Low light video capture improvements in Nokia Black

Published by at

We've covered the still imaging differences (for the Nokia Lumia 1020) in the 'Black' update already, but we did note that there are improvements in video capture too, primarily in low light. See the side by side video below - videos should be brighter (though 'noisier') and with less visual flicker.

In most light conditions, video capture should be identical, but the dark UK winter nights have highlighted an issue with video capture under Nokia Amber on the Lumia 1020, with footage sometimes seeming too dark - it's as if the processor is straining too hard to keep digital noise levels down and actual subject clarity suffers as a result.

Happily, things do seem different on the Black update (here modelled with the AT&T Lumia 1020), see what you think:

Note that this was something of a quick and dirty comparison, I didn't use my usual 'jig', but you'll get the idea fairly quickly. Video capture under Nokia Black seems to use a higher ISO per video frame, resulting in higher digital noise but a brighter image to the viewer. Note in the street footage that the caravan across the road isn't even visible in the Amber video footage but can be seen clearly with Black.

In addition, the different image processing seems to filter out flickering which can plague the Amber 1020 under certain conditions (see the tree footage above).

The caveat that I'm using two physically discrete 1020s (and from different continents!) should be mentioned, mind you. There's no reason why they should behave differently, but it's worth noting.

Data points welcomed from 1020 owners who have also tried shooting in dark conditions recently. Were you disappointed? Have you got Black yet and has it improved matter for you?

Would you like me to investigate these changes further, more rigorously, across a wider range of subjects and conditions? I'm happy to break out my special 'jig' and get to work later this week...