We all know that smartphones are equipped with better and better cameras, but few of us would ever consider using one for 'serious' photography except in an emergency. Nokia's 'conversations' blog is featuring an interesting project by its own 'camera expert', Ari Partinen along with colleague Marko Saari, who wanted to see whether the new Nokia Lumia 1020, which features a 41 megapixel 'PureView' sensor could hold its own in a studio fashion shoot. 

Studio Photography - Syncing studio flashes with Nokia Lumia 1020

The 1020 is unusual in offering a fair degree of manual exposure control, including ISO, shutter speed and white balance. But (not surprisingly) it lacks a PC socket to trigger large studio flashes, so Partinen and Saari had to improvise. 

Partinen explains: 'The flash on the Lumia 1020 has two short pulses. So we used a small external flash as a medium to disable the first pre-flash pulse coming from the Lumia 1020, and then fired the main external flashes only on the second pulse. This made sure the main flashes were synchronized perfectly with the moment we pressed the shutter key on the Lumia 1020.'

Photo: Ari Partinen and Marko Saari
Photo: Ari Partinen and Marko Saari

This bears a little further explanation - many inexpensive third-party flashguns feature a mode which allows them to be wirelessly triggered by the second of two flash pulses, since a 2-stage flash is so common in compact cameras and DSLRs. This 'interstitial' flash then triggered the main studio lights. 

 Photo: Ari Partinen and Marko Saari