When asked about its key differentiator, along with location services, Nokia never forgets to mention imaging. So it should come as no surprise that they are yet again looking to push the envelope with the Lumia 925. On the face of things it seems to have the same 8.7 Megapixel camera with an LED flash + optical image stabilisation that the Lumia 920 did, but there’s more to it than what meets the eye.
The Lumia 925 features an industry first, 6 part camera lens that along with improvements in the imaging algorithms promises better, clearer and sharper images than before. During the keynote, Nokia’s Jo Harlow specifically mentioned even better low light and ‘day light’ photos. This was perhaps in response to the criticism than the Lumia 920 has faced that its good light performance is average, and some shots tend to be slightly less sharp than what is expected.
Further, the Lumia 925 also becomes the first Nokia to ship with the ‘Smart Camera’ kit. The Smart Camera lens brings a number of features to the Lumia range that devices like the HTC One, and the Galaxy S4 pack. Basically, the app takes 10 five megapixel frames over the course of 2.5 seconds, and gives you the following options:
- Best Shot: The device automatically determines what it perceives is the best photos out of the lot, and presents it to you.
- Action Shot: This mode lets you super-impose the ‘action’ into one single photo, and then you can even highlight one part for that extra pop. Examples below, click through for the full resolution shot.
- Motion Focus: While best shot and action shot like features are available elsewhere, Motion Focus seems to be a Nokia exclusive for now, and adds a lot of drama to the photo. It creates motion blur in the background, making the subject look as if it was moving very fast. Taking such a shot on a DSLR is possible, but involves a lot of skill.
- Change Faces: This feature has been available on Lumias for a while, but now has been brought under the Smart Camera umbrella. It recognises each face in the photo, and then lets you replace it from any of the other 9 shots. Very handy for taking portraits and group shots, no more retaking a shot because someone’s eyes were closed.
- Object Removal: You’re taking a photo in front of a monument, someone walks by and ruins the shot. With this mode, you can make that person disappear.
The good thing about the Smart Camera lens is that unlike other lenses for Windows Phone, you can directly launch this application by pressing the camera button, making it your default shooting mode. Like I said earlier, the 6 part lens and the improved camera software promise even better photos, and another example of this push is the new ISO range that the Lumia 925 brings. Instead of going from 100 to 800 like it was with the Lumia 920, it now goes upto 3200, letting in 4 times more light.
While in the Smart Camera mode, you are restricted to 5 MP shots. If you want to use the full resolution of the 925’s camera, shooting in the default WP mode will also not disappoint if these images are anything to go by. Click to get the full resolution shot.
Since the Lumia 925 camera software isn’t final yet, Nokia isn’t letting people take their own samples from the prototype units. All photos above have been published by Nokia themselves.