Nokia Lumia 1020 Photo Sample

There’s a Nokia Lumia 1020 in our Forums right now, see it go against the Lumia 920

Let’s get Rebecca Black up in here and get the weekend started, it is Friday after all. What better way to kick off the weekend then by going to the Windows Phone Central Forums where there’s somewhat of an impromptu AMA (Ask me anything) and Nokia Lumia 1020 vs. 920 thread going on.

It just so happens that when of your fellow Windows Phone Central Member unternull has a Lumia 1020 and is answering questions about the device right now. He (or she) is also doing comparison shots from the cameras on both the Lumia 920 and 1020. Below is what a sample of the fun that is taking place right now in there.

Below we took a pair of two photos for a side by side look and zoomed in on the Mario action figure so you can do some quick close up comparisons. On the left is the Lumia 920 Mario and the right has the Lumia 1020 Mario. The Lumia 1020 does appear to produce some more grain compared to the Lumia 920. But that’s understandable seeing as how the pixels are much smaller compared to the Lumia 920. 

Nokia Lumia 920 vs. Lumia 1020

Be sure to hit up the Windows Phone Central Forums for more!



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Z51Corvete says:

Oh somebody putting my 920 down

oniororo says:

Can't really tell which is better. No baseline, I guess.

OMG55 says:

Man, even I can see the difference in the photos and I carry a 920 & 8X

jsnod25 says:

There is more noise and less color gradience in the 920.

Is 1020 on Amber? Maybe with Amber 920 will be better than now

koenshaku says:

Be serious, the 920 clearly has less noise. All these two shots tell is that the 920 heavily processes its photos after you shoot and the 1020 does not, because it probably has better ISO proformance given its larger sensor. All this means is that the infamous smoothing filter will look plain as day on the 920 giving you softer images with less noise in lower light and normal light from software processing. Vesus the 1020 being able to shoot things without that much processing natively because of the larger sensor, thus giving you more of a sharper shoot with great low light performance and OIS. Though I doubt it will proform better in low light than the 920 because of the higher aperture and the post processing. Soft night shots vs noisy sharp night shots its a toss up I will take the sharper everytime though turn it black and white and it makes for a nice grain effect.

Huime says:

blur out loss focus and loss details is not = less noise.

Rishicash says:

Really? You can't see that Mario's mustache isn't visible with the 920 shot?

Schikitar says:

Well, the 1020 shot has a natural grain look to it, the colours look good. Even my wife, a Galaxy owner, wants a 1020 - I told her to get in line! I wonder when they are coming to Australia?

kimlo91 says:

I'm also for Australia and waiting on some news. Hopefully soon, I'd say Telstra will bring it first.

boxa72 says:

Probly Optus i hope but im getting sick of the carrier exclusivity :(

Zulfigar says:

Welcome to the US

borasar says:

come to Canada, we'll see if you complain about US after :)

kimlo91 says:

Well last time around Harvey Norman and JB-HIFI stocked them unlocked so hopefully the same thing happens this time.

schlubadub says:

Optus? Do they even have Windows Phones? :P

kimlo91 says:

All the second rate windows phones haha.

Unter Null? Excellent choice of username.

DOF appears to be more pronounced on the 1020.All in all, details are better on the new device, meaning that wonderful camera does its job very good :)

DJCBS says:

I think you can only FAIRLY compare them once the L920 receives the Amber update.
Until then you can't really tell what's a result of the 41MP and what's a result of the newest version of the camera software.

jsnod25 says:

I like the way you think

boxa72 says:

Pro Camera software probly makes a difference too so im guessing Amber wont make much difference as I'm using a 925 n its only marginally better than 920

Zulfigar says:

Think about it like this though: The Lumia 920 has one of the best, if not THE best camera on a phone there is, and that is "as-is," before the Amber update. With that in mind, this is still a useful comparison.

