settings and a movie camera. All reasonably obvious as for function.



Example of a shot that at a smaller size looks fine but larger is soft in focus. "Urban Refreshment - Silver Distinction"    

Zoom is an easy + or - on the screen but after you take a shot did not seem to default back to standard which is positive or negative subject to what you are doing. It does mean that there is no way to tell if you are zoomed in or not while using the camera. I tended to regularly reset it back to full (either manually or by exiting the camera function). To me the slider should show if you are zoomed in and this would solve this small but annoying issue.

Auto focus can be frustrating as it is a half click. The difference between the half click working and not is small. Sometimes I would always get it and others I would want a half click and would get the picture and be totally unable to focus.  I would prefer this to be separate or the auto focus to show what it is focusing on screen.



This distance shot was in full focus front to back (many did not for some reason). "Straight from the Heart - Silver Award"



The camera was able to capture fine rock details and plants well with the background still in good focus. "Transitions - Gold & Supreme Award"

I took almost 300 photos over four to five hours and battery was still about 20% at the end of the day with email, WiFi, Bluetooth and Facebook updates on that whole time. I was very pleased with this aspect of the test.

Back home it's time to check out the pictures. Plug in the phone to the PC for the first time and it wants me to install Zune. I would much prefer the device is automatically seen in Windows the same as a USB drive.  I am NOT a fan of this method at all. Zune seems pretty enough though. Head into custom settings and it's found my Windows Media Player settings including iTunes which is nice.  Same with videos. Now it's trying to add all that media when all I want is to access the photos I just took.

At first it seems to only want to sync via USB cable but soon offers me a wireless option which is excellent. Disconnect the phone from USB and not working. It keeps telling me to connect the phone. I will win but this is frustrating and needlessly complex to me. Connect the phone, drag & drop from windows. How hard is that to make work.

So back on the USB cable we go. Click on pictures and there is a pile of blank grey boxes and it says I have 270 photos on "Camera Roll". Clicking one does nothing but I can hear the PC whirring away so let's leave things a while.



The camera is capable of excellent framing even into the sun and taking some nice images. "Casa De Vidro - Supreme, Gold and Lighting awards"

Five minutes later pictures start appearing in the grey boxes which is mind boggling slow and I still cannot even click a picture and have anything happen. Go away for a bit longer. Finally seems done. Clicking the first and last selects all and right click gives me the option "Copy to my collection".  Do so and nothing seems to happen. By now the frustration is growing and while this is not a Nokia issue it annoys me that what should be a simple step is made so complicated.

Finally I check in the Windows default directory I setup at the start. Full copies of everything which explains the slowness earlier as everything copied. Nothing (that I noticed)  told me it was doing this.

So what is my first impression going through the pictures? They are good to ok but very few are excellent (which may be harsh of me as this is a lower cost phone). Many are just short of clear focus and have the wrong exposure. The indoor ones in particular are disappointing. Some distance shots have no focus at all front or back in the shot so I cannot see where the camera took the focus from. Anything zoomed in is just poor quality.

I later uploaded about 150 of the photos to Facebook using the High Definition upload option. Most looked good to excellent and if this is your intended output medium then I will say that the photos and camera will work just fine for you. 

Equally, if used in an article like this they will more than adequately do the job for a report or assignment. But if you want to blow them up to A4 then you could be pushing the camera  a little hard.

I would use the camera on this phone but know its limitations.

The videos however are extremely clear but the recorded sound very very low.  Excellent results in fact and I was very impressed with the clarity. So overall a good test of the phone that it did not fail but did not really excel at either. Some of the areas I had issues with may be solved by "reading the manual" but my goal here was to continue testing the phone use in real world and as is.



One of the few indoor shots that was useable. The camera did not cope at all with the low light. "Dan Rutherford's Fresh Start, New Growth - Gold & Lighting Silver Distinction Awards".

About the author:

Debs (Quinny) works in the Christchurch construction industry so has had a pretty busy 18 months. With a 30 year plus work history that includes government Departments, IT consulting and the entertainment industry she has a love of samoyeds, gaming, science fiction and spends time on voluntary community work. Some of a eco, tech and gadget freak she has an iPhone 3GS, Nook & Kindle eReaders, usb caddy, recyclable shopping bags  and a Blackberry Playbook inside that massive Guess handbag. I game, being a World of Warcraft junkie, in a big NZ raiding guild.

Other related posts:
Nokia Lumia 710: The Good
Nokia Lumia 710: The Bad
Nokia Lumia 710: The Ugly






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Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

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