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MNB RG: Nokia 1020 Still Image Quality – Any Good?

| July 18, 2013 | 123 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 21.15.51This post was shared with us by Werner Ruotsalainen. There was quite a bit of discussion over the post below regarding the image quality of the Nokia Lumia 1020:

http://mynokiablog.com/2013/07/17/nokia-lumia-1020-regular-person-sample-pics-ahoy

It’s a very thorough discussion despite the limited availability of early Nokia Lumia 1020 samples. So you can imagine what Werner will deliver when the device becomes available.

___________

Nokia 1020 Still Image Quality – Any Good?

Currently, I have no access to a production Nokia 1020 yet. (While Nokia’s homeland is Finland, it’ll only appear in shops here only some months later.) This means it’s no possible for me to run my own tests on the handset or compare it directly to, say, the iPhone 5. This, unfortunately, also means only a smallish subset of image quality parameters can be properly examined. In the following, I provide you with an extended version of my original comments HERE.

1.1 The Original PR Images

Nokia has made available several images online on their official blog HERE. Unfortunately, most? all? of these shots, presumably shot on a pre-production device, are certainly inferior to ones shot on production ones – for example, those made by the GSM Arena folks or the main subject of this article, that is, the shots made by an AT&T employee.

(Incidentally, the  GSM Arena folks have also emphasized HERE the following: “We are also pleased to report that the blurring along the right side of the frame, which is visible on the samples wasn’t present on our unit so it is definitely due to a imperfect prototype unit.”)

As has been explained, the official Nokia shots don’t seem to represent the image quality of the final version of the handset – they may have been engineering samples with more (or straight non-existing) tolerances. It’s, nevertheless, pretty strange Nokia didn’t strive for publishing less flawed images. This might have been a oversight on their part. A pretty bad one, I’d say – after all, a lot of people in every forum used these images (not having access to anything else) to form a pretty bad conclusion on the image quality of the handset. That is, Nokia did make a major mistake by letting these images out. (We’ve been discussing the why’s of publishing these flawed samples. See for example my discussion with “Janne” HERE (first, dedicated comment at July 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm GMT: “I still wonder why Nokia published those awful (noisy and decentered) demo shots…“))

Let me show you some examples of why the official samples are inherently flawed. We’ll concentrate on the most prevalent and software-unfixable issue, major blurring because of decentered lens.

1.1.1 What’s Lens Decentering?

Lens decentering is a major problem well known for every serious photographer. Many known camera (or lens) models suffered from some degree of decentered lens, at least in the first batches; for example, the Canon S100. For example, DPReview have reported (link) the following on the S100′s they’ve received for testing: “…the camera [s100] sitting on my desk in front of me is the third sample that I have looked at, and the third with what appears to be a slightly decentered lens.” The results of the decentering was (also) almost half-framesize blurring on the right. (Fortunately, later S100′s have been fixed and I don’t know of they having major decentering issues.)

The same effects are clearly visible in Nokia’s official samples. In the following two subsections, I elaborate on both 16:9 and 4:3 samples.

1.1.1.1 A 4:3 Sample

On the 4:3 sample I’ve evaluated, about 1850-1900 pixels on the right of the 4:3 shot has major blur problems. It’s not a simple focus point issue – objects in the image’s center and right, on the same focal distance, are perfectly focused and have no blur.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9316832540/sizes/o/in/set-72157634697436364/

Note that the background buildings in the same (original) image also exhibit some visible   oversharpening and detail-smudging issues. The following crop, taken from the upper center of the original image (that is, from an area where the blurring was not an issue any more, unlike the rightmost part of it) shows pretty ugly oversharpening halos around the contour of the building:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9316831350/sizes/o/in/set-72157634697436364/

In other shots, I haven’t noticed this kind of oversharpening. While the shots are indeed sharpened by default, halos don’t generally become distracting.

1.1.1.2 A 16:9 Sample

The 16:9 sample image HERE exhibits a “dead” zone on the far right of about 1000 pixels:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9316833658/sizes/o/in/set-72157634697436364/

Note that rest of the images (for example, THISTHIS and THIS) would have been much harder to correctly evaluate: all images only contain in-focus subjects in either the center-left or the center of the shot.

Fortunately, production units seem to have much smaller areas with (strong) blurring.

2. Edge Softness in the AT&T Images

While the AT&T shots, decentering / blurring-wise, are much better than Nokia’s own, official samples, they still exhibit quite strong edge softness along both the left and right edge. This is pretty much visible even in low-resolution, oversampled images.

On 16:9 shots, the heavily blurred zone is about 750 pixels on both sides – that is, 20% of the entire frame’s width (7712px).

2.1 Fixing the Softness

Edge softness in no way can be fixed. Oversharpening would make things even worse as there’s almost no true source detail to sharpened. In addition, it’s exactly in the soft areas that Chromatic Aberration (CA) is visible (unlike in non-edge areas), further degrading image quality.

All in all, as long as you do require a tack sharp image along the entire picture and/or CA is far too evident and can’t be fixed with the traditional CA fixing tools, your only way of doing this is just cropping – that is, removing the leftmost and rightmost pixels of around 750 pixels in 16:9 and about 750-288 = 462 pixels in 4:3 images.

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(How I have got the number 288? The Nokia 1020 is (as with the 808) truly multi-aspect, just like many Panasonic cameras (ZS3/TZ7, LX5, GH1/GH2 etc.). This means 16:9 mode make use more horizontal pixels of the sensor than 4:3 mode, which also means the former mode also makes use of the extreme edges of the lens, unlike the latter. You may want to consult section “Multi-Aspect Sensor” at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PanasonicDMCGH2 for more info on multi-aspect sensors. Now, given that 4:3 pics are of resolution 7136×5360, while 16:9 ones are 7712×4352, the left/rightmost (7712-7136)/2=288 pixels are abandoned in 4:3 mode. This also means the blurred zone should be around 750-288 = 462 pixels on the left/right edges of 4:3 shots.)

2.1.1 Consequences of Manual Cropping -  Resulting (Equivalent) Focal Length

If you crop from 16:9 images (again, these suffer from lens softness more than 4:3 ones, the latter having considerably thinner blurred left/rightmost image areas), the effective focal length does increase. By simply cropping the 2*10% of 16:9 frame (that is, around 770 pixels on both sides), we’re still at 26 + 2*2.6 = 31.2 mm equiv focal length – with, now, excellent sharpness. It’s still considerably wider than the camera of most other flagships, particularly in video mode. (iPhone 5: 33mm in 4:3 stills / 42 mm in 1080p video – particularly the latter is much-much narrower than the 1020, even with some heavy cropping to get rid of the blurry edges).

2.1.1.2 What About 3:2?

Cropping the 16:9 originals has, in addition to completely getting rid of the blurred left/rightmost image areas, another advantage: getting closer to the 3:2 aspect ratio (to my knowledge) missing from the Camera Pro client of the camera. Assuming you don’t crop vertically, that is. (You don’t need to as, the lens’ being round, there’s no blurring in the shots around the bottom / top edges. Also see my post at  July 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm GMT HERE for more info.) As you may know, 3:2 is the aspect ratio used by most large sensors (except for the 4:3 micro 4/3 and the now-discontinued 4/3 sensors.)

