1. chancooluk's Avatar
    I've have been lucky enough to have the 4 main low-mid range Lumia handsets in my possession for a few days. So I decided to do a small camera shootout!

    The phones included in this shootout are as follows:
    Lumia 535
    Lumia 640 LTE
    Lumia 735
    Lumia 830

    All handsets have been updated to the latest available software and app versions. The Lumia 535 and 735 shots are taken using Lumia Camera 4 (Lumia Camera Classic) as this is the latest version available for those phones. The Lumia 640 shots are taken using Lumia Camera 5, and the shots from the Lumia 830 are taken using both Lumia Camera 5 and Lumia Camera Classic, as the two apps use completely different processing algorithms.

    The Rich Capture option will be enabled for 2 of the scenes included in the shootout (Garden and Flower). All shots were taken on full-auto will no manual controls enabled. Tap to focus was used on the Macro scene as the Lumia 535, 640 and 735 focused on the background with auto-focus enabled.

    I have used 5 different scenes for this shootout:

    Garage - Low Light without Flash
    Garage - Low Light With Flash
    Garden Landscape
    Flowers
    Watering can (Macro / Bokeh)

    All full resolution photos can be found at this OneDrive Link: http://1drv.ms/1IReAlK Files are named based on the scene, handset, and app used.

    Scene 1 - Garage - Low Light - No Flash - Full Auto

    Lumia 535 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 640 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 735 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LCC (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LC5 (click here for original full res image)


    This shot shows perhaps the biggest difference between the camera modules on each of these phones. The Lumia 535 and Lumia 640 obviously struggle to capture a usable shot in these lighting conditions. There is surprisingly not much of a difference between the shots taken by these two handsets, but the Lumia 640 does pull ahead with more detail, and less noise compared to the Lumia 535 shot.

    The Lumia 735 provides a much more usable image, thanks to it's larger sensor and aperture sizes. There is a good amount of colour and detail, but a rather unfortunate amount of noise is visible in the image, which gives it a slightly blocky appearance when viewed at 100%.

    The Lumia 830 shows that it is much more capable of getting a usable image in these lighting conditions than the other 3 Lumia handsets. The shot taken with Lumia Camera Classic is very similar to the one taken with the Lumia 735, but the Lumia 830 captures more details and has much less noise.

    The image captured with Lumia Camera 5 on the Lumia 830 shows just how different the image processing is when compared to the Classic image. The LC5 image has much more aggressive processing, which brings out the detail in the image through sharpening and noise reduction. This comes at the cost of reducing both the saturation and accuracy of the colour.

    Rankings Best to Worst: Lumia 830 LC5, Lumia 830 LCC, Lumia 735, Lumia 640, Lumia 535

    Scene 2 - Garage - Low Light - FLASH - Full Auto

    Lumia 535 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 640 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 735 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LCC (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LC5 (click here for original full res image)


    Similar results to the first scene.

    The Lumia 535 flash is extremely weak, there is barely any difference between the image with the flash and without.

    The Lumia 640 flash is also pretty weak. It doesn't dramatically alter the image, and actually makes parts of the image darker and less detailed than the shot taken without the flash.

    The Lumia 735 shot is much better, but this has less to do with the power of the flash, and more to do with the improved sensor compared to the Lumia 535 and Lumia 640.

    Again, the Lumia 830 is well ahead, but this time the Lumia Camera Classic shot looks far better than the shot taken with Lumia Camera 5. Colours are accurate with a good amount of detail captured using LCC. The over-processed LC5 image appears sharper at first glance, but the colours are all wrong and there is a large amount of sharpened noise, which makes the image look grainy at 100%.

    Rankings Best to Worst: Lumia 830 LCC, Lumia 830 LC5, Lumia 735, Lumia 640, Lumia 535

    Scene 3 - Garden Landscape - Full Auto

    Lumia 535 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 640 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 735 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LCC (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LC5 (click here for original full res image)


    This is where things get a lot more difficult. All 4 of the handsets are capable of taking a good photo in the right lighting conditions.

    The Lumia 535 puts out a good image which is better than what you will find on most 5MP cameras around this price range. The amount of detail captured is good in the brighter areas. The colours are a little muted, and there is a lack of detail in the darker areas. Also there is a slight lack of sharpness at the bottom left of the image.

    The Lumia 640 captures a great image, but it is a little bit soft on the details (better than the 535 though), and the colour balance is wrong, with a slight pink cast affecting parts of the image.

    The Lumia 735 image would have been good, but it has issues with the lens producing blurring around everywhere but the centre of the image. Corner sharpness has been quite poor during my tests with the handset compared to the other 3 Lumia's.

