This first part of my review on the Nokia Lumia 920 camera will not have a lot of information other than some full size sample photos taken with it while I got to use my cousin’s nice looking grey unit for a few hours as well as some first impressions. Nothing fancy, just simple shots while I was out and about. =)
Nokia Lumia 920 has a PureView Phase 2 camera with the following key specs:
– 8.7MP 1/3″ BSI sensor (Pixel size 1.4 µm)
– 26mm equiv. FoV (at 16:9) Carl Zeiss lens with fast f/2.0 fixed aperture
– Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
– Mechanical 2 stage dedicated shutter button
– Powerful fast-pulse dual LED flash
– Min. 1/3 second shutter speed in Auto mode and 1 second shutter speed in Night mode.
On paper, the specs are very good. In fact, other than Nokia’s very own camera-centric 808 PureView and N8, there is no other smartphone currently in the market that has better camera specs than the 920.
I’ll keep it short and simple for now as I haven’t had any extensive use of the Lumia 920 yet.
1. Camera feels speedy enough when taking photos with the physical shutter button. I did not notice any significant lag from when the shutter is pressed to when it actually take the photo. Once I get more hands-on time with it, I will post some more info about its speed.
2. Without any case for the Lumia 920, I didn’t feel confident in holding it with my right hand single handedly to take photos like a normal small compact camera. I guess it’s due to the round shape of the sides and the relatively small protruding shutter button. I’m sure it would improve if you get a case for it that allows for a more secure grip.
3. Daylight image quality is nothing to really boast about due to its heavily post-processed look to them which I am not that fond of. However, once the photo is resized to the more commonly used web-use sizes smaller than 2MP (1600×1200 or less), it is not any different to any other high-end competitor smartphones out there right now. Also, Nokia did state that they will work to improve the quality with future software updates.
4. In terms of low-light images, due to its hand-shake reducing OIS, the fast f/2.0 aperture lens combined with a very slow 1/3 second shutter speed support in Auto mode, Lumia 920 can take some seriously well exposed photos at night hand held that most other smartphones just cannot do. (Most smart phones don’t go slower than around 1/15 seconds in Auto mode using the default camera app) The level of noise is also very well controlled with low chroma noise while keeping enough detail even at ISO 800. More samples with various ISO will come in my upcoming part #2 review.
My gripes with the default camera app
– No exposure lock during focus lock (while shutter button is half-pressed)
– Exposure compensation is very fiddly to get to and use.
– No sharpness or contrast settings.
– No metering mode options. (this was a problem for some photos seen below)
– No JPEG compression settings.
– No customizable UI elements.
– No setting to turn off OIS (would be handy for reviewers at least. =p)
I will stop here for now as I am planning to post Part #2 later on with full sized ISO image comparison shots and night shot comparisons.
– Click on the photos for untouched original image files straight off the Lumia 920.
– I did try to ensure I got good focus lock before taking each shot.
– I made sure that the lens was kept clean at all times also.