Should you remove exactly 2*10% of the frame, that is, 771 pixels, 7712-771*2=6170 pixels remain. If you don’t crop vertically, this will be, at 1.417 aspect ratio, much closer to 3:2 (=1.5) than either the source 16:9 (= 1.777) – or, for that matter, 4:3 (= 1.333).

By cropping somewhat less pixels (or, alternatively, in addition to cropping 771*2 horizontally, also cropping (4352-6170/1.5)/2 = 119 pixels from both the bottom and top), you can achieve precisely the 3:2 aspect ratio.

2.1.1.2 Don’t Forget The Cropping Areas When Shooting!

Of course, cropping as explained above requires you to pay attention to framing your subject. Don’t use  the outermost 10% next to the edges! Unfortunately, currently, it seems you can’t use custom rulers in the Camera Pro app and, according to Nokia, accessing the 1020 camera from third-party app (one where you could display 10% rulers to show the area that will need to be cropped) doesn’t allow you to use the built-in, in-camera oversampling method of Nokia. That is, for the time being at least, you’ll need to shoot without cropping area-specific rulers.

3. Other Image Issues

I’ve dedicated the entire second section to blurring resulting from the lens being “pushed” far too hard on the left/right edges. Fortunately, that seems to be the single most important issue with the 1020′s camera; this is why I discuss other issues in the same (this) main section.

3.1 Rolling Shutter Effects in Stills

HERE, I’ve posted quite a lot on the differences of mechanical and electronic shutters and, in general, the inherent problems one faces when using a sensor without a global shutter.

The 1020, as with the 808, doesn’t have a  global shutter either. This means there’ll be some image skewing even in still mode where the mechanical shutter can be utilized. (Note that I, not having a reliable video recording of, say, fast-moving cars, I could’t properly evaluate the rolling shutter problems of shots made with purely electronic shutter. I assume it’s somewhat – but not much! – worse than the image skewing distortion visible when using the mechanical shutter.)

In the AT&T shots, image skew because of the rolling shutter can definitely be seen in the images HERE and HERE.

Check out the wheels of the white car on the right – it’s not an exact circle but more like a skewed oval. Just like in the image HERE (linked from HERE) The two crops:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9316831110/sizes/o/in/set-72157634697436364/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9316831236/sizes/o/in/set-72157634697436364/

It’s actually not that bad, given that we’re speaking of a 41 Mpixel sensor, meaning really a LOT sensor photodiodes to be read. In addition, the car in question had the speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph); that is, it was pretty fast (at least in the eye of somebody used to the traffic speed regulations here in Finland ;) ). I’ve certainly seen much worse results from cameras with much fewer sensor pixels.

3.2 Chromatic Aberration

There’s no Chromatic Aberration (CA) to speak of in the (horizontally) center 80% (that is, the non-blurred area) of the frame, “only” the 20%, where – as I’ve previously mentioned – the lens are pushed too hard, over their limits. CA in the left 10% is very visible for example HERE and HERE:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9316834096/sizes/o/in/set-72157634697436364/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9316834412/sizes/o/in/set-72157634697436364/

I used red rectangles in both crops to emphasize the areas with quite strong CA.

Again, if you do crop (as I’ve recommended), you’ll unlikely to be faced by any kind of CA. The lens of the 1020 is VERY well done in this respect (too).

3.3 Dynamic Range (DR)

DR is, as was easy to predict, doesn’t come close to for example APS-C sensors; see for example the abrupt clipping in the green foliage at the bottom of THIS image:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9314047627/in/set-72157634697436364

Here, I used red rectangles in the crop to emphasize some (but definitely not all!) of the clipped areas.

However, it seems to be definitely better than that of the 808 and on the same level as better small-sensor P&S cameras.

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Category: Lumia, Nokia

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This account is for the stories readers from MNB submit to tips(at)mynokiablog(dot)com as ready to publish articles. Email tips(at)mynokiablog(dot)com if you have a Nokia related story you've written that you'd want to share with MNB's readers. For more information, check out http://mynokiablog.com/tips/ Tips/Guides/Rules for commenting: http://mynokiablog.com/2012/05/29/commenting-help-tips-guides-and-rules/
  • Janne

    Great stuff, thank you Werner!

    • Ujwal Soni

      Janne, you are everywhere!

      On the whole, I’m convinced that the 1020 is a much more compelling package for day to day photography, especially at the regular 5MP res.

      I don’t however see enough reason to upgrade from the 808, given that the 808 has its own bag of tricks and is still a shooter par excellence. Maybe the 1025!

      • Ujwal Soni

        Just saw the 1020 samples again and I take it back..image quality at full res is inexcusable.

        • Werner Ruotsalainen

          You mean the noise? Yes, it’s pretty much everywhere. However, show me a camera with the same photodiode size (1.12 microns) that doesn’t exhibit noise at all, with any color. I’m absolutely sure you won’t be able to show any.

          Nevertheless, noise aside, the sharpness (apart from the left/rightmost 10% area) is top-notch, there’s no CA (again, apart from the cr@ppy 10% areas on the sides) and DR is acceptable.

          The jury is, of course, still out regarding for example the shutter lag. We already know that storing the images in the phone storage, particularly when operating in dual mode, is pretty slow.

          • Ujwal Soni

            I’m basing my opinion on 1. the noise, and 2. the 10% area that you speak of. Hopefully, the production hardware will be able to resolve the second problem.

            Shutter lag doesn’t worry me as much as the image quality..

            • Werner Ruotsalainen

              “I’m basing my opinion on 1. the noise, and 2. the 10% area that you speak of. Hopefully, the production hardware will be able to resolve the second problem.”

              I’m absolutely sure the 10% blurry area just can’t be fixed without a major hardware redesign by, presumably, adding a considerably larger lens – or, by further reducing the sensor size. Nokia can’t beat the laws of physics either.

              This is the price we have to pay for the 1020′s being much sleeker / ligher than the 808. (I’d personally would have preferred a phone with a larger-sized sensor, but I’m not an Average Joe when it comes to imaging. And Average Joes prefer as light, thin and small handsets as possible.)

              • sunnyvale

                Now that you mention that….

                I usually don’t give harsh opinion on much subjects, but I gotta say, this trend of trying to make anorexic phones just doesn’t make sense to me. What’s the point? Based on the premise of how allowing a few extra grams Nokia could’ve delivered something superior, why sacrifice it for 2 or 3mm.

                Yes, I can understand a lot of people will care for their phone to be stylish and thin, but that’s not all. The design decision of cramping as much as you can on a very tight space must not be the point of start. I’d rather have a more chubby phone that crams a lot of technologies inside.

                With that aside. I still congratulate Nokia for the Nokia Lumia 1020, they managed to cram technology that’s far ahead of any phone in existence and some P&S, and still made it quite thin. If you think they could’ve managed to stuff bigger sensors on that tight space, then perhaps we should wait for a 1020 successor.

                • Random Random

                  Why most people seem to want thin phones?

                  Those are less on the way when in pocket. They take less space.

                  It’s just not too comfortable to have a thick phone. I have 808 and I really wouldn’t like to carry around that device. It’s just too thick and the hump makes it extremely uncomfortable.

