In my previous post, I mentioned that I had the opportunity to try out a new device to capture pictures under low light. What impressed me was its performance worthy of a good quality point-and-shoot camera, but in a super slim handheld mobile phone. Mobile phone cameras have come a long way indeed, and to be able to capture decent shots during the night is considered a pretty challenging task, even for full-fledged cameras. Therefore, I am happy to reveal my new found love for the Nokia Lumia 925, which is more than just a smart phone. It is an awesome camera!
The mystery device
When I first unboxed the phone, I thought the aluminium casing was pretty solid and sleek, without being heavy. It also had a huge screen, but not too big that it didn’t fit my palm. To me, it was the optimum size for watching videos and looking at photographs without having to squint my eyes. One of my concerns with using a touch screen was its responsiveness. I have had plenty of experience with various smartphones where the touch screen just wasn’t sensitive enough to my touch and it was frustrating to say the least. Thankfully, the Nokia Lumia 925’s touch screen was smooth and easy to navigate, even with my cold hands during winter.
Nokia Lumia 925
Being an iPhone user for the past few years, I was worried that I would find a Windows phone difficult to use. The first time I powered it on, I was presented with different tiles of different shapes on the home page and I thought, where do I start? Thankfully, each tile was pretty self-descriptive and after just a few minutes of trial and error, I was navigating through the phone with ease. Being a Windows phone, it has the capability of operating Office software on the phone itself, which is something I had never been able to do with my own phone. Imagine rushing your work report or finishing that spreadsheet while on the go, without having to turn on the PC. It’s quite fabulous.
Home page of the phone
Phone’s camera at the back – solid aluminum casing
Of course, what I’m more interested in with the phone is the camera at the back. As with most Nokia phones, it is powered by Carl Zeiss lens. The camera packs a 8.7 Megapixel resolution within a slim and lightweight aluminium body, and has a huge 4.5 inch HD+ display. When I first launched the camera application, I was presented with several modes: Automatic, Night Portrait, Sports, Night, Close-up, Backlight. Since I was interested in low-light photography, I chose the Night mode for most of my pictures. The good news is, there is even further customization possible since you can change the ISO and Exposure values for the optimum shot. Talk about a a full-featured camera in a phone indeed.
ISO and Exposure values are customizable
To test the phone’s camera, I made a night trip to the city to capture some of Sydney’s attractions. Since it was my first time using the phone, I set the mode to Night and left all the other settings to Auto. Here are some of the pictures taken using the Nokia Lumia 925 phone, under the Night mode with everything else under Auto (default). To further clarify, all the pictures below were not edited or touched up in any way (except for resizing), so whatever you see is purely the phone’s work. 🙂
Luna Park entrance
Ferris Wheel at Luna Park
After using the phone’s camera, here are some of the features that I like:
Touch focus – not only are you able to focus on the point that you touch, the camera will automatically capture the shot once you touch on the focus point. With my own phone, after I touch the focus point, I still need to touch on the camera button to capture the picture, and in the process, I might have moved or shaken the camera. Having the capability to touch focus and capture simultaneously allows for sharper pictures with less chances of movement in between.
Automatic Night mode – using just the default Night mode was good enough for most of the night scenery pictures taken around Sydney. This is definitely good news for camera dummies who have no idea what ISO or Exposure mean. Just let the camera do the hard work!
Image Stabilization – during the night of my outing, it was exceptionally windy around Sydney Opera House. There were many times when my hands were shaking due to the piercing cold wind during winter, and I was worried that the pictures taken would be blur. I was pleasantly surprised to find that while some pictures did not turn out as sharp as I would like them to be, most of my favourite shots were pretty clear. And if you look closely, they also have minimal noise level, which is very impressive considering my own point-and-shoot camera still has visible noise capturing night shots.
Nokia Smart Camera – This is an awesome app within the camera that allows users to capture a series of pictures in a row and chooses the Best Shot for you. I found this feature perfect for taking photos of a large group of people, where there is bound to be one or two persons blinking their eyes at the point of shoot. With this app, the camera takes a sequence of pictures within a short period of time, so there is going to be one perfect shot where everyone is smiling with their eyes wide open. And if you have an active moving baby, this feature is perfect! 🙂
Windows Instagram 6tag – There is actually an instagram client for Windows Phone 8. Well, a great camera certainly needs to have its channel for sharing photos. It’s called 6tag and allows you to upload picture and videos, apply filters, tag your friends, view posts on a map and so on. On top of it I am sharing with you other camera apps.
6tag for Windows Phone
Now that I’ve shared the features that I like about this camera phone, it’s time to share the pictures taken using it. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Sights around Circular Quay
Boats docked at Circular Quay
Dining outlet at Circular Quay
Sydney Harbour Bridge at night
Sydney Opera House
The ever-popular Opera Bar
My favourite shot – Sydney Harbour Bridge
See how there is minimal noise level in all the night photos? I found that pretty darn awesome! I have to say that I now have new found respect for camera phones, after testing out this device. I love the fact that it’s slim and light weight, and fits into the palm of your hand. Also, with it being a phone as well, I actually don’t have to carry extra weight in my purse. Talk about efficiency!
If you want to find out more about the phone, visit http://www.nokia.com/my-en/products/phone/lumia925/
Retail Price : RM 1599