1. anon(6078578)'s Avatar
    A friend sent me this review of the Lumia 640 XL

    Hands-on with the AT&T Lumia 640 XL: A solid, low-cost smartphone for the enterprise user | ZDNet

    I am just curious on your opinions of his view of the camera ie "it isn't a very good shooter" and seems to think it's only good enough for social network images!. I can understand the camera may not be quite as good as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S6 but to say "it isn't a very good shooter" seems a bit much don't you think? He then links to the full CNET review which seems to have a totally different and much better take on the camera!

    I myself don't have the XL but the smaller 640 which I certainly don't think "it isn't a very good shooter" applies either!
    07-15-2015 04:40 PM
  2. s3iryu's Avatar
    If you think 640 is good enough, I think you will find the 640 XL to be better. "Only good enough for social network images" is a biased statement, bear in mind that not all review sites are neutral.
    Show your friend the Pictures / Videos Taken With Your Lumia 640XL thread here and check out the photos submitted by fellow users.
    07-15-2015 09:01 PM
  3. Rakesh Rocky2's Avatar
    A friend sent me this review of the Lumia 640 XL

    Hands-on with the AT&T Lumia 640 XL: A solid, low-cost smartphone for the enterprise user | ZDNet

    I am just curious on your opinions of his view of the camera ie "it isn't a very good shooter" and seems to think it's only good enough for social network images!. I can understand the camera may not be quite as good as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S6 but to say "it isn't a very good shooter" seems a bit much don't you think? He then links to the full CNET review which seems to have a totally different and much better take on the camera!

    I myself don't have the XL but the smaller 640 which I certainly don't think "it isn't a very good shooter" applies either!
    Yup I have 640XL it takes good pics.. Not a good shooter is bias.. In daylight it is very good.. Comparable to flagships, but low light is the area it sucks..
    07-15-2015 09:37 PM
  4. s3iryu's Avatar
    Yup I have 640XL it takes good pics.. Not a good shooter is bias.. In daylight it is very good.. Comparable to flagships, but low light is the area it sucks..
    In auto mode, low light photos suck because the algorithms are too "conservative". Try using manual settings with slower shutter speed around 1/15 - 1/4 and lower ISO to 200 or 100 to reduce noise. Slower shutter speed tend to get a slightly blur photo because our hands are not 100% steady but lights will be captured very nicely.

    Set higher ISO to capture more light if you want a faster shutter speed for a steadier shot. Higher ISO will result in more grainy photos though. Experiment to find your best desired settings.
    Last edited by s3iryu; 07-15-2015 at 10:06 PM.
    07-15-2015 09:56 PM
  5. anon(6078578)'s Avatar
    Yup I have 640XL it takes good pics.. Not a good shooter is bias.. In daylight it is very good.. Comparable to flagships, but low light is the area it sucks..
    You say low light sucks, but in comparison to what? The low light images I have seen look pretty decent to me.
    07-15-2015 09:57 PM
  6. Rakesh Rocky2's Avatar
    In auto mode, low light photos suck because the algorithms are too "conservative". Try using manual settings with slower shutter speed around 1/15 - 1/4 and lower ISO to 200 or 100 to reduce noise. Slower shutter speed tend to get a slightly blur photo because our hands are not 100% steady but lights will be captured very nicely.

    Set higher ISO to capture more light if you want a faster shutter speed for a steadier shot. Higher ISO will result in more grainy photos though. Experiment to find your best desired settings.
    Yeah ok I will try it..
    07-15-2015 10:42 PM
  7. Rakesh Rocky2's Avatar
    You say low light sucks, but in comparison to what? The low light images I have seen look pretty decent to me.
    In comparison to the daylight pics also in comparison to the living images and the final pic.. The pic is duller than what it shows on the screen.. So what I do is hold the camera button and take 1sec video and using Lumia moments I can get a pic from the video which is good compared to the pic taken from auto mode
    Sedp23 likes this.
    07-15-2015 10:46 PM
  8. Sedp23's Avatar
    In comparison to the daylight pics also in comparison to the living images and the final pic.. The pic is duller than what it shows on the screen.. So what I do is hold the camera button and take 1sec video and using Lumia moments I can get a pic from the video which is good compared to the pic taken from auto mode

