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  1. someoneinwa's Avatar
    Two recent reviews of the Lumia 1020 come to sharply different conclusions about the same feature:

    Consumer Reports On-Line:
    "Video performance was not that impressive, but it's adequate for casual use such as uploading to the Web."

    Digital Photography Review Connect:
    "The 1020 captures nicely exposed, fluid video in good light. Focus is solid. The image stabilized lens really helps keep the image steady. In low light, the 1020s big sensor really shines, delivering remarkably ungrainy video with a lot of detail. Focus drift is minimal if it became a problem, you could lock it manually."

    Hmmm. Consumer Reports, who acknowledges that most of its subscribers use Apple products and uses subscriber surveys and not test results to rank devices. Or DPR, which actually tests cameras day in and day out. I know bias can taint any review but I suspect I also know which of these two organizations actually spent time to get to know the 1020 before writing a review and which just used it a while.

    There is a second possibility. Perhaps Consumer Reports just got a 1020 that had bad video components. You'd think they might at least check on that, particularly when other non-partisan reviewers report the exact opposite findings. But keeping that survey of subscribers in mind, they don't want to go too far in praising something their readers don't buy.
    09-01-2013 12:51 AM
  2. SanjitVignesh's Avatar
    DPReview is a community of professional photographers helping out other photographers. I would always trust their reviews and articles.
    This video should clear your doubts.


    Also, please visit this link.
    JaimitoFrog and geekaren like this.
    09-01-2013 01:08 AM
  3. ejb222's Avatar
    Consumer Reports in my opinion, has no credibility PERIOD.
    JaimitoFrog likes this.
    09-01-2013 01:30 AM
  4. someoneinwa's Avatar
    Sanjit: I have no doubts. And Nat Geo knows a thing or two about photography too. I'm sure good old Consumer Reports would dismiss them as a "commercial" outfit because the magazine has ads in it, while they are pure in their reviews. Well, except for that whole part about ranking devices by the results of a self-selected survey of subscribers.
    09-01-2013 01:32 AM
  5. tgr42's Avatar
    If you ask this question here, you will get tons of people bashing CR and painting the 1020 in the best possible light.

    Personally, I've found the still image quality of the 1020 to be very good in most cases (sometimes requiring some fiddling with settings) but the video has been a disappointment. In medium to low light, there is a TON of noise. You can even see this in that National Geographic video linked above, if you look at the darker areas in the very few and short moments where they show video in a dark environment. It's very noisy, despite the video compression and whatever post-processing they might have done.

    Here's an example of an ordinary video I took which I think is more in line with CR's sentiment of "not that impressive, but adequate". I shot it at 1080p and uploaded it as-is:


    Be sure to view full-screen at 1080p.

    The compression somewhat hides the massive amount of noise visible when viewing the uncompressed video, but you can still its effects on the ceiling and the tile floor. The exposure is ... ok ... and the white balance shifts in an ugly way as the train comes. Unfortunately the manual controls you sometimes need in order to get good photos are unavailable when shooting video. So you just have to use auto everything and hope for the best. Why? I don't know.

    Anyway I think overall the video quality achievable with the 1020 is pretty good, but sometimes it's rather disappointing and certainly not the slam dunk totally awesome that many would have you believe. It's way too noisy in my opinion.
    09-03-2013 11:15 AM
  6. JaimitoFrog's Avatar
    If you ask this question here, you will get tons of people bashing CR and painting the 1020 in the best possible light.

    Personally, I've found the still image quality of the 1020 to be very good in most cases (sometimes requiring some fiddling with settings) but the video has been a disappointment. In medium to low light, there is a TON of noise. You can even see this in that National Geographic video linked above, if you look at the darker areas in the very few and short moments where they show video in a dark environment. It's very noisy, despite the video compression and whatever post-processing they might have done.

    Here's an example of an ordinary video I took which I think is more in line with CR's sentiment of "not that impressive, but adequate". I shot it at 1080p and uploaded it as-is:


    Be sure to view full-screen at 1080p.

    The compression somewhat hides the massive amount of noise visible when viewing the uncompressed video, but you can still its effects on the ceiling and the tile floor. The exposure is ... ok ... and the white balance shifts in an ugly way as the train comes. Unfortunately the manual controls you sometimes need in order to get good photos are unavailable when shooting video. So you just have to use auto everything and hope for the best. Why? I don't know.

