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My Nokia N82 may not be the latest model there is in the market but I’m holding on to it for one very special reason: its 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens (Tessar 2.8/5.6).

Photo from LetsGoMobile.Org

There has been some debate on whether or not the Carl Zeiss lens really makes a difference. This site says it does; this site says yes, it does to some degree but the camera shouldn’t influence your choice of a phone.

Me? I let the photos do the talking for me. Just take a look at this photo of some freshly picked peppercorns that I took using Close-up Mode, flash off, and natural early morning light. (Please click on the photo below to see the full-sized image.)

The full-sized image is an SOOC (straight out of camera) pic. Absolutely no photoshopping whatsoever. Very sharp, yes? And true to life colours, too.

Remember this photo? I took this with my N82, too.

I’ve had my share of camera phones and this one’s the best I’ve ever tried so far. Assuming there’s sufficient light, of course. As I always say, it is light that makes or breaks a photograph and camera phones need all the light they can get.

Of course, it helps a lot that it’s a 5-megapixel camera, which makes the iPhone 3GS’s 3-megapixel camera seem paltry in comparison.

Thus said, I’m definitely holding on to my Nokia N82 for a long time to come. Or at least until the next phone camera with a higher resolution AND a Carl Zeiss lens comes along! Because there are some places where I just can’t bring along my ginormous DSLR, such as inside a plane’s lavatory 😉

“Take 100 pictures with your iPhone. Or your Samsung phone. Or your point and shoot. Whatever camera is the closest to you right this minute. The best camera is the one that’s with you.”

Chase Jarvis, commercial photographer

Feeling inspired by this statement, I took this photo at the fresh produce section of Tesco Hypermarket this morning, ignoring the curious looks of other shoppers. Photo taken using my Nokia N82 phone, landscape mode, flash turned off, auto white balance. No editing other than addition of this site’s URL and resizing for the web.

So this weekend, I urge you to go out, see the world with a fresh, new insight. And shoot photos with the best camera — the one that is with you. Blog about your experience, linking back to this post. Let’s wow the world with what we can do with our phones, point-and-shoot’s, DSLR’s and everything else in between!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Before I got my Nikon D40, I was mainly using a Pentax Optio WPi point-and-shoot camera. I bought the Pentax because it’s waterproof and I figured that it would come in handy for trips to the beach and the pool. It is, indeed, waterproof but I wasn’t satisfied at all with the overall colours of the photographs that it takes. As a matter of fact, I’d much rather use my battered old Olympus μ [mju] over it because the μ’s picture quality is much better than that of the Pentax, despite being a bit underexposed when used in Auto mode.

Here are two photographs of the same simple subject — the winding stairs inside one of the rooms at Layalina Hotel in Phuket — taken with the D40 and the Pentax Optio WPi:

I took the photo on the left with the Pentax Optio WPi in April 2007. I took the photo on the right with the Nikon D40 in March 2008.

Both photos are unedited, save for resizing for the web. (Please click on the above image to see a slighty bigger version.)

The two photos show the difference in terms of colour, sharpness and focal length (a fancy term that is explained succinctly in this site) of the two cameras. More importantly, it also shows how I’ve progressed (I hope!) as a photographer within just a year. For the photo on the right, I dared to lean forward just a wee bit further in order to shoot the photo from what I felt was a better angle.

Please take note that, for the photo on the right, I was using the 18-135mm lens instead of the D40′s 18-55mm kit lens. For the photography-obsessed like me, you might want to see Mr. Ken Rockwell‘s comments on this lens. He’s not very happy with it and recommends the 18-200mm VR instead. If only the price difference is not much, I would have gone for that lens myself without a second thought! But given that the recommended retail price for the 18-135mm is RM1,328.00 vs RM3,188.00 for the 18-200mm VR, for now, I have to stay content with my 18-135mm.