    How do u get the picture from the video?
    07-15-2015 11:36 PM
  9. Rakesh Rocky2's Avatar
    How do u get the picture from the video?
    By using Lumia moments app..
    Sedp23 and Mogamy Cool like this.
    07-15-2015 11:39 PM
  10. Woodman1914's Avatar
    Compared to the Lumia 1520, the pictures on the 640XL are noticeably worse, meaning loss of detail and sharpness in almost all indoor shots, and pictures in general lack saturation. Saying a camera-phone takes good shots in bright conditions doesn't mean much, since that is relatively true for almost all cameras. I admit, with rich capture, pictures on the 1520 came out Technicolor-ish, but when friends saw pictures from my phone, it they were amazed at how much better it was than their iPhone or Galaxy, and it was usual for them to ask me which phone I had. I don't get the same reaction with the 640XL. In this regards, I'll agree with ZDNet review.

    WW
    07-16-2015 02:08 PM
  11. neodk's Avatar
    I don't believe that comparing the 640 XL's camera to the 1520 is a true apples to apples comparison. That's like saying you are going to compare a BMW M3 to a Fiat. No, I'm not saying the 640 XL is a Fiat, or that the 1520 is a BMW M3.

    Are they smartphones? Yes. Do they both run Windows Phone? Yes. Are they designed and marketed to the exact same market segments? No. Make no mistake, this neither commends nor condones the camera on the Lumia 640 XL / Lumia 1520. Instead, it's a friendly reminder to take each device for what they are and the purposes that they can, will, and do serve. Would I take a 1520 over a 640 XL? Probably. But, I have yet to find a 1520 that was less expensive than a 640 XL in the wild. If you want that kind of reliability you are going to pay a pretty penny for it, and its premium in 2015 is something I do not feel is fully justified when there are more compelling devices out now and pending release over the next 6 months.

    There is only so much a photographer can do with a sub par camera before the equipment's limitations are obvious. Likewise, there is only so much automatic settings and Photoshop can do to make a sub par photographer's work look good. There are amazing shots that can be taken with the 1520. Same can be said of the 640 / 640 XL. I took a few cool photos with my 635, and that had what is regarded by most as a very weak 5MP shooter. You play the cards you were dealt. Some folks have a better hand than most, some need to work the cards they have better than most.
    07-16-2015 03:21 PM
  12. RichardTheKing's Avatar
    07-16-2015 05:34 PM
  13. Woodman1914's Avatar
    I don't believe that comparing the 640 XL's camera to the 1520 is a true apples to apples comparison. That's like saying you are going to compare a BMW M3 to a Fiat. No, I'm not saying the 640 XL is a Fiat, or that the 1520 is a BMW M3.

    Are they smartphones? Yes. Do they both run Windows Phone? Yes. Are they designed and marketed to the exact same market segments? No. Make no mistake, this neither commends nor condones the camera on the Lumia 640 XL / Lumia 1520. Instead, it's a friendly reminder to take each device for what they are and the purposes that they can, will, and do serve. Would I take a 1520 over a 640 XL? Probably. But, I have yet to find a 1520 that was less expensive than a 640 XL in the wild. If you want that kind of reliability you are going to pay a pretty penny for it, and its premium in 2015 is something I do not feel is fully justified when there are more compelling devices out now and pending release over the next 6 months.