    Anyway I think overall the video quality achievable with the 1020 is pretty good, but sometimes it's rather disappointing and certainly not the slam dunk totally awesome that many would have you believe. It's way too noisy in my opinion.
    u can set the WB prior to shooting the video. What setting did you use, auto? As for noise, it is an indoor video. I'm doubtful if this was shot with another camera phone you can get better results.
    tgr42 likes this.
    09-03-2013 12:15 PM
  7. tgr42's Avatar
    My bad! I double checked and white balance and focus controls are available in video mode. It's only the ISO/exposure settings that are unavailable. Duh.

    As for the noise and it being an indoor video, well, personally I would expect a lot better given a statement like "In low light, the 1020’s big sensor really shines, delivering remarkably ungrainy video with a lot of detail". There is definitely plenty of room for improvement.
    09-03-2013 01:12 PM
  8. gsquared's Avatar
    Stop by your local MSFT / AT&T / Best Buy .. or whoever carries it and see it for yourself. Make sure to take your existing device with you to compare. When I went and looked at the L1020 I took my L920 with me and the difference was very noticable in favor of the L1020.
    09-03-2013 01:53 PM
  9. chocka's Avatar
    My bad! I double checked and white balance and focus controls are available in video mode. It's only the ISO/exposure settings that are unavailable. Duh.

    As for the noise and it being an indoor video, well, personally I would expect a lot better given a statement like "In low light, the 1020’s big sensor really shines, delivering remarkably ungrainy video with a lot of detail". There is definitely plenty of room for improvement.
    Dpreview is making that statement in comparison to other smart phone cameras. Otherwise 'there is definitely plenty of room for improvement' is valid even for DSLR or whatever the best video device currently we have in market. Achieving this kind of performance in a cell phone is indeed remarkable.
    Last edited by chocka; 09-04-2013 at 12:56 AM.
    09-04-2013 12:45 AM
  10. themobiledivide's Avatar
    Having the same controls available for video that are in still photo mode, along with 1080p24 recording would make the 1020 camera unstoppable. There are simply too many auto variables to get consistent video recorded which is too bad. Maybe an update to Pro Camera will fix that, but with todays sale who knows if imaging will continue to be a focus for Wp8
    SanjitVignesh likes this.
    09-04-2013 12:57 AM
  11. nola75's Avatar
    The problem is that CR's review is far too comfortable with broad conclusory statements that have no specifics to back them up which would allow a reader to form their own conclusions. All reviews suffer from this but CR is in a league of its own. It's faint praise damnation of the 1020's video actually contains no real information beyond the fact that it is good enough for casual use and not as impressive as the stills which are the sharpest they have ever seen on a phone's camera. Who could challenge that? The impression is deliberately negative but that is a separate issue with CR's agenda. They do not even repeat the initial blurb they put out after launch that the video is bad in low light in comparison to other smartphone cameras.

    The bottom line is that both the still and video photography are rated as only "very good" on the CR summary while the I-phone 5 is categorized as "excellent" for both. This leaves anyone trying to give CR the benefit of the doubt in a quandary. Also, advertising or not, CR is NOT financially independent from subscriber fees. They can and do solicit private contributions. How much transparency does that create? At least we can see who advertises with other reviewers. CR's private contributors are secret as far as I can tell.
    09-04-2013 08:33 AM
  12. tgr42's Avatar
    I would generally trust DPR over CR but, as a 1020 owner who has shot video, I find DPR's statement about video in low light very misleading. CR's statement is much closer to the results I've observed for low to medium light video.

    Get a 1020 and try it for yourself if you really want to know the truth. Shoot some videos and view them at full-resolution on a computer screen. If they're outdoor videos with good lighting, I think you'll be delighted. If they're indoor videos, well, if you have low expectations maybe you'll be ok with the results, but from statements like DPR's and the other hype around this phone, my expectations were higher. They were not met.
    09-04-2013 08:44 AM
  13. wamsille's Avatar
    The camera on the 1020 processes things differently compared to similar devices on the market and most cameras in general. The tech on board is impressive and when it is put in the right hands, can produce astonishing results.

