“PureView”, the name very much heard of, is the camera tech used by Nokia in their flagship smartphones recently. As the brand now goes into the hand of Microsoft, whatever we see in the market are the last devices from Nokia. One of them is the Nokia Lumia 830, an affordable flagship with a beautiful 10-megapixel PureView camera on the back, having the Carl Zeiss optics.
We put the camera of the Lumia 830 to test in different light conditions, and it seemed interesting due to the inclusion of Optical Image Stabilization for both, the still image and video capturing. Though, it is not just the hardware that does the magic for Nokia, as the latest Lumia Denim update for Windows Phone brings in a lot of additional features and enhancements, a few of which include Lumia Refocus, Lumia Panorama, Lumia Cinemograph, and a lot more lenses which can be downloaded / purchased.
For now, we see the app named as Nokia Camera, and this soon will be renamed to Lumia Camera, retaining the same functionality. It is a simple app interface with the options taking up very little space, and giving you a wide area on the 5-inch screen for zooming and viewing the preview of the object. But while it looks simple, it is having loads of options and lenses to choose from, and it is up to the user to choose between the standard auto settings and the professional manual settings.
The little options panel on the top when expanded, shows the manual controls for White balance, focusing, ISO sensitivity, shutter speed (which can be taken to 4 seconds) and brightness. The lenses that already come pre-installed are Bing Vision, Lumia Cinemagraph and Lumia Selfie, while you can check the “find more lenses” section to download more. We tried using the Lumia Refocus and Lumia Panorama, in which the Refocus lens was pretty neat, letting you focus on any particular object after the capture is done. The Lumia Panorama app couldn’t stitch the pictures very well, and it was evident in the samples we took.
Talking of the capture quality, it is indeed impressive for a 10-megapixel shooter. That number was similar in the Moto X 2013, but the captures are incomparable as the Lumia 830 easily does a better job, with far accurate colors and exposure. The end to end sharpness stays good, and there is no stretching of the pictures. It does help a little for the shaky hands, as the stabilization comes into picture.
Color Reproduction and Details in Natural Light
The daylight captures couldn’t be more natural, and it doesn’t really need something like HDR mode or such, because the normal pictures came out so well. The focusing is indeed very fast, and the only issue was with the improper focus that happens on rare occasions. On zooming in, the details are seen to be lost in the phone’s display but the actual capture looks decent on larger displays.
Artificial and Low Light Captures:
The capture resolutions are as follows, based on the modes:
4:3 – 3520 x 2640 pixels (9.3 MP)
Wide angle – 3840 x 2160 pixels (8.3 MP)
As far as the video recording is concerned, it is no different from the photo capturing in quality. The stabilization does the job well in videos as well, but the low light videos are not much impressive, when compared to the photos. The camera can take 1080p videos at 30 fps, and there are no special effects or modes for the video recording.
Panorama Capture Sample:
Front facing camera is a major disappointment, as the company could place just a 0.9-megapixel camera and selfies don’t really come out well. The recent smartphones with Windows Phone OS have all been decent with front camera, but the Lumia 830 seems have come with focus only on the rear camera.
So overall the Nokia Lumia 830’s 10-megapixel PureView camera captures brilliant pictures with great color saturation, white balance and there is a good sharpness seen in the final output which cannot be really judged on the display of the device but on any higher resolution displays.