                  Sure, it fits into my pocket but it’s more comfortable to have a think phone.

                  It’s not about the style. It’s about having a comfortable phone.

                  • sunnyvale

                    Well, you just brought up the most valid and reasonable point. Comfort is also a priority.

                    It is important to add, that comfort should also include the device dimensions. Carrying around a device boasting a 4.5 inch screen is quite a burden to the pocket. Not in the same page as carrying around, say, a 4 inch screen phone. Coincidentally, the 808 has an 4 inch screen, but of course, it’s quite thick.

                    The point that I was trying to make is whether is right or not to shave off 2 or 3 mm for the sake of everything. Putting all the bets on just having an extremely thin device, while overlooking the potential stuff that could’ve made it to the final product..it’s a bit sad

                    But, as I said earlier, perhaps those compromises will be almost non-existent, as technology improves. And then this whole thin-no-matter-what thing will be a thing of the past.

              • Ujwal Soni

                I’ve really no problem with the 808′s dimensions. Shaving off a few mm is not important to me at all, although I’m not a photography buff..

                Thanks for your superb assessment.

                • Werner Ruotsalainen

                  Unfortunately, Nokia seems to cater more for the Average Joes wanting as sleek handsets as possible. After all, 99% of the smartphone users are non-techies / non-photographers.

                  Unfortunately, I’d say – after all, this was the reason for Symbian’s / Windows Mobile’s (two much more powerful OS’es than iOS / WP; only Android can be compared to them) demise.

                  • Random Random

                    Unfortunately?

                    If they made thick devices for photographers, they would not be able to sell enough of those and in the long run it would result with low quality products because they no longer had the money to improve the technology.

                    About those more powerful operating systems.

                    Are you serious or was that a joke?

                    No way Windows Mobile is a more powerful OS compared to WP.

                    Then again Symbian had serious flaws and it was no longer a OS for people who have to be able to trust the phone they use. No matter how much features it had. It was just flawed.

                    And iOS. Do you know from what it was developed from?

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “Are you serious or was that a joke?

                      No way Windows Mobile is a more powerful OS compared to WP.”

                      Of course it’s not possible to compare OS’es that were fully abandoned in 2009-2011 to current ones. WP IS more modern than either WinMo or Symbian.

                      HOWEVER! Architecture / feature-wise, both WinMo and Symbian were far superior to anything else back in time – and, in some respects, even iOS / WP today. Bluetooth file transfer? True multitasking?

                      WM even in its initial forms, even as of WinCE 1.0 back in 1996, supported true multitasking. WP / iOS still don’t support it.

                      “And iOS. Do you know from what it was developed from?”

                      I actually *teach* iOS programming so I know all its secrets like the palm of my hand… just tell me: does it support any of the features of WinMo / Symbian I’ve listed?

                    • Janne

                      WR:

                      You know a lot about cameras, but probably not about OS architectures.

                      Definitely WP8 is far more advanced than WM, architecture-wise. And even more capable at ture multitasking than WM.

                      It is just that (like with iOS, perfectly capable of true multitasking thanks to its OS X base) there is a design decision not to multitask apps freely to conserve resources.

                      Back in the mid-1990s there were still plenty of OSs without true pre-emptive multi-tasking, like Windows 3.1 and MacOS prior to X. But today all notable players are perfectly capable at true multitasking.

                    • Random Random

                      If you look at the architecture of Symbian, it was clearly an inferior one compared to almost anything. Why is that? The idea of servers was an awful one. It was one major reason for the failure of deliver a matured implementation of Qt in time.

                      Bluetooth file transfer? A niche feature. Nothing to do with architecture.

                      True multitasking? Are you talking about the OS features or the features allowed for the user? Those are two completely different matters.

                      And multitasking. Please check from Wikipedia what multitasking means. It’s pretty obvious iOS has multitasking.

                      Does iOS support features you mentioned? Let’s see. It’s possible to write an app for iOS, transferring a file. At least it doesn’t prevent that from happening.

                      On the other hand I seriously, seriously doubt you know all the secrets iOS has.

                      One more thing.

                      True multitasking. Symbian doesn’t support it because it closes applications if it needs to free memory. Yes, that’s one way to define true multitasking. Or maybe we could use the one from Wikipedia?

                      “In computing, multitasking is a method where multiple tasks, also known as processes, are performed during the same period of time.”

                      Both iOS and Symbian can do that. Multitasking.

                    • Janne

                      One thing Symbian and WM had though, although the latter in a hodgepodge manner, was that they were real-time OSes. None of the other current big ones are (did QNX in BB10 retain RTOS?).

                      Not that Nokia Symbian users could feel it on the UI layer because that was botched and far from what the OS could do.

                      Architecture and implementation are two different things.

                    • Random Random

                      Yes, but then again, how important it is to have a real time OS if the manufacturer doesn’t intend to create low end devices and the price point of the low end continues to come down.

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “And multitasking. Please check from Wikipedia what multitasking means. It’s pretty obvious iOS has multitasking. ”

                      Wrong. iOS has a very restricted form of multitasking. Android is much-much more geek / power user-friendly; particularly if Google indeed introduces a truly windowed GUI with Adnroid 5.0.

                      I’ve published tons of info on this; see my posts at, for example, http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1600628 . Note that the thread is full of iOS fanboys continuously attacking everybody questioning the divinity of their beloved Apple.

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “Are you talking about the OS features or the features allowed for the user? Those are two completely different matters.”

                      Yup, sorry, I’ve been talking about the _features_ the user is allowed to do. Sorry for my not emphasizing this (I’ve been busily writing a review of the new VLC release for iOS – see my posts at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=17603156 if interested.)

                      What I mean the following: much as WinMo and Symbian had a LOT more features, including multitasking / full BT support, iOS made them both obsolete simply because it was much simpler to use (but much less featureful).

                    • Random Random

                      Yes.

                      While the OS allows multitasking, the UI prevents that from the user. That doesn’t make the operating system less powerful.

                      Limiting the multitasking has been a very good decision from Apple. After all, these devices are intended to be used by normal people and multitasking has been something they just can’t really understand well enough.

                      Having the unlimited multitasking really flawed Symbian and it’s great news that Apple didn’t enable that in iPhone. After all, it’s about balancing the system and not making it perform as well as possible, in certain use cases.

                      This has nothing to do with defending iOS. I’m more like explaining why it was designed like that and why ignoring the power users might be a good idea if the idea is to make a single good product almost anyone can use.

                      While I know how unlimited multitasking works and I could have used it at some occasions, I have enjoyed the ease of use iOS offers and I definitely understand and accept the idea of balancing the features.

                      I didn’t real all the comments but obviously some people who appear to be iOS fanboys can be actually talking about how Apple balances the product they are making.

                      I greatly value good performance but also stability and having balanced set of features.

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “While the OS allows multitasking, the UI prevents that from the user. That doesn’t make the operating system less powerful.”

                      But it does for the user – after all, you, as an user, can’t make any app of your choice run in the background, only some apps and only for some restricted functionality.

                      “Limiting the multitasking has been a very good decision from Apple. After all, these devices are intended to be used by normal people and multitasking has been something they just can’t really understand well enough.”

