Putting Nokia's zoom claims to the test: Lumia 1020 smartphone versus Canon PowerShot S120
In case you've missed the last couple months of excessive media blasting, Nokia's been diligently working to keep its 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 front and center by putting it in the hands of famous photographers and explaining how it works via sophisticated computer animations.
Amongst the claims it's made about the Lumia 1020 are those about "reinvented zoom," extolled in this commercial that shows a roomful of parents at a school play clamoring for a closer position as they snap photos with their non-Nokia tablets and smartphones while the Lumia 1020 wielding parents calmly zoom into their photos shot from the back of the room.
As we explained in our full review of the device, the Lumia 1020 does deliver more advanced zooming capabilities than its camera phone competitors.
On most smartphones digital zoom simulates optical zoom by cropping the image and then upsampling it to the camera’s native resolution. The pixels are enlarged while image resolution and image quality are reduced. But the Lumia 1020’s high 41MP native resolution (maximum output is 38MP in 4:3, 34MP in 16:9) means that even with some digital zoom applied, the image is still downsampled through most of the zoom range. You can zoom into 2.7X (a 74mm equivalent in 4:3 mode) before the cropped image hits 5MP.
But how does the Lumia 1020 stack up against a compact camera with optical zoom?
The Canon PowerShot S120 offers 5X optical zoom with an equivalent focal length of 24-120 mm and a 12MP 1/1.7" backside-illuminated sensor. (For comparison, the Lumia 1020 offers 25mm equivalent focal length in 16:9 and 27mm in 4:3, and a 1/1.5" backside-illuminated sensor.) The Canon's optical zoom works by physically changing the focal length of the lens.
We recently put the Lumia 1020's and Canon PowerShot S210's zoom capabilities to the test. As you'll see in the first table below, we're comparing the Lumia's 27mm wide angle equivalent full resolution 38MP capture to that of the Canon's 24mm wide angle 12MP capture. We're also comparing both cameras at their full zoom capabilities: the Lumia's 2.7X digital zoom produces a 74mm equivalent 5MP capture while the Canon can zoom to 5X for a 120mm 12MP capture.
Now let's take a closer look at a 100 percent crop from the full resolution 38MP Lumia 1020 image at the widest 27mm equivalent focal length and compare it to 100 percent crops from several images shot at different focal lengths using the Canon S120. Each original Canon image is a 12MP file; the lens changes the angle of view but the megapixel count stays the same. The Lumia image is exactly the same in each comparison, while the Canon images will show where an optical zoom differs.
Our results show the benefits of zooming in with a compact camera over even the best-in-class smartphone. The Lumia 1020's digital zoom simply can't stack up against the Canon S120's optical zoom. The Canon can not only zoom in further, it also retains detail and sharpness better when zoomed in to its full 5X power.
Photographers and photography websites like ours will continue to debate the pros and cons of smartphone versus camera, but for now there's simply no contest when it comes to zoom.
Jan 16, 2015
Jun 2, 2014
May 23, 2014
Nov 12, 2016
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.