Why Lumia beats any other phone when it comes to photography


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Sep 18, 2011
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Let me start with the fact that my first SLR was a 30 year old Canon AE-1. The first serious pictures I took, I developed in a dark room. You had to know every setting and every step of the development quite well to take a decent picture. No HDR, no 4K, no auto focus. A limit of 24 pictures per film. And afterwards you put hours of work into developing these, playing with exposure and such. It costs a lot and you can do many things wrong. I destroyed a film once because I didn't screw a container lid properly while developing. This hurts. You will never know how they might have looked. I fell in love with 'crafting' pictures, taking time for them to have a better result afterwards. Working with pictures eases my mind. My favorite hobby by far.

Many are gonna say that a phone camera is always inferior to DSLR but that is not true. A camera is only useful when you have it on you and I can't take my DSLR everywhere I go.

I spend a lot of time afterwards, in Photoshop, to paint a certain signature by editing each for its own setting, sometimes it fits better when oversaturated,sometimes you want a clear and natural picture. You can always edit a natural to a oversaturated one, but the other way round is quite a task. Also some pictures are better soft than sharpened. That is why i dislike the iPhones and Samsungs. I don't want my phone to guess my preferences, I like control.

I have had a DSLR, the Olympus E-520, for over 6 years. It is a nice DSLR but is beaten easily by todays Canons and Nikons middle class. But I invested what was a lot of money for me back then, being a student. I bought lenses, not knowing that after a few years they would discontinue the Four/Thirds standard which my camera and lenses were sporting. Only Micro Four/Thirds made it. It scared me away from Olympus and towards Canon. Now I am at college and would love a new DSLR but can't afford a Canon at all. I am saving for a new setup but if you wanna take it seriously you are quickly gonna be in the thousands and I have more important stuff to pay right now :D

Also I am very, very tech-savvy, study informatics and loved Windows Phone for being the technical beauty, the perfect balance of a nice fluid UI, a spectrum of hardware on which it runs seamlessly and a unified OS while being highly customizable. Aesthetics are much more important to me than apps. I also love the research that Microsoft is doing and love slowly appearing on our phones.

I got a Lumia 930 because I wanted something that can replace my DSLR in everyday situations where I wish I had it with me but usually you don't always carry one with you. And it does in 95 % of cases, the only thing where my DSLR is essential would be long exposures. Somehow I feel the 930 struggles compared to the 920 in that aspect but that could be subjective. It seemed grainier but I noticed that the RAW output of 930s images were actually a lot less grainy than the JPG output. Sometimes I even like some grain if it fits the scene. It can give a picture character but we are talking situations where you need a tripod and in these situations DSLRs still rule over every phone.
The Lumia 930 seems to prefer a very bright shot in low light which results in sometimes overlit pictues. But if you know how to set the exposure manually you should be able to take a decent shot in each situation. It just takes a second.

The camera software on the Lumia is the best I have seen on any phone out there if you are involved with photography.

You can make good looking snapshots with any flagship phone camera but if you really love playing with camera settings the lumia is a must.

I have been photographing for a while now and I am very open to new technology and the way the software works is incredible. It is the swiss knife of everyday use. Solving a photographic problem is very easy with tools such as cinemagraph or moments/action shot and let's you create completely different pictures, as you usually would, both still and moving.

With all these features such as the new HDR mode that combines images. It will take a series of pictues at differen exposures, then combines the shot with the avreage exposure and blend a very HDR-heavy picture into it. This way you can regulate how oversaturated and lit out the picture is.

Even better is it f you have your flash on. The software will take two pictures at least, one with flash on and one with it off and a longer exposure. After that you will be able to blend the images seamlessly from flash off to flash on.

The way the software team behind Lumia Camera is so damn creative and their apps give you so many options. You can tell that these people are photographers that like to solve photographic problems such as taking moving image, low light and composoting images in every situation. If you know how to use a camera.

That is why they keep being copied by their rivals. Imitation is the best form of flattery.

I must admit Windows Phone lacks a panorama app that gives good results or is easy to use.

I solve this problem by just taking regular shots while pivoting and later stitch them in Microsoft ICE, which is also a brilliant piece of software when it comes to panoramics. It is linked to the Photosynth service, one of the coolest online applications I have ever seen.
It is very forgiving and will in quite every case give you a good looking panoramic. I like the freedom of just taking pictures in 16 MP while moving without having an app tell me wehre to go. I could take 360 degrees in all directions and after stitching it on a PC it gives me a stunning panoramic in a massive resolution. Also apps are often unreliable when it comes to stitching, because you have very limited resources in a phone to do it properly and in full resolution.

The Imaging team of Microsoft is doing some of the coolest stuff on the planet.

Microsoft Research - Turning ideas into reality...

This post ended up taking much longer than I expected.

Unfortunately I lost many cinemagraphs when my 925 was stolen, because they are only uploaded as one still image to OneDrive, but this is a sneak peek of my 930 photos.

​follow me on 6tag @mchlgrlls

And yeah, I do like trippy pics a lot.










6tag_030115-023207 (2).jpgjuice (3).jpg

Herrenberg near Stuttgart. Photosynth with my beloved 920.
Rest in Piece.​


Last edited:


May 15, 2013
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The pictures look amazing, just wanted to add how amazing the cameras are flagship Lumia phones. Now I am no means an expert or professional like you (the OP).

Here is a quick snap I took not too long ago, on my 920 (using Lumia Camera 4.9.30) and bear in mind this is in a car traveling at 30 mph in the back seat of a two door (closed window).


Here is another, this taken again in a car but this time as it was in turning into a road (Old ferry wharf was located on the bottom corner of the L bend) - Front passenger side (closed window) if the photo snapped a second later all I would have gotten is the massive billboard on the right along with a lot of the car interior. What is even more shocking, this is with dusty lens... lol...


I can't remember the actual settings I used for these shots.

I have found the 920 trumps similar specced phones and flagship phones released in the same era as a point and shoot. Your professional shots confirms that the 930 is an improvement over the 920 in every conceivable way (technically speaking, the design is subjective).

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