In a blog post today, Nokia has introduced an optional beta version of an update to the camera app on Nokia N8. If you've got Symbian Anna installed you can get the update from here.I downloaded the .SIS file to my computer, connected my N8 via USB cable and copied the .SIS file to the N8, then tapped on the .SIS file on the N8 with the File Manager and it installed. A restart of the N8 and the new Camera App appeared.

In the blog post Nokia writes "Over the months following the release of the Nokia N8, we've continued to listen and monitor discussions and requests relating to the imaging capability of the N8." Since we use N8 every day to record video,we've been among the most affected users of some of the shortcomings ofthe video functionality on the N8 smartphone. On top of the wishlist for updates, according to Nokia, we find ability to record video at closer distances, smoother video of moving subjects or when panning, faster access to scene modes, especially close-up mode, exposure controlin video, and more. Nokia has now delivered on many of the items on thewishlist.

In the Anna update we got a redesigned interface with quicker access to certain functionality, exposure control in video mode. To us, especially the exposure control is very welcome as it helps us produce better video in tricky lighting situations.

In the optional Beta Labs camera update there's even more. First and foremost the camera can now, in video mode, focus down to about a distance of 10cm, which is very welcome news for us. There's also continuous autofocus mode, which Nokia says works best close up to subjects but should also work at any distance. Also, Nokia has added a viewfinder grid in video mode, something that's been there in still modebefore.

Apparently the update is also supposed to bring 30fps shooting to theN8 but due to a "configuration mistake" the update is set at 25fps. This is set to be fixed though, says Nokia.

Something that we had great hopes for, touch-to-focus in video mode, didn't make it to the update but we hope that it will be added in the future. For now, we're delighted that Nokia brought these new things to the camera in the Nokia N8.