Motorola Impresses With 5-Megapixel Camera PhoneMotorola Impresses With 5-Megapixel Camera Phone
Motorola and Kodak officially unveiled <a href="http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=9835_9764_23">the Motozine ZN5</a> today. This latest handset from Motorola boasts a Kodak-branded 5-megapixel shooter with Kodak-approved optics and flash. It also packs some serious Kodak camera software. Have I mentioned that Kodak helped develop the camera? Insta-review says: Darned good camera phone.
June 23, 2008
Motorola and Kodak officially unveiled the Motozine ZN5 today. This latest handset from Motorola boasts a Kodak-branded 5-megapixel shooter with Kodak-approved optics and flash. It also packs some serious Kodak camera software. Have I mentioned that Kodak helped develop the camera? Insta-review says: Darned good camera phone.I had a chance to play with the Motorola Motozine ZN5 at a briefing late last week. My first impression is, the camera will wow you more than the phone will. I can't stress enough how good the camera itself and the camera software of the ZN5 are.
First, the optics are high quality. Motorola and Kodak would not disclose who manufactures them, but assured me it was a "top brand." Below the optics lays a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus. Autofocus is a key feature to have, especially in a camera with so many megapixels. The autofocus is fairly fast, too. Most often, it takes less than one second to focus. The result? Sharp images. You also can bypass the autofocus in those moments when you simply don't have a second to wait. Because Kodak knows a few things about making cameras, it has made sure that the ZN5's camera is optimized for low-light picture taking. That means it has built-in algorithms to make sure pictures you take in dark rooms still turn out good. Part of this is the inclusion of a full flash for the phone. No dinky, paltry LED flash here. We're talking a real flash, for a real camera. The result? Images that are balanced. One of the sample photos taken with the ZN5 and blown up to a 16-by-20 enlargement was of two people standing in the doorway of a train, looking out. You could see the sky in the background. A picture like this is asking for the interior to be underexposed, and the outside -- especially the sky -- to be overexposed. It wasn't. The image was perfectly metered, and the ZN5 had fired the perfect amount of fill flash to correctly expose the people inside the train. This is far and away better than what most camera phones are capable of. Aside from the great quality of the camera is the software helping to run it. Motorola and Kodak worked together to create a set of software that is super-intuitive to use and help aid in the picture-taking process. Kodak also has added its Easy Share software, which allows you to send photos to the Kodak Gallery with the push of a button. With camera-specific buttons popping up on the ZN5's keypad, you can also quickly delete images from your library. OK, enough about how great the camera is. What about the phone itself? Well, it looks very similar to the Motorokr E8. Same size/shape. But the materials feel different. I was using a preproduction unit, and unfortunately it felt a little on the cheap side. Who knows if this will be improved with production units. It has quad-band GSM/EDGE, which means you can roam the world over, but it lacks 3G of any kind. Instead of 3G, it carries Wi-Fi for wirelessly transferring images to photo-sharing services or wherever else you choose to send them. It also has stereo Bluetooth, a full 3.5-mm headset jack, music player, and all the other stuff you expect to find on a high-end phone. In all, it is Motorola's best camera phone yet, and can certainly be used to replace your standalone point-and-shoot camera.
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