Video: Low Light Comparison- Lumia 720 vs. 920 vs BB Z10- Amazing Results by the 720 #MWC13

| February 25, 2013 | 79 Replies


Nokia have set up a little dark room designed to make it look like a romantic night on the tropics. We decided to pit the 720 with its impressive f/1.9 aperture against the low light king, the 920 and the BB Z10.


Right off the bat I must say this 720 is AMAZING! Besides the beautiful screen the larger aperture instantly makes a difference, note in the video below how the viewfinder/ camera on the 720 is already a decent bit brighter than the 920 or the Z10.




Category: Lumia, Nokia, Video, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Mapantz

    I have to say, the 720 is a lovely device.
    If that camera can take low light beauties like that (brighter than the 920) imagine the capabilities of the EOS?

  • Simonb

    Bet that will please the 920 owners… 😉

    • Viipottaja

      The fact the 920 pictures were the best among the 3? Yes it does. 🙂
      Also VERY happy to see the 720 perform so well in the dark. 720 looks better by the minute.

      • Rizwan

        Actually display of 720 is brighter than 920. this is the reason it shows more color on mobile . compare it on laptop display and crop it to 100%.

  • arts

    Slightly awkward towards the end. =x

    • stylinred

      lol yea


        a little enthusiastic about the 720 low light capabilities,

  • Maybe

    So why go for 820?
    beside cpu n RAM?

    • Just Visiting

      Availability? Personal preference? Price? Someone may already have a Lumia 820? Design?

    • dsmobile

      820 will have very short life. Nobody is going to pay up it’s price when compare 720 and 820 in shop. Big sales coming for 820 very soon.

      • Sefriol

        Same came into my mind. Also 720’s build quality looks so nice.

        I hope they improve their high end line up at the same level. The design isn’t really there yet. N9/L800 have still superior design compared to L920.

      • migo

        I don’t think anyone ever wanted the 820 to begin with. Nomia’s lineup would have been btter without it.

        • I expect the 820 to be upgraded with an HD panel, there have been units spotted sporting such a panel. With the 720 now coming around I’d say that step would be both logical and needed to add some shelf life to the 820.

          And besides, it looks like the 720 is using the panel the 820 also uses (and the 900 for that matter) so orders placed for the 820 screen can go towards the 720.

          If the 820 were to remain as is then that would be a missed opportunity on Nokia’s part. Right now the 820 is a misfit in the otherwise pretty solid line up.

          • Maybe

            That’s the problem when the series are not announced at once. The number and the device will overlap each other just like in WP7 gen where 710 and 610 overlap in term of price although 710 has better spec compare to 610 but 610 is newer compare to 710.
            Now the 820 and 720 are overlapping plus 620 and 520 are also overlapping where 620 comes with 3.8 inch screen and some say it is the first in the world.

      • Maybe

        820 is like a half-baked product but the price is almost similar to 920. Some early adopters opt for 820 just because of the absent of 920.

    • dontom

      Yeah, the 820 has been somewhat of an anomaly from the beginning. I mean it’s great and all, but it should have had HD 720p or 768p… Now it is really loosing it’s position and role. If Nokia needs a new phone fast it would be an 830 with HD res.
      If the next gen of the wp8 comes in sep/oct I’m happy.
      The next gen of camera super-phone is welcome asap, though!

      • Maybe

        Nokia have to wait for Microsoft/WP to catch up. That’s all Nokia can do in term of resolution.


    good picture quality from the midrange 720, it beat the z10 hands down,
    but i’m still buying the ash grey 920 when i find one,

    • They are on sale at as of last week.

  • stylinred

    would need to see actual images but based on that alone, neato

  • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

    Let’s see.

    First Nokia tried to beat everyone with Symbian OS. That attempt failed because iOS and Android had a better performance in the Real World.

    Then Nokia was trying to beat everyone with having the best camera there could be. People were not buying enough of those phones Nokia had. In real world the competition had good enough performance.

    Now Nokia is focusing in low light? I guess they really think that’s how people take most of their pictures. Or else they would focus on something that people would need much more.

