Blog, review

Nokia Lumia 925-camera test

So as some if you may know, last week Nokia sent me their Lumia 920 smartphone to try out and give opinions on its camera capabilities. Today I also received a brand spanking (yes, still in its wrapper) new Lumia 925 that Nokia kindly sent me also to try out as a camera. Taking a quick look at the specs of both phones there doesn’t really seem much to separate them, even from the front they look almost identical. Flip the phones over and small differences in design are apparent. The 920 has a shiny all plastic case whereas the 925 has a metal surround and what appears to be a plastic back, however the 925 has a textured finish giving it a nicer feel. The reduced weight is another difference of the 925, and as a result the phone does feel nicer in the hand. The camera lens on the 925 is placed similarly to that of the 920 nearer the middle of the phone. I would have preferred the lens on both to have been placed nearer the top as when handling the phones normally the palm of your hand coats the lens with all manner of greasy stuff, meaning that you inevitably have to wipe the lens before taking any pics.
So as you can see there are a couple of small ergonomic changes that have happened and for the better IMO.
The next thing that will be interesting for me to see is if there have been any changes in the performance of the camera itself. Both use what I believe to be the same 8.7MP sensor and Carl Zeiss lens. (It could well be a newly developed sensor, I do not know). What is evident from having a quick play with the 925 (I’m still giving it its first battery charge) is that there are a few new features to check out. Also I noticed that the ISO now goes up to 3200 whereas the 920 only goes up to 800,so this should make a considerable difference when shooting in low light. There’s also something called the Smartcam which as far as I can gather takes a small burst of shots when you press the shutter and then gives you the option to swipe through to pick and save the best one in the series. Could be useful.
Anyway, that’s as far as I’ve got for now, next step is to start shooting with it. We’re off to Harry Potter studios for my wife’s birthday this weekend so it’ll be a great opportunity to test out the low light capabilities of Nokia’s latest flagship phone.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Blog, review

A day at Ightham Mote with the Nokia Lumia 920

So my wife and I decided to have a family day out at Ightham Mote, a beautiful National Trust property set in the wonderful Sussex countryside. Also, I thought, a great opportunity to test out the camera on the Nokia Lumia 920. One small problem though, I forgot to put it on charge and because I’d connected it to my home router the battery was only showing 50% left. Oh well, I took along my trusty Fuji X10 just to make sure I had everything covered.
It turned out to be a bright sunny day so the harsh lighting would certainly pose a challenge. Trying to view the screen in bright sunlight can sometimes be infuriating but the beautiful and huge screen of the Lumia was surprisingly clear and I had no real troubles using it outdoors.
Inside the house the darker rooms proved to be a bit more of a challenge as the iso only goes up to 800, even on a tiny sensor I would like to have seen it go up to at least iso1600. Despite this I still managed to get a few shots inside the house, luckily I have a very steady hand.
So there’s a couple of things that do annoy me a little, and that is the rather limited features Nokia have decided to put into the camera. First, there is no way to decouple focusing and shutter release. I like to make sure I have focus first before taking the shot but having both focus and shutter coupled together resulted in me getting a lot of shots destined for the bin. Aha I thought, enter Camera 360, a photo app I downloaded from the Windows store. It has the separated focussing and shutter I desire and also has a manual focus ability. Additionally there’s a number of cool effects that you can apply too. Now I’m not here to review the camera apps but because it had a couple of simple shooting features not found in the default camera I though it would be a good work around. Not so, upon transferring my shots to the computer I was disappointed to find the app works at a much lower resolution, around 3.1 MP! A bit of a come down from the 8.7MP you’ll get shooting the camera normally.
Still I got a few shots that I liked which you can view below.

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Blog, review

Nokia Lumia 920-camera test

The kind folks over at Nokia Connects recently got in touch with me asking if I’d be interested in trying out the camera feature of their new Lumia 920, the idea being that they are looking to get views from the perspective of a photographer.
The unit they sent me arrived today and I’ll have it for the next two weeks to put it through its paces. The phone is big and also runs Windows, so something for you to also consider when perhaps looking at this as a potential new phone. Unfortunately my SIM card is too big so I won’t be able to try it out as an actual phone.
It packs an 8.7MP camera with a Carl Zeiss lens (the smallest they probably do) and the initial quick snaps I took looked quite impressive, so off to a good start there. I’ll be posting the odd quick update along the way but will give my final thoughts at the end of my two week trial.
Thanks for stopping by.

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Blog, Mono

Mono Monday-on a coffee break.

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So Mono Monday has come around once again, but for this one I am here to tell you that there are a few things happening right now that are taking my attention away from this blog. Nothing bad mind. First thing is that my stepson and his girlfriend are moving into their first home and so I’m helping out with that. The second thing is my wife’s 40th birthday which is coming up in the next week, and we’ve been busy arranging her party. Oh and there’s one more thing, this time related to photography that hopefully will come my way shortly, I’ll let you know as and when.
Until then I will be taking a short break from posting anything but I intend on keeping this a short a time as possible.
Thanks for all the comments and tweets that you’ve given me. Be back soon.

Blog, Mono

Mono Monday-Encased in crystal

Title – ‘Encased in soda crystal’

Wow, it’s Monday again already. The time seems to be flying by these days.

So I thought I’d offer up something a little different today. After the the first two weeks both being candid street photography I felt a change was needed to mix it up a bit. What you see here is a silver charm bracelet that had been left in a bowl of soda crystals over the course of a weekend. Once the water had evaporated the soda gradually formed crystals around the bracelet ending up in an interesting abstract form. This wasn’t done purposely for  the sake of art, rather it was a happy accident created by a work colleague forgetting to take it out of the bowl before going home.

Being something that happened at work meant that I didn’t have my SLR with me, but I did have my new HTC android phone and this gave me a great opportunity to try and do something a little more creative with it. I used the Vignette app with the Ilford Black and white setting and one of the grunge borders.

‘The best camera is the one you have with you’, so the saying goes.

Which handily allows me to plug a new side project I’ve embarked on based entirely on using my phone for taking pictures, I’m calling it ‘Cellpix’. I’m certainly not the first person to do this but what the heck, I’m going to have fun with it. You can find it at http://davewares.tumblr.com and I’d be very pleased if you could pop on over and take a look.

As always, comments are very welcome. Thanks for stopping by.