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Fashion photography with the 41MP Nokia Lumia 1020

By dpreview staff on Oct 1, 2013 at 11:00 GMT

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
Via: Nokia

Comments

Total comments: 123
12
Sordid
By Sordid (6 months ago)

So those pictures suck and they were all hipstaraped to death.
If that's what they wanted to prove, they succeeded.

0 upvotes
skysi
By skysi (6 months ago)

Nice pics from a smartphone. End of story :)

1 upvote
Mr Darma
By Mr Darma (6 months ago)

as expected, they stink. Placing an image on a 1/3 inch sensor is for kids.

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (6 months ago)

The photos aren't nice... :|

0 upvotes
Petrogel
By Petrogel (6 months ago)

"An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication (IMC). Advertising campaigns appear in different media across a specific time frame." -wikipedia-

After "convincing" Bruce Weber, David Bailey and sending "Stephen Alvarez into the American West", Nokia is taking a brake for a Fashion photo-shoot, what's next !!

0 upvotes
vv50
By vv50 (6 months ago)

it seems phones are the flavor-of-the-month bane of so-called gearhead purists. there was a time when all they complained about was camera manufacturers putting video features into their DSLRs. although they might be arguably justified in suggesting that this article belongs more appropriately under Connect; just because it involves the use of a studio, flashes and fashion models doesn't necessarily mean Nokia qualifies as regular news.

0 upvotes
Petrogel
By Petrogel (6 months ago)

It seems either Nokia or Microsoft is paying a lot for it to happen (flavor of the month).

0 upvotes
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (6 months ago)

Why is this "fashion photography"? I see only a woman in an old coat, black dress and some blurke gurning. My old man always insisted that photography was a con, and this just proves him right.

0 upvotes
Dazzer8888
By Dazzer8888 (6 months ago)

and the point being? Are fashion photogs expected to switch to the Nokia? Or the layman is going do a quick bit of fashion photog while waiting at the bus stop? Not quite clear what the point is.

0 upvotes
sharkcookie
By sharkcookie (6 months ago)

Seriously? Enough already. We all know that today's phones can take pretty good photos. With decent light, a great setup and subjects they turn out great. It's 2013. We don't need news sources to pretend cell phones were still on a level of 10 years ago when they just added cameras to them and then act all excited when a phone takes a decent photo.

I'm a full time pro. I love to take photos with my phone all the time. It's convenient and the quality is great for every day use. But there is no way I would use any smart phone for a fashion client. Not for any commercial job where image quality is important. Using an SLR with heavy lenses plus extensive lighting is anything but convenient to use, and I sure would dump all that in an instant if I could get the same quality and look I want out of something simpler. Using pro gear is not a snob thing, it's just the right tools for my job. Phones aren't. This marketing stunt won't change it.

5 upvotes
Woodlink
By Woodlink (6 months ago)

The October edition of Nat Geo, "The Photography Issue" has a sweeping landscape pano of some mountains and a climber taken with the Nokia 1020

Inside front cover.

Can't miss it.

It looks aweful.

Soft and full of banding.

Nokia musta laid a ton of coin out to get that placement.

1 upvote
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (6 months ago)

Unless you ask a cook what stove was used to prepare your meal, you should not ask a photographer what camera was used to take a picture. It diminishes the role of the craftsman.

1 upvote
sharkcookie
By sharkcookie (6 months ago)

So let's not discuss cameras?

2 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (6 months ago)

Of course, I was merely addressing the people who apparently let the camera used affect their judgement of the picture. "It was taken with a phone camera so it sucks!" A bad photographer can take crappy photos with the world's mot expensive DSLR and lens combo too.

0 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (6 months ago)

Well, unfortunately, they suck. And they were made with a phone.

0 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (6 months ago)

Using an Instagram-like effect won't add value to pictures that are not worth much, nor will convince people to buy a 1020.
Publishing pictures that are 467x701 pixels is also useless, you could use any decent phone and you wouldn't see the difference.

1 upvote
photobeans
By photobeans (6 months ago)

Poor photo compositions. The pictures are fairly decent, but the photography is poor.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (6 months ago)

Details are amazing!
You should sometimes - only once - do this with a DSLR like Nikon D800
and oversharpen, make it a little warmer and oversaturate slightly
THEN
claim it came from the Lumia 1020
and reveal the truth after all the haters and "Pro" have given their superior opinions. I would do it for the fun to see what happens afterwards.
Caveat: those who realize the truth might reveal the gig too early...