                      Well, you’re speaking of 99% of iOS users. The rest, however, are power users heavily pissed by iOS’ getting pretty stale – apart from receiving some new icons and some new API calls. After all, we’ve paid a lot of $$$ for our iDevices and, consequently, would prefer to have the same level of functionality as on competing platforms.

                      While on Android Samsung users even have windowing and, if the rumors are true, 5.0 will officially receive Android-level, built-in windowing support. In addition, WinRT has always had windowing support.

                      Again: *you* may find iOS’ current multitasking support and the complete lack of windowing support sufficient. *I* and a lot of iOS power users don’t.

                    • Random Random

                      I have said this several times in the past, but power users are not supposed to buy iPhones. They should know better and choose something else.

                      Apple is not manufacturing phones for power users who need multitasking and some other features Apple is not supporting. That has been the case in the past and Apple has not claimed or promised to change that.

                      While the hardware iPhone is using might make possible to use features power users would like to have, there is no reason to expect Apple to enable them because it’s not and it has not been the idea of the device.

                      I really don’t understand complaining about that because it all was known beforehand.

                      That’s why it’s extremely strange.

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “I have said this several times in the past, but power users are not supposed to buy iPhones. They should know better and choose something else.”

                      I, when iOS is concerned, am mostly an iPad and much less of an iPhone user. While I do carry an iPhone 5 with me, my true phone is another one, and generally only use the iPhone 5 as a panorama camera (and for teaching / development). I use Symbian for phoning because it can record calls, unlike iOS, and a Nokia N95 is dirt cheap nowadays – that is, no problem if it’s stolen or gets lost / gets soaked.

                      Unfortunately, just telling “power users, go somewhere else” doesn’t really work when the iPad is concerned. Or at least didn’t work before the release of the Nexus 10, the first true alternative to Retina-screen iPads. Before the Nexus 10, there simply were no Android tablets coming close to iPads, particularly not after the iPad 3 was released and hi-res screens become a must.

                      This – for long, iPads have been the only choice for heavy tablet users – is why there are a lot of power users on iOS. And these people do want some quality OS, feature-wise, directly competing with Android and WinRT, not just one with the “revolutional” revamped icons.

                    • Random Random

                      Why doesn’t it work when iPad is concerned? Yes, I know power users would like to have those features for iPad but really, Apple never promised to deliver a tablet for power users and power users always knew that Apple was not going to ship those features for them.

                      If it’s not a good product for them, power users just shouldn’t have bought one. It’s really as simple as that.

                      Saying that Apple should change the product because 1% of the users are not happy with it, is really not a realistic scenario. No, I really don’t understand complaints about Apple shipping too few improvements for the iOS7.

                      Really, this is just strange. Surely Apple has the right to design balanced products not intended to be used by power users of certain type?

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “If it’s not a good product for them, power users just shouldn’t have bought one. It’s really as simple as that.”

                      Again: up until Autumn / 2012, there simply, hardware-wise, wasn’t anything on the market as powerful as the iPad . This is why power users had to choose iPads and not the (then) much inferior Android tablets.

                    • Random Random

                      Yes. I understood that.

                      In that case the power users had two fair choices.

                      They could have bought the device while understanding that Apple has designed a product not allowing all the features they wanted. After all, Apple didn’t try to hide that.

                      Or they could have left it on store and choose not to buy one.

                      Of course they had also the third choice of jailbreaking it. But it’s just fair not to expect Apple to help or support that. They surely can do what they want with the hardware they bought but even that doesn’t make it fair to complain about lack of features they were never promised for.

                      I’m sure the power users could have lived without a tablet even if there was no alternative.

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “Again: up until Autumn / 2012, there simply, hardware-wise, wasn’t anything on the market as powerful as the iPad . This is why power users had to choose iPads and not the (then) much inferior Android tablets.”

                      Besides, who would have thought a year ago Android becomes THIS good, while Apple continues to stagnate…

                    • Werner Ruotsalainen

                      “Yup, sorry, I’ve been talking about the _features_ the user is allowed to do. Sorry for my not emphasizing this (I’ve been busily writing a review of the new VLC release for iOS – see my posts at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=17603156 if interested.)”

                      A quick, shameless plug: I’ve just published the announced VLC for iOS review: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=17604811&postcount=190

                    • Random Random

                      Yes.

                      As you say, the power users really can’t blame Apple.

                      They knew what they bought and they could have chose not to buy iPad at the time there was no real alternatives for them. It’s not like Apple forced them to buy iPad.

                      The power users complained without a valid reason.

          • sunnyvale

            Greetings Werner

            I want to thank you for taking your time on doing this awesome and well detailed article. Magnificent stuff!

  • sbw44

    Does the 1020 have that one finger slide to zoom like the 808?

    • Janne

      Yes it does.

      And I expect 920/925/928 to get it too with the new Nokia Pro Camera app.

      • Ujwal Soni

        There’s no point zooming in with an 8MP sensor. Rather take the pic at 8 MP and crop.

        • Janne

          I was thinking of video zooming. It still makes sense on 8 MP.

          • Ujwal Soni

            Yes, true

          • Werner Ruotsalainen

            “I was thinking of video zooming. It still makes sense on 8 MP.”

            Yup, it does. On a natively 4:3 one like that of the iPhone 5, you can (theoretically) have 1.7x zooming losslessly. (In practice, on the iPhone 5, the upper limit is 1.4545x) This makes quite a big difference compared to the traditional cropping (that is, in no way lossless) approach – see my comparative images (at 1.4545x and 3x zoom between lossless and lossy zooming modes on the iPhone5) in my dedicated article at http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/imaging-video-guru-reporting-lossless-video-zooming-ios7 if interested.

            As the 920 has a true multi-aspect sensor meaning it has 3264 horizontal pixels, it should be capable of even higher lossless zoom factors in 1080p: 4351/1920=2.26.

            • Random Random

              Well.

              How compressed is the video on the 1020? The problem with 808 is that the 1080p video is almost useless if there is a substantial amount of movement in the video. With the 808 everything is fine if you shoot sceneries or something else that doesn’t have too much changes between the frames.

              If there are lots of action the footage will become jerky and the loss of quality is a serious issue.

              • Werner Ruotsalainen

                Dunno. The footage I’ve seen so far didn’t exhibit as bad H.264 encoding issues as, say, the H.264 encoder used in earlier HD cameras (e.g., the 2009 ZS3/TZ7). However, as I personally haven’t had the chance to test the device with my video test suite (framedrops, resolution etc.), I don’t know how it really behaves.

                • Random Random

                  Yes, that is yet unknown to us.

                  With 808 it’s relatively easy to see how the low data rate affects the video quality while 1080p is used. Just shoot a complex scenery and zoom in with a one swipe.

                  The resulting video will be jerky and it can be quite easily seen.

                  It will be nice to know if this has been fixed for the 1020.

                  With the 808 the low data rate makes it very hard to shoot a quality footage with lots of action.

