+-

Author Topic: Nokia Lumia 920 Camera - In-Depth Review after Portico update - Open discussion  (Read 11560 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jonas

  • Administrator
  • TMPB Elite
  • *****
  • Posts: 4830
  • Thumbs Up: 289
    • View Profile
    • The Mobile Photography Blog

  • The Nokia Lumia 920 was a sensation from the first day that it was announced because of his innovative camera featuring an Optical Image Stabilization, never before introduced on mobile phones, and due to his capacity of taking exceptional photos in low light conditions.

    From then it has been receiving some critics due to soft photos, artificial digital artifacts, blurry and fuzziness photos, problems noticeable specially on daylight conditions. Nokia reacted quickly on launching the Portico update that brought some improvements to the camera.

    Being on the verge of possibly buying one too, I've been investigating and viewing a lot of photos pre and pos Portico update and in diverse situations that lead me to start a discussion on twitter with some friends. This topic is the result of that chat and pretends to:

    - bring a healthy discussion about this subject with photo examples
    - identify on which situations the problems occur (or are more visible)
    - find ways to avoid/minimize those effects
    - conclude the importance of those problems on the daily use of Lumia 920 camera
    - gather suggestions for improving the camera of Lumia 920 and future generations

    For this, I hope to count with the contribution of everyone that wants to join the conversation with their thoughts and photo examples.
    So let me start with some examples (more will follow on the next posts) with a very special thanks to Pureview1000 for the contribution on the photos without which I couldn't have started this topic.

    I will start with the comparison of some photos taken in similar situations with Lumia 920 (all photos made after Portico update) and Nokia 808 and pointing where I think the problems are (regardless of the image size, the crop was always made at 100%):

    - High level of noise reduction (even if this was lowered after Portico update)

    Lumia 920


    Nokia 808


    Check the foliage. Not only there is no detail on the Lumia 920, but there is an aspect of an oil painting due to too much digital processing.

    - Too much sharpness

    Lumia 920


    Nokia 808


    On the Lumia 920 there is a kind of an hallow around the foliage and it's noticeable too much sharpness.

    - Colors pushed too much

    Lumia 920


    Nokia 808


    Lumia 920


    Nokia 808


    The first photo from 808 was original in 37Mp and was resized to 8Mp. Regardless that, for this purpose, it doesn't matter since what is happening here is that, due to the colors being pushed too much, all the details are gone with the Lumia 920 and colors turned unnatural.


    - Color clipping (strong colors tend to contaminate the surroundings)

    Lumia 920


    - Strange digital artifacts around strong colors

    Lumia 920


    Nokia 808


    The original 808 photo was in 37Mp and was resized to 8Mp. Still, the effects seen on the lights and around the metal are not caused by a lower resolution of the Lumia 920 but to a very different kind of image processing making the photos look pixalized.


    Now, I must clear out that the Nokia 808 is really the top camera phone and most will say that I just can't compare things. Apart from that and from the fact that the sensor of 808 is much better and the lenses might also be of better quality, it's obvious that the photos from the Lumia 920 are being too much digitally processed and that is actually damaging the final results.

    I think Nokia is trying to make the photos of the Lumia to be stunning in terms of low light conditions and very eye-candy with vibrant colors and for that they are:

    - Pushing too much the exposure
    - Applying a high noise reduction (still, even if on Portico they have reduced it)
    - Applying too much sharpness to make the photos look more sharp to compensate the amount of Noise Reduction applied
    - Pushing too much the colors to make photos appear spectacular but making them unnatural and provoking secondary digital effects

    We, users, have a bit of blame on this because most don't know how to look at a photo. Most want colors that are not natural, blue skies with no noise and outstanding results that can be compared with professional equipment which is, in the end, a simple non-sense. Nokia is responding to this but I think that after the N8 and the 808, the Lumia 920 is a step in the wrong direction.

    I also think that Nokia is betting too much on low apertures. It's more marketing like the amount of Mpixels (as for most people, higher the better, independently of sensor sizes, lens quality and final photo results). The Nokia N8 has an F2.8 lens, the 808 has F2.4, the 920 has a F2.0 and the new 720 has a F1.9 lens. What this makes is that you will get better results in low light, great bokeh effects but also undesirable things like a really hard time to get good landscape photo or good group photos as for the depth of field is becoming too short to get what you want focused. Unless it's released a phone where you can control the aperture, I prefer a balanced one (like F2.4) than a too much high or low one.

