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Another low light photo from the Nokia Lumia 920 but this time with flash

Mr and Mrs Arrington

First off, congratulations to Nokia’s Chanse Arrington who’s Head of Developer & Content Marketing at the company. He was just married and while the addition of a wife to his life must be fulfilling, we’re focused on that Lumia 920.

The picture above is taken with the 920 as posted to his public SkyDrive account (he Tweeted the image yesterday). The picture is obviously very low light though a flash is used this case to brighten the scene.

Flash photography is a finicky subject. A lot of us shoot “natural”, which means big heavy lenses and only on available light. But sometimes you have to use a flash for certain situations. One thing though pros never do is use the “on board” flash—it’s like sacrilege. That’s why they always have giant flash contraptions with diffusers and such to give a much better photo.


Cropped image from the full resolution photo

Here on the Lumia 920 though, no such option exists so we must make do. The issue with the flash is it’s not really controlled by the user and it often over-exposes the image if too close and under-exposes if too far. Results often include uneven lighting and an odd photo. Sure, you got the image but it’s not pretty.

Our initial interpretation of this one, single shot is it’s pretty great for a camera phone. The exposure is not to high anywhere, especially on the whites—it’s not perfect but for a bright flash going off close to two faces, it’s more than acceptable. Color is also maintained quite well, keeping some punch to the saturation. Sharpness is also good though obviously when you zoom on a high-resolution computer, you can see it lose some of its edge. But for posting on the web, Facebook, email or SMS it’s a great looking photo.

Of course there is some red-eye there, which is unfortunate but if you ran through Thumba on your phone you should be able to quickly fix that. We also don’t know if any auto-fix feature as applied to the photo, but it looks like not. Some people have remarked about the grain of the photo, but from our experience we find it more than acceptable. Plus with no direct comparison to another phone, it's really hard to judge.

We can’t wait to get the 920 in our hands to really put it through some test, but right now we’re feeling quite excited about its prospects. This one photo is merely anecdotal but it's still fun to observe.

You can see the full resolution of the photo here.

Via Reddit.



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ladydias says:

Lovely picture quality and sweet that they were were able to use the 920 for such a big day. :-)

ladydias says:

Says "video not found" :(

hwangeruk says:

No it doesn't, works for me.

anseio says:

You know.... that 8x is really turning me on. I've been a Nokia man all my adult life, but between the two, the 8x has a much more pleasing visual aesthetic than the 920.

Dare2Blink says:

Also says"video not found" for me

realix13 says:

Not bad :)

I hope the phone will come with built in red eye reduction.

Jnbs says:

Those are her terminator's eyes lol its just natural in women when they are mad lol (kidding)

bjax says:

Or she's just showing her "true" self now that she's married. (kidding ladies, kidding)

hwangeruk says:

Well known fact, wedding cake induces red eye and severly diminished female sex drive. True story.

ladydias says:

Hmm... I call bull.

danzinho16 says:

Woah , that is good ;o

NIST says:

Nice photo. Inside the limo. Nice controlled flash. Want more? Put a hot shoe on it and get a Sunpak.

aubreyq says:

No, don't get a Sunpak. LOL!

I think it looks really great, all things considered. Is it going to compare with a DSLR? Of course not, but I can take this with me everywhere and get shots that will embarrass most competitors... and that's something I can live with.

He looks fine, but she's not fared so well. Not sure how this is acceptable.

So she's a red-eyed hell spawn... most women are! ;-) (Just kidding...)

It is called red eye reduction.

danzinho16 says:

It's called make-up .. she got too much of that.

ikissfutebol says:

+1. If you ever see a pale-skinned girl in full-blown wedding make up, she'll look like you have a spot light on her 24/7. That's why so many women get fake tans for their wedding now a day.

Murgatroyd7 says:

Yeah, the problem is her makeup, not the camera.

msechea says:

For those that want to know, this was shot at ISO 800, f/2.0 and 1/25

With the flash, it should have been a LOT sharper than what this picture delivers. We've seen the sample pics of the 920 being able to keep that shutter open longer, but I have yet to see it deliver on the sharpness when the ISO goes up, and ISO 800 isn't even that high these days.

ISO 800 though for a sensor that small is hard to get sharp. Most point-n-shoots look not so hot at 800 either, so I find this quite okay. It could be better, but it's not terrible either. 

Regardless, it's anecdotal at this point.

msechea says:

I'd have to disagree.

Take a look at the iPhone 5's high iso capabilities (specifically the iso 2000 example). This is the 920's competitor after all.

Forc3 says:

ever heared of a tripod? think before posting bullshit proofs... you would never get a pic this sharp at ISO3200 without a tripod...

msechea says:

ha, who said anything about iso 3200? and i didnt see anything about a tripod on that page.

Forc3 says:

Wow! How about trolling somewhere else mr. crapple fanboy?

hwangeruk says:

the phone would have been static at ISO2000.
Not even a P&S camera would get focused pics at ISO2000 without a tripod or being put on something static - certainly not handleld.

@mescha A Tripod photo doesn't count as a comparison versus virtually no light and hand-held. [Edit: and yes, those are done with a tripod, that's how you do proper comparison shots. That's Photo 101, come on...]

Let's wait until we can actually compare the two before declaring one better than other?

bbqrooster says:

LOL, you called these photos sharp. I need to examine my eyes then. These photos are grainy as hell.

msechea says:

I'm going to give the 920 credit here though, it did a decent job.

Onager1286 says:

Agree, that image stabilization should be making images sharper.

zacman says:

Why did the automatic even bump the ISO to 800? With a OIS it should be easy to hold at least 1/10 on a 25mm lens. So ISO400 would have been possible.

Without actually being there and knowing the conditions, I'm not sure how you can say ISO400 would have been enough.