1 upvote
Sordid
By Sordid (6 months ago)

You can tell how well the details are from a sample downsized to 467x701 pixels?
Good work, you must be a pro!

0 upvotes
stevenkelby
By stevenkelby (6 months ago)

I think these articles do more harm than good to DPR, and especially to Nokia.

Both lose credibility with me and the poor pictures displayed by the maker showcasing the phones abilities make me less likely to buy a 1020.

It reeks of paid advertising in the guise of journalism too, at least to me.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Sir Corey of Deane
By Sir Corey of Deane (6 months ago)

"I think these articles do more harm than good to DPR, and especially to Nokia".

Oh, I don't know, steven; we had far more fun reading some of the comments here than we get from that lame duck comic strip!

2 upvotes
stevenkelby
By stevenkelby (6 months ago)

:D

0 upvotes
MikeMiami
By MikeMiami (6 months ago)

Show up for a paid job with only the Nokia in hand and I guarantee you won't get one shot off before you are kicked out the door.

5 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (6 months ago)

Watch the video. Much better images than those overprocessed (hiding faults?) examples here.

It's worth noting that the video shows thousands of dollars of studio lighting equipment used. No wonder they're good.

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (6 months ago)

Very good quality can be produced with the 808 and fairly affordable studio equipment. I wonder why they didn't share high rez samples like I did (cf. my post below). I hear the 808 has better IQ than the 1020 and it might have shown ...

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (6 months ago)

This is the comment I left on Nokia's blog:

Thanks for the article. But note that I already reported about PureView studio photography about a year ago:

-> http://falklumo.blogspot.de/2012/07/the-icamera-nokia-808-pureview-part-ii.html

It includes a technique to properly sync the PureView with studio flashes. And it includes a full size sample image. Where are the full size samples from THIS article btw?

Nice article otherwise.
Kind regards Falk

P.S.
If you wonder if they knew about the article... it is the seventh hit if you search for: pureview studio

0 upvotes
BurningPlatform
By BurningPlatform (6 months ago)

I also think that you should not use such a wide angle to photograph people's noses. I wonder what digitally zooming to 85 mm equivalent (and stepping back, naturally) would have looked like, though.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (6 months ago)

Im sure that 35mm perspective (or w/e the Nokia has) is still 35mm perspective no matter how much you crop it. How about a telephoto smart phone? Or something like that 2 lens Kodak compact featured here a while ago

0 upvotes
whatsa
By whatsa (6 months ago)

I dont think anyone seriously thinks its the same...

But for the people who do use professional cams
I think this is a least interesting.

Honestly now.... those of you that are professionals
As eventually we all end up taking photos
with a smartphone which smartphone would you choose to have
in your pocket?

0 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (6 months ago)

Nice... It's fun to use 'inferior' devices in a pro workflow... I did tried it with my iPhone 4s and used it with a strong continuous light with softbox, works like a charm and it looked like it was captured using a DSLR. It's fun, but still will not use it for serious and paid work...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
kgreggain
By kgreggain (6 months ago)

Why the F is dpreview reviewing phones? The phone has a camera but is not a camera, it's a phone.

Stop the insanity.

4 upvotes
mckracken88
By mckracken88 (6 months ago)

lol. exactly.

My motto:
id rather take no shots and memorize extra good, than use a phone.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
David Fell
By David Fell (6 months ago)

Aw, come on, we should embrace this, along with reviews on webcams, anything from Fisher Price and VTech, ooh what about oil & canvas too? Too much? Sorry, my bad :-)

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (6 months ago)

unless i'm mistaken, this isn't a review by dpreview. Or even a review.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (6 months ago)

Who wants to bet that another 41MP Nokia Lumia 1020 article will appear on this site right about next week?

Hmmmm????

.

6 upvotes
John Vicksburg
By John Vicksburg (6 months ago)

I do. For real. I bet we will not see another article about Nokia Lumia 1020 right about next week.
I also bet you will not add a single photo or gear or article to your profile.

8 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (6 months ago)

Why isn't this on Connect?
(Rhetoric question, no need to answer.)

7 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (6 months ago)

Shooting with the Nokia 1020 rather than with any better camera is just that : fashion photography...

6 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (6 months ago)

Sorry, but no! looks like crap, unless that's the point: low-fi fashion photography.

