1. chancooluk's Avatar
    Hi all.

    I have had both the new Lumia 550 and a Lumia 640 in my possession for a couple of days, so I decided to do a quick comparison of the cameras.

    The comparison compares two shots in daylight, and one shot at dusk. All shots were taken on Automatic with Rich Capture and Flash turned off. The Lumia 640 is running WP8.1 Update 2 with Lumia Camera 5. The Lumia 550 is using W10M 10586.63 with the latest version (as of 13/01/16) of Windows Camera.

    First Shot - Garden plant pots - full daylight:

    The Lumia 640 has slightly more detail thanks to it's higher resolution 8MP sensor, but not enough to make a difference. The Lumia 640 image is slightly softer than the Lumia 550, probably due to less sharpening.

    The colours on the Lumia 640 are incorrect. There is a pink cast to the image which makes the brickwork and pots look a shade of pink. This is a characteristic of the Lumia 640 camera which I have had issues with in the past in daylight (tested across multiple hardware samples).

    The Lumia 550 captures the colours with more accuracy, the terracotta pots are the correct shade of orange, and the brickwork has lost the pink cast. The 550 had also judged the exposure more accurately. The Lumia 640 is (very) slightly more over-exposed in the bright areas.

    Lumia 550:
    wp_20160113_12_32_23_pro_li.jpg

    Lumia 640:
    wp_20160113_12_31_55_pro.jpg

    Second Shot - Garden path - full daylight - bright winter sun in front of lens (to the right):

    It's a similar story for the second shot. Both cameras cope well with the bright winter sun shining in the top right of the frame. Again, the Lumia 640 is softer than the Lumia 550 which features more sharpening. It's difficult to say whether the Lumia 640 actually contains more detail compared to the Lumia 550 - both are evenly matched IMO when it comes to detail captured, despite the difference in resolution. The Lumia 640 captures a slightly wider frame than the Lumia 550, which seems slightly zoomed-in by comparison.

    The colours on the Lumia 640 suffer from the pink cast again, which makes the scene look far too warm, and to be honest, slightly alien in appearance (the image just looks odd to me, as I am familiar with how the scene looks in real life). The Lumia 550 once again judges the colours more accurately, and again the Lumia 640 is slightly more over-exposed in the brighter areas compared to the Lumia 550 (there is more detail, and more tree branches visible in the same areas on the Lumia 550 shot).

    Lumia 550:
    wp_20160113_12_32_38_pro_li.jpg
    Lumia 640:
    wp_20160113_12_32_07_pro.jpg

    Third Shot - Garden at dusk - 10-15 minutes prior to sunset. Low light:

    This is where the Lumia 640 really pulls ahead. In low light situations it's a far better camera than the Lumia 550.

    There is more detail in the 640 shot, whereas the Lumia 550 is very soft and lacking detail, especially in the darker areas. Noise reduction has been taken to the extreme, which has ruined the shot. Arguably this is a situation where the older Nokia low-light algorithms would have worked well in comparison to the dodgy Windows 10 algorithms.

    The pink cast problem on the 640 is not present in low light shots. Colours are accurately judged and are similar on both handsets.

    The Lumia 550 fails to create a usable image at this light level.

    Lumia 550:
    wp_20160113_16_17_40_pro_li.jpg

    Lumia 640:
    wp_20160113_16_18_58_pro.jpg

    It might only be a quick comparison, but I think it shows that the 550 is very capable in daylight situations. I would actually choose both of the 550 daylight shots over the 640 shots, just because the 640 makes a mess of the colours far too often. This is something I have come across multiple times - see my comparison of the Lumia 640 (not the same hardware as in this thread) against other Lumia's here: http://forums.windowscentral.com/dev...735-830-a.html

    It's a very different situation in low light images though. The Lumia 550 is not a great low-light performer.

    Obviously there are other things to consider as well. The software experience on the Lumia 640 is currently (with 8.1) vastly better than the mess that is the Windows 10 Camera app. Also video recording is better on the 640 as a full 1080p can be captured vs. 720p on the 550.
    01-13-2016 03:52 PM
  2. libra89's Avatar
    I appreciate this thread, and you for doing these great shootouts! Thank you. I agree on your point about the 550 in low light situations. I would have never noticed or even guess that the 550 could possibly "win" in some daylight situations. It makes me think and wonder about things that I originally believed.
    RumoredNow and chancooluk like this.
    01-13-2016 04:08 PM
  3. chancooluk's Avatar
    I appreciate this thread, and you for doing these great shootouts! Thank you. I agree on your point about the 550 in low light situations. I would have never noticed or even guess that the 550 could possibly "win" in some daylight situations.
    Me either. I expected the Lumia 550 to perform similarly to the Lumia 535, which I found to be far inferior to the Lumia 640 in the majority of situations. I was very surprised a when I came to review the shots at just how well the 550 performs in daylight.

