Nokia Lumia 830 Versus Lumia 1520 Cameras
The Lovely Lumia 830
Intro & thanks to Richard
This piece will very probably contain more pictures then words, which possibly may appeal to more people than the stuff I normally do :) I have been luck enough to be using the Nokia Lumia 830 for the last ten days or so courtesy of my friend and phone geek @BloodyRichardYates , he has a far more varied and unprejudiced taste in mobile technology than I do, and has probably tried a lot more handsets than any non-professional I know, including the vast majority of high end handsets ever produced by Nokia , and as he was going on holiday and didn't have time to test it properly, he has loaned me his latest acquisition to try whilst he was away, as such, I cannot thank him enough.
Richards final message to me was to give the camera a good try ! Unfortunately it has been almost constant bad weather since Richard sent me the 830 and so I have had virtually no chance of taking pics in decent light, that said, it's a comparison so both phones had the same challenges !!
Canal decent lightClick thumbnail to view full-size
Church Yard dullish lightClick thumbnail to view full-size
Night & FogClick thumbnail to view full-size
General Samples from the Lumia 830Click thumbnail to view full-size
PureView V Not PureView
The 830 was launched as 'The Affordable Flagship' and first impressions are that it pretty much manages to justify that title. It feels and looks fantastic, but this is a camera comparison and it has honestly surprised me. I wanted to be as fair as possible and also to be realistic, I'm not a professional anything and simply enjoy using my phone camera to try to take nice photographs, Nokia have always made exceptonal camera centric handsets and I've had a few and my main phone for the last couple of years has been whatever the best 'Pureview' Nokia that was available, ie the Nokia 808, Lumia 1020 (both 41 megapixel sensors) and the Lumia 1520 with a 20 megapixel sensor. The basic idea of the tech , in simple terms, is that these phone cameras use the huge amount of data they absorb on the large sensor and then use gigery pokery to mash it all up, put all the best bits together and produce a 5 megapixel 'pureview' photograph of an extremely high quality and minimal noise, on the Lumia PureView phones you can also 'ReFrame' photos on the handset, in effect crop or straighten photos you've taken, and once you're happy , the pic you save is turned into another high quality 5 megapixel (or as large as it can depending on the degree of zoom/cropping) photograph that you can use as well as or instead of the original shot you took or intended. I use this feature quite often , both to straighten stuff up if I haven't framed something correctly and also to maybe find something I hadn't originally noticed when I took the original shot. Basically, at least for me, it makes taking photos with the pureview cameras a bit more flexible and idiot proof.
Now the reason for the explanation of PureView, is that to my logic, the more original data, the more flexibility and quality ? So 41 beats 20 which beats 10 megapixels Right ? Working on what I thought was logical, theoretically, it would be totally unfair to compare the 10 meg camera on the Lumia 830 with the Lumia 1020 and so I tried a comparison with the Lumia 1520 at 20 meg camera as more realistic. Don't get me wrong, 10 megapixels is still quite a high resolution for a camera, but I seriously didn't expect it to stand up well to the more expensive and higher specified phone. Well, guess what, you're never too old to learn something and you shouldn't pre-judge stuff without trying it yourself !
Point, Shoot & Be Impressed
I honestly believe the vast majority of smartphone users, of whatever platform, point and shoot and don't 'Pixel Peep' and this is where the Lumia 830 can be a winner, if you check all the messing I've done with the shots, the only time the 830 seems to 'lose' is when I 'ReFrame ' to the extreme, however, if you simply crop a photo the 830 can give a better result simply because the photo you are working with is larger on the 830, alsmost twice as big as the 5 megapixel pureview shot from the 1520. In all fairness, the 830 doesn't need any caveats or excuses, it holds its own very nicely in most situations and at times appears to do a better job than the more powerful 1520, specially in bad light, be that darkness, fog or bright background.
I'm actually really pleased to have had my preconcieved ideas disproved, I'm extremely impressed with whatever Microsoft have done with the camera unit and algorythms in the Lumia 830. I don't think I would exchange my current 1020/1520 combo for the Lumia 830, but if I was forced to I don't think it would cause a massive distress and it has certainly increased my optimism for a 'killer' Lumia Cameraphone in the future, which maybe doesn't need 41 megapixel (although I really hope it gets it) also I would happily recommend the handset to anyone as a main phone knowing it was more than capable in all departments. If I get time I will try to do some sort of Review on the handset itself instead of just the camera , but it has to go home soon and I suspect the Jet Richard is travelling on is slightly quicker than my typing finger :D
All the photos here were taken in auto mode, some touch to focus was used and where I have edited a couple together I have re-sized the crops so the will fit side by side which I think gives a fair comparison.
Thanks for taking the time to take a look.