How good is the Lumia 830’s 10MP PureView camera?
Camera comparison: Nokia Lumia 830 vs Lumia 920 / 925 / 930
Microsoft announced the new Lumia 830 as a flagship device at affordable price, so many of you may be considering upgrading from your old smartphones to a more modern one. While for owners of some of the old-generation of Lumia smartphones positioned below the Nokia Lumia 920 (like Lumia 520, 620, 625, 720, 820, and other models) the benefits of upgrading to Lumia 830 are obvious (better design, processor, features, camera, and more), those having an old PureView device (920 or 925) seem to be in a complicated situation.
Whilst the Lumia 920 and 925 was real flagship smartphones with all latest features for 2012/2013 (including cameras), the newly launched Lumia 830 is a mixed bag. The phone comes with the same pixel resolution, a quad-core processor, the same amount of RAM, and removable back. One of the areas where the Nokia Lumia 830 looks better on paper is the camera, because we have a new sensor and more megapixels. Below you can see the official camera specifications of the handsets:
- Nokia Lumia 920: 8.7 MP 1/3.2″ sensor, F/2.0
- Nokia Lumia 925: 8.7 MP 1/3″ sensor, F/2.0
- Nokia Lumia 930: 20.0 MP 1/2.5” sensor, F/2.4
- Nokia Lumia 830: 10 MP, 1/3.4” sensor, F/2.2
As we mentioned, The Lumia 830 features an improved sensor with OIS which is the smallest from all other models we have seen with the PureView branding. But how does the sensor of the 830 perform in real tests?
The guys from PureView Club has tested the 830 against the 930 and 920, while NPU has done a nice comparison between the 830 and the 925. Here are some of the most interesting scenes and 100% crops from the original files.
We can see that the Lumia 930 has much better camera performance than the competition, offering amazingly clear and sharp image. Nokia Lumia 830 is second with a clear but too noisy picture, while the 920 is last with lack of details and a lot of noise, however, not too behind the 830.
The next scene we liked from the PureViewClub.com comparison was an outside shot. Here the difference between the 830 and the 930 is smaller but still noticeable. Nokia Lumia 920 suffers again from lack of details, but this time we like the more natural colors.
Another interesting comparison comes from NPU. The original shot is first, followed by 100% crops to see the details.
In this scene, it’s clear that the results from the Lumia 830 are better that that from the 925 in terms of sharpness and level of details.
Overall, Microsoft has done a good job designing a smaller but still capable sensor that outperforms those in the old PureView devices. However, upgrading from 920 or 925 to the 830 only because of the camera is not justified as the older devices still produce decent pictures.
To summarize, only if you switch from a low-end /mid-range device (below Nokia Lumia 920) to the Lumia 830 you will notice a huge difference in the camera capabilities*, while 920 and 925 owners should either jump to the premium Nokia Lumia 930 (or the discontinued 1020) or wait for a new PureView magic (maybe the future Lumia 1030) to see a dramatic difference in picture & video quality.
* Keep in mind that these tests were made with the old Nokia Camera app, while new algorithms expected with Lumia Camera should result in better picture quality for Lumia 830, 930, and 1520.