  • sbw44

    Sorry forgot nokia wants us to shoot now and zoom and crop later but would be nice if you can have that zoom in video

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      The 1020 can losslessly zoom while shooting videos. Actually, the opposite would be both technically impossible (realtime lossy encoding of 7712×4352 at 30p) and, even if it was possible (it isn’t), the post processing (for cropping) and the need to reencode the video stream, now into 1080p, would be both very time-consuming and detrimental to the final IQ.

      But, again, it’s today impossible to encode a 34Mpixel stream at 30p via H.264.

      • Random Random

        Yes, the 1020 can do the lossless zoom with a loss of quality when the zoom is used.

        What I mean is that the lossless zoom means that there will be loss of image quality when the zoom is used.

        That happens because the oversampling is lost when zoomed in.

        • Werner Ruotsalainen

          If you mean _slight_ resolution degradation when zooming in just like with the 808, this is indeed understandable. (See for example the lowermost comparison at http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_808_pureview-review-776p7.php for the quality difference between the no zoom and max. lossless zoom case.)

          However, this resolution / IQ degradation is still much-much less than the case of pure, lossy digital zoom. In my dedicated iPhone 5 + iOS7 article (see the above-linked http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/imaging-video-guru-reporting-lossless-video-zooming-ios7 ), I’ve even directly compared the framegrabs from videos I’ve shot using both iOS7′s lossless and the standard lossy video recording.

          • Random Random

            If you are talking about this comparison

            http://cdn.gsmarena.com/vv/reviewsimg/nokia-808-pureview/review/cameraimg/gsmarena_003.jpg

            I definitely must disagree about the definition of a slight resolution degradation. In my opinion that’s actually a huge hit and the loss of quality can be easily seen.

            Then again, it’s totally different matter to talk about a digital zoom. When digital zoom is used, the image is interpolated when the resolution of the original image is exceeded.

            Nokia has solved the problem of lossless digital zoom for still images by limiting the maximum resolution of the picture. Effectively this means that almost any level of zoom can be achieved by cropping the image and calling that lossless. That’s when not talked about video but only still images.

            In the end of the day Nokia has a lossless zoom that loses either resolution or detail when it’s used.

            • Werner Ruotsalainen

              “I definitely must disagree about the definition of a slight resolution degradation. In my opinion that’s actually a huge hit and the loss of quality can be easily seen. ”

              Well, for a 4x zoom, it’s still pretty good. Again, with digital zooming, the effective resolution would be quartered – instead of 1080 rows, you’d only have 320.

              BTW, other platforms employing lossless zoom during video shooting also exhibit some kind of resolution loss in the lossless region – see for example my iPhone 5 measurements. This is the lossless 1.4545 zoom:

              http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9134023456/sizes/o/in/set-72157634311287398/

              (The point where the lines are no longer distinguishable is around 9.2)

              and this is the lossy:

              http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9127639767/sizes/o/in/set-72157634311287398/

              (The point where the lines are no longer distinguishable is around 8)

              And, finally, this is the 1x zoom case, with full resolution (point: 10.8):

              http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9129869896/sizes/o/in/set-72157634311287398/

              Again, on both the 808 and the iPhone 5, lossless zoom isn’t really lossless but it’s still orders of magnitude better than traditional electronic zoom.

              • Random Random

                I really don’t understand why you are comparing the lossless zoom of the 808 to a digital zoom.

                While it’s pretty good, there is a considerable hit on either resolution (shooting stills and losing the native resolution) or losing the details when used for video.

                There is really no way around it. The lossless zoom loses either detail or resolution if it’s used.

                Then again if we really want to compare the zoom to other platforms, we can do the zoom comparison to S4 Zoom where there are different issues when the zoom is used. But if S4 Zoom’s zoom is compared to the one on 808, it’s definitely less lossy and it’s possible to greatly exceed the max resolution of 808 when used up to 10x. In that case, if only the zooms are compared, 808 can do only about 2x zoom in 16MP while S4 Zoom can do 10x.

                Of course S4 Zoom is a bigger and less pocketable device. Just like 808 or 1020 are bigger and less pocketable than the iPhone.

                In the end talking about the lossless zoom is really strange because while it’s clearly better than some tech, it’s still lossy and not the best possible solution what comes to zooming.

                • Werner Ruotsalainen

                  You may have mistaken crop (lossy) zooming to (semi-)lossless zooming making use of the fact that the target resolution (for example, with Full HD movies, 1920*1080) is lower than the number of input photodiodes.

                  As you can very easily check this based on my iPhone 5 lossless zoom article resolution charts, (semi-)lossless zoom, as is done in iOS7 (at least on the iPhone 5) and the Nokia 808, results in WAAAAY less resolution loss than simply cropping and not dynamically making use of all the available sensor pixels.

                  • Random Random

                    No I haven’t.

                    If crop zooming is not lossless zooming, then neither 808 or 1020 have a lossless zoom for still images.

                    Then again, if you put it that way, using less than 1080p is effectively lossy shooting (and zooming). That also makes zooming 6x with 720 a lossy process.

                    But the point was not really only about that. What I intended to say was that there is a serious hit on resolution when the zoom is used. That’s why 808′s lossless zoom is a lossy one – and it’s not even the best way of implementing the zoom.

  • Janne

    I also tipped these:

    Nokia Lumia 1020 camera on show: bokeh
    http://conversations.nokia.com/2013/07/17/nokia-lumia-1020-camera-on-show-bokeh/

    Nokia Lumia 1020 camera on show: shutter speed
    http://conversations.nokia.com/2013/07/18/nokia-lumia-1020-camera-on-show-shutter-speed/

    Any comments on those WP photos, Werner (they are probably familiar from the earlier outing)?

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      http://cdn.conversations.nokia.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/WP_20130615_16_31_54_Pro__highres.jpg :

      - based on the filedate, it seems to be have taken slightly more than a month ago. This also emphasizes Nokia promotes their handset with shots made on old and (as opposed to production units) in no way flawless handset, which does result in negative publicity as many people pixel-peep these images to see whether the camera is any good. (Not only here at MNB, but also in the DPReview – Connect forum.)

      - the leftmost side seems to show the same blurry mess as production (AT&T) handsets, with all the listed problems (blur and CA).

      - no discernable CA in the non-blurry regions. (Not even at the very CA-prone parts of the shot; that is, the leaves’ dark contours against the bright sky.)

      - proper foliage rendering (I’ve seen MUCH worse with tons of P&S cameras) and no really problematic oversharpening halos

      - the right part’s blurriness’ width can’t really be measured as an out-of-focus bag(?) fills the rightmost about 2200 pixels.

      • Janne

        This also emphasizes Nokia promotes their handset with shots made on old and (as opposed to production units) in no way flawless handset, which does result in negative publicity as many people pixel-peep these images to see whether the camera is any good. (Not only here at MNB, but also in the DPReview – Connect forum.)

        Yes, well, maybe guys on the Internet shouldn’t jump to premature conclusions? ;)

        • Werner Ruotsalainen

          “Yes, well, maybe guys on the Internet shouldn’t jump to premature conclusions? ;)

          Well,

          - no one would have thought Nokia publishes such old and technically really flawed images. Basically, camera companies tend to publish a thousand times edited / checked-for-flaws images, meaning real-world cameras are surely worse-behaving than the promo images.