    There is only so much a photographer can do with a sub par camera before the equipment's limitations are obvious. Likewise, there is only so much automatic settings and Photoshop can do to make a sub par photographer's work look good. There are amazing shots that can be taken with the 1520. Same can be said of the 640 / 640 XL. I took a few cool photos with my 635, and that had what is regarded by most as a very weak 5MP shooter. You play the cards you were dealt. Some folks have a better hand than most, some need to work the cards they have better than most.
    I agree comparing an iPhone 6 (which costs about 3 times more) to a 640XL is unfair. We understand why they did it though, it's what they're familiar with and their point of reference. In regards to the comparison with a 1520, one (including myself) might be curious how much compromise the camera is without the "Pureview" branding. They both have Zeiss optics, the 1520 has 6 lenses, the 640XL isn't specified, does that make a difference? Can the faster lens on the 640XL (f2) versus the 1520's f2.4 compensate? And can 1 1/2 years make a difference in closing the gap, even a little?

    The answer unfortunately is the 640XL's camera is not remotely close to the 1520. If that was clear to you already, then yes, I agree with your conclusion that this is not apples to apples. But I did not come to that conclusion until I compared. By the way, comparisons help the most. General statements such as "my phone takes good pictures in good light" tells me nothing about a camera, just like saying "There are amazing shots that can be taken with the 1520. Same can be said of the 640 / 640 XL". Sorry, that tells me nothing about a camera either.

    WW
    07-16-2015 10:27 PM
  14. RichardTheKing's Avatar
    I have owned the 1520 and yes indeed the camera was spot on and very good. nevertheless I had a lot of issue with the network reception (cannot call or receive call due to poor reception part of the time) and the ghost touch. So I have asked my self what was the most important: high spec photo or phone network and touchscreen? So I have decided to go for the 640XL.
    The camera of the 640XL is very good during a sunny day but when the light is not very good it is like the autosetup does not set the correct setup and the picture can be blur for two reasons: press the shoot command to quickly before the phone is been able to focus or the the speed of the shoot is too low. Is it a software issue or a hardware issue? I do not know but it is appear than some people using the manual setting are able to do some very good picture so this may indicate that the software (Lumia camera) is not aligned with the hardware spec of the 640XL perhaps.
    Overall I am very satisfied with the overall spec, I can call people or receive a call, I do not have to charge the battery every night, I have my personal sim card and my business sim card in so I do not need two mobile phones, The 4g and H+ capabilities and the wifi is good enough for me to received my emails, read the news, upload the photo to onedrive, I like the selfie 5MB cam and the 13MB cam which can give me some good picture if I do not move, Skype is ok, my 64GB micro SD card compensate the 8GB internal.
    For £140 I think this is a very good investment and should be for a lot of people, if you do not want to spend all your money to a merc or bmw model, but if you got the money to buy a £600 mobile phone please do so, this is a choice of life.
    libra89 likes this.
    07-17-2015 04:27 AM
  15. Woodman1914's Avatar
    The OP was basically asking if ZDNet's comment on the 640XL's camera was fair. Bringing the 1520 into the conversation was just to reinforce my agreement that it was, that it is no where near flagships of either iPhone or the aging 1520, that it takes pictures indicative of its price range and not more. The iPhone and 1520 are just points of reference, that's all. I understand where you and others are coming from - it would have been helpful if the review included more points of reference, especially among phones in the same price range, and also side-by-side shots similar to what dpreview does.

    WW
    07-17-2015 08:12 AM
  16. anon(6078578)'s Avatar
    My point wasn't whether a camera phone was as good as an iPhone 6 or other flagship phone, but that reviewers tend to be too casually dismissive if it isn't. The problem with just saying a camera phone isn't a good shooter and only good for Facebook pictures it that it implies a very low standard to a casual non technical reader looking to buy a reasonably priced phone. ie you wouldn't use it to take vacation pictures for instance since he does say "won't replace your point-and-shoot". I guess he'll have to define that, as point-and-shoot has a wide variation too.

    The reason I criticized this review is that my friend got the impression that it had a bad camera. Of course I told him the referred cnet review and others say different and he only had to look at the sample images to see how good they were. Now having said that he wasn't looking to get a new phone, he was just interested after seeing my 640.