    I wasn't remotely surprised by the poor showing in low light though, where it performs similarly to a Lumia 535.
    libra89 and RumoredNow like this.
    01-13-2016 04:15 PM
  4. RumoredNow's Avatar
    On my BLU Win HD LTE, I find it good to force a -2ev for daylight shots. The 640 doesn't look as overexposed. Maybe force a -1ev for daylight?

    Thanks so much for putting these 2 devices together in a shootout.
    chancooluk likes this.
    01-13-2016 09:02 PM
  5. chancooluk's Avatar
    On my BLU Win HD LTE, I find it good to force a -2ev for daylight shots. The 640 doesn't look as overexposed. Maybe force a -1ev for daylight?

    Thanks so much for putting these 2 devices together in a shootout.
    It's the same on my BLU Win HD LTE, it always over-exposes the shots on auto. The image quality isn't too bad with the exposure at -2ev though.

    The Lumia 640 doesn't have nearly the same level of over-exposure as the BLU. I actually find that on -1ev the 640 creates shots that are too dark, which end up looking worse than the slight over exposure on full auto. I have more of an issue with it's dodgy colour rendering more than anything, even the BLU creates shots that have more accurate colours in daylight (at least with the exposure turned down).
    RumoredNow and libra89 like this.
    01-14-2016 05:56 AM
  6. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Thank god we have all those wonderful 3rd party Camera Apps, right?
    chancooluk and libra89 like this.
    01-14-2016 11:02 AM
  7. ajayden's Avatar
    I like the comparison that you have done.
    chancooluk likes this.
    01-17-2016 05:55 AM
  8. windobuddies625's Avatar
    So overall? Which is better 550 or 640?
    01-17-2016 06:03 AM
  9. chancooluk's Avatar
    So overall? Which is better 550 or 640?
    It's not as easy as that, both cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. Purely for daylight photography I would pick the 550, for everything else I would pick the 640.
    libra89 likes this.
    01-17-2016 12:38 PM
  10. indospot's Avatar
    Surprisingly good shots on the 550. Just goes to show you that the camera on the 650 might actually be an improvement over the 640 after all.

    Sent from mTalk
    libra89 likes this.
    01-17-2016 03:18 PM
  11. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Or W10M may just fix the 640 camera.
    01-17-2016 08:55 PM
  12. pf81's Avatar
    Hello all,
    I'm planning to buy this phone (550). Is there any way to install the older lumia camera app?
    I assume that the lumia 550 camera takes more accurate photos due to the fact the pixel size is bigger in compare to lumia 640.
    01-22-2016 09:13 AM
  13. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Hello all,
    I'm planning to buy this phone (550). Is there any way to install the older lumia camera app?
    I assume that the lumia 550 camera takes more accurate photos due to the fact the pixel size is bigger in compare to lumia 640.
    When I look at the difference in the pics above, I think the 550 and 640 trade off being better depending on the light conditions. YMMV.

    In response to the question: W10M has a developer mode that can be enabled. This Dev Mode allows you to install appx from the SD card without a store check. So if you could find a trusted source for the Lumia Camera appx, yes it will install. Which version you need and how it will function will have to be determined by yourself...
    libra89 likes this.
    01-23-2016 12:52 PM
  14. libra89's Avatar
    Hello all,
    I'm planning to buy this phone (550). Is there any way to install the older lumia camera app?
    I assume that the lumia 550 camera takes more accurate photos due to the fact the pixel size is bigger in compare to lumia 640.
    I personally wouldn't recommend this.
    When I had the 550, I installed Lumia Camera Beta (for some reason, it showed up as an app that I could install on it). It looked like I could take a picture and tweak things...until I took the actual picture. Every picture I took with it, was always black (just pure black, not like a filter or anything) on the side or sometimes even half of the pic.

    Your mileage may vary, but I have never had this issue with Lumia Camera Beta on WP 8.1.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    01-23-2016 06:01 PM
  15. thuyln2's Avatar
    thank for review
    chancooluk likes this.
    03-09-2016 03:36 AM
  16. Ntei's Avatar
    Now with the W10M camera app the 640 takes better pictures than the Lumia camera.
    07-27-2016 05:26 PM

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