Nokia Lumia 1520 camera review
DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.
When Samsung launched the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note at IFA 2011, the phablet, as devices with screens larger than 5 inches are now commonly called, was born. Initially there was doubt as to whether these oversized smartphones would catch on with consumers but in 2014 it's fair to say that phablets are here to stay.
With the 5.5-inch Note 3 Samsung is marketing the third generation of its Galaxy phablet. Sony is competing with the 6.4-inch Sony Xperia Z Ultra and HTC has thrown the 5.9-inch One Max into the mix. With all those devices using the Android operating system the users of other platforms have so far been excluded from the phablet movement.
However, now Nokia has responded with the 6-inch Lumia 1520 which uses the Windows Phone operating system. The 1520 does not only come with a large 1080p screen but offers high-end specs all-around. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and ships with2GB of RAM but it's the camera specs that should make the 1520 an appealing option for mobile photographers.
The PureView branded camera combines a 1/2.5-inch 20MP BSI CMOS sensor with a F2.4 lens and optical image stabilization. Following the same concept as the Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020 the new model saves downsampled 5MP images but also lets you access the full 20MP files. In addition you can set the Lumia 1520 to capture DNG Raw-files which is great news for all those users who like to optimize their image in post-production.
There's news on the software front as well. Nokia Camera combines the manual-control-focused Pro Camera and the feature-packed Smart Camera app. Nokia Storyteller is a new photo management tool that sorts and presents photos either by time captured or location. The Refocus lens mimics the effect (although not the method) of a light field camera in that it allows the user to choose a focal point post-capture.
With the promising camera specification and interesting new software features we were curious to find out how the Nokia Lumia 1520 performed as a mobile photographer's daily companion. Read our review and find out how we got on with the new Nokia phablet.
Key Photographic / Video Specifications
- 20MP 1/2.5-inch BSI CMOS sensor
- f/2.4 lens with 6 elements
- 26mm equivalent focal length
- ISO 100-4000
- Optical Image Stabilization
- 2x "lossless zoom"
- dual LED flash
- Front-facing, 1.2MP "wide angle" camera
- 6-inch, 1080p IPS screen (368 ppi)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2 GHz quad-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB internal memory
- 3,400 mAh battery
- Up to 64GB microSD support
- built-in wireless charging
Our 11-page review
We've considered every aspect of the Nokia Lumia 1520, with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.
- Page 2: Design and Hardware
- Page 3: Camera Operation
- Page 4: Camera Features
- Page 5: Camera Features cont.
- Page 6: Image Quality and Performance
- Page 7: Video Mode
- Page 8: Image Quality Comparison (Bright Light) 5MP
- Page 9: Image Quality Comparison (Low Light) 5MP
- Page 10: Image Quality Comparison (Raw)
- Page 11: Conclusion and Gallery
Feb 7, 2017
Feb 1, 2017
Jan 30, 2017
Jan 27, 2017
I own it
I want it
I had it
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.