Check out the N900's incredible low-light performance in our gallery
PALO ALTO, United States – Last week, we introduced the free, open source FCam platform for the Nokia N900 together with the sample applications that the team has made available to download. The software was created through a partnership between Stanford University and the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto. Now we have a few more example pictures from the Center to show what makes FCam special. Read on to find out more.
This first set of samples were taken at Stanford Memorial Church by Marius Tico, Nokia Research Center, Palo Alto. They show what the Low light imaging application can do. Under such conditions, it takes two pictures.
The first has a high ISO and a low exposure time. So the shot is noisy. (Note that all these images are cropped and resized to illustrate the features of the applications, rather than the abilities of the hardware. Pictures you take using the 5-megapixel camera on the N900 will obviously have a much higher resolution).
The second shot has a low ISO and a longer exposure time. So the results are blurry because your hand will shake.
The application combines the two pictures, taking the detail of the first shot and the light of the second to produce a more satisfactory result.
In the second example, below, the pictures were taken using HDR Capture. The application displays a live HDR viewfinder by alternating between different exposure times and averaging the result. What this means is that you can take pictures that wouldn’t otherwise be possible on a conventional camera, as these examples show.
Here there is too much light for much useful photography under normal circumstances. With a conventional camera, you would be forced to choose between the settings that produce these first three images.
The FCam HDR Capture app takes all three and then combines them – on device – to create an image that shows the detail in the foreground and the background:
Finally, here are three more examples of HDR capture at work, taking pictures that would otherwise be impossible:
The platform and the sample applications demonstrated above are available from the FCam site.