So we took a trip up to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour last weekend as a birthday treat for my wife. I decided that this would be an ideal location to test out the camera capabilities of both the Nokia Lumia 920 and 925, which have been kindly loaned to me by Nokia Connects. It was a bright sunny day so I would get a chance to use the phones in a wide range of lighting situations as two parts of the tour are contained indoors with one outdoors.
First lets take a look at the 920. As I’ve had this phone for a little while longer I knew that I’d get pretty solid results when shooting in good outdoor light. Focus was accurate and colours were good with the pics being bright and vivid. I have noticed that on my model there is a some drop off in sharpness on the left hand side of the pics but strangely not on the right. Both these phones have the option to shoot in either 16:9 and 4:3 formats but I prefer to leave the images full size then crop later if needed. When it comes to printing, 16:9 is not a standard format and it would have been nice for Nokia to have included a 3:2 crop option, giving a nice 6MP file easily good enough for A4 size prints straight off the camera. Like I said, you can crop later but choosing a different crop factor in camera does alter the way you compose your shot. Shooting in 16:9 is quite interesting though and does look nice when viewing on the computer monitor which, lets face it, is how most people view their images these days.
I had no trouble focusing the camera indoors, you can either use the two step button on the side of the phone which focuses the middle portion of the scene, or you can tap on the screen to pinpoint focus. By tapping the screen you not only choose the focus point, it will also meter for the light on that point anf take the shot. I personally would have prefered the option to tap focus then choose when to take the picture using a shutter button on screen. There is no user option for light-metering which is a shame, so it is useful to remember that it will meter wherever you tap to focus.
Had this been the only phone I had with me that day I can honestly say that I would have been fairly happy with what I got. The limitation of the ISO topping out at 800 did cause some issues so it would have been nice to see it go up to at least ISO1600, a more useful option for indoor shooting. I can say that at this point that the Nokia Lumia 920 is one of the best smartphone cameras I have seen…That is until I received the Lumia 925.
But before I go on, here are a few shots taken with the Lumia 920.
Sharper images with the Lumia 925
On paper there is very little difference between these two phones. Both have an 8.7MP cameras using Carl Zeiss optics. Using both of these phones together it became very apparent that the 925 was producing even sharper/clearer images than the 920. Also, the ISO on the 925 goes all the way up to 3200 which is a real boom when shooting indoors, as a result I ended up using the 925 for pretty much the whole day with the 920 being relegated to my back pocket.
Here is a 100% zoom from both cams.
There is not much more to add about the 925 that i haven’t already said about the 920. Both cameras work in exactly the same way, the lighter weight and matte finish of the 925 makes it a little nicer in the hand but the extra low light capabilities and sharper results mean that in my view it is worth spending the extra money for the 925 if photography is a factor when buying a new phone. Both run Windows which I found to be just fine, I quickly got used to flicking around the menus and customizing the screens to how I liked. Battery life too seems to be pretty good on both phones. I used the 925 from around 12pm till 7pm constantly as a camera and there was still some life left. It’s worth noting that I am using these phones solely as cameras, so there are no network or WiFi drains on them.
At the end of the day I ended up taking 369 shots on the Nokia Lumia 925 compared to just 73 on the Nokia Lumia 920, which proves to me how much better the camera is on the 925.
A few shots taken with the Lumia 925