    Unless this is all they have left. A niche.

    • Pathetic

      smartest comment so far. Most people not interested in having the best camera on the market
      most people are happy with the photos they take with their smartphones today .
      is what all the high range smartphones do these days. is what Nokia must understand. or does anyone see any extraodinary difference between an galaxyS3 an iphone 5 or lumia 920? Z10 droid DNA xperia z optimus G etc etc. nokia should innovate in the software or something different like swype UI

      • Capedonut

        Of course better sw, apps and services are all key issues, but for a trendy party phone like the 720, the low light pics are important. when you get nice looking pics even with phones in this price category , it’s gonna be expected from other phones as well

    • Toni

      Or maybe, just maybe, to push the hardware boundaries and user-experience on a mid-range and/or low-range devices to be a better comparison to high-end devices will actually mean that they will manage to sell more phones. After all, the bulk of Android market share is from low-end, not from the high-end devices.

      Nokia did offer last year two significant (other) improvements in other areas of hardware (even omitting wireless charging as a “done deal” there was still the recording capacity and the supersensitive screen). When you compare that to the competition you soon realise it is quite a bit more than others have been able to provide. After all, having the first 1080p display or octocore processor does not count as much of an innovation if it does not allow for marginally better user-experience — which it does not.

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

        Actually that super sensitive screen was not something people really wanted to buy. Unfortunately I haven’t been testing it, but it may open up some new disadvantages in addition to the advantages.

        When Apple introduced the iPhone, most of the Nokia fans were complaining that you can’t use it with gloves on. It was true, but it didn’t matter. Most phones can’t be used with gloves on just because of the loss of precision. Answering doesn’t need that much precision but almost everything else does.

        Not being able to use the device with gloves on has not been a deal breaker. That’s why super sensitive screen is not such a big deal at the moment. It needs applications.

        Neither is that wireless charging such a big feature at the moment. People are not really excited and that’s all that matters.

        • migo

          With capacitive you got multi-touch and better finger accuracy than resistive, so losing the ability to use gloves was a worthwhile tradeoff.

          Now that you can have both, there’s no tradeoff. I’ve mentioned the ability to use gloves with the 920 to a few people, and that’s the only thing that got them really considering it. The OIS sounded nice, but most people really are perfectly happy with lesser cameras. Not using gloves is something people put up with due to not having a choice in the matter.

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

            It remains to be seen if that super sensitive display will result more accidental calls when the phone is in pocket. At the moment it seems that it’s not going to be a problem.

            About calls made with a pocketed phone. Just recently it was in the news why Nokia didn’t ship with Symbian equally nice slide to unlock mechanism, like Apple has. Apple granted Nokia the patents for that but not for a long time. It seems that Nokia is not allowed to use those patents from Apple much longer. That was tipped to MNB but I wonder why it was not something worth blogging about.

            • Vik

              Man, super-sense is selling like half a year now.
              Your “wait and see” status of this feature is outdated.
              It’s greate (820 owner).

    • migo

      Symbian failed because Nokia drove away all the devs with Symbian Signed. Going to S60v3, and everything that entailed was their crucial mistake, and is what made it impossible for them to compete with an in house OS. Even Maemo couldn’t have mended developer relations (just as Qt had no chance of doing so).

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista


        That’s possibly one of the biggest reasons for Nokia’s failure.

        Symbian Signed made Symbian to be much more closed system than the iOS ever has been. It was not just preventing developers from working but actually killed them by making development so hard that it was not reasonable for almost anyone.

        This is something most Nokia fans don’t really understand, how huge failure Symbian Signed was.

        • Mapantz

          You really do spend a lot of time here considering you hate Nokia so much?
          Disgruntled ex-employee or just a troll?

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

            I don’t hate Nokia. Where did you get that idea?

            They have lots of nice products but they had also their share of the failures. Failures like Symbian.

            I was just thinking about getting one of those Nokia 105 phones. It sure looks nice.

