Is the Lumia 920's PureView camera the best cellphone camera ever made?
What sets the Lumia's camera apart isn't its 8.7-megapixel sensor or f2.0 lens; you can find those on other cameraphones. Rather, it's the camera's optical image stabilization, which Lumia claims rivals the OIS systems available in DSLRs. While I can't vouch for that, I can say that, in the demos I saw today, the Lumia 920's OIS made a dramatic difference in the kind of stills and videos you can shoot with a phone. For one demo, a Nokia spokesman shot a video while shaking the phone, the way you might do when holding it with one hand. The resulting video had no shakes or jitters. In another demo, Nokia took on all comers by asking us to shoot a picture of a vase placed in a darkened cubby using our own phones. The spokesperson then shot the same vase with the Lumia 920. In flash-free shots, virtually every other phone ended up with pics of a muddy mess, even in night-shot mode. The Lumia 920, on the other hand, took a sharp, well-balanced photo, even using what the spokesman said were the phone's default camera settings.
The software behind the Lumia 920's camera isn't yet, final, and at this point, it's unclear what other tricks it has up its sleeve (I'd like to see how it handles HDR, for example). However, for now at least, the Lumia 920 appears to be the phone to beat when it comes to low-light shooting, smooth, jitter-free videos, and action photography.
Now I am not so sure. However I am reserving judgement until I either:
- Get my hands on both for personal testing
- Read user reviews, which are not in controlled environments in optimal lighting.
I don't think the PureView will be more popular from a pure numbers standpoint. (Especially since the iPhone is now using sony optics) and I do not see Nokia licensing out their technology when it is a differentiator they have in their corner.
image quality - Best is probably PureView (waiting for real reviews)
Popularity - Sony Exmor R
Nokia has been caught "faking" video for its teaser as if it was shot from a pureview camera. They issued an apology.
Now it seems like the sample still images were faked too. This is a disaster if the camera is your main selling point
They do look very good. I am not a professional photographer though so if I can take pictures that look this good I would be happy. I am just wary of Nokia's methods in the whole thing.
I know that I will get a WP8 device this year because I am invested in the MS ecosystem 100%, so if the 920 can take pictures as promised, there is no question what phone I will get.