    Just to finish this first post (as I hope it's just a start of a good discussion about this), let me show some crops from two photos with the iPhone4S (Thanks to Dave). Most will say that it's a bad photo with too much noise for a daylight. The truth is that the colors are more accurate, the details of trees and foliage are there and it's a much more pleasant and natural photo than the ones the Lumia 920 is making.

    iPhone 4S


    iPhone 4S (on the same photo)


    iPhone 4S (on a different photo)


    With this examples, I wanted to make a point that you don't need a camera with 41Mp to still have details on the photos and that sometimes is better to accept the limitations of a camera than try to disguise it via digital post-processing. I think the photo quality of the Lumia 920 can still improve if Nokia is able to give us a less digital processed photo.


    I hope that you understand that all my critics here are to be intended as constructive and I don't want here to start any discussion on what is the best camera or bash any brand.

    So what's your thoughts on this?

    Offline Jonas

    • Administrator
    • TMPB Elite
    • *****
    • Posts: 4830
    • Thumbs Up: 289
    • View Profile
    • The Mobile Photography Blog
  • Low light condition review - Nokia Lumia 920 vs Nokia 808 Pureview

    (Will have more information and links to most important posts made on this topic)

    Offline PureView1000

    • TMPB Team
    • Senior Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 431
    • Thumbs Up: 50
      • View Profile
    Thank you Jonas for this topic, as i was looking forward to read and have a great discussion about the pro and contra of a Cam-Phone which might be one of the better ones.

    Please let me tell you that this  problems of most new cam-phones aren't problems for the most people,...say --- average people --- who just take snaps and quick pictures to capture a moment, building, landscape, birthday party ect. And it won't bother them at all... i would say..they even don't notice it. More,...they would say, that their phone takes great pictures with really vibrante colors... and they will love it, like a colleague who says that his HTC One V takes fantastic pictures. All that is just my opinion of course... and don't meant any other opinion is false.

    First i want to say, that i bought the 920 on the day it came out somewhere in November...don't remember the exact date.... that means, before Portico Update. If someone is not familiar to Portico...it was the Update for the Lumia range after critics came up, that the pictures of the 920 has always something fuzzy and softiness on the pictures. On the other side... i also have the Nokia 808. So i can tell you clearly if the update improved the image quality of the 920.

    The marketingstrategy of Nokia went crazy for the Lowlight abilities and of course due to the OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation). Let me tell you this, i was not that happy about the update, because the image quality went up but not as i hoped. As Jonas recognized correctly, Nokias algorithm pushes the colors to much so the were often to vibrant. The weird think i saw is, that it sometime takes picture where i could say..that i liked it a lot... and sometime, i have to take several pictures till i get one, i was satisfied.

    The 920 in my opinion has big problems with 2 colors... red and a strong glary blue as you can see on the pictures with the orchid and the lights and display on the coffee machine... the digital processing is focused on bringing images very sharp. So artefacts and weird color clippings comes up more or less. But on the other side...if you zoom in the picture...it blurs...thats what i really don't like. People like us, who take mobile photography really serious will see this problems more then others. For example, when i show people my pictures... they are really impressed and loves the color and sharpness... and i'm not talking about the pictures on the smartphone... i mean on the pc.

    it's not fair to take the 808 for comparison, but you can see what is possible in bringing more natural colors on the way without having much MP...forget about the sensor of the 808, no phone can compare with it... But even my old N95 8GB with 5mp...(was it 5mp? i think so)  takes more natural colors then my 920 and has a balanced sharpness for that age.

    If you take other smartphones like HTC, iphone, Samsung ect... the Lumia 920 is not better then these.... to me, they all take good pictures more or less... some prefer the S3 which takes good pictures under some conditions some prefer the HTC one X series...the iphone takes great pictues to me... but even the iPhone is not a clear winner to me... because it also increases the colors for me. I almost bought the iPhone 5 but took the 920 instead and i tell you why, for those who wants to buy a phone and don't know which one to choose...

