Last week, Nokia announced that its new Lumia 1520 phablet and already released Lumia 1020 smartphone will be able to capture RAW photos in the form of DNG files. When we first heard the news, we were skeptical that a phone's RAW files will be good enough to warrant filling up the Lumia 1020's limited storage space. In an attempt to silence the doubters, Nokia posted some official DNG files captured with a Lumia 1020 to its Nokia Conversations blog. Available for download, Nokia promises that its DNG files are high quality and "kind of a big deal."
Photography enthusiasts have a cause for celebration. The Nokia Lumia 1020 and the new Nokia Lumia 1520 will be able to save your photos as lossless RAW files (in “DNG” format), allowing maximum flexibility when editing the images on your computer or laptop.
“This is one of the most exciting announcements of the week for me personally,” says Juha Alakarhu, head of imaging technologies at Nokia. “It has been a key request from so many of our users for a long time now. People who are passionate about photography can be more creative and do more with the images from their Lumia than ever before.”
Unlike the "Raw" files that I have gotten from iOS apps before, the Lumia 1020 DNG files actually respond to edits in Photoshop. Like my Nikon's NEF files, the Nokia DNG's can have a few stops of exposure compensation and natural-looking white balance adjustments. The Lumia 1020 photos especially benefitted from Raw noise editing. A little adjustment of the "Luminance" noise slider got rid of most of the phone's digital grain.
Download the example DNGs for yourself and see how they fare in your usual RAW editing routine.