            • Mapantz

              If Symbian is such a failure, how did they manage to sell half a billion phones with it? Jus’ sayin’

              • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                It’s a product of the past.

                An obsoleted product may have been a competitive one back in the days but it no longer is. That’s why Symbian turned from success to a failure.

                It was no longer a relevant product.

                They were no longer able to sell almost anything but low end Symbian phones. Even the highly anticipated Symbian^3 failed miserably in Q4 2010 by selling only 5 million units.

                5 million might have been be a good number for a new OS like WP or MeeGo, but it was just horrible for an old product like Symbian.

    • correct

      That’s an interesting troll universe you live in.

      Back in reality things are different.

    • nabkawe

      Actually, I’ve noticed that people are unaware of how bad their cameras actually is until I show them my 920 perform and while my arsenal of imaging lenses destroys their confident in there phones , Low light imaging is really where I kind of own them.

      BTW if you got to understand ISO settings and when to use them Lumia 920 become something magical (the case is true for 808 too but OIS makes it a lot better on Lumia920 )

  • Jax667

    First of all Ali, just because the pictures of the Lumia phones are brighter does not mean that the quality is actually better. You can not examine noise and detail on a phone screen. GSMarena tested the camera of the Z10 and wrote that it is one of the best 8MP shooters out there.

    Secondly, I am a big fan of Nokia’s imaging capabilities and I own a Nokia 808, but there is not much of a difference between an Iphone 5, a Samsung Galaxy S3, a Lumia 920 and a Z10 to make people buy a phone because of its camera.

    • KeiZka

      You are aware that Ali actually has his own BBZ10, are you?

      • Jax667

        I am aware of that, but that does not change my points, does it?

    • correct

      Screw the Z10? The Z10 was tested by MANY places, and the consensus is that it has one of the WORST cameras on high end devices.

  • Bazil

    There is no comparison between 920 and 720 in low-light photography. The 720 picture may look brighter on the phone screen, but it is so much blurry. The lack of OIS means either greater ISO (and more noise) or the same low shutter speed and more blur.

    • B. Jay

      Nokia 720 has a f/1.9 aperture. So the shutter speed will be faster for 720 than 920 for the same level of exposure.
      If the sensor size of L920 and L720 is same then, due to lesser no. of pixels Lumia 720 will have larger pixels than Lumia 920 which means L720 will have lower image noise than L920.

      But we don’t know about the sensor size and sensor tech.

      • Marc Aurel

        Oh no, not the larger pixels are better myth again…

        If the sensor size were the same, the image level noise would be roughly the same assuming same level of sensor technology (i.e. read noise and quantum efficiency) and same size image (e.g. both resized to 8 MP). The smaller pixel sensor would show more noise per pixel, but only because the higher sampling frequency (higher resolution) allows it to capture higher shot noise frequencies. That DOES NOT translate to more visible noise at normalized viewing resolutions (be that 5 MP, 8 MP or whatever). 100% viewing (1:1 pixels) will show more noise, but also more detail, and nobody views images at 100% in practice (except so called “pixel peepers”), so it’s not a relevant metric.

        The f/1.9 lens on the 720 is, by they way, only 1/6 f-stop faster than the f/2.0 lens on the 920, which is not that much. Let’s say that exposure time with the 920 would be 1/10 sec, so it would be about 1/12 sec on the 720. Not relevant in real life shooting. It’s nice that Nokia and CZ have designed a fast lens for the 720, but it should have been at least f/1.8 for it to have practical meaning over the f/2.0 lens on the 920.

      • 720 has smaller sensor size about 1/3.6″

  • GordonH

    I am impressed with the 720 pricing and features combo.

  • manubharath

    720 looks great.. can someone confirm if FM radios will never come to Lumia/WP8 phones ?

    • Muerte

      Via software update, it is possible. As FM-radios are onboard on Lumias… Don’t know if they will enable it or not.

      • Marc Aurel

        If they want WP8 to succeed in the emerging economies, they will have to. FM radio is still an important feature in them, and I know a lot of people who use it even in Europe, because streaming music over the net is not reliable enough.

