Engadget: Z1 vs 1020 – no way that the Z1’s camera module can technically match the Lumia 1020 (Spoiler: Nokia wins)

| September 26, 2013 | 50 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 19.42.42

Quick comparison in the review of the Xperia Z1 which engadget says their camera section hasn’t been the same since the 1020.

  •  no way that the Z1’s camera module can technically match the Lumia 1020
  • It boils down to the laws of physics: the Z1’s sensor is smaller (1/2.3 of an inch, versus 1/1.5); it has fewer pixels to play with (20.7 million versus 41 million); and it lacks optical image stabilization (OIS).
  • not as perfect as the Lumia shot directly beneath it, which has less noise and slightly better color balance and contrast
  •  Z1 is being put up against the full might of the Lumia’s optical image stabilization, which allows it to keep its shutter open longer and therefore allow more light to hit the sensor.

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 19.45.30

Here is where Engadget tries to even things up for the Z1 by disabling the 1020’s OIS. They note that for taking pictures of things that move, you don’t really want to have OIS there to keep the shutter open longer to cause blur. (Alternatively you could then just as easily set the shutter speed to something faster? Or perhaps choose xenon to freeze time? I’ve been throwing things in the air and catching them mid flight with the 1020 haha)

  • Even with OIS disabled, Nokia’s handset takes less noisy action shots in low light
  • the Lumia’s advantage is significant

Day light, things are closer. But that’s the case with phones now, hence the importance of low light photography (and where OIS, bigger sensors, xenon, faster lenses, will give the best versatility).

Engadget aren’t too pleased with video.

  • Regrettably, if shooting video is as big a deal for you as shooting stills, then the Z1 has little to offer beyond other non-OIS Android phones.
  • The lack of image stabilization means that a large portion of its total data rate (2.1 MB/s) is taken up with the artifacts of hand wobble.
  •  The Lumia, meanwhile, captures much richer video because it does away with this wobble and instead deploys its 2.5 MB/s data rate for the correct purpose: carrying actual detail from the scene.

I find my 1020’s OIS at the zoom end to be amazing! Whilst the 808 takes amazing videos, when zoomed in, my hands unstable shakiness would kinda ruin it. The same thing goes when taking zoomed in shots without flash. The 1020 however renders them crisply (as the 925 has been doing with ProCam for my lecture slides.  I can’t wait to test the 1020 in lectures tomorrow afternoon!)

  • Sony has thrown everything it has into the new 20-megapixel camera module, and yet it hasn’t managed to beat Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone
  • he evidence is clear: the Z1 shoots noisier stills than the Lumia 1020 and its video recordings suffer immensely from the lack of optical image stabilization.
  • That potentially compelling reason to buy the Z1 has already evaporated.

It’s great that the 1020 is still ‘winning’ in the camera department here against the famed Honami that’s some claim would easily take its crown (what more against the 808?). Credit where it’s due the Z1 is of course a great phone if you’re a fan of Android, want a good camera but don’t want the bulk and crapugliness of the S4 Zoom. Which btw goes against what some might claim that being bulkier obviously means it should take better photos when the S4 zoom does not against the 1020.

Thanks Zahid for the tip!


Category: Lumia, Nokia

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]