SwimSwim says:

Let's not get carried away here... While the 920 camera did do well in low-light, it did have day-time issues, which were later rectified in the Lumia 928 and 925.
And, even with a software boost, I don't think a 920, 8.7 megapixel camera can keep pace with a 41-megapixel shooter.
Nokia needs a "hero" device, and, as such, they won't be holding back any resources when trying to make the 1020 have as  amazing of a camera as possible.
I can understand that 920 users will feel some envy if/when their camera gets blown out of the dust, but Nokia isn't going to hold back just to make early adopters feel better (exactly what happened to anyone who picked up a Lumia 900, like me).

DJCBS says:

I don't think anyone is questioning that a 41MP camera will produce better photos than a 8.7MP one. However until both cameras run the same software (Amber) we shouldn't take comparisons too seriously.
And I don't think there's envy in this. The L1020 is a nich phone that the majority will ignore. Those who REALLY care about the amount of MP in a camera will switch from the 920 to or buy a 1020. The others - the majority - won't go waste their money on it (at best they wait a couple of months more for the 1030).
I personally won't pick the 1020 as I don't care that much about the camera (and I truly hate the design of the 1020 with that tumour in the back). I'll wait for Amber to correct the daylight softness in the photos and that's it.

uopjo6 says:

I can proudly say the 920 does have THE best camera in a smooth 1cm shell w/o a hump. 

920 with Amber will be on par except for the Zoom! ZOOM REINVENTED.

Nabkawe5 says:

If they fix the damn white balance and the auto setting for night situations it'll be on par yes.

Nabkawe5 says:

Clearly the Lumia1020 has a better white balance (not really an achivement since its always been a bumpy ride with White Balance in the 920.

Why take a picture of Mario? Take a pic of Master Chief!

Jack Larson1 says:

Visor reflection would look unprofessional...

ricbon says:

Why before master chief there was mario

izzykahn says:

I can't even watch the video from the app. When I click YouTube via browser, it honestly takes me to Rebecca Black's 'Friday'. It won't even play in metrotube. Idk how you other ppl are playing the video.

nizzon says:

Just be glad you weren't Rick rolled.

izzykahn says:

I feel sooooo stupid. I didn't even read the article that clearly mentioned her. I just jumped in expecting a video comparison. X_X

mango.lover says:

Mario? Wouldn't Master Chief be more appropriate?

cdbstl76 says:

Why are the backgrounds different? Was Mario moved for better positioning?

chucky says:

I don't see that much of a difference from 920 to 1020, I'll stick with my 920 for now, And that 300 price tag its just crazy.

Mad Strings says:

Less Noise and more color gradience in the 1020. But not sure if this is the Amber update or the 41MP camera. I think Mario is used for the different, brighter colors to see how it can compare, since Master Chief wouldn't be more colors. But Master Chief could test capturing small details without bad quality. But does anyone notice the backgrounds are different in the two pictures, so the lighting could change and that can affect the picture. My thought that the camera is there to get people who hear more megapixels to go buy it, may be partially right now.

uopjo6 says:

Less noise? Look at the dark areas the 1020 is filled with ants.

Agree with better color gradience.

gsquared says:

Your either cheap, or broke ass is no concern of ours.

WP7_Genius says:

King of cameras

muderko says:

I started to have doubts!

Jazmac says:

The thing I think that makes the 1020 worth owning is not so much for its ability to take great photos, but that on screen zoom and white balance feature.  The 920 is no scrub when taking photos but it can't do zoom like the 1020. Real nice feature.

Geronimo928 says:

Hmm....don't see much of a difference....slightly better on 1020. How does the whole 41megapixel help to make the pics better? Also, are the uploads on there 41 MP or does that not matter?

Sam Sabri says:


The 41MP sensor is used for zoom. That will be the biggest difference between the 1020 and the 920/925/928. Otherwise the Amber update should bring them pretty close together in terms of output. But again, we'll have to see samples from both cameras ourselves before we make any final calls. 

DalekSnare says:

Click the image to zoom in, the 1020 is much sharper.

rth314 says:

And I thought the other point of 41MP is to oversample the pixels to create a less noisy and more accurate 5MP picture.