          - those were the only full-res images available; no wonder all photo buffs examined them with a magnifying glass :)

          • Janne

            I thought so.

            Few didn’t listen to me.

            You can all thank me now. ;)

            p.s. It is common and age-old courtesy to give prototype results at least a verbal nod that they can still change. There is a reason why that courtesy exists.

            • stylinred

              i think you can apologize now to everyone you berated more than us thanking you…

              • Janne

                Actually, I am sorry if some felt offended. That was not intended. I am merely interested in really fleshing out what the real story is, behind all the commotion.

                I think Werner, for example, has done a commendable job at pointing out many things I applaud, such as the problem with Nokia’s early prototypes (now fixed but hampering analysis on the PR images), improved dynamic range over 808 in 1020, as well as good analysis on the prevalent noise on 1020.

                This is good stuff.

                • Janne

                  Note: Not as good as real comparison, but until comparison pictures come, this kind of analysis is the best we can get. Final results may be different as we get to compare production hardware with other phones, of course.

                  • sunnyvale

                    The beers Janne, remember the beers.

              • MF

                This only proved Janne was right. Everyone was having a field day bashing the 1020′s IQ based on “official sample photos”.

                Janne was basically saying let’s not jump into any premature conclusions, this could have been due to a very simple explanation, i.e. incompetence by Nokia marketing/PR.

                People these days need to relax and be less jumpy.

                • Random Random

                  Lots of people were doing that.

                  I was one of them who was not basing 1020 quality.

                  Then again, it seems that IQ is becoming one of those terms people like to use because saying IQ makes them look like smart. It’s easy to say IQ without even knowing what IQ means. IQ IQ.

                  That same happened with UX. People started to call almost everything UX.

                  That’s the reason why I prefer to write operating system or user interface instead of OS or UI. Of course I do that occasionally, but I prefer not to use the short form because that too often leads to misunderstandings.

                • theflew

                  I don’t even think we should be using phrases like “incompetence by Nokia marketing/PR”. The point is marketing materials take time to develop (websites, PDF’s, whitepapers, etc..) You have to draw a line in the sand with the equipment you have at the time.

                  • Werner Ruotsalainen

                    “You have to draw a line in the sand with the equipment you have at the time”

                    Still, a camera, when no other data is available, is evaluated by the enthusiasts based on the official images. (Keeping in mind that they do know all camera companies do tend to publish flattering images.) They must be representative of production devices and shouldn’t be (much) worse than them.

                    Nokia gained a lot of negative publicity (not only here, but also at DPReview) by just putting some old and truly flawed images online.

                    In addition, they could have been swapped in, say, an hour.

                    • Random Random

                      That negative publicity hardly matters if the phone can produce good images at a later time.

                      1020 is a niche device and the people who are planning to buy it, will find out if it’s good or not. Some flawed early images can’t change that. No, it’s actually better to have some flawed images because that will result with lots of talk and that’s what Nokia needs with this device.

                      The masses buying the cheaper phones can’t really care about DPReview. Tech sites are next to irrelevant what it comes to mass sales.

                      Actually, it would have been a great idea to ship one really flawed one. From the marketing point of view.

                  • Random Random

                    Very true.

                    Besides, releasing some pictures with minor flaws might work for Nokia so that could be intentional.

                    It’s better not to deliver perfect quality on the samples because that makes them interesting and you get more sales that way.

          • Paulo

            Well, those pics taken by the at&t employee were just as bad… In fact, even worse. I see dynamic Range at a pretty poor level. See that full res pic from the parking lot. Bumped contrast, absolutely painful DR, strong sharpness degradation towards the edges… The only advantage I see over the 808 regards vignetting, which is quite pronounced with the 808 sometimes.

            • Werner Ruotsalainen

              “Bumped contrast”

              Hope Nokia allows for turning down both saturation (which is also over-amplified) and contrast. Fortunately, both can be done in software. (The opposite – making contrast-less images more contrasty caused by a bad lens – would be much harder.)

              “absolutely painful DR”

              That’s what you can expect from 1.12 microns… No more, no less. Nevertheless, I still secretly hope Nokia gives us RAW with 34/38 Mpixel images. (Albeit I don’t have much hope.) Perhaps we can recover some detail, even as much as 1 EV, from those clipped areas with careful RAW processing.

              “strong sharpness degradation towards the edges…”

              Yup, as has been recommended in my initial post, the left/rightmost 10% of the frame must be removed (in 16:9 mode; in 4:3 mode, only 6% of them) for the image to become tack sharp and devoid of CA. Fortunately, the center 80% (16:9) / 86% (4:3) area is tack sharp.

              • Paulo

                Damian Dinning used to put a lot of efforts in defending that natural approach, with subtle contrast and saturation, and minimal artificial sharpness. Now they come with this… I really miss him.

                When I talk about something wrong with PureView algorithms this time, one perfect example would be this (MNB has deleted it, but I had it saved):

                http://www.esato.com/phonephotos/cam/nokia/lumia_1020/2013071916389K91Tv.jpg

                What is all that noise at ISO-200? Reminds me my old Nokia N82.

                It feels like they are simply resizing the full res pics and applying a strong sharpness to the picture.

                PureView pictures are absolutely awful with the 1020.

        • Ujwal Soni

          I frankly don’t think that drawing conclusions from pics published on Nokia’s official blog is premature.

          Anywho, glad to know that there is scope for improvement here.

          • Werner Ruotsalainen

            “I frankly don’t think that drawing conclusions from pics published on Nokia’s official blog is premature.”

            Neither would I. After all, the standard behavior of camera companies (Pana, Sony etc.) is exactly the opposite. That is, they hand pick every image they publish and make dead sure they only make absolutely flawless images public.

            Nokia have made a major mistake by rushing to publish these images. They should have made a new set of shots with newer and properly manufactured devices, not with pre-production, decentered-lens ones.

            • stylinred

              which is also how Nokia used to operate with previous device releases like the 808, n8 etc etc

              • Janne

                Past is no guarantee of future.

                The Internet, with all its social media and viral stuff, is changing things for companies too. There is more immediacy. Or maybe Nokia got sloppy. Or was in too much of a hurry. Or was too much trying to keep things in a small circle for secrecy. This can and do often change between previews and shipping.

                Either way, it happened. I think it happened with Lumia 920 too and if we really look at Nokia’s history, I’m fairly certain this in reality is not the first time – not for Nokia and not for others. There is a reason why waiting for actual production units and comparisons in independent hands is needed.

                Was it optimal for Nokia? Of course not. We can criticize them for not doing their PR better. But we also must criticize those amongst us who took the initial images as the best of what Lumia 1020 could do – because that was a premature reaction.

  • Janne

    Interesting that 1020 has superior dynamic range compared to 808. I’d say that is an image quality issue… ;)

    • Paulo

      Well, I don’t think the 1020 has superior dynamic range compared to the 808. I honestly do not know what has lead Werner to conclude that.

      I feel quite the opposite.

      • milojko

        I think it’s just a little bit better on 808.

      • Werner Ruotsalainen

        I should re-word my article: “based on my small-sensor shooting experience, I find the DR of the 1020′s DR average for its photodiode size, while the 808 was slightly worse”.

