There are few questions being raised over the daylight performance of Lumia 920’s PureView camera though everyone agrees the low light performance is light years ahead of others and video capture is the best seen on any smartphone. Actually if you ask us, we don’t have Lumia 920 with us as Nokia hardly cares to give us anything for “Trial”, but anyways we can tell you our observations based on few shootouts already done by different sites. In fact there are Three.
If you go through AAS’s shootout then Lumia 920 does really well even in daylight and macro shots and gets detailed images of the subjects. You can see the way in which AAS does the shootout by comparing the crops of all the images from all the smartphones. It is highly impressive and Lumia 920 trails the ultimate 808 PureView and blows away HTC OneX.
CNET has posted pictures taken with Lumia 920, iPhone 5 and HTC 8X but didn’t care to compare at the crop level and most of the observation are made based on images as such. This is not very good approach to judge the images. But anyways, highlight is this that Lumia 920 performs really well and consistently outdoes HTC 8X . Compared to iPhone 5 the colors and exposure are much better even in daylight pictures but somehow details are lost in some images. This may be due to daylight noise reduction algorithm of Lumia 920’s camera. But as soon as we reach to low light samples Lumia 920 trounced everyone else.
Slashgear has also posted pictures of same subject captured with SGS III and Lumia 920. Here also, color reproduction and exposure correction wise Lumia 920 consistently outdoes SGS III but in one or two images gets beaten in capturing details. So, it is bit inconsistent behaviour of noise reduction which seems impacting daylight performance of Lumia 920 in some cases. But overall it is difficult to choose a winner in daylight comparison while in case of low light there is no comparison at all.
So, this leads to a question? Has Nokia tried to trade a path, reserved for likes of SGS III and OneX which heavily use noise reduction and kill details. Yup, just remember earlier shootouts of these cam-smartphones with N8 and 808 PureView and you will recall how Nokia phones are always praised for less artificial processing and capturing natural and deeper details.
We posed this question to Nokia Imaging Guru Damian Dinning as well, without an answer yet.
Now good news is that Engadget has contacted Nokia and Nokia has in turn confirmed that some software tweak is pending which will sharpen the daylight images. Also, as expected “if you lower the exposure a bit, you can still get sharp images in daylight”.
We spoke with Nokia at length about this and were told it’s at least in part thanks to some pending software tweaks to increase sharpness — but that doesn’t explain why we didn’t see any such aberrations when we visited Finland to test a 920 last month. This softness often resulted in some excess fuzziness in low-light too, but we found we could compensate by lowering the exposure settings to -1/3 or -2/3.
Hopefully Nokia fixes this issue as soon as possible.
But untill that time, Lumia 920 still beats likes of HTC 8X and OneX even in daylight and can be better or worse than both SGS III and iPhone 5. So, it is really great camera performance , considering the fact that in low light and in video capture it is beyond comparison with any of the metioned devices here. Nokia made a point to market low light performance of Lumia 920, because that’s where the difference with other smartphones cameras is much clearly visible. It is hard to differentiate between images in daylight captured with two smartphones unless one of them is 808 PureView.