Movie-making with the Nokia Lumia 1020

Published by at

There's a nice piece over on Nokia Conversations today, focussing (sic) on video capture with the Lumia 1020, highlighting the lossless 6x digital zoom (well, at 720p, anyway) and OIS. Worth a look at some juicy quotes below, as well as a reminder of the 1020-shot short film "Tom & Issy" (starring Ellie Goulding) from late last year, which seemed to have passed AAWP by at the time.

From the Nokia Conversations article:

Part of what makes videos look stunning on the Lumia 1020 is the second-generation optical image stabilisation (OIS), which is particularly great when shooting with the lossless video zoom as it reaches and incredible 6x when shooting video.

Without going into too much detail about things like internal ball bearings and lightning-fast lens shifting, the purpose of OIS is to cancel out camera shake, leaving you with a smooth, fluid video. With such clever technology doing the heavy lifting, you can shoot your movies freehand and create a professional-looking video that won’t give viewers a headache.

Take this recent video entitled ‘Goodbye DSLR. Hello Nokia Lumia 1020’ posted over on the NokiaUS YouTube channel. It was filmed entirely on a Nokia Lumia 1020.

In fact, though well made and quite funny, there's quite a bit of shake in this 1020-shot promo - all of it was shot handheld and the OIS clearly isn't able to work miracles. I've already observed in my own testing that the heavy duty (physically larger) OIS mechanism in the 1020 can't react as quickly as that in the smaller-camera-ed Lumia 1520, for example.

Nokia spoke to Tim Bunn, who was involved in the video embedded above:

“The main advantage is simply the size and weight of the Lumia 1020. Professional filming equipment is almost always large, heavy, expensive, delicate and cumbersome and will require a wealth of accessories. The Lumia 1020 fits in your pocket and you can get a whole manner of shots that you might not be able to achieve with a larger rig. Its size also means that it’s discreet, which can be a massive benefit for the “guerrilla” filmmaker.”

Exactly. Being able to shoot at a moment's notice and in confined spaces is another huge advantage to phone-shot video. Nokia reminded us of last year's thoroughly excellent 1020-shot "Tom & Issy":

There were some general tips from Tim in regard to video-making on the Lumia 1020:

“The two most crucial things you’ll need to get the best out of your Lumia 1020 are the Nokia Camera Grip and Nokia Camera App.”

“It’s also worth remembering that, because of the way the Lumia 1020′s camera works, the 6x zoom is essentially optical. Therefore, you’re not losing any image quality through the zoom as you would on a standard smartphone camera. Pushing through the zoom a little produces a lovely depth of field which creates quite a filmic effect and can look pretty slick on screen.”

“Think about what you can do with a Lumia 1020 that you couldn’t do with a big, professional camera rig. Where would it fit, would could you fix it to, etc.? Get creative with your shots and create an angle no one’s ever seen before.”

“If you’re using one device, make sure that you’re backing up your footage regularly and have the ability to charge the battery on the go (the Camera Grip comes in handy here). But above all, have a good story to tell. That’s what really matters.”

I'd add that, though the OIS in the 1020 is useful, it's possibly more effective for stills (i.e. avoiding shake) - for video stabilisation it clearly has its limits - so rely on it if you need to, but I'd also suggest taking along a portable/pocketable mini-tripod/GorillaPod - this will screw into the aforementioned 1020 Camera Grip and give you instant and perfect stability.

The quality of the Tom & Issy film alone highlights the potential of phone-shot video and the 1020 is a super tool for creating this, letting you zoom in and frame scenes perfectly and achieve cinematic depth of field effects. I'd also add that you should consider the manual focus 'ring' in Nokia Camera, since auto-focus 'hunting' is a HUGE sign that your footage is 'amateur'. If you want video to look professional, then think about each scene and exactly what you want to focus on (and what you want to be artily blurred).

Source / Credit: Nokia Conversations