        Of course, lacking a true A-B comparative or a studio test, nothing more can be safely stated.

  • Viipottaja

    Great read, especially if I knew what all those terms mean. :P

  • Ady

    Man this is so complicated O_O and I really thought I knew something about photography but I barely understood a single sentence from this post… Duh

    Great post nevertheless! Its clear that a lot of work and interest has been put into it.

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      Sorry – I didn’t have the time to link to Wiki pages explaining what for example CA / edge softness / DR etc. mean. IMHO, after checking out the Wiki, most of what I’ve stated becomes clear.

  • Cod3rror

    Pretty much all Lumia cameras exhibit the same traits. Grain, noise, over-pressing, oil-painting.

    Have a look at this…

    http://i.picpar.com/cks.jpg

    • stylinred

      think its the use of BSI sensors they’re just not there yet

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      It’s not really fair to compare any of the existing Lumia cameras (even that of the 920 – after all, it’s 1/3″ only) to either the 1020 or the 808.

      Besides, the image at http://cdn.conversations.nokia.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/large-sensor-city-view.jpg – that is, the one the image refers to as “oil painting” – doesn’t really have over-noise-reduction-and-then-oversharpening effects. It’s faulty, yes, because of the decentered lens, and also has noise & some (mostly yellow – see the cars) color bleeding, but, otherwise, of, for the photodiode side, perfectly acceptable quality.

      • Cod3rror

        The 5MP images of 1020 show grain and noise like other Lumia cameras.

        I don’t know what Nokia did, but their algorithms suck! Strangely Lumia 800 did not have this excessive grain and noise, once they switched to WP8 though… terrible quality.

        • Werner Ruotsalainen

          If you need to get rid of any kind of noise at base ISO, the only thing you can do is going for FF. Most (if not all!) APS-C cameras have at least noise in their blue channel – and many in the red/green too. I only know of FF cameras without any discernable noise at base ISO.

          See for example the noise comparator widget at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx100/10 . Try finding an APS-C camera (let alone a smaller-sensored one!) that produces entirely noise-free images at base ISO…

          Sorry – this is life and the laws of physics. If you do need no-noise images on at least base ISO, you must purchase a FF camera.

          • Cod3rror

            But that noise level is too excessive, iPhone does not have such noise. 808 has virtually 0 noise in good light.

            Also, what about the smudging/oil painting look? How do you explain that?

            • Random Random

              Full resolution pictures taken with the the 808 have plenty of noise in good light.

            • sunnyvale

              The smudging could be related to the color bleeding and lack of sharpness,Cod3rror.

              But, Cod3rror, i don’t know why you complain about noise and grain, you said Lumias produce enough grain for starving nations, I think that’s a good thing.

              • Cod3rror

                Yes and more noise than a rock concert and more oil painted pictures than Bob Ross.

                • Werner Ruotsalainen

                  “Yes and more noise than a rock concert and more oil painted pictures than Bob Ross.”

                  Should I show you much more noisier / “oil painting”-like pics from P&S cameras like almost all Sony HX or Panasonic TZ/ZS series pocket zooms?

                  While the 1020 does have noise at even base ISO, IMHO, these noise levels are pretty normal for a 1.12 sensor and, again, I’ve seen much worse approaches to software noise reduction – for example, by the P&S cameras I’ve mentioned above.

            • Werner Ruotsalainen

              “But that noise level is too excessive, iPhone does not have such noise.”

              The iPhone not noisy? Is that a joke? Sure it is (assuming you aren’t just trolling)…

              Let me present you with a crop from the DPReview Connect review shot at ISO 50 under 11 EV (roughly equivalent to subdued daylight) light intensity:

              http://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/9318034591/sizes/o/in/photostream/

              As you can clearly see,

              - the iPhone 5 is noisy in all color channels
              - the 808 (directly under it) is much better (much less noisy)

              Source iPhone 5 image:
              http://connect.dpreview.com/reviews/smartphone_comparison_2012/samples/data/iphone5/comparision/daylightstudio_iphone5.jpg

              Comparator tool, where anyone can test this:
              http://connect.dpreview.com/post/1343713337/apple-iphone-5-review?page=7

        • Paulo

          Yes, I guess that our main concerns are about the pureview algorithms in the 1020. If you resize a full resolution pic at flickr and then compare the same one after going through the pureview process, the difference is huge. It simply doesn’t seem right. Besides, it seems suspicious that Nokia hasn’t issued a single high iso pic this time round. We’ve had that with the 808, the 902 and the 925 as well.

  • anon2

    Meh.. they said the same thing about the 920 but I still purchased one. Any camera, even a high-end DSLR, will struggle in less than perfect lighting conditions; Why do you think they don’t have the xenon flash built into the body ???

  • PhilK

    Man, they said these would be better than anything up to APS-C…
    this is terrible compared to even micro 4/3rds

    they made major compromises to get this out so quickly. my 808 produces much better images

    • Janne

      they made major compromises to get this out so quickly. my 808 produces much better images

      I doubt quality differences have much to do with time, but everything to do with a second go at it, with slightly different parameters – e.g. aiming for a smaller size while fitting optical image stabilization too.

      We’ll eventually see what the real differences are. So far we don’t have any direct 808 comparisons.

      • Random Random

        Currently it seems obvious that 1020 just destroys 808 on video and while shooting some nice images, the same happens with stills.

        The idea is to be able to take a picture and not use lots of time for that. 808 requires lots of time for images if the optimal conditions are not available.

        808 is also more unstable.

        Those are some reasons why 1020 just destroys 808.

        • dss

          I’ve shot gigabytes of video and still with the 808, and I’ve had very few issues with speed, quality, stability.. its a proper camera, which also functions as a modern smartphone.

          The only thing that the 1020 can do better in terms of video recording is stabilization.. the rest.. I doubt its any better.

          Still image IQ in all the samples I’ve see so far is not up to par with the 808.. as soon as I see one image that is, I will be more than happy to admit that..

          • Random Random

            Only gigabytes of video? That’s not too much.

            Then again, maybe you don’t do anything that requires a high data rate. It seems that people with 808′s like to shoot landscapes and other stuff not requiring that much data rate.

            There is also another issue.

            Since 808 is an amateur product made for amateurs with a lust for high specs, the people using it don’t usually see the flaws in the video quality if they can’t see the issues on still images.

            That explains why the jerkiness on the 1080p zooming was not widely talked about. I saw it instantly first time I used the device. You apparently are not able to notice that because you are not used to notice issues like that.

            It’s not something you can look from still images.

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      “Man, they said these would be better than anything up to APS-C…”

      Did they [Nokia]? Noise / DR-wise, surely they haven’t. Resolution/detail-wise (not taking the left/right 10% of the 16:9 image into account, of course), however, they may have been right.

  • Joker

    I have no idea what this guy is talking about. But can anybody verify if this guy is qualified to talk about this topic, and in this manner?

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      “I have no idea what this guy is talking about. But can anybody verify if this guy is qualified to talk about this topic, and in this manner?”

      You meant me? Well, you can easily verify my imaging knowledge by simply checking out my iPhone Life / DPReview / MacRumors etc. articles / posts / comments.

