Over the past several months, Nokia’s Lumia lineup has sported some of the best mobile camera technology the industry we’ve ever seen—we’ve highlighted it before. Now with the Lumia 1020 out in the wild, the company is once again raising the quality bar, not only for the competition, but for its own devices. No more 8.7-megapixel sensors; it’s all about the company’s revamped 41-megapixel camera.
But is that bump even necessary in such a small package? And does the average consumer care? Nokia has already proved it’s smartphone cameras are among the best of the best, changing our perception of what’s possible in the mobile space. In our previous testing, Nokia’s Lumia devices showed they are more than capable of shooting in any conditions, particularly excelling in low-light conditions. We didn’t expect any different this round.
The Lumia 920 is still an excellent shooter, even after all these months. Equipped with an f/2.0 lens and OIS processing capabilities, the handset practices harmony, as Nokia Juha Alakarhu explained, “You can have a great sensor, lenses, algorithms and mechanics, but if you haven’t got them all working in harmony together, you’ll end up disappointed.”
In this comparison, we wanted to see how much Nokia’s technology has evolved, and whether or not the huge megapixel bump and revamped optics is worth the more expensive price tag. From a handset standpoint, the two devices are largely the same; they’ll provide the same everyday experience as far as email, texting, etc. The focus here is obviously on how a 41-megapixel sensor improves someone’s everyday pictures.
The Lumia 1020 vs. Lumia 920 comparison is largely the same as previous tests; we tried adding a variety of color to each image, taken under different lighting conditions both inside and out, so you can get a better feel for how they perform. It’s worth noting that, because of the 1020’s software and components, the device is slower to capture images than something like the 920, or even other comparable handsets. Take that for what it’s worth.
As usual, both handsets were kept on auto and taken under similar conditions at nearly the same time. The crops are a little different because of the sheer resolution produced by the 1020, but otherwise everything else is the same to ensure a proper playing field. So Lumia 920 owners, are you going to run out and purchase the company’s Lumia 1020?
Taken in the afternoon on a sunny day.
Taken under a patio umbrella in the afternoon.
Taken in the shade in mid-day lighting.
Taken indoors under normal office conditions, backlit.
Taken indoors with natural light only coming through the windows.
Taken in an office setting with no lights, just natural light coming from behind me. Flash is on.
Taken in a dark room (no lights, shades closed) with flash only.
Taken under normal office conditions with a light directly overhead.
Taken inside an office building under normal conditions.