Dare2Blink says:

Daniel even with my lumia 900 I take pics of my cat in complete darkness (with a flash obviously)with ISO 200. The background is completely dark and noisy, but the foreground has enough light. So it's safe to assume that the 920 will have no isues with taking a pic with flash in the inside of a car with ISO 200 or 400.

Murgatroyd7 says:

You just hang out, taking pictures of your cat?

Congratulations to the copple ;)

Onager1286 says:

See this is the kind of photo that I find to be good for a smartphone. The weird looking outside shots they showed before are not impressive. Cue the trolls to resume calling me an "miserable f**k" for having an opinion.

I agree... don't get me wrong, "photo shoot" images are neat, but this kind of picture is "real". I want to see a picture of someone's living room with a 60W light lighting the space, or a picture of a trio of girls making duck faces in a night club/bar, or that picture of your church Christmas Eve service, or take a picture of your pet. And one more thing... this photo is really good as-is. If I wanted perfect, I'd carry a DSLR camera.

Onager1286 says:

Exactly, you worded it better than I did.

Tomasz S. says:

"I want to see a picture of someone's living room with a 60W light lighting the space" - This. I so wish my Lumia 800 was able to take decent photos in those conditions. The flash only makes things worse and the noise is just awful.

Nakazul says:

Oh yes, I photo my cat like ... to much (they all look bad in my apart thou) :'(, so some IRL shots would be great.

Higgs Boson says:

He has fantastic teeth!

Nakazul says:

I thought on the contrary, look at his gums how far up there gone. She have very healthy teeth thou.

mdscj4 says:

That's great

Forc3 says:

I just took a lowlight shot with my phone... yes flashwas on.... the lumia one is miles sharper than my pic!! respect!

aubreyq says:

Heck I'm getting the 920. That's all I gotta say.

I'm getting married in less than 2 weeks...would be nice to have such a great camera phone for such an occasion :-)

ladydias says:


aubreyq says:


Higgs Boson says:

You should definitely postpone the wedding till after November 4th.

Lx23 says:

Great pic quality

nicbex says:

I'm actually a bit worried about sharpness on Lumia 920. I'm not saying that this is a bad image, I'd say the phone did a pretty good job not killing the faces with exposure from the flash. Although I have yet to see a single 920 pic that is actually really sharp. In my opinion, I would rather sacrifice some low light performance for a sharper image.

If I had to guess, the softness you're seeing is from the anti-alias filter that sits in front of the sensor.  As the sensor gets larger, these filters have a tendancy to soften things up just a little.    Nothing that can't be corrected but just ever so slightly noticeable.

It's a common occurance with DSLR photos that really turned consumers away from the earlier DSLR models.  If I remember correctly camera manufacturers boosted the default, in-camera sharpening and it's not as noticeable.

My guess is that if you boost the in-camera sharpening on the 920 or use post processing software, the 920's images will be tack sharp.  Then again, Nokia could tweak the processing settings internally so you won't see this on the production models.

I am really looking forward to putting the 920's camera through the ringer to see what all it can do.

NIST says:

Her dress is apparently made of berries and flowers.

ladydias says:

I think that's her bouquet.

NIST says:

Then what's her dress made out of? Riddle me that.

bbqrooster says:

She was buck naked with the bouquet covering her front when the photo was taken :D.

ladydias says:

Lacy cloth like most. There's a smidge peaking out above the bouquet on the right.

reloaded17 says:

Needs redeye reduction :)

Viipottaja says:

She is hot....
And the pic is pretty great too!

aubreyq says:

Dude. Really?

NIST says:

I know. Dude, that's just sick.

Jazmac says:

I'll wait until I get the 920 to know if this camera can truly snap photos like this. This may be more of Nokia's Jedi mind tricks at work.

schlubadub says:

The biggest problem with flash on phones is that it's not controllable... My HD7 has dual-LED flash that is brighter than the sun (no joke). It also lights before the photo is taken and stays on for a couple of seconds. Most photos turn out completely oversaturated with the subjects having their eyes screwed tight to avoid the blinding light. Even when they try to keep their eyes open it looks awful, and leaves them with spots in their vision for a while. I wish I could reduce the intensity of the flash, and make it stay on for a shorter period. I basically just turn it off and can't take photos in dark places.

ejlee072006 says:

Oh no RED EYE!!!!!!!

NIST says:

Maybe they are vampires, or stoned.

uopjo6 says:

I'm not sure how some people can whine about this photo. 

vlad0 says:

The 808 PureView will produce better results in similar conditions for sure.. I know its only one image, and its probably not th finial built software wise, but I can tell.. 
This is still not bad , its just not as good as Nokia could do. 

Dare2Blink says:

Actually it won't. Nokia especifically said that the lumia 920 is better than the 808 in low light conditions.

This is accurate. The 808 was about MP and cropping/zooming. The 920 PureView is about low-light performance. It's stated exactly as such in their white paper 2 on PureView.

Denis Jelec says:

Not in this particular case. This is not a "low-light" example, this is basically a close flash portrait. Given that the 808 has xenon flash unit paired with superb sensor, one can easily draw a conclusion that 808 would've given a better image. 

An example where 920 would likely give a better image would be if the pair was outside in a poorly lit enviroment and some fair distance from the photographer; since this is mostly a measurement of *flash* can see where I'm heading here again. ;)

phatboy66 says:

I hope he doesn't lose his job if Nokia has bad results in 2013

vijax21 says:

Pretty neat haa? I won't complain about red eyes.

rocky 710 says:

Stop giving the features of the phone. I will get lumia 820 any way I wanna know what is the full package of the wp8 Os is about
Waiting for the Oct 29th

rocky 710 says:

If there is a built in feature like red eye reduction it would be great

apocacrux says:

"Exposure is not TOO high"