Jolla Preview: First Look: Camera

By 06:10 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Comments


The Jolla phone has an 8MP main capturing camera with an Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash and a 2MP front-facing camera. The main capturing camera can record 1080p video @ 30fps. Those specs don't sound too impressive to the Android and Windows Phone crowd, but the iPhone 5s has basically the same specs. It's the image quality that counts, anyway so let's not rush to any conclusions.

Before we acquire to that, let's talk capturing camera interface. The capturing camera can be launched from the lockclassy screen (pull down until you highlight "Camera" and release) or from a shortcut. The interface is pretty clean - just a virtual shutter key and row of indicators.

Those indicators show the current settings and you can tap any one of them to bring up the settings overlay or utilize the pull down gesture that is standard across the rest of the UI.

The first one is a capturing camera mode - still or video. In video mode you also acquire a time indicator when you record. Flash can be set to auto, off or forced and there are a few white balance settings. In the lower correct there's a front/back capturing camera toggle.

The clean capturing camera interface

The autofocus option offers continuous autofocus, infinity (which is not fine for close ups, but prevents unnecessary refocusing when shooting distant objects) and finally the traditional tap focus.

A gesture borrowed from Android allows you to swipe from the side to view captured images and videos. Just create sure you swipe in the correct direction, becautilize you might discontinue up opening the settings instead or worse, exiting the camera. There's no swipe to delete though, you have to pull down and select delete, then wait out the 2 second timer (during which you can cancel).

There's no geo-tagging option and the photos we took were not geo-tagged. We'll dig into this issue further for the review, as the Jolla phone has an A-GPS, GLONASS-enabled receiver built-in so it should be possible to geo-tag photos.

Another thing we missed are shooting modes - there's no HDR or panorama mode, for example, not even night mode. Note that by default the capturing camera shoots 6MP 16:9 photos and you can't change that from the camera. You have to go into the Settings, then apps, then capturing camera to change the aspect to 4:3 and gain the full resolution shots.

The several capturing camera samples we took were in fairly poor weather, so we'll wait for clearer air to snap photos for the review. Even so, there are a few obvious flaws. The photo have a noticeable red/purple tint to them, though color rendering seems accurate. The exposure can utilize a small tweaking too as the Jolla phone tends to overexpose photos.

These should be easy enough to fix with a software update. The capturing camera itself seems a decently capable 8MP shooter - not quite iPhone 5s levels, but it will be fine enough after a few tweaks.

Jolla 16:9 capturing camera samples

Jolla 4:3 capturing camera sample

We also shot a video too. The capturing camera records at 1080p @ 30fps with 12Mbps bitrate. That's not very high for FullHD video, the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S4 do 17Mbps, for example, but we've also seen lower. Audio is captured in stereo at around 114Kbps bitrate.

The interface is virtually unchanged in video mode

We were disappointed by the front-facing camera, which only captures 720p video at 15fps despite its 2MP resolution.

The video itself looks fine enough - again, it's not as sharp as the best of the best 1080p phone cameras out there, but it gets the job done. We'll hold a closer see at the video quality in the full review. Until then, here's a video sample to gauge it for yourself.

Note that the audio is garbled, even after we installed the latest update available. This problem isn't limited to just our unit either. Another issue we encountered is that the framerate drops significantly when shooting video in the dark, as low as 12-13fps. You can't turn on the Light Emitting Diode (LED) light either, so low-light video recording is a no-go at this point.

Hopefully there will be a software update soon as this just doesn't work like a finished product should.



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