Shootout: Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 vs LG G2 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
1 Meet the contenders
It's only been four months since we published our shootout between Apple's iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and Nokia Lumia 920, but four months in the mobile technology universe is like an eternity. Since then we've seen some interesting innovations, especially in the mobile imaging field. It seemed the time was right for another shootout with a slew of new devices. The candidates are:
Launched in July, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the long awaited first device that marries Nokia's PureView imaging technology that we first saw on the 808 with a current mobile operating system, Windows 8 in this case. With its 1/1.5-inch 41MP CMOS sensor, optical image stabilization and a fast f/2.2 lens, the Nokia boasts an impressive spec sheet and has already demonstrated in our full review that it is capable of delivering excellent image results.
The Sony Xperia Z1 was only announced at the beginning of September during the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Germany. From a design point of view it is very similar to its predecessor, the Xperia Z, and also comes with the Z's water- and dust-proof shell. However, the Z1's imaging unit is brand new and looks, at least on paper, impressive. The Sony's 20.7 MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor is of the 1/2.3 variant, which is the same size you would find in most consumer level compact cameras. The Sony comes with a fast f/2.0 lens but it's the only device in this test that has to make do without an optical image stabilization system. If you want to see more images from the Xperia Z1, check out our sample gallery.
|Device||Sensor||Aperture||Optical IS||Focal Length||Flash|
|Sony Xperia Z1||1/2,3" 20.7MP||F2.0||no||27mm||LED|
|Nokia Lumia 1020||1/1.5" 41MP||F2.2||yes|| 27mm (4:3)
|LG G2||1/3" 13MP||F2.4||yes||29mm||LED|
|Samsung S4 Zoom||1/2.33" 16MP||F3.1-6.3||yes||24-240mm||Xenon|
The LG G2 is the Korean manufacturer's latest flagship device. Its 5.2-inch screen is framed by an impressively thin bezel and the G2's other specs place it firmly in the high-end bracket of the market. Its 13MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor comes in the smartphone-standard 1/3 format, a more conventional approach than the high-resolution units in the Nokia and the Sony. That said, the LG is one of the currently very few Android phones with an optical image stabilization system.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is arguably the most unusual device in this test. It is a fully functional smartphone that comes with a 10x zoom lens and a 16MP 1/2.3 sensor. Due to the optical zoom it's inevitably thicker than the other phones in this comparison, but compared to its bigger brother, the Galaxy Camera, which we reviewed in February, it's much more pocketable and a potential alternative for those mobile photographers who cannot live without an optical zoom.
Now that we've had a good look at the specifications, let's see what these devices can deliver in real life situations. Like in our previous shootout we've taken pictures in various test scenarios: a landscape shot and portrait in good light, a night scene, a low light portrait and a flash portrait. To simulate realistic use cases all images were taken hand-held in Auto modes (M-Mode on the Xperia Z1 to enable maximum image size). Scroll down to see the results.
|Too low to display|
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.