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A camera button

One widely appreciated feature of Nokia's of old loved by users, tech bloggers, and the wider market was a hardware camera button.

  • This gives immediate access to the camera in any use case
  • A two stage shutter key gives you more control over focus
  • Photographers by hobby or profession appreciate the tactile feel of a physical button
  • It would allow to launch into other features with a long press e.g. video

I believe a hardware camera button would go a long way to help make new Nokia Phones respected on the imaging front.

36 people like this idea

Agreed.. I've came from L1020 to the Nokia 8, I've waited a long time for this phone & badly needed a new phone but I have to say I'm hugely disappointed with the camera & the lack of button. Nokia need to cater to camera fanatics like myself & at least try to emulate the 1020

1 person likes this

I dream of functionality at the level as midrange compact camera.

And make an 'outdoor' version, too. Action-vacation is the new big thing, you know ;-)

Community Hero

 I full agree. For many people Nokia phones are synonymous with great cameras, and having a physical two-stage camera button is part of that experience. An on-screen button is clumsy for taking photos.

However, a great on-screen UI is absolutely necessary for setting up a photo, so we need to have a great on-screen UI and a physical two-stage camera button.

3 people like this

yes yes yes such a simple feature yet offers so much versatility and usability and still the best way to take photos on phones 

Many times, I have stated "all I want is a faster 1020". It is really that simple. I really like the Windows OS, live tiles, but that seems dead. I am still using a 950XL. Lost the lanyard and megapixels, but it is faster than my 1020. Android is my next choice, but I would use an Apple, Ugh., if they had a superior camera, really superior. So, give me a phone with equivalent of the "1020" in megapixels, a real zoom, a shutter button, and the lanyard. Bring back the camera bump.

1 person likes this

Community Hero

 I totally agree.

On the Nokia 5 at least, you can set the volume keys to take photos when you have the camera app open (tap the app's hamburger in the top left corner, scroll down the settings menu, and it's six up from the bottom). It admittedly isn't two-stage, but it addresses your other preferences. Through the phone's system settings, you can also set the camera to launch by double clicking the power button (near the bottom of the 'device' section in the top menu, under 'gestures').

Having other buttons double as a camera button isn't a solution. Specially the power button that more often than not turns off the screen instead of launching the camera.

A dedicated camera button - apart from being a main feature of a REAL Nokia flagship phone - is just much better for the purpose. And since it's Android, it could be used to allow users to, for example, remap it to launch other camera apps like for example Instagram. I'm pretty sure plenty of people would enjoy pressing the camera button and have it open Instagram right away so that they could immediately post their photos.

1 person likes this

Community Hero

I'll never get tired of saying "I totally agree"! Very valid points.

And I'd like to be precise about what I mean when I say I'd like a "camera button": we need a two-stage camera button which first activates the autofocus, light sensor, etc, and the second stage takes the photo.

Like me N8 from 7 years ago and other Nokia smartphones before that. If we don't see this in the next Nokia phone to be released we will unfortunately start to realise that HMD isn't listening.

I've never had any problems using the power button to launch the camera, but I appreciate it's not the same thing – just pointing out features people may not be aware of. Funnily enough, in the updated (Oreo Beta) camera app, I can no longer find the setting to set the volume button to take photos, although mine still does it. Can anyone tell me if that's the default behaviour now, or just a legacy of me setting it to do that before? Not great if I can't change it back to whatever the default is supposed to be.

Other things you can do that may be helpful:

  • Remap the volume keys to launch apps with a double tap or long press (I personally don't find this useful as I frequently double tap or long press while changing the volume, but as the feature is in there, it's evidently useful to some people): You can also map app launches to a double click/long press on the home button with the free version, and to the back/recents button with the paid version. I use a double click on the back button to take screenshots because the default shortcut of power button + volume down button is stupidly awkward – even power button + volume UP would be better – but I digress.

If HMD don't add a camera button to any of their next phones, I'd imagine that's less because they're not listening and more because there isn't sufficient demand. The absence of the button on smart phones in general suggests that's the case, and HMD's MO very much seems to be offering the basics at a high level and a reasonable price, rather than targeting specialist or niche markets. Software gimmicks like the 'bothie' are one thing, but adding a two-stage camera button would potentially require a new supplier, new manufacturing processes, etc. Here's an article on how HMD apparently use generic components to keep the price of their handsets down, which seems to rule out anything non-standard:

1 person likes this

Community Hero

 Lots of good tips and points, thanks for sharing :)

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