6 upvotes
mckracken88
By mckracken88 (6 months ago)

those 41 megapixel is kinda a marketing gag.
(even in iso 100 it looks bad)

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (6 months ago)

Is DPReview = Digital Phoneography Review?

10 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (6 months ago)

Nokia blog concludes Nokia cellphone camera is surprisingly awesome for sufficiently low values of awesome. No, oddly enough I am not surprised.

5 upvotes
Bromle
By Bromle (6 months ago)

So If anyone plans a huge fashion shoot with supermodels, make up, assistants, art directors, catering, rental of a studio with all the trimmings, limousines and cocaine to keep the talent happy, but somehow forget to get a decent camera along the way, a Nokia cell phone will save the day? Make sense, I guess. In a twisted sort of way.

11 upvotes
linzdoctor7d
By linzdoctor7d (6 months ago)

Yuck! Nasty looking!

4 upvotes
mckracken88
By mckracken88 (6 months ago)

someone put this in "connect".

9 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (6 months ago)

as long as there is (manageably available control of) good light

smartphone digital cameras like this 41mp Nokia Lumia 1020 will do fine

otherwise

without manageable good light
no

8 upvotes
Bakman_29
By Bakman_29 (6 months ago)

Oh so this is fashion ? Thanks. Unfortunately this "camera expert" doesn't know much about fashion, but the expert was at least able to trigger some flash"gun", with some workarounds. The fashionworld is dying for these compelling results…

6 upvotes
3DSimmon
By 3DSimmon (6 months ago)

Pretty damn good for a mobile phone

3 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (6 months ago)

This makes even less sense than a studio shoot with an RX100. But sure, it's cool that smartphones are competing with compact digital camera quality...

3 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (6 months ago)

"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."

Conclusion: No.

13 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (6 months ago)

Some 'scary' edited images which suit the Instagram look perfectly...and which take the 'focus away' from the real question - do you need 41MP for instagram style images.

3 upvotes
HappyVan
By HappyVan (6 months ago)

No doubt about it. The guys at DPR have a new love.

As I recall, they zealously promoted MILC for a couple of years. Too bad that MILC turned out to be a pumpkin., not the princess

Here's the analogy. Cameraphones are pencils and DSLR are pens. You can make a sharp pencil. But, I'll use a pen to sign my cheques. Thank you.

5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (6 months ago)

" they zealously promoted MILC for a couple of years. Too bad that MILC turned out to be a pumpkin"

Pumpkin? I'd be curious to know what data you're basing that on. As for our coverage, you must have missed our recent in-depth coverage of the E-M1. We're also working on full reviews of the Oly E-P5 and Panasonic GX7 right now.

7 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (6 months ago)

Hi Barney, I think the implication is that mirrorless in general is waning- not taking off as expected. But that's just my guess.

0 upvotes
HappyVan
By HappyVan (6 months ago)

Hi Barney,

Thom Hogan did some analysis on market share and momentum. Very disappointing for the fanboys. No surprise to me after my experience with the GH1.

Basically, M43 is just trying to catch up with APSC. But a used D5100 ($400) can match the latest M43 for IQ and AF.

I suppose that many photog are looking for small and light. But, a new generation of photog are learning about the virtues of shallow DOF ala D600 and D800.

Anyway, I'm sure that a camera phone can't do this?

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/42428311

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (6 months ago)

Just one person's opinion but if my fist was bigger than my head, I wouldn't be smiling.

1 upvote
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (6 months ago)

A 'rule of thumb' in relation to this image :-)

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (6 months ago)

And in the colour picture the the model's forehead, eye and nose are huge, too. That's why there are 85mm lenses for real cameras.

1 upvote
dgeugene1
By dgeugene1 (6 months ago)

A camera is a camera is a camera.

So what if it is in the same container as a phone?

2 upvotes
Sir Corey of Deane
By Sir Corey of Deane (6 months ago)

I have a Nokia 100 mobile phone and a refurbished Fuji F300EXR.

Both are extremely pocketable and cost a fraction this Lumia 1020. My camera takes better pics AND I can phone AT THE SAME TIME, so the '1020 can eat my shorts!

Way to go, folks :).

6 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (6 months ago)

Now try and upload that picture to EyeEm with that combination of technology :-)

4 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

@Lars Rehm

And why on earth would any sane person want to?!!