  • sisqo88

    I said Nokia will maybe not Show The Eos 😉 You have to wait till September

    • sunnyvale

      You believe there won’t be any new products till September?

      • sisqo88

        Yes I believe if you lucky you will se the EOS2 or should i say the eos quad core windows phone 8 😉

        • arts


    • viktor von d.

      i said that the potato chips i am eating right now aren’t salty enough.i should have stayed with lays instead of chio

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  • correct

    LOL at the Z10, total fail. The 720 is an AWESOME device for the price.

  • Marko

    I’m an S3 owner now having had Nokia’s until the N8. I’m planning on switching back to Nokia in 2014 hopefully when EOS or similar device comes in. I’m so glad Nokia continues to focus on imaging as being the differentiation point.

    I want to my phone to blow any point and shoot camera out the water in all conditions. Something my S3 fails at horribly…These samples look promising

    • Marc Aurel

      You may have to wait a little bit for that, since there are now really good compact digital cameras available, with sensor sizes similar or larger than the 808 PV and of course with optical zoom. At 38 MP mode the 808 does have an amazing resolution, which surpasses even most high end compacts, but that resolution is available only with no zoom applied. When zooming in the optical zoom rapidly matches and even surpasses the 808 in resolution.

      As for other imaging aspects; good compacts usually have very advanced NR and image processing algorithms, adjustable NR level, wealth of color settings, fast autofocus and often a RAW mode available for people who want to do post-processing.

      And oh, mid-range and high end compact cameras come with optical image stabilization as a standard feature.

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

        Very true.

        Lots of overhype regarding the 808.

        One of the most absurd claims at the time 808 was that it would make P&S cameras obsolete. It definitely didn’t make that to happen.

        The zoom of the 808 is nice when used in a good light but even at that time the image quality drops considerably if the zoom is used to the max.

        • correct

          Completely irrelevant. Almost ALL digital point and shoot cameras have only a limited optical zoom, and additional digital zoom. Once you start using the digital zoom, quality degrades DRAMATICALLY. It’s not much different than the 5MP mode on the 808 with oversampling. The default 5MP mode gives you the equivalent of several times “optical style” zoom without quality degrading much at all, just like a typical point and shoot.

          So in many ways, yes the 808 DOES make low end point and shoots almost obsolete.

          Higher end point and shoot cameras of course offer higher optical zoom and different features.

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

            Every P&S camera has a limited optical zoom. However it’s not very hard to find one that can beat 808 while zooming.

            808 really need lots of light if you use the zoom to the max. Just like those cheaper P&S cameras do. The difference?

            Usually even the cheapest P&S cameras have 3x zoom that’s pretty much the same the 808 has. However you can find some pretty decent low end P&S cameras with a better zoom. 5x and even 10x Something the 808 can never do well.

            No need to use the digital zoom in the P&S cameras because the optical zoom on those pretty much beats the 808.

            And one more point about making those low end P&S cameras obsolete. The price. Low end P&S camera costs a fraction of what 808 costs. And you still need a mobile phone to accompany the 808 if you want to use a modern smartphone. Symbian just can’t do it any longer.

            • Mapantz

              Sorry but as an 808 owner, i don’t need any other phone. Symbian on it is perfect. I can text and call, and browse the internet and i don’t need to charge my phone after four minutes.
              You must be bored with life to come on to a Nokia blog everyday just to bash them? Ponce.

              • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                808 is probably fine if you don’t need a modern smartphone or don’t even know the difference between that and Symbian. Just as I wrote.

                I was just writing how nice the 105 seems to be. I also said that I may get one of those.

                I have been talking about the Lumia and I really hope it will gain some traction.

                Are you making the same complaints to people saying they don’t like Lumia phones? I guess not, so maybe you have double standards on this one?

                Maybe you think it’s not allowed to dislike some product and like others?

            • correct

              Sorry, any P&S camera with 10X optical zoom is *not* low end. That’s considered at least mid-range if it has 10X optical zoom.

              I think haters like you will have very little to say when the 808’s successor comes out on WP.