    I guess the problem for me, is that definitions seem to be changing as reviewers get spoiled by high end devices. I remember when a poor camera literally meant it could hardly take indoor photos at all and daylight photos were really mediocre, attributes I'd hardly ascribe to these camera phones.

    I started this thread just to get opinions of others for the sake of discussion :)
    07-17-2015 10:51 AM
  17. neodk's Avatar
    Reviews like that are very subjective. You can tell they are trying to appeal to the higher-end audience that isn't afraid to invest a little more into their electronics. Someone that wants to spend $800 or so on an iPhone (over the course of a contract, financing, or outright) isn't going to settle for a camera that is only good enough for social media. To discount the capabilities of the 640 XL and suggest it's only good for social media more or less says it's the kind of phone your teenager should have. But they already have an iPhone, so.....

    What are you trying to suggest to your readers?

    If you've used a 900, 920, 925, 930, 1020, 1520, etc... the 640 XL may come across as an improvement in some ways and in others a little bit of a let down if you were expecting it to be just as good or better. If you are coming from a 635, it's going to be night and day better. Dramatic. If you are coming from an Android or iPhone, it's going to be a toss up between what you were using by comparison to the 640 XL. Don't take someone's photographs as proof of how your shots will look. Some people are amateur photographers in their spare time while others have barely done more than use a Kodak EasyShare on anything but auto. The best advice that I have for anyone is to take their current phone in with them and to take a picture of something in the store under their questionable lighting. Same object, surroundings, etc. Compare the results on the phones. If you are able to, send the pictures to yourself or to a computer in the store and view them on a monitor. That kind of analysis cannot always be done quickly and easily if at all, but when you do it in this manner you are avoiding your bias and those around you from affecting your opinion.

    And arguing manual versus automatic....

    How often will you use manual settings? If someone tells you that you will want to use manual settings to get the best pictures because bottom line the automatic settings don't cut the mustard, that may be your warning that this isn't the device for you. For taking pictures on the fly, full auto, the iPhone tends to produce the best images. No fuss, no muss. I've used the Galaxy phones. I know they are just as fast to capture. I've had an LG G3 and had good success with it. But more often than not I wasn't trying to filter or mess with my photos on the iPhone. The only other device I had that kind of experience with was the Lumia 1020.
    RichardTheKing likes this.
    07-17-2015 11:34 AM
  18. Arjun KR's Avatar
    Manual settings makes big difference.

    This one shot on manual setting, ISO 100 and Shutter 1/4.
    wp_20150717_22_02_50_pro.jpg

    This is automatic mode(rich capture off)
    wp_20150717_22_03_55_pro.jpg

    PS: I took this with Windows 10 TP Camera app.
    07-17-2015 12:43 PM
  19. neodk's Avatar
    Great example of manual settings in practice.

    However, that's not what I'm driving at. The concern is what should people expect with the camera / camera app on a consistent basis going forward. To a point, and I see how some would disagree, I think many people expect at the very least a basic point and shoot camera included with their smartphone. It's stated over and over again the best camera is the one you have with you, and that usually means relying on a device where the camera isn't its primary focus. My personal feeling is that the Lumia 640 XL camera produces nice photos on automatic.

    Automatic on the 640 XL isn't the same as automatic on the Galaxy S5, S6, Note 4, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520....Colors are reproduced differently and they have different lenses and operating systems powering the hardware.

    You have to appreciate the differences in hardware / software. I don't think this is a terrible burden for users to bear when adjusting to a new device. For a reviewer it's not as cut and dry and often their frustration at the lack of convenience or features ring truer in reviews than what the casual user might experience.
    RichardTheKing likes this.
    07-17-2015 03:16 PM
  20. Mikegwald's Avatar
    The camera on the 640 XL is absolutely amazing.
    RichardTheKing likes this.
    07-17-2015 04:46 PM

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