    The Lumia 830 provides the best images, again with large differences depending on which app you choose (LCC vs LC5). Personally I prefer the slightly more natural looking LCC image, compared to the LC5 image which looks a little too sharp for my liking.

    Rankings Best to Worst: Lumia 830 LCC, Lumia 830 LC5, Lumia 640, Lumia 735, Lumia 535

    I have also used the Rich Capture option on the Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 to see if this can provide a more balanced image, with less over-exposure.

    Lumia 640 RICH (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 RICH (click here for original full res image)


    The Lumia 830 shot is has good colour, and brings out the real colour of the sky (instead of bleaching it out). The image is quite dull though, and lacking any real punch. In reality the scene was much brighter.

    The Lumia 640 has issues again with colour balance which has a pink cast, and produces the least realistic image from all of those taken for this scene. This is especially noticeable on the dead patches of grass, which appear a mix of brown and yellow in real life, but look pink in this image. It also fails to fully bring out the colour of the sky (as in the 830 Rich shot), which is the whole point of using Rich Capture.

    Scene 4 - Flower - Full Auto

    Lumia 535 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 640 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 735 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LCC (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LC5 (click here for original full res image)


    Lets get the obvious one out of the way. The white balance in the Lumia 535 shot is completely wrong, and far too blue. The detail captured in the image is great for a 5MP camera, it's just a shame that the image has been ruined with odd colours.

    The Lumia 640 image is very nice, with good detail. The colour of the flowers is slightly off, and some of the detail in the petals has been processed away.

    The Lumia 735 shot provides the most accurate colour compared to the others, and has good detailing. It still has issues with sharpness away from the centre of the image, but it's not as noticeable with a close-up shot.

    The Lumia 830 LC5 shot is very similar to the one taken using the Lumia 640, albeit with slightly more accurate colour on the petals. It also has slightly more detail, thanks to the increased resolution. The LCC shot on the other hand has over-saturated the pinks of the flowers, but does retain much more detail than the LC5 shot.

    Rankings Best to Worst: Lumia 830 LC5, Lumia 735, Lumia 830 LCC, Lumia 640, Lumia 535

    I also used the Rich Capture option on this scene. It doesn't change much, but it does bring the colours of the Lumia 640 and 830 into line (petals are not quite right on either). At first glance the images look almost identical, but there is more detail in the 830 when viewing at 100%.

    Lumia 640 RICH (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 RICH (click here for original full res image)


    Scene 5 - Watering Can Macro / Bokeh - Full Auto

    Lumia 535 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 640 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 735 (click here for original full res image)


    Lumia 830 LC5 (click here for original full res image)


    All 4 handsets perform very well in this test.

    Colours are good on all 4 images, but the Lumia 640 has a slight pink cast again (it appears to be a trait with this handset). Detail on the watering can head is well preserved on all 4 shots, but the Lumia 830 pulls ahead with more small details which appear to have been lost on the other images.

    Bokeh (background blurring, out of focus areas) is best on the Lumia 735. The background is much more out-of-focus, which helps to draw more attention to the watering can. The Lumia 830 is a close second, with the Lumia 640 not too far behind. The background on the Lumia 535 is slightly too in-focus though, which reduces the emphasis on the watering can.

    Rankings Best to Worst: Lumia 830, Lumia 735, Lumia 640, Lumia 535

    So there we have it. The Lumia 830 is easily the best camera of the bunch for almost any situation, but it should be, as it's the most expensive.

    The Lumia 735 is at it's best in low light situations, where it is massively more useful than the 640 and 535. It does however have issue with lens sharpness away from the centre of the image.

    The Lumia 640 is very good in the right lighting conditions, and not so-great in low light situations. It also tends to leave a pink tint on the images.

    The Lumia 535 produces great images for such a cheap smartphone and compares extremely well to most Android phones with 5MP sensors. It is however thoroughly out-classed by the slightly more expensive Lumia handsets.
    Last edited by chancooluk; 05-24-2015 at 04:46 AM.
    05-24-2015 04:03 AM
  2. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Thank you, that was very nicely done... I don't think it is any real surprise, either, that 830 did much better than the others. Here's the "Tale of the Tape" for those that want the particulars.