    The Lumia 920 has several points i really like. And i know, we are just talking about the pictures quality and camera of the 920, but let me tell you this. Due to the OIS, you can take the best lowlight pictures ever on a smartphone... when you see it for the first time...mouth dropping. And i guess, Nokia took the step to focus a lot on the lowlight abilities to offer something really new to the people.... on smartphone of course. Thats why daylight pictures on the early days where way to soft. The other thing is Video... The videoquality of the 920 is fantastic... i can tell you that. Together with the OIS, it looks like a steady cam in a Movie... perfect. No other phone can do that.
    Next thing is the sound of recorded video... You hear the bass, no distortion no interference nothing (on tv or real musikspeakers with bass..not on the smartphone of course). Only the 808 is better in that, due to stereo microphones...the 920 hast mono. The Metro UI to me is fantastic. Never would have bought a windows phone if Nokia didn't bring out its Lumia Range with this OS. 


    Nokia put the algorithm to much on "lets bring strong colors and sharp pictures to the people" side. Hopefully they can correct it with an update. If you have any question...just let me know. And of course... you have to compare the devices with the same pictures, light condition, weather ect... the iPhone 4s pictures has been taken on bright daylight... the pictures from the 920 are all made during cloudy weather. But in the end, that doesnt matter... the Lumia 920 is not the one with the best camera if you are focused on great image quality. But they are not bad... they should have made better results with the portico update.

    And thanks to Jonas again, i'm curious to read more opinions and just want to know one thing.... do you have any pictures from the 920 which you liked or can say, that this is more of the better ones?

    Just one thing...Jonas mentioned it to me as i talked to him a few days ago...it's true... As i can see on the pictures... the more details the more problems. Pictures with a lot of trees, gras ect seems like the 920 is working hard to get a good result.









    Be good, do something good...start the day with a smile.

    Offline Olivier

    • TMPB Team
    • TMPB Addicted
    • ****
    • Posts: 501
    • Thumbs Up: 41
      • View Profile
      • Flickr
    This is a wonderful topic, explains a lot and clarifies some things.

    If you want, I have a few pictures comparisons between the 920 and the 808. Not much but still... :) I took them during the 920 I had in trial. I still have the 808 which is my personal phone but not the 920 obviously.
    If you're interested to see them, share them, here they are : http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicepureview/sets/72157632726891002/

    Offline Olivier

    • TMPB Team
    • TMPB Addicted
    • ****
    • Posts: 501
    • Thumbs Up: 41
      • View Profile
      • Flickr
    I forgot to mention it but the 920 I had had a pre Portico firmware.

    Offline Jonas

    • Administrator
    • TMPB Elite
    • *****
    • Posts: 4830
    • Thumbs Up: 289
    • View Profile
    • The Mobile Photography Blog
  • I forgot to mention it but the 920 I had had a pre Portico firmware.
    You mean that the 920 you had didn't had yet the Portico update?

    Nevertheless, thanks for the samples and here's an example from your photos of what I say, too much color and sharpness:

    Nokia Lumia 920


    Nokia 808


    On the top left corner, the greens on the 920 are too pushed and, imo, unnatural. On the bottom right, the water looks pixalized due to too much sharpness.

    Offline Olivier

    • TMPB Team
    • TMPB Addicted
    • ****
    • Posts: 501
    • Thumbs Up: 41
      • View Profile
      • Flickr
    Yes, I meant that it didn't have Portico yet.

    I totally agree with what you said. The colors on the 920 are pushed and don't look natural.

    Offline Jonas

    • Administrator
    • TMPB Elite
    • *****
    • Posts: 4830
    • Thumbs Up: 289
    • View Profile
    • The Mobile Photography Blog
  • Another example of Lumia 920 Vs 808 that Pureview1000 has sent me, now where the Lumia 920 is supposedly strong, low light conditions.

    Here are the photos:

    Nokia Lumia 920



    Nokia 808



    I think not only the Lumia 920 can catch more into the photo but also more natural colors (less saturated).  In more detail, you can see how the 920 not only managed to get a less blurry photo due to the OIS, but also much more light, where you can see things that won't even appear on the 808.

    Nokia Lumia 920



    Nokia 808



    On the Lumia 920, you can see the house that is behind while on the 808, is only a black area.

    Now, the Lumia 920 still produces undesirable digital artifacts where the 808 produce none. Check this area of the photo in detail:

    Nokia Lumia 920



    Nokia 808



    As you can see, the letters on the building are almost unreadable on the Lumia while in the 808 you can read them (regardless they are a bit blurry). Also, colors are more natural on the 808 and no digital artifacts can be seen.


