Posts filed under Photography

Lumia 1020 replacing my iPhone - reviewing the camera

Remark: Not a "scientific" review

Now, I used this camera to have fun with it - i did not do any lens chart test pics, pixel-peeping etc. Neither do I have the technical means to make such a test nor do I want to make it. If you look for this, just google around, you will find hundreds. 


As you probably know, one of the selling points of the 1020er is the built in camera. Here are the specs taken from the Nokia website:

- Main camera sensor: 41 MP, PureView
- Main camera focus type: Auto focus
- ZEISS optics: Yes
- Sensor size: 1/1.5 inch
- Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.2
- Camera focal length: 26 mm
- Camera minimum focus range: 15 cm
- Camera image formats: JPEG
- Flash type: Xenon flash
- Flash operating range: 4.0 m
- Flash modes: Off, Automatic, On

Main camera
- other features: Optical image stabilization
- PureView
- Backside-illuminated image sensor
- 6-lens optics
- High resolution zoom 3x

How can a mobile phone have a camera with 41MP?

The idea behind this number is simple: its difficult to build a zoom lens in a thin mobile phone. Zooming digitally is quality-wise really crappy - so: take a high-resolution picture (with 41 MP or 34MP as Nokia shows in some screens) and zoom after taking the picture. There are enough pixels left and the quality of the lens allows for this. At any time you can go back to your 34MP photo and recompose/crop a new version of the 5MP. 


Combined with sharp Zeiss optics, an image stabilisation mechanism (you can even hear the lenses shuffle when you move the phone) makes a quite capable camera on paper. 


Now if you e.g. upload your photos to skydrive, the 5MP  version gets uploaded automatically (3072x1728 pixel). To get the full size images you need to connect your phone via USB and copy them directly.


But I shoot RAW!?

Since I work as a photographer I was blown away to hear, that Nokia is providing us with RAW DNGs out of the mobile phone camera soon: see here. Unfortunately so far I was not able to test this.

Manual Control

The Lumia 1020 camera allows you to control ISO and shutter speed manually. You still cannot change the aperture, but at least you can decide between ISO and shutter speed in your pictures. 

Full control for white balance, focus, exposure time and exposure compensation

Camera Software that comes with the Lumia 1020

The Lumia 1020 comes with a huge pack of apps that help getting the most out of your camera. I recommend using Nokia Camera for taking your Pictures. I played around with the Nokia Smart Cam but was not able to get real stunning results so far - but they implemented nice ideas and I was just using it in the wrong context. 

Unfortunately I have not found time yet to test the Nokia Cinemagraph, Nokia Creative Studio and the Nokia Panorama.

My personal experiences

With an aperture of f2.2 you can get a nice depth of field

The lens is extremely prone to flares (even if the light source is not directly visible in the frame)

The Lumia 1020 even allows for bracketing (but be aware the phone takes 2-3 seconds for storing each image in between the bracketing series)

Indoor images work fine (since you can control the whitebalance)

With the manual focus you can shoot objects nearer then the automatic can focus on - sorry for the early Christmas decoration ;)


It is fun to play around with the Nokia camera and the quality is impressive. Though an additional review of the rest of the Nokia software suite is needed ;)

Posted on November 20, 2013 and filed under Photography, productivity, Testing, Windows Phone, Windows Store Apps.

Lumia 1020 replacing my IPhone - and how I got SMS again

So, I got this Lumia 1020 for testing.  


And the first problem i have to solve is how to get my data to the new phone (contacts, emails etc) 


1. Contacts

Nokia has foreseen that a switcher from iOS to Windows Phone will probably get his/her contacts. So they have built an app for that - that is also preinstalled:

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 08.17.54.png

It's super-easy to move your contacts (and also photos if you wish) from your "old" phone to the new. 

2. Receiving SMS

For phone functionality i just put in my micro sim card and we are good to go. Except... I wasn't getting any SMS anymore


After some digging, i found out that a nice feature of iOS is how a problem: if an apple device is sending an SMS to another apple device, they chose to use "iMessage" as protocol, not a regular cellular-data bound SMS. Supposedly there is a fallback if Apple can't deliver the message, but in my case I still have an IPad and OSX running, so they technically CAN deliver the message.  


So, you have to configure your mobile-number to not accept iMessages anymore.

Attention: just disabling the account, disabling the phone-number or even deleting the phone number on the Apple account website is not enough: You need to fully log out on all your Apple devices from iMessage and FaceTime:


Go to Messages -> Send & Receive -> click on your Apple ID --> Sign Out

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 23.24.07.png

If you do this on all your devices, you finally can receive SMS again.  

Posted on November 6, 2013 and filed under Photography, Testing, Windows Phone.

Nokia Lumia 1020 phone for testing just arrived

I've been selected by Nokia Austria as a Nokia Lumia Tester for the 1020 model - and my deivce just arrived! 


My first impressions are remarkable good: its much bigger (the IPhone 4s is 115.2 x 58x6 x 9.3mm and the Lumia 1020 is 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm) but at the same time the weight is similar (IPhone 4s: 140g versus 158g of the Lumia).


I got a white version that has a silky finish and feels pretty good and smooth in the hand. If i compare it directly side by side, my IPhone almost looks old - ok, this is not the new 5 or even 5s ;)


Posted on November 4, 2013 and filed under Photography, productivity, Testing, Windows Store Apps.

Impossible Workshop - Shake it like a Polaroid picture

The Impossible Project saved the last Polaroid factory from being closed in 2008. They started to re-produce films for the hundreds of millions of Polaroid cameras that still exist in the world. Although they started from scratch and had to re-invent the chemicals, they come quite close to the Original (especially with the black and white film).

Today i participated in an eye-opening Impossible Workshop at the 21er Haus. Workshop conductor Marco Christian Krenn did - after a bumpy start - a good job in not only explaining the cameras (600er, SX-70, 1000er), and how to work with the Impossible films. The main focus actually was on some detailed in-depth information like

  • how to make the polaroids last (so that they dont eat themselves up because of the chemicals
  • Transparency: how to separate the emulsion sheet from the receptor sheet (use a hair dryer to separate them)
  • The Lift: how to do a polaroid emulsion lift (separate the emulsion from the backing plastic material)

Though sometimes it sounded like a marketing show for Impossible (which is difficult to avoid since they are the only company that produces the Polaroid films currently)

Impressions from the Workshop

Here are some impressions from the workshop and the results of my work.

Marco Christian Krenn showing how to put the emulsion layer on a new backing material

Marco Christian Krenn showing how to put the emulsion layer on a new backing material

The Polaroid 600 camera i used in the workshop

The Polaroid 600 camera i used in the workshop

Posted on May 5, 2013 and filed under Photography.

Recommended Settings for the Nikon D800

After a nice post of which explains with his settings for the Nikon D800 (the blogpost is in german) i compared with my own settings and found that i had them more or less identical.

The only major difference i found was that i have chosen to compress NEFs lossless while his setting seems to compress NEFs (not lossless).

Whats interesting though is that you can enter your Name (Artist) and copyright information right in the camera already which i obviously overlooked when i first read the manual it seems. 

Posted on March 24, 2013 and filed under Photography.