CPnextdoor says:

Haha he's in a gamestop haha I put that marketing up last week lol

sholokov says:

Wait...the 1020 pic is sharper as expected, but it also has more grain, which shows over-processing. Would amber do that to 920 as well?

nbolmer says:

Grain shows the opposite of what you think

xankazo says:

I take that "grainy" pic over a blurry, "non-grainy" pic any day. It's called detail, and it's natural. 

lemonsteveo says:

To be honest, these subjects are not very taxing.  Shots of people or landscapes would show bigger differences.
However, the 1020 pic already shows better detail, colours and better depth of field.

people, the images posted have 600kb, they are compressed and cropped, this isn't the full quality... stop complaining

Josh Harman says:

I'd rather see it compared to an iPhone or top of the line Android.

camstreet1 says:

"The Lumia 1020 does appear to produce some more grain compared to the Lumia 920. But that’s understandable seeing as how the pixels are much smaller compared to the Lumia 920. "
I don't understand why you think that's understandable - sure it's pixels are smaller, but isn't it supposed to use data from 7 of those smaller pixels to make each 5 MP picture or something, which supposedly eliminates those effect?  I mean, isn't that almost its raison detre? 

4look4rd says:

Its hard to tell if this picture was taken in 41MP mode or pureview mode.  My guess is that its a 41MP picture or the one optimized for websharing.

Geronimo928 says:

Thinking the same...we'll find out soon enough...

Video links not functioning.

SwimSwim says:

The 1020 has better colors and looks sharper, but seems to let the background go too out of focus, and the grain is obnoxious. The grain problem could be a real game changer for this device, as it could take this from a serious photographer's tool, to just another Instagram watercolor effect camera.
Hopefully a software update will correct this, because, as another said, this could be a result of over-processing. Nonetheless, in its immediate form, it's rather dissapointing.

lemonsteveo says:

Blurry background is the depth of field effect you get with a larger sensor, like from a dslr.

Kram Devil says:

The 1020 has better white balance which is great!  I'd love this article more if people would stop hitting on Rebecca Black's Friday though.  That girl had a bad break but she's a pretty good singer.   See for yourself.   She's just like Nokia, bullies give her a bad rap but if you take a closer look, she's not bad AT all. 

trmnrs says:

Ohh that depth of field is orgasmic. Makes me want to trade in my 920 right now

ahmedjan87 says:

Itsa me

jadan127 says:

So I hope I can shed a little light on what it is you are seeing, as it seems some of you dont get why the 1020 image puts the 920 to shame.
Lets start with what we are seeing. Grain vs noise. As a visual effects artist and photographer, I look at grain all day. Grain is good. It helps make your images blend together. It adds a level of sophistication to what we have ever known to be in a smartphone camera. The 1020 is a camera with a phone. It gives you results that will outshine any phone out there. So think of 'grain structure' and the glue that holds your image together. Im sure with different lighting conditions we will get great grain from changing the speed of your ISO. Just look at the close up of the 920 and you get no structure to the image. You can see the blocky edges on the image, that is noise. Noise equals crap- period. So a way to reduce the amount of noise in an image is to use grain. Because noise in compressed images will have a low frequency, meaning it will have large bulky shapes, you add the grain to blend the colors together and help break up that noise. Again, grain is good for you, like fiber.
Also I can see the chromatic aberration on the edges of Marios inner eye edge and on his moustache because of the high contrast. Thats where the RGB channels separate because the lens cant focus properly and you get what looks like a blurry colorful edge.
Next, we have oversampling. Think of oversampling as the processing of the larger image to make a smaller image without loosing visible detail. It keeps the image looking sharp and keeps the pixels on an edge looking clean, so you dont get jaggy edges, because the oversampling uses anti-aliasing, which is a fancy way of saying it smooths pixels together and blends them together when shrinking the pixel.
Lastly is the 'blurry' background. Because the 1020 has a giant area to work with, you will be able to focus on smaller objects. Im assuming that these mario images were small and images were taken up close. So the closer you are to your intended subject to focus on, the more your background is gunna be out of focus, ie- depth of field. Again, this just makes the camera that much better in this phone. It makes it a camera first and a phone second. I cant wait to get my hands on this things! Goodbye 920!
Im sorry for the long post, I hope it helps clear the air about what you are seeing!