              • correct

                The fact that we’re able to compare the 808 to P&S cameras is incredible. No other smartphone can be compared like this.

                • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                  You can compare even 105 to a P&S camera but just comparing doesn’t make the 105 to beat the P&S.

                  The 808 is a nice device but it has lots of flaws. No doubt about it.

                  I was actually just comparing iPhone 4S and 808 by taking pictures from a coin. In that test the 808 didn’t have a chance against iPhone because iPhone has some great applications for boosting the image quality. Unfortunately those are not available for the 808. I wish they were.

                  • correct

                    No need to troll with that 105 nonsense. 808 is the ONLY smartphone camera that can be compared to dedicated cameras in terms of picture quality. Period.

                    You really are a broken record, and that’s what trolls love to do. Sound like a broken record until they piss off enough people. The definition of a troll right there.

                    You’ve said 100 times about how much you love your 4S and the apps for it. The 808 has 3rd party apps for it as well.

                    • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                      Sorry. You really don’t know what you are talking about.

                      You can keep claiming that only 808 can be compared to the P&S cameras but that’s just arrogant. Anything can be compared. It’s another issue if the comparison is really relevant.

                      For most people it’s relevant to compare almost any modern smartphone to a P&S camera. For people like you only 808 is relevant.

                      The 808 has a very poor application support compared to the iPhone 4S. Apparently you don’t have any idea what kind of apps there are for the iPhone. In those tests 808 was embarrassed because the 4S surpassed it in image quality.

                      I really wish those would become available for Lumia.

                      One more thing.

                      You truly are a troll by your own definition. So let’s cut the crap.

                    • ULTIMATEANTITROLL



                      WHY ARE YOU HERE TROLL???


                      GO KISS YOUR 4S

                    • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista


                      I have 808.

                      And 4S.

              • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                I can get Olympus SP-620UZ for 129€. I consider that low end. It has a way over 10x zoom and I’m pretty sure it beats the 808 if the zooms are compared.

                And we were talking about zooms here.

                I’m not a hater. I’m just realistic.

                How do you define low end if it’s not about price?

                • correct

                  Sorry, that’s mid-range to me. I think you have a different interpretation of what a low end P&S camera is.

                  True “low end” P&S cameras to me are the ones that go in the $80-150 US range. That would be the 50-120 Euro range.

                  So that Olympus to me would be on the lower end of the mid-range scale. In many countries that Olympus sells for a lot more than 129 Euro.

                  In any case, this is all irrelevant.

                  FACT IS, the 808 picture quality is good enough that it can be, and HAS BEEN compared to many P&S cameras, and even a few SLRs.

                  No not just in terms of zoom, but in terms of OVERALL quality.

                  • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                    You apparently want to define low end in a way that those 10x cameras are not part of it.

                    129€ for a camera is low end for me.

                    Just take some 99€ 5x camera and that still beats the 808 while zooming. 808’s zooming capability is “nice” but comparing that to those cheap P&S cameras it’s nothing special.

                    Anyway. The 808 sounds like a killer product. 500€ device that can almost beat a 129€ device in every situation. Unless you want to use those several features that 129€ camera has but 808 lacks.

                    That 500€ 808 is truly a magical beast because it can beat the 129€ P&S camera in so many situations.

                    The 808 truly makes the sub 120€ P&S cameras obsolete. Almost as you say. The only real problem is that the 808 cost 500€ and the sub 120€ P&S cameras cost 120€ or less.

                    Now wait?

                    You are serious about comparing the 500€ device to those that cost less than 120€? You must be joking if you think that so expensive device like the 808 makes sub 120€ devices obsolete.

                    That’s why you added almost.

                    Because of the price the 808 makes hardly anything obsolete. This is just the same overhype we have seen before.

                    • ULTIMATEANTITROLL



                      WHY ARE YOU HERE TROLL???




                    • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                      It seems that Nokia fans and even the old school Nokia fans don’t talk just about devices manufactured by Nokia.

                      I have 808 and 4S.

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