    Lumia 535: Main camera
    • Main camera: 5.0 MP, 2592 x 1936 pixels
    • Main camera focus type: Auto focus
    • Sensor size: 1/4 inch
    • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.4
    • Camera focal length: 28 mm
    • Flash type: LED flash
    • Camera features: Auto and manual white balance, Automatic photo upload to OneDrive
    • Camera minimum focus range: 10 cm

    Lumia 640: Main camera
    • Main camera: 8.0 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels
    • Main camera focus type: Auto focus
    • Camera digital zoom: 4 x
    • Sensor size: 1/4 inch
    • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.2
    • Camera focal length: 28 mm
    • Flash type: LED flash
    • Camera features: Backside-illuminated image sensor, Dynamic flash, Rich capture
    • Camera minimum focus range: 10 cm

    Lumia 735: Main camera
    • Main camera: 6.7 MP, 2848 x 2144 pixels
    • Main camera focus type: Auto focus
    • Camera digital zoom: 4 x
    • Camera optics: Carl Zeiss optics
    • Sensor size: 1/3.4 inch
    • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/1.9
    • Camera focal length: 26 mm
    • Flash type: LED flash
    • Camera features: Backside-illuminated image sensor, True 16:9 sensor
    • Camera minimum focus range: 10 cm

    Lumia 830: Main camera
    • Main camera: 10 MP, 3520 x 2640 pixels
    • Main camera focus type: Auto focus with two-stage capture key
    • Camera digital zoom: 4 x
    • Camera optics: Carl Zeiss 6-lens optics
    • Stabilization: Optical image stabilization
    • Sensor size: 1/3.4 inch
    • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.2
    • Camera focal length: 26 mm
    • Flash type: LED flash
    • Camera features: Backside-illuminated image sensor, PureView, True 16:9 sensor
    • Camera minimum focus range: 10 cm


    On the 535 it looks like they were really hunting around to find something to mention under Camera features... "Automatic photo upload to OneDrive" is more of an OS feature. 535 didn't come off all that bad in adequate light though.

    On paper, at least, the 640 should have pulled farther ahead of 535. Maybe there will be a Firmware push top correct some of that pink cast and tighten up the algorithms.

    I'm glad that you included the 735 in there; I'm getting my hands on a Nokia 2520 this week and it has the same camera module, sans flash. I can see some of what is expected from the camera. At f/1.9 it has the widest aperture of the field and that may account in some measure for the "vignette effect" of loosing fous towards the corners.

    Having used 830 for about a month now and taking a lot of pictures, I feel Microsoft/Nokia produced a surprisingly balanced camera experience. I think it is pleasantly surprisiing to many just how well it performs in the camera department under most daily conditions for something nick-named an "affordable flagship."
    Last edited by RumoredNow; 05-24-2015 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Crazy... 1/2 my post just disappeared.
    05-24-2015 09:03 AM
  3. FAHMI BASSEM's Avatar
    Thanks alot!
    This really help, I wish you could add the XL
    05-24-2015 09:35 AM
  4. JRF_1986's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing! Really nice shootout between these. I have a Lumia 830 and have been really happy with it!
    05-24-2015 09:54 AM
  5. chancooluk's Avatar

    On paper, at least, the 640 should have pulled farther ahead of 535. Maybe there will be a Firmware push top correct some of that pink cast and tighten up the algorithms.

    I'm glad that you included the 735 in there; I'm getting my hands on a Nokia 2520 this week and it has the same camera module, sans flash. I can see some of what is expected from the camera. At f/1.9 it has the widest aperture of the field and that may account in some measure for the "vignette effect" of loosing fous towards the corners.

    Having used 830 for about a month now and taking a lot of pictures, I feel Microsoft/Nokia produced a surprisingly balanced camera experience. I think it is pleasantly surprisiing to many just how well it performs in the camera department under most daily conditions for something nick-named an "affordable flagship."
    Thanks for adding the full camera specs. I was going to add them to the original post, but it ended up being much longer than I had anticipated.

    Hopefully they will work out the kinks with the 640 camera with software updates. It could be one of the best budget smartphone cameras, if only it didn't produce such unrealistic looking images. Images of people taken with the 640 can look very odd, as the skin tones come out far too pink.

    I had been using a Lumia 720 for almost 2 years, which has the same camera module as the 735 and 2520. Oddly I found that the 720 produced a much clearer image overall compared to the 735. Looking back through my previous images taken with the 720, the sharpness is only diminished very far into the corner of the image. Corner blurring appears much closer to the centre of the images taken with the 735. Unfortunately I don't have the 720 anymore, so I can't do a direct comparison.

    The 830 is still my favourite of all the current Lumia devices. I did have the 930 previously, which does have a better camera overall, but I moved to the 830 mainly for the better battery life, and less chunky build (the 830 feels much better in my hand).
    RumoredNow likes this.
    05-24-2015 10:27 AM
  6. chancooluk's Avatar
    Thanks alot!
    This really help, I wish you could add the XL
    I will probably have the XL in my possession in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately I won't have the 640 or 735 by then, so I won't be able to do a full comparison.

    'All About Windows Phone' did a comparison which showed that the XL camera is very similar to the 830, although it's not as good in low light situations due to the lack of OIS.
    05-24-2015 10:32 AM
  7. Ferdie Barba's Avatar
    thanks! great in-depth review
    12-29-2015 03:24 AM

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