Nokia 3 Primary Camera with Flash

Nokia 3 – Rear/Front Camera

There you get an 8 megapixel primary camera on Nokia 3 which is indeed autofocus. The phone offers the same 8 megapixel camera on the front as well, that too is autofocus. Both have f/2.0 lens aperture and contain inside the same image sensor with 1.12µm pixel size.

No words if the exact same image sensor is used on both cameras or not. The official specs mention that the front-camera has 84° field of view but in our results the rear-camera also seems to have the same field of view when compared shots for specific purpose.

Regarding interface, the viewfinder provides access to a shutter button for quick photo capture on the bottom. Along there is a video mode switch on one side and a gallery shortcut on the other side. The video mode offers to record in faster speeds as 2x or 3x – there is no slow motion recording mode.

On top of the frame, you get quick switches for front/rear camera, timer, HDR and Flash.

On the corner there is hamburger icon for settings which brings up an awkward settings panel with white background – I liked the stock interface of settings though with dark color and smaller font size.

The native camera of Nokia 3 is custom designed and not the stock Google Camera of Android 7. Nokia 3’s camera app comes with some added features such as a little “manual control” which doesn’t include everything-manual but only a few ISO settings (100,200,800,1600), white balance presets, exposure compensation with full stop differences (from -2/+2 EV) and focus switch from auto, infinity or macro. It’s not something like pro-camera controls but a bit better than the pure-auto experience of stock Google Camera. You lose the HDR mode when you go into manual mode.

The manual mode is hidden in the settings under “Capture Settings”.

Other features of the camera include switching resolutions in photo or video mode. It can take 40 burst shots when you tap and hole the on-screen shutter button. 4x digital zoom (crop zoom) is supported. Some visual elements like compass, altitude, spirit level and grid are also available to provide framing reference and camera angle or elevation etc.

Interestingly every one of these features are available on both the rear and front cameras. However the Flash support is only for the rear camera as well as Panorama mode is only available on the rear camera, mainly due to natural factor of taking wider landscape shots. But the feature could have been really useful on the front camera as well if incorporated to take group selfies, no?

That’s only what we have in the user interface of the native camera app which is quite enough on a budget phone like Nokia 3. What matters the most when you talk about smartphone camera is the quality of photos or videos when you take or record them respectively.

Image Quality

First of all keep in mind that you are looking at a budget smartphone. Nokia 3 doesn’t deliver great image quality, however image detail is impressive considering it’s from an 8 megapixel camera. On negative side, the noise handling is not that great which is easily noticeable at solo color portion of the image.

Another bad thing is the struggling autofocus when you move the camera around. It’s a big issue when you are recording video and only a little movement can lead the camera to lose focus and readjusting it again repeatedly. This could be fixed in software updates though the problem exists on either of rear/front cameras. Exposure is also not consistent to metering as it can be different each time you tap on a spot, the exposure might be different. My advise is to keep Nokia 3’s camera for a point and shoot purpose only. Do not try to tap on the view finder to tell the camera to focus on something or you may lose the moment while struggling with focusing or adjusting exposure.

Dynamic range is another thing that is not impressive as well as foliage in the fields are worst when you look closely. It’s smudged across the frame which actually was taken care of by the HDR feature.

HDR mode is only available when shooting in auto and it manages give nice detail in greenery, the grass and foliage. But it does bring some over sharpening across the frame as well as the shadows seem to be magically disappeared making it flat and away from some realistic image.

Photos Order: HDR Off / HDR On / HDR Off / HDR On

Indoor result in some dark environment the noise is very disturbing and is completely vanishing the detail as well. Direct lights on distant subjects or using on flash on closer subjects somewhat help to reduce noise around that certain part and we get some detail as well.

Closeup shots show nice detail as well as the the subject closer to the camera come with good detail in wider shots.

Front camera on the other hand that has 8MP autofocus sensor with 1.12µm pixel size and f/2.0 aperture lens also can impress only on paper to be a selfie camera. The performance of the front camera is pretty much same to what we have experienced with the rear camera. Same inconsistent focus issue. Similarly the detail comes out to be better outdoor when there’s good lite to pour into sensor.

Panorama shot on the other hand are good with no visible stitching errors. The detail is fine as well however the resolution is limited and can not be change to higher level as possible with the stock Google Camera app.

Last but not least, the video recording from Nokia 3 is also not quite good to appeal. The camera supports HD resolution video footage of 720p at 30fps. However the system only could achieve the top limit of frame rate in good light. In low light, the the average frame rate was 17fps in our tests however a direct light source in dark also may help increase the frame rate during the video recording. With really a bad impression, Nokia 3 records the old 3GP format.

Quality wise, the video footage is OK with nice color rendering and detail. However, dynamic range is the issue as well as focus inconsistency exists in the video recording too.

Nokia 3 Review
Build & Design 8
Battery & Performance 7
Camera Primary/Secondary 6
Software / OS 7.5
System Performance 6
Nokia 3 is a nicely built phone with good looks for its price range. But you will miss on the things like camera result and system performance.
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