Freelance consultant for digital heritage

Nokia E71 Review: Part Two – The Camera

I’ve now had my E71 for a couple of weeks or so, and I’m still loving it.

The camera is renowned (from reviews that I’ve read anyway) for being between utterly average and really poor. These definitions are, of course, subjective. After a few weeks of use, I would prefer to call the camera “idiosyncratic”. It behaves with quite a mind of its own.

So rather than going through the camera’s interface (that can be found elsewhere), I’ll talk more generally about it.

Let’s begin by letting this Flickr gallery do some of the speaking for me. Adjustments made to these photos range between none at all, to drastic. Most of them were done ‘rough and ready’ in iPhoto.

I’ll be tagging photos with “E71” for a while, so feel free to see what else I have taken over on my Flickr pages.

The phone that the E71 replaced was the 3 Skypephone, whose camera really is utterly, utterly awful (in the 1st generation phone at least). Bear that in mind when I say that I actually think that the E71’s camera is reasonable. I probably say this because I’m used to editing photos, and I don’t mind a bit of camera noise. I like to take arty (in the loosest possible terms) and unusual shots, and for the odd snap with friends, it fulfills those needs entirely.

I sometimes find that it takes an abnormally long time to take a photo, and often when this happens, it is very overexposed. However, in some of the occasions when this has happened, I’ve loved the results! In a way, since the camera is a bit of a novelty really, I love this unpredictability.

The Boot Inn

In low light conditions, there’s lots of noise, which according to some renders it unusable. I prefer to ignore that and use it to my advantage. I’ll make grainy and gritty photos instead:

Salisbury Gasometer II

I’m finding that the limitations of the camera is making me think more about composition, that’s for sure!

In the next post I’ll focus on some of the software that I have thus far installed.

A walk in the country
“A walk in the country” – The only adjustment was a slight desaturation. The lens blur is from the optics.


5 responses to “Nokia E71 Review: Part Two – The Camera”

  1. Scott Rushton avatar
    Scott Rushton

    You sir, are a master with the camera in the E71. I myself have recently got my Nokia E71 and one of my complaints was the shoddy camera, but you’ve inspired me to look at the silver lining and use its quirks to my advantage for some unique photos.

    1. Hi Scott,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I don’t know about master of the E71’s camera, but you’re right in trying to see it in a different light. I have taken some amazing photos that would have been totally dull otherwise. However, I have also taken a lot of really bad unusable photos with it too 😉

      From what I’ve heard, the latest firmware fixes many of the camera problems, making it much more reliable, and removes the purple cast. I’ve left mine as it is 😉

      Happy snapping,


  2. Rory Lovelock avatar
    Rory Lovelock

    Hey Tom,
    Im sitting here at my computer in Melbourne australia and I can see the Boot Inn. Thats pub is 30 seconds from the front door of where I grew up as a kid!



    1. I was there last night, as a matter of fact, and it’s still a mighty fine pub, resisting modernisation. Probably hasn’t changed much since you lived nearby… 🙂

  3. Hi Tom,

    I think that you have released me from my ‘up-grade limbo’!
    Thank you,