majortom1981 says:

A lot of what you just said is can only be seen if you zoom in. How many people will be zooming in on a picture? Also how much of this is because of the new camera software and not the sendor? Remember the 920 will be getting the same software that the 1020 uses.

in my opinion this does not show a huge difference for everyday use. Without a higher res screen or faster processor vs the 920 there is no reason to get the 1020.

add in there will most likely be a phone with quad core and higher res screen and this same sensor released at the end of the year and you get a reason to wait.

My two year contract is the other reason.

jadan127 says:

If thst is all you think it is, then def stay with that crappy phone. The fact that we are seeing a close up of a photo doesnt mean you wont benefit from the same image improvments when looking at a landscape. Bottom line is that the camera has a larger sensor, its not software thats doing these improvements, its the harrdware of a giant sensor. The idea that the speed of your phone is somehow important to do anything on it seems like your not getting it. Its a phone. Its not a desktop computer. How much intense processing do you really do on your phone? Are you doing high end 3D rendering on your phone? If so, what app is that?! Yes, if you can wait till the end of the year for whatever it is they may come out with, go for it, but for me, I want this camera now!

Jazmac says:

Well, when you put it that way... But its pretty clear to me in both images which looks richer. I don't see all this "noise" in the 1020 shot being spoken about. I see a very rich image, something my 920 isn't able to replicate. (My envious side not real crazy about that reality either) :)

edboogie78 says:

True there is more noise on the 1020, but aside from that the 1020 took a sharper image . The mustache and everything else looks 3 dimensional compared to the 920 which is flat. I can clearly see the damage on Mario's hat on the tip of his lid a lot more on the 1020. Overall there is more depth and better color on the 1020 versus the 920 which still has a very good camera. The 1020 is on another level.

hutuka says:

Oh I remember those 0.3 MP days with the Nokia 7650 xD

It was the best camera ever made..
Good old times..

uopjo6 says:

Wow. Got my 920 a couple seasons ago and I'm still glad I got it early. The 1020 is not worth the extra "hump" and immediate upgrade. 
But, I assume this phone is aimed at users that didn't get a 920/925/928 yet and is a slight upgraded alternative. 
That is good but I'm just not sure the photos does the hump and price justice. You don't even get integrated Qi.

Paola1993 says:

Meh, same shit

gregoron says:

Again, as mentioned above, the 1020 shows better blurred background like you took the photo from an expensive fast lens that only DSLRs have at the moment. If you take lots of portrait or macro shots, this is what you'd look for. Who wants to see the cluttered background behind Mario?

ejb222 says:

Seriously guys even I can see that the 1020 produces a much better picture. The details that the 1020 captures are awesome. Like the textures of the plastic etc. I'd much rather work with a camera that produces that kind of detail.

Pete C says:

Wow, this thing is a MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT. You guys are really grasping. I am very disappointed as well as I thought this would finally be the killer must-have phone WP needs. I have looked at all of these comparison shots on the forum post and there is a small bump in IQ over the 920. It is not earth shattering and most people would not even notice the differences. You compare these to any decent point and not DSLR...decent point and shoot and it will be trounced. Trust me, as I have a good Nikon point and shoot and these images are not even close. The noise level is just horrid. Oh wait, of course...they will fix that in software. LOL, same shit I heard when I bought my 920. Still waiting on that one to top an iPhone 5 pic in anything but a dark room.

Acetonium says:

Really, the images are grainy?
These are compressed jpeg images for the web, hardly the "raw" shots from the phone(s).

We didn't get a 38mpx shot from the 1020 either, how can anyone be sure it's the real thing?