DP Connect assesses the Lumia 920 camera

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Digital Photography Review's Connect blog has weighed in on the Nokia Lumia 920 and its trademark camera. Paris-based Peter M. Ferenczi has done a good job of pushing the 920's camera across most of the still and video capture envelope, concluding that the dedicated OIS really works and loving the hardware but he has some concerns about the quality of daylight shots (and yes, this is after the PR 1.1 update), feeling they could be better. I'd agree, and am hoping that there are further processing tweaks to come from the Finns....

From the article:

Here the 920 manages to keep things sharp at 1/9th of a second, though focus is racked to the foreground.

Of course, OIS keeps the camera steady, not your subjects. This can be used artistically -- cars passing at night become light streaks -- but when shooting fidgety people you risk your subject blurring themselves out of the photograph. 

Example photo
With an exposure of 1/3rd of a second, passing cars streak lights through the scene.
Here’s the pitfall of OIS: at a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second, the stabilization keeps things steady but can’t do anything against subject movement.

The 920’s F2.0 lens gives you about a half-stop advantage over most of the competition. So for example, with lighting and shutter speed being equal, the 920 could use an ISO setting of 200, while a competitor might need 280 or more. It’s not a big difference, but it’s an advantage.

Peter ends up concluding:

The Nokia Lumia 920 sports a very capable camera. Thanks to its optical image stabilization, it can capture clear images at low shutter speeds that would elude any other phone on the market. This makes it an ace at low-light photography of stationary objects, and partially addresses the Achilles heel of every phone camera on the market except Nokia’s own 808: poor low light performance. OIS also helps with borderline shutter speeds that non-stabilized phones routinely use anyway. While they simply hope for the best, the 920 stands an excellent chance of delivering a sharp image.

The multi-aspect-ratio sensor combined with a wide angle lens also gives the 920 a uniquely broad view of the world that will tickle anyone who feels stymied by their phone’s boxy, narrow outlook.

Unfortunately, the 920’s daylight performance is only OK. There’s at least as much noise as much of the competition, if not more. So much engineering has clearly gone into the 920’s camera unit that we’d hope for class-leading sensor performance, but it seems to be middle of the pack. The good news is that with 7 or 8 megapixels to play with, a lot of the sins visible at 100% disappear at more realistic magnifications.

All of which I'd agree with, having done my own extensive tests (e.g. here). Read on in Peter's full piece here.

Source / Credit: DP Review