The Nokia N900 Carl Zeiss optics

From the photos being posted on the Flickr N900 Pool I have been observing that the Carl Zeiss optics (Tessar) installed in the N900 is exhibiting, particularly in Macro or near macro focus mode, a classic shallow depth of field focus typical of a small f-Stop.

The N900 specs indicate that the Lens has an F-Stop of 2.8 and a Focal length of 5.2 mm, which for such a small sensor is good. But a real camera it’s not, from all it’s behavior, it looks like the F-Stop is fixed wide open which make any control over the depth-of-field meaningless. The lens does exhibit classic Carl Zeiss high contrast, which results in a very sharp photo. but there appears to be no real ‘shutter’ either. Motion effects behave more like video scanning where all sensor elements are NOT sampled at the same time like a real shutter would produce.

Over all the ‘Camera’ in the N900 could best be qualified as a very high end WebCam.

With regard to the sensor itself it appears to be relatively low in ‘noise’, probably more due to the restricted ISO controls than to the sensor. However one thing that I’ve noted is some jpeg artifacts that could probably use a little refinement in a firmware update. And guess what? no ‘raw’ mode from the camera, unless someone in the Maemo community wants to add this feature.

Still, I wish I had my pre-ordered N900 now … I could have posted my own photos. 🙂

Displaying Toys

Conor got a cheap thrill from some of my Amazing Collection of computer Toys that I brought to the BarCampCork III meet up. I was more than happy to bring them out for an airing, although my back, and Walter’s will be thanking us later for our efforts. I would definitely offer (like in free beer) the collection to any group who would display, preserve and teach the history of these (and other) machines from my collection. And I support Conor’s idea of a computer/science/technology museum in Cork. After all, just because the UCC Computer Science Department refused the offer, doesn’t mean that citizens of The Republic of Cork should be denied the gift.


UPDATE: IS this going to be opportunity to have a Museum Cork Science Park

The Nokia N900 in Portrait mode

One thing about the Nokia N900 (Maemo) system has always bother me. And that was it’s dependance on operations in Landscape mode, usually with the hardware keyboard extended.

Often I have heard other potential buyers put this restriction as a deal breaker. And while the Phone DOES operate in Portrait mode (in fact it switches to the Phone application when in Portrait mode) it could not operate the other applications in Portrait mode. This issue was also due to the lack of a Portrait virtual keyboard. Most of the complaints I heard were that people would use one handed operations while the phone was in Portrait, and that the N900 was flawed if it could not.

Now, watch some YouTube videos some time, if you watch other phones in operation, particularly when using their virtual Portrait keyboards, it’s never one handed. Almost without exception, the user brings both hands into play holding the phone with both hands. This more or less renders the argument moot if the user always uses both hands. The N900 in Landscape would be equally operated with both hands, and in fact be easier to use with either the larger virtual keyboard, or the hardware keyboard.

Problem, and flaw, resolved. By human behavior.

An Idiot talks about the Nokia N900

While most of what this guy said is short sighted and generally idiotic it did touch on something I agree with

But the fact is that by the time the M900 hits store shelves, it will be competing with not only Apple’s iPhone, Palm’s Pre and Research in Motion’s second take at the Storm, but the first of what figure to be many Droid phones, all of which have serious brand recognition in the United States. By the time Nokia gets around to reintroducing the N900 — this time with pricing and a carrier — all the oxygen will have been sucked out of the market by the likes of Motorola, HTC and LG, running on Google’s Android.