Nokia’s Industry-leading Smartphone Camera

I’m forever on the search for the perfect smartphone camera. I always come back to the iPhone because it was my first and it has the best photography app support. But, I’m quickly falling more in love with Nokia’s newest models based solely on the camera and not taking into account the app support or OS. I started with the 1020  — yes, the one advertised at a whopping 41 megapixels — tried the 1520, and now I have the Lumia Icon through Verizon.

I received this product as part of the Verizon Wireless ‪#‎VZWbuzz‬ program but I am not paid by them to share about the products and all my opinions are, as always, entirely my own.


The camera software in all 3 devices is called simply, “Nokia Camera” and it might be all you need if you’re a serious photographer who doesn’t use filters, isn’t in to post-processing and has no desire to get into heavy editing or even (gasp!) HDR.

When you open the camera it defaults to an auto setting but the real beauty behind these devices is what you have access to when you slide the “drawer” behind auto to access its other settings. There is a sport and night setting as well as a fully manual setting that allows you, the user, to independently control ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc.

It’s enough to hang yourself if you know nothing of photography except how to take a picture whereas it might be all you’ll really need if you are an experienced photographer who wants similar control in your smartphone to that which you have with your dSLR.

It features a 20MP1 camera sensor, Zeiss lenses and Optical Image Stabilization (with ball bearings that you can hear and feel). The images can be downloaded to any computer in both high and low res sizes, even one that is not Windows, with the installation of a very small and simple program available free through Nokia’s website.

The Icon also excels at video thanks to its incredible 1090 HD image quality plus a re-engineered audio and four digital high-dynamic-range directional microphones that focus in on the sound – such as someone talking – which you want to record, but dulls the background noise you don’t want.

I have yet to make a video I’m happy enough to share (my fault, not the device) but here are some images I’ve taken with the icon that need no filter or additional editing. They’re straight out of the phone.

  • I do want to see more app support from developers and in a perfect world, I’d actually prefer the phone to run anything but the Windows OS. Still, I’ll be really interested to see what happens and I’m not getting rid of my Icon, it’s going to stay in my equipment lineup.

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