Snap To It: Phone Photography Is Rather Flash These Days

Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia recently announced its new flagship Lumia 920, which houses special PureView camera technology that the Finnish company claim offers “a promise of versatile capture capability and leading edge innovation”. It all sounds pretty impressive, but will the launch of the new Nokia flagship change the face of camera phones as we know them?


There is already a selection of top-end devices that are known for their photography prowess, such as the iPhone 4S, notorious for its excellent camera skills, and the highly popular Samsung Galaxy S III. We’re going to focus on the camera specs with all three of these 8 megapixel snapper-toting handsets to get a better picture of their imaging capabilities. Say “Cheese!”


Apple iPhone 4S


iPhone 4S Camera

Camera buffs love the iPhone 4S for its ability to capture excellent photos in a multitude of lighting conditions.


Images produced by the Cupertino company device’s camera are crisp and clear, probably due to the addition of a fifth lens and a special sensor, allowing it to capture more light in each pixel making photographs look loads better than that on other smartphones. Apple has crammed in some handy face recognition technology too, and automatic exposure settings for portrait and group shots.


Best for: Taking close-up images with clear details.


Choose if: You want great looking pics without having to fiddle with any settings.





Samsung Galaxy S III


Samsung Galaxy SIII Camera

The Galaxy S III has zero shutter lag for quick-fire photos, so if you need your snaps to be snappy you won’t be disappointed. Other features include face and smile detection to allow the user to capture everyone’s expression, macro mode for grabbing nice detail in close-ups, and Panorama for lovely landscapes.


Exposure slides, white balance and ISO options are available for those looking to delve a little deeper into image manipulation, and users are able to add effects such as filters before shooting too. There is also a ‘Best Shot’ function which can be used alongside the ‘Burst Mode’ feature to choose the best image from a selection taken of the same subject. As a cheeky bonus Samsung has whacked a 1.9 megapixel camera on the front of the device too, which is quite impressive and can record in 720p.


Best for: Shooting modes that allow you to choose the best picture out of a selection.


Choose if: You want freedom to tweak image controls before shooting.




Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920 Camera

So, the new Nokia flagship includes what the Finnish company is calling PureView technology, but is it actually all that and a bag of potato chips? PureView first debuted on the Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, which boasted a whopping 41 megapixel camera and some seriously snazzy imaging capabilities. But although the Lumia 920 is said to still house the same PureView tech, it’s in conjunction with a more modest 8 megapixel snapper.


Perks of the Lumia 920’s camera include a slower shutter speed, meaning the user can capture more exposure detail in low light. Now, a slow shutter speed usually means more movement is captured as the image is being taken, often resulting in blurry photos, but Nokia claims that this is eradicated by what is called a ‘floating optical assembly’. Basically, the bits that make up the camera are not fixed in place and can move when the device does, and this means the image is stabilised and the shutter can stay open for longer and still capture crisp and clear pictures.


Best for: Capturing clear and colourful images in low light that aren’t blurry in the slightest.


Choose if: You want to great results even in low light conditions and when shooting moving subjects.


So, deciding which smartphone to plump for if you like a bit of the old photography action will really depend on what kind of budding snapper you are. Each handset has its own merits, and although the PureView features promised by Nokia on the Lumia 920 certainly sound good on paper, it’s unlikely that in practice, the handset will be so revolutionary that it completely shunts the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S III out of contention. But by the looks of it, the Finns are certainly going to give Apple and Samsung a run for its money.


This guest post was written by Abbi Cox, writer of all things smartphone – from the Galaxy S III to the iPhone 5, at Phones 4u.

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