    If I gave my son the 1020 to shoot pictures all day long I would venture to say nearly half of them would be out of focus. If he had steadier hands or used a tripod that would affect things significantly. My wife is far from a professional photographer but she's managed to eek out a few nice shots with a Galaxy S3 and HTC One. I've taken nice photos with a Droid Eris, Incredible, Nexus S, and Lumia 900/920/1020. It is just as much the hardware in the phone as it is the skill and experience of the person taking the photos.

    If you asked Phil from Android Central or Daniel from WP Central to ask whether they would take the current flagship device over a DSLR to capture photos - provided that bringing the DSLR along for the ride was just as feasible as the smartphone - they would likely go with the DSLR. But, depending on the situation and what they want to do with the captured photos, they may opt to bring a smartphone instead. People will always make the unfair comparison of pictures captured with a DSLR to point and shoot cameras and smartphones. I could get lucky with auto settings on a fancy camera, or I could learn more about the hardware I'm using and create something special. If I really take the time and learn the 1020's camera, I'm sure I will be producing very good shots. Nothing to sneeze at, but nothing that will call for the death of the DSLR.

    Reviews serve three main purposes - other factors for sure but these are the three main ones:

    a) Test a product and inform potential buyers about its performance, price point, features and ultimately guide you to purchasing or avoiding said item.
    b) Increase readership by being the most - informative, detailed, thought-provoking, controversial, one-sided, unbiased, biased, funny
    c) Profit

    Aside from the otherwise solid reporting done on the 'Central websites, most of what I see lately is a report by headline philosphy that encourages folks to take microbites of information and within a few seconds decide if they want to read the article. From there, the "reporter" shows their mastery of the thesarus as they use words to either highly praise or swiftly dismantle the subject they are writing about. Instead of being reviewed for what it is, unfair and typically biased comparisons are made in an attempt to establish one brand over another.

    It's more than Pepsi over Coke. Ford versus Chevy. Toyota versus Hyundai. Sega versus Nintendo. I wouldn't call the reviewers themselves "fanboys", but if the shoe fits.

    The best review is usually one that comes from your own first-hand experience. Try a phone in store or use one your friend owns. (If that is possible) Read the negative reviews with the positive ones. Go for the biased ones as well, and then make your own choices. Consumer Reports doesn't even factor into any buying decision I've made. WP Central doesn't factor into my buying decisions, but I bought their app because I enjoy their coverage. I still read Android Central to follow up on Google. Be an informed consumer, and only make a purchase if it makes sense for you.
    SanjitVignesh likes this.
    09-04-2013 11:26 AM
  14. Stil_1's Avatar
    I would generally trust DPR over CR but, as a 1020 owner who has shot video, I find DPR's statement about video in low light very misleading. CR's statement is much closer to the results I've observed for low to medium light video.

    Get a 1020 and try it for yourself if you really want to know the truth. Shoot some videos and view them at full-resolution on a computer screen. If they're outdoor videos with good lighting, I think you'll be delighted. If they're indoor videos, well, if you have low expectations maybe you'll be ok with the results, but from statements like DPR's and the other hype around this phone, my expectations were higher. They were not met.
    You are right, it depends on the expectations. Also depends on what you are comparing it to. I think DPR is comparing it to other smartphones and not cameras/camcorders. Perhaps you would be better putting in "...for a smartphone." after each conclusion they make would set your expectations a bit. I currently have a 1020, used to have a galaxy S4 before that which replaced an HTC One. Before that I had an Iphone 5 and based on my sampling, the 1020 is leagues better than any of those devices in both daylight and low light.

    If you think the 1020 is especially noisy, then you would cringe at the competition :) From what I have seen, the Iphone has significantly more color and luminescence noise. The HTC one, while a bit better is still more noisy and less sharp in image. The S4 is a bit worst as it turns the blacks into grey and has an overall washed out look compared to the other two phones.

    Now if you're comparing to something like a Canon 5D3, then yes, the 1020 is very lacking in the video department :)
    09-04-2013 02:16 PM
  15. Brad Spry's Avatar
    You decide if the video performance is poor. Full screen this, click the gear icon, and set to 1080p. The original file is even better of course, but it's 2GB, and not easily sharable.

    Last edited by Brad Spry; 09-10-2013 at 10:56 PM.
    09-10-2013 10:43 PM

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