Nokia N73 review: Pole position

Michal Sedlák, 28 August 2006.

Icons and joystick in harmony

I am observing the display while taking photos: in the upper left corner is the symbol of the active mode: photo or video; in the left bottom corner is stated the number of the images still left to make in the currently selected resolution and the size of those already taken. The right (here top) context key closes the camera application, while the left (bottom) one takes you back to the default setup, where you can save your images into the image store or into albums, for example. I presume you will not happen to open this folder frequently though.

Nokia N73 Nokia N73 Nokia N73
Camera interface • main menu

Nokia N73 Nokia N73
Selecting image size • front VGA camera can be activated too

All important functions are veiled behind the icons in the right area of the display. These are tiny but even so quite distinctive thanks to the QVGA resolution (240 x 320 pixels). The design of the legends describing each setting is quite nice. Icons' look changes in accordance with selected items; hence, it is not necessary to enter icons' menus repeatedly to check the levels of exposure compensation or the current color nuance, for example.

If you hide the entire icon bar, it will pop out every time you move the joystick and then disappear once again behind the right end of the display. If you select and hold for a second on a particular icon, a short descriptive legend appears nearby - a function that is impossible to deactivate but, fortunately, it does not disturb photo process.

Nokia N73
If you wait for a while, a description of icon's functions will appear on the display

If you use zoom, the icons described above get replaced by a vertical indicator for zoom-in. Nokia N73 has a 20x digital zoom; any zoom higher than 16x works with cutouts only, it is marked red and is easy to detect. Further, you could deactivate the extensive zoom for good and "only" work with a 16x one in full resolution. Anyway, the digital zoom is just a marketing gimmick, if you really need zoom on your phone you should choose models with optical zoom - currently a very limited selection, Nokia N93 and a couple of Sharp models.

Nokia N73
Zoom indicator with a red area of the extended zoom

Let me now offer you an organized list of Nokia N73's camera setup options, which shows how rich camera's menu is:

  • Camera mode
    • Photo
    • Video
  • Shooting mode
    • Automatic
    • User
    • Close-up
    • Portrait
    • Landscape
    • Sport
    • Night
    • Night portrait

Nokia N73
Shooting modes

  • Flash mode
    • Automatic
    • Always on
    • Red-eye reduction
    • Off

Nokia N73
Flash mode

  • Self-timer
    • Off
    • 2 seconds
    • 10 seconds
    • 20 seconds

Nokia N73
Activating the self-timer function

  • Activation of the sequence mode
  • Exposure compensation (in 8 steps)

Nokia N73
Adjusting the exposure compensation

  • White balance
    • Automatic
    • Sunny
    • Cloudy
    • Incandescent
    • Fluorescent

Nokia N73
White balance

  • Color tone
    • Normal
    • Sepia
    • Black & White
    • Negative
    • Vivid

Nokia N73
Color tone settings

  • Light sensitivity (ISO standard)
    • Automatic
    • Low
    • Medium
    • High

Nokia N73
ISO settings

The camera built in Nokia N73 also shoots video records in a resolution of 352 x 288 pixels, which are saved in MP4 format. Their duration is only limited by the free memory available in the phone. Regretfully, video records come out choppy. Zoom application is virtually useless. Audio can be both activated and deactivated. Following please find a sample of a video shot with Nokia N73. Believe me, however, that Nokia 6280 featuring no OS, for example, scores with its VGA resolution far better than the new king Nokia N73.

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