The Curious Case of the Lumia 920’s Camera

| April 5, 2013 | 19 Replies

DSC01479There’s no denying that the Lumia 920 is “revolutionary” in terms of camera performance on the smart phone level; but I’ve have a bone or two to pick with it. The source of my issue is mainly behind the “pureview” concept powering the 920, I know it pulls off some amazing pictures, but the issue stems from the fact that it relies more on software trickery than hardware grunt; and of course all software is buggy and susceptible to misbehaving. Occasionally I’ve found that the 920’s low light imaging decides not to perform and instead captures a picture as is (even when setting the mode to “Night”), simply exiting the camera and re-entering puts an end to this nonsense immediately; but the other major issue is how these camera modes perform.

The other day there was a pretty awesome sunset in front of my house, so I decided to take a couple pictures with my 920, unfortunately the 920 kept over compensating with its low light powers, to a degree where a natural looking picture wasn’t possible.

Below is a screenshot of what I saw through the viewfinder, and it was pretty darn awesome (minus the blurriness)! – of course the 920’s viewfinder is notorious for darkening the scene in front of it, but it was close to what you see below.


Unfortunately the 920’s night mode automatically kicked in pumping up the colors, giving an admittedly nice picture, but not the one I wanted (nor a true resemblance of what I saw)- although I do truly love that lens flare effect.


Toying with the mode settings got me no-where, in fact it seems that putting the 920 in “Backlit” mode pushes the low light compensation into overdrive, producing even brighter pictures than those in “night mode” (unfortunately I idiotically deleted the super bright picture). The only setting that I found actually didn’t compensate for the low light was “sport” which obviously uses a faster shutter speed to get that moment of action, and the difference between the two modes is quite obvious as you can see below


However it is worth noting that even though the sport mode picture is obviously not a great low light picture, it is nice to see it reproducing black as “black” rather than the grey/blue colors that the lumia 900 and 800 used to push out as a pitiful excuse of darkness.

In normal everyday well lit conditions the Lumia 920 also seems to switch between taking amazing pictures, and taking others that get deleted instantly; and it’s confusing. But of course when it does get it right (I’d say about 75% of the time) the results do tend to be fantastic. I do wish it had a built in HDR mode though, as in some places it really would make pictures look even more amazing (the picture below looks awesome when viewed on the 920’s screen when it’s in the high visibility/pastel colors mode).

WP_20130220_008And unfortunately the 920 still has the same issue with closeups as every Lumia before it, when in closeup mode they do take some amazing pictures, but there’s no way you’re getting that picture in auto mode. (while in closeup mode keep your finger pressed on the object you want to capture until the picture is taken- the focus box will shrink onto it).

So am I doing something wrong with my 920? or does anyone else have similar issues (namely the fact where low light mode fails to kick in occasionally?) chime in or leave your shooting tips down below …



Category: Lumia, Nokia, 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.