I’ve been a member of the Nokia bloggers program for a few months now, and I’ve got to say it’s great fun to be part of this effort and working with former journalist Andy Abramson and the Communicano team. (Nokia sends me cell phones to use and blog about, no strings other than my agreeing to write about the devices.) Here are some of my earlier reviews:
• A look at the Nokia N91
• Nokia’s gotta-have-it phones: N90 and N70
And here is my still-evolving archive of Nokia mobile video clips, including this interview in Sweden I did with my Nokia N90 (because I wasn’t about to lug my camcorder along), plus some Flickr photos I shot with my Nokia N90 and N93.
I’m not the first with a review of the N93 — I like to give my phones a long test drive before making any recommendations. But I’ve become pretty attached to this sleek new gizmo.
A great phone for citizen journalists
Here’s Nokia’s page about the N93, plus the bloggers page about the N93. (When Dan Gillmor eyed mine, he said, “Hot damn, I need one of those!”)
The most important thing I can say about Nokia’s N Series is this: The N93 is helping to usher in the citizen media movement in a major way. No one wants to watch grainy, out-of-focus, low-res pictures and videos. With the N93, you don’t have to. It captures video as MPEG-4 files in a big, fat, gorgeous 640×480 display.
People are still getting used to taking video with their mobiles, and Steve Garfield points out that even ABCNews.com can’t get it right.
Steve should know. He and Rocketboom’s Andrew Baron (who showed me how to move clips from my N93 to my Mac laptop using Bluetooth) have been my main go-to guys about these devices.
I bumped into Steve at the recent Video on the Net conference and we compared our N93s. Said Steve: “It’s a great device for capturing and sharing a fleeting moment. Who wants to lug a camcorder around all day? This lets you capture events that you would have otherwise missed out on in our always-on video culture.”
I still have the bad habit of wanting to edit my video clips in a dedicated video editor, like iMovie, but Steve showed me how to use the N93’s built-in video editor (under Options / Edit). It took him less than 15 minutes, riding the train in Boston, to master the technique.
Zack Rosen shot this video snippet of me and Dan Gillmor talking about the recently launched Principles of Citizen Journalism project. And here’s a video I shot of Britt Bravo on my loaner N93 at the Social Media Consensus gathering last month.
It’s a little bit bulky to be carrying around all the time, a drawback Nokia will no doubt fix as its N Series line matures. And it doesn’t handle low-light shooting situations very well for either photos or video. The interface also can be daunting — I still don’t know the easiest way to check my missed calls after it alerts me and the message goes away. (Nokia, take some words of widsom from Henry David Thoreau: Simplify, simplify.)
Having said that, the N93 has rescued me on numerous occasions. When someone says, "Too bad nobody brought a camcorder," I like to whip out this baby and reply, "Oh, yeah?"