Is Nokia fooling us to believe that the Lumia 1020 is a low light champion?

Started Jan 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
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PauloP New Member • Posts: 3
Is Nokia fooling us to believe that the Lumia 1020 is a low light champion?
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Hi, everybody.

I've recently bought a Lumia 1020 as an update to a 808 PureView. Reading the early reviews, one thing that caught my attention was the Lumia's stellar High ISO performance. Yet having smaller pixels than its older brother, it was delivering very good results up to ISO 3200, whereas the 808 stops right down at ISO 1600 and showing quite a lot of amp glow and band noise. How could that be possible? Now that I have received my own Lumia 1020, I know there's something very wrong about this device and its pictures. To my eyes, Nokia is probably forcing wrong EXIF info and fooling everybody to believe it performs much better than the outgoing model.

At first, I felt that high ISO shots with the Lumia were getting much darker than what I was used to with the 808, even with Lumia's brighter f2.2 lens (the 808 has a f2.4 unit). Take a look at this first comparison between both devices (808 first):

808 PureView

Lumia 1020

The Lumia 1020 hammers the 808, rigtht? Agreed. But take a closer look at the EXIF info. Both were set to ISO 800. The Lumia has all the advantage in the world due to its brighter f.2.2 lens. Yet it was shot with a shutter speed of 1/19s, whereas the 808 was shot with 1/40s. Both render more or less the same exposure in terms of brightness. There's clearly something wrong here.

I than decided to find out which of them was wrong, and I did that by comparing both to a Nikon D5000 fitted with Nikkor 35 mm f1.8 lens. I've tried to replicate the scene due to the differences in focal distance.

Take a look at this comparison between the D5000 and the 808 (bear in mind that the 808 does not have manual shutter speed selection, and that the Nikkor could not be fixed at its 2.4 aperture):

D5000 - f2.5, ISO 1600 and 1/25s

808 - f2.4, ISO 1600 and 1/23s

Now, both the Lumia and the Nikon set to f2.2, ISO 1600 and 1/40s:

D5000

Lumia 1020

I am very intrigued by this. But, IMO, things do not smell good.

Nikon D5000
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