;o)

4 upvotes
petal123
By petal123 (6 months ago)

Well, it seems the ability to share pictures is the new benchmark here at dpreview, not picture quality anymore. I understand that they have to react to the market, but praising picture quality that, if it was a entry level camera, no one would even talk about, seems somehow ironic to me. The only advantage and success of smartphones is the "always with you factor" and shareability. Making more out of it is absurd.

1 upvote
ob33315
By ob33315 (6 months ago)

So, why don't we compare a Pentax 645D to a decent point and shoot, say a Canon S100 or any camera from any of the fine camera companies out there.
That seems to be the only right thing to do here. But, then again, I'll take a
pocket camera over a DSLR or MF any day when out and about in the city or on the weekend. I do need my one hand to have a sandwich or a beer or something else and release the shutter with the other hand.

1 upvote
Langusta
By Langusta (6 months ago)

Can you use it as a mobile phone too? This aspect is omitted somehow ;)
And all this noise about that lumia: a lot of hassle to justify heavy bucks one needs to spend on this ridiculous gadget.
Camera (or phone/camera) that is constantly working on the wrong side of diffraction limit sounds like a lame joke :/

6 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (6 months ago)

Search diffraction limit and you see a different opinion.
Also the new 13 Mpx phone cameras has equal or smaller pixels,
but nobody complains about them.
Conclusion => liar & hater you are, young Sith padawan

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (6 months ago)

Indeed.

0 upvotes
webrunner5
By webrunner5 (6 months ago)

I am a big fan of cellphones taking pictures, but these are not very good overall.

0 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (6 months ago)

And you can't get better shots that those using any other phone except Nokia 808.

0 upvotes
roby17269
By roby17269 (6 months ago)

Silly me for having used a 60mp MF digital back at my last shoot.
I could have saved rental money and a lot of sweat by using this phone and I would have lost only 33% of the resolution!
Who would have known?

17 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (6 months ago)

I knew. Should've asked me, man. Money down the drain..

9 upvotes
roby17269
By roby17269 (6 months ago)

I'll keep that in mind for the next time :)

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (6 months ago)

Yeah, but have you ever tried to make a call with a digital back? It's awful. The person sounds like they're underwater, there's a ton of background noise and if either of you is in a car, the call can cut off at any time.

5 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (6 months ago)

Might as well realize the savings in selling off the $15K in lighting gear as well, (as if that was never a factor).

2 upvotes
roby17269
By roby17269 (6 months ago)

Not to mention the abysmal battery life of digital backs :)

1 upvote
ob33315
By ob33315 (6 months ago)

Last weekend we were at an event where many of us took photos in a tent with:
Iphone 5
Iphone 4S
Samsung Galxy s3
Nokia Lumia 1020

the photos of the Lumia 1020 were so much better than any of the other
cameras' photos. While not perfect in any way the 1020 does take great snapshots that you can actually keep vs. just post on Facebook or some other site.
I believe that is the advantage you may find as a person who takes, or likes to take, nice photos of everyday situations without lugging around a separate camera. Next year, and in 2015, we will be able to purchase phones with cameras as good as a very nice amateur camera all wrapped up in the size of an Iphone of today.
Film will never die is what many people said only 10 years ago, remember that one.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (6 months ago)

... and yet Film isn't dead.

9 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

@Wye Photography

Film is as alive as the occupation of stagecoach man

;o)

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (6 months ago)

First thoughts- wrong focal length for shooting portraits (distortion of faces etc), lots of post processing covering up flaws in the camera that would stand out normally.

That's what hit me immediately when looking at these shots, just being honest guys.

I know digital camera markets are declining but I don't think beating the camera phone drum is the way of the future. There are other ways.

Carl

23 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (6 months ago)

My EXACT first reaction!

Distorted headshots and post processed to hide flaws.

8 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (6 months ago)

Nokia realized they made a mistake by choosing the wrong OS and are now trying to make up for it with cheesy and expensive promotions. Yawn. Wake me up when it runs on Android or iOS

4 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (6 months ago)

yes, iOS. there's a realistic expectation!

0 upvotes
Larry Buck
By Larry Buck (6 months ago)

Have you actually used a Nokia windows phone? In England, Germany, and France the Nokia windows phone is selling quite well and is increasing market share. My wife has a Samsung Android S III and it is great but I like the clean simple interface of my Nokia Windows 8 phone. iOS is really good of course but dismissing other systems is "fanboy stuff"

6 upvotes
Total comments: 123
12