Hi Andrew, it was good to see you at the event in London today.
I just wanted to clarify a few points you raised re the camera.
The pinch gesture in the still camera switches between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios. In video it switches between 720p 16:9 video and VGA 4:3 aspect ration video. It's not used in camera to control zoom as it would cause significant camera movement and therefore result in jerky videos. There is a double tap for those occassions you want to reset the zoom or zoom as quickly as possible from one end of the zoom range to the other.
Using the hardware camera key it is possible to take images if the subject can't be focused upon (perhaps due to insufficient contrast or illumination and the subject is out of range of the focus assist LED). There is a touch based shutter key. Touching this activates the AF system and as soon as the subject is in focus it releases the shutter. In both cases it will prioritise autofocus before releasing the shutter. If it is unable to focus it will set the lens to hyper focal distance so you have the best chance of the subject still being in focus and then release the shutter. It will confirm the final focus status using red or green for the autofocus target area.
Not being able to talk to you at the time about these problems I'm unable to explain the cause of the difficulties you experienced. However, in my own personal experience the autofocus system is working very well even in total darkness up to the range of the flash and extremely fast, typically around just 350ms. However, given your comments I will be looking into this tomorrow as a matter of priority to ensure we haven't missed anything in this regard.
re focus in video. I believe the clip we presented today demonstrated how extremely well the Nokia N8 handles video recording even for a subject moving from one side of the frame to the other. [For those not present we demonstrated a video of a girl on a swing moving across the frame and back repeatedly]. I believe continuous AF would not have been able to track such a moving subject and maintain crisp detail in the way that the N8's Active Hyper Focal distance system is able to in such a situation. It's in fact situations exactly like this that encouraged us to use the system the Nokia N8 does to ensure reliable and dependable focus from around 60cm all the way through to infinity.
very best regards