      BTW, what’s wrong with the way I’ve talked about the 1020? Have I praised the camera too much? Or, did I unnecessarily trash it?

  • buzzyboy85

    i see your talking abuot megapixels,microns,gb,lenses and blurr in the sample pictures im not educated in cameras but i like to take good pics
    does this post mean buy or dont buy the nokia lumia 1020?

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      Not a definite “yes” yet, albeit I, after carefully evaluating the AT&T shots, have a much better opinion of the 1020 than after checking out Nokia’s own, official ones with its major lens decentering and oversharpening / aggressive NR issues.

      The jury is sitll out there regarding, say, noise, which couldn’t be properly measured based on some shots only (unlike lens quality, corner/edge softness etc).

      • theflew

        I would have replied with a simple – yes! Name any other modern phone that will take pictures better than this one?

  • LaW

    Com eon all this camera is a BEATS!,kills my S4 and it now has OIS too!. Also its not even out yet lol so lets wait and see when proper reviews start. Also nokia may also have numerous software updates for the camera performance in future

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      “Also nokia may also have numerous software updates for the camera performance in future”

      Just don’t forget: smearing / CA introduced by far-too-pushed lens can’t be fixed in post processing (in software only).

  • Shane

    sub.

  • Ziko

    @Werner Ruotsalainen Thank you soo muchch for sharing so valuable knowledge. :)

  • Ziko

    Nokia, not bigger, but why dont u use 808′s sensor in new mobile. You have done it in 808..It means its possible na..!N8′s design or something better could have incorporated it alongwith new ois nd optics..

    But is it a compulsion to have anything only in lumia 92x’s structure design ?

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      As has been discussed here in the comments section, they had

      - either an OIS restriction based on the sensor side. While OIS with large sensors is certainly possible (see for example all Oly m43 and even all Pentax APS-C cameras – they all have sensor OIS and not lens OIS), it may have introduced too much bulk / too large power consumption while in action. Dunno.

      - or they were forced by the marketing department not to go over a certain depth.

      • Paulo

        Of course it’s possible. Sony offers that as well for its large alpha line. That’s camera’s sensor stabilization as well. I don’t think that’s the major bulkiness. I guess that the focal length alone would be equally or more restrictive.

  • tulip

    Werner, very good comments! For the next time, though, it would be nice if you could provide some kind of conclusion at the end of the post, which would summarize your findings. Now we have the title of the post saying “Nokia 1020 Still Image Quality – Any Good?” and the reader would like to get a short answer for that. But otherwise a huge thanks for your efforts!

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      Thanks! It’s a bit early to make a conclusion, particularly because we don’t know how the IQ compares to Nokia 808 and the Samsung GS4, the, image quality-wise, two most important competitors / alternatives. In my article, I’ve only examined the aspects of image quality that can be evaluated without comparing the camera to anything else or making specific e.g. controlled low-light tests.

      Basically, as I’ve explained in an earlier comment above, not a definite “yes” yet, albeit I, after carefully evaluating the AT&T shots, have a much better opinion of the 1020 than after checking out Nokia’s own, official ones with its major lens decentering and oversharpening / aggressive NR issues.

      The jury is sitll out there regarding, say, noise, which couldn’t be properly measured based on some shots only (unlike lens quality, corner/edge softness etc). Let’s wait with the final decision until then.

      • Ziko

        With 808, Nokia and we all use to compare it to the slrs and high end point and shoots. I read, it gave a tough competition to RX100. Everyday, i used to search those web-sites,forums, where it was compared to high end cameras. .And when in conclusion, they praised 808 comparable to high end dslr’s in day-light.. I felt most proud !

        And now, the company marketing with comparing it only with other smartphone cameras..

        Their only focus during the event was on re-invented zoom and not on image quality. I dont understand where is that Re-invented zoom.!? It has even smaller image resolution than 808..!

        Marketing- What a difference ! :(

        I dont know what to say :( at one time, i am amazed with the design and so much new features in 1020.I want to upgrade..! But i want it to be much ahead than 808 in comparisons ..

        Seriously want to love it more.. I love Nokia..

        • Janne

          I think it was an unrealistic expectation for 1020 to be better than 808 (other than optical image stablization), we could expect it to be roughly the same as a camera, at the time we actually thought it would even use the exact same sensor so nobody expected it to be a better camera, but the same – as a modern smartphone Lumia 1020 is of course better.

          As for how the camera in 808 and 1020 really compare, what are the changes and how they affect things, we’ll see once the real comparisons start rolling out. But I expect the 808 and 1020 to be fairly equal, both with strongpoints, so neither really better as a camera – more like the same, with certain pros and cons in each.

          As for the rest of the smartphone features, if you need something only Symbian offers then thats a pro for 808. If you can’t live with the Symbian experience, 1020 will be much better in that regard.

          • Random Random

            Stabilization alone will make 1020 to perform better than 808.

            Not in everything especially if you have all the time in the world to experiment with the settings.

            However in the real world 1020 just destroys 808.

          • http://mobilelust.blogspot.com gunmetalskyline

            ++, a pair of steady hands, learning what’s important when taking a picture and how to use the features of each phone will make for a very pleasant experience for people who choose either of these devices.

            Can’t wait to see what creative and cool things people who haven’t given nokia a chance up to now produce with the 1020 and what people , can’t wait to see what those over at the Pureviewclub will continue to do!

  • Ziko

    @Werner, Thank you so much for explaining. :)

  • 808frenzy

    Now I learn it was lens decentering that had caused me problem in my early 808 unit.

    compare the tree & lobby glass on the left (clear) to the right (blurry)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/83185006@N05/7621584416/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    • Werner Ruotsalainen

      Yup, it’s strongly de-centered – even 1600 pixels from the right edge there is some major blurryness, while the left side is flawless and exhibits no blur.

      Hope you’ve managed to get it swapped under warranty – such decentering is definitely covered by warranty.

      • 808frenzy

        Hi Werner, I found this problem a week after I bought the unit and the dealer did swap the camera module parts with another one they told me that was ordered from Nokia. Luckily the replacement module was a good one it cured the problem! With the new camera module all parts in the frame with the same focal length are equally clear.

        http://forum.dailymobile.net/index.php?topic=77470.new#new

        It took me several visits to the dealer to explain the problem they did not really get it, but good thing they were open-minded and after several visits as I told them the problem persisted they gave me a swap. I did not blame them a casual user would not have spotted that problem or care. But I am sure most of those who bought 808 devices like us are experts in photography of our own and far and few between clientele of Nokia. Enjoy reading your essay, Werner.

  • http://www.EbrZ0AxWWM63.net ODONG

    63815 247512Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet! 228566

  • Ash

    Thanks. My question would be, would you recommend buying one now, or should one wait a few months to see if these hardware issues are correctly in later production runs?

    • Shane

      Dead5h1t, don’t necro such an old thread with such a inane post.
      Post in a more relevant context & in a thread that’s much newer.

  • Nick Donnelly

    Come on guys – very simple usability here.

    You dont link to something by adding (link) – you make the relevant text itself a link.

    You’re breaking HTML & the semantic web and it just makes you look like you don’t like hat you’re doing.

    Read “Dont make me think”

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