    I still think the Lumia 920 comes a winner here for catching more into the photo and managed to get a photo with no blurry effects. Of course, with a tripod, the Nokia 808 could have done a better job but the truth is that you won't be carrying with you a tripod all the time. Now, if there was no digital artifacts on the Lumia 920, it would be a winner in any circumstance.

    Offline PureView1000

    • TMPB Team
    • Senior Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 431
    • Thumbs Up: 50
      • View Profile
    i like this topic... you are doing a great job... Nokia has the ability to produce a groundbreaking camphone... we can see it here clearly... combining both techs...OIS + 808 tech... thats what i'm looking for... hope it will come sooner than later..
    Be good, do something good...start the day with a smile.

    Offline Fonsini

    • TMPB Team
    • TMPB Addicted
    • ****
    • Posts: 671
    • Thumbs Up: 48
    • "To be in the right place, at the right time..."
      • View Profile
      • Portugal Photo Tours
    Great review Jonas.  :Thumbs

    They should do all phones with 808 camera... :-)

    Offline Olivier

    • TMPB Team
    • TMPB Addicted
    • ****
    • Posts: 501
    • Thumbs Up: 41
      • View Profile
      • Flickr
    and 920's OIS ;-)

    Offline Jonas

    • Administrator
    • TMPB Elite
    • *****
    • Posts: 4830
    • Thumbs Up: 289
    • View Profile
    • The Mobile Photography Blog
  • Good news for the Lumia 920. The new update coming for WP8, codename Amber, will not only bring new features to WP8 OS, but also improvements to the Lumia 920 camera.

    The improvements are expected, on Juha Alakarhu (Head of Imaging at Nokia) words, on the level of noise, sharpness, colors and exposure. It will also upgrade the ISO from 100-800 to 100-3200.





    Having currently a Lumia 925 on hands, featuring the Amber update, I must say that my first impressions are great! One thing to have in mind, the Lumia 925 has a 6 elements lens vs the 5 elements lens on Lumia 920, so it's still to prove if the better results on Lumia 925 are from a different firmware or different lens.

    Offline PureView1000

    • TMPB Team
    • Senior Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 431
    • Thumbs Up: 50
      • View Profile
    I knew about it and can't wait for it. Hope it will come soon. It's told to be rolled out in the next few weeks as i remember?... Interesting to see if the software is really raising up image quality!
    Be good, do something good...start the day with a smile.

    Offline Jonas

    • Administrator
    • TMPB Elite
    • *****
    • Posts: 4830
    • Thumbs Up: 289
    • View Profile
    • The Mobile Photography Blog
  • I knew about it and can't wait for it. Hope it will come soon. It's told to be rolled out in the next few weeks as i remember?... Interesting to see if the software is really raising up image quality!
    Me too mate! Looking forward to get this update for my Lumia920.

    Offline Jonas

    • Administrator
    • TMPB Elite
    • *****
    • Posts: 4830
    • Thumbs Up: 289
    • View Profile
    • The Mobile Photography Blog
  • My review of the Lumia 925 Camera is out and the quality difference when comparing to the Lumia 920 is still big. I think some of it has to do with the Amber update: http://themobilephotographyblog.com/general-discussion-about-mobile-photography-and-accessories/nokia-lumia-925-camera-review/

     

    Nokia 808 PureView receives Gold Award from prestigious site Dpreview

    Started by Jonas

    Replies: 0
    Views: 2526
    Last post August 06, 2012, 04:15:35 PM
    by Jonas
    Nokia PureView Pro Imaging Technology wins EISA award

    Started by Jonas

    Replies: 0
    Views: 2322
    Last post August 21, 2012, 11:33:11 AM
    by Jonas
    Nokia to develop Photography Tech with the acquisition of Scalado

    Started by Jonas

    Replies: 0
    Views: 2433
    Last post July 24, 2012, 11:46:26 AM
    by Jonas
    Celebrate May the 4th with out of this world Lumia light painting - Secret Photo

    Started by Jonas

    Replies: 2
    Views: 4117
    Last post May 07, 2014, 08:26:30 PM
    by Jonas
    iPhone5 - Details of the new iSight Camera

    Started by Jonas

    Replies: 3
    Views: 4502
    Last post September 13, 2012, 12:28:29 PM
    by Apex666

    Photos from our Gallery

    Visitors since Oct14

    Free counters!

    Powered by EzPortal

    Facebook Comments