Yes, I waited in line for a new Windows Phone 8, the Nokia Lumia 920, when it came out last week. And yes, I am very, very happy with my purchase. The hardware is brilliantly beautiful, the screen is exquisite, and the OS is amazingly refreshing! But here at Zooppa, we don’t really care about all that. What we care about is the camera.
Phones have had cameras since the early 2000’s. The technology has steadily improved throughout the years and we’ve grown accustomed to not even carrying our cameras or even purchasing one.
So why am I making a big deal out of this phone’s camera? Let’s just say, there’s a lot of interesting “new” features in this 8.7 mp camera. What’s special is how it’s mounted, with what Nokia calls “floating lens” technology, putting it on a set of actual, physical springs inside the 10.7mm thick chassis. Video is smoother, as if your Lumia 920 is mounted on a tiny Steadicam, while stills should show an improvement in low-light performance, as exposures can be longer without introducing blur from shaky hands.
The first photo was taken with Nokia’s close up setting, and the second one was taken while I was walking toward Adam. (I’m not going to stop in the middle of the street and take photos of my co-workers.) Obviously both are incredibly impressive.
What impressed me the most about this camera is its ability to perform in low light situations. Here’s a shot in a dark apartment of some friends and I. Let me reiterate: This was a completely dark room with no light other than what was draped around the window. You can see the noise around the edges of the photo, but where the flash hit is completely clear. Also, the flash doesn’t overexpose any of our faces.
Absolutely beautiful. Finally, here is an example of the steadicam capabilities on the videocamera. Here’s a quick video of the Zooppa office.
When talking about the image stabilizer, it has improved the standard that Apple, HTC, or Samsung devices have set in the past. But the focus assist is a bit annoying.
Overall, the camera on this phone is much better than my iPhone 4 or HTC One X. Based on test photos I’ve seen from the Galaxy S3, the Lumia takes the cake. Where the Lumia has a tough time competing is the iPhone 5. Only in low light situations is where I would give the Lumia 920 an advantage.
Otherwise, the phone, and this camera, is still pretty brilliant. Now when am I going to get Instagram so I can lower the quality of my images Microsoft?