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Photography, A Nokia Asha 300, The Newfound Favorite

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 01

#NotesOnPhotopgraphy - A quick look at a newfound favorite, the circa 2011 candy-bar Nokia Asha 300, and a super-sharp 5MP rear camera.

My favorite camera phone, since the last quarter of 2018, right through 2019, still going strong in 2020, or until it faces a major malfunction, is the vintage circa 2011 candy-bar feature phone, the Nokia Asha 300. Weighing in at 85 grams, the Asha 300 is the smallest, slimmest, and lightest feature phone I have used and is completely capable of capturing great images even with its 5MP camera.

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite I started to use the phone again after taking it out of storage, where it has been for more than a couple of years (five to be exact), as a temporary replacement for a newly purchased smartphone which I was not very happy with.

Images from the newly acquired consumer-grade phone, though decent, were rather soft, lacks depth, and appears flat, not much to shout about.

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I had the Asha 300 hooked up to the charger, and it looks to be working fine, took it outside to grab a few test shots, and Walla! what a surprise. In bright daylight, the images were simply exhilarating, sharp and clear, finely detailed, and the colors crisp.

The New Experience

That was an eye-opener. Just to make sure that I was on the right track, I took the camera out again for an evening shoot. Again, the images were fantastic, and after a batch of night shots later, I realized that I could have more fun with this camera than I ever had before.

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 02
Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 03
Nokia Asha 300, Evening Groove

Using it purely as a camera, the Nokia Asha 300 has to be the smallest and the slimmest fixed-focus point-and-shoot that I have used so far. It is only 113mm x 50mm x 13mm thick, weighs 85 grams, and slips anywhere you want to place it.

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 04
Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 05
Nokia Asha 300, Noise, Speed and All

The phone is fitted only with a 5MP rear-facing camera with an F2.8 wide-angle (presumably with a focal length of 28mm) lens, and no flash support.

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 06
Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 07
Nokia Asha 300, Morning Walk

The Nokia is capable of recording images at a maximum resolution of 2592x1999 pixels, and with the built-in memory bank, the camera can record up to 112 JPEG images.

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 08
Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 09
Nokia Asha 300, City Edge

Not all are sweet and dandy, though. With a 2.4-inch screen that you can hardly see in bright light, shooting is more of an arm-forward hipster style point-and-shoot. Images take ages to save, literally giving you enough time to take another sip of the coffee, and chimping is something you wouldn't want to do with.

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 10
Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 11
Nokia Asha 300, Night Scene

On the plus side, the fixed-focus F2.8 lens has just the right angle of view to bring in a scene without perceived distortion, it is wide enough to be considered a street shooter's delight.

Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 12
Nokia Asha 300, A Newfound Favorite 13
Nokia Asha 300, It's Raining Again

The availability of a USB port and easy Windows connectivity makes image transfer for post-processing and print sharpening make for a seamless workflow.

Looking Forward

Unlike my other series on Analog Diary and Digital Moments, where I used different cameras, lenses, or a combination of different cameras with different lenses, the series on Mobile Photography will be based on different assignments done with the same camera. The reason is purely economic, I just couldn't see myself acquiring a new smartphone every three weeks or so just so I can do these short reviews.

The fun and creativity, however, are definitely there and doing the assignments at different locations, and times of day, with a varied subject matter, does keep your juice flowing. Set yourself regular assignments, even the lowest-end camera you can find, and see how much more you are enjoying your photography and how much your skill improves.

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