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Nokia Lumia 920

Few people could have been as excited to get their hands on a Nokia Lumia 920 as Marc Wielaert, the founder of the PureViewClub website.

Marc, from the Netherlands, has been testing and reviewing camera phones for more than 10 years and three weeks ago he made a trip to Germany, on the day the device was released there, to buy himself a red Lumia 920.

Obviously, for Marc and the readers of his website, the Lumia 920 is not just any phone. As well as being Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 8 device, it also packs the latest evolution of PureView imaging technology.

In an interview with Conversations, Marc told us how he has been getting along with the Lumia 920, using Windows Phones 8 and his verdict on the camera.

Marc Wielaert

What were your initial impressions as you held the phone for the first time?

Getting a new smartphone out of the box is always a small party. Everyone will recognise that feeling when you get a new phone and start taking it out of the box, removing the plastic; you weigh it and caress it in your hand, start it up, see it come to life, login, syncing – I just love it.

As for my very first impression: many people have been complaining that it’s too heavy. I do not agree at all. I love the way it feels: sturdy and very strong, yet the design is so subtle and beautiful. I love the feel of it, to watch the screen. It’s a great experience, really. 

Have you enjoyed using Windows Phone 8?

I immediately had the feeling that it was much better than Windows Phone 7. It’s much more versatile and you can personalise it in a much easier way.

For instance, you now have three different sizes for the tiles on your start screen and Windows Phone 8 uses the full screen, and that’s even better because you’ve got a much higher resolution

Also, the new social functions on Windows Phone 8 are very practical I think. Like in “Rooms” you can keep in touch with any group of family, friends or colleagues you choose. It’s very fluid, it’s fast, it’s dynamic, and I’m really very enthusiastic about it.

Have you been impressed with the camera?

Lumia 920

Absolutely. The camera is always a very personal thing. It has its own character; you have to get to know it first. That’s not any different if you are working with Nokia 808 PureView or a compact camera – you have to learn which settings will give you the results that you’re aiming for.

After you know what you’re doing, it’s much easier to avoid shots that are too bright for instance. Some of my first shots were too bright, but soon I realised that I had been playing around with the settings. It’s not very complicated; you just have to experience what happens when you change the default settings.

Because the Lumia 920 has PureView technology, people will compare it to the 808 PureView. That device is still the king of camera phones, no doubt. But on a daily basis what you can achieve with the Lumia 920 is very impressive and much better than what you’ll see in many other smartphones, especially in low light conditions.

Much has been said about the camera’s performance in low light conditions. How have you found that?

I took some stunning shots, I must say. I was extremely surprised the first time. Near the Central Station in Amsterdam I was having dinner with a friend of mine, actually my Webmaster Peter Buijsman who takes care of everything that keeps the PureViewClub live. 

After dinner I said, ‘come on, let’s take this 920 outside and see how it does for night shots’. It was my first time to try it out and it was really dark. There was a nice old ship in the harbour, which was very difficult to see in the pitch-black water.

I then took this shot and suddenly we could see so much more detail than in real life. It was amazing for both of us!

Boat in the harbour

You’ve also done some filming to test the Lumia 920’s optical image stabilisation, haven’t you?

If you watch that video itself on the Lumia 920’s screen then it’s almost like you have been using a Steadicam.

This video was taken with one hand on my bike going through the mud and leaves in a forest. It was far from a smooth ride but it looks like you are slowly floating over the road. That was quite impressive, I must say. It works very well.

How is the PureViewClub website going?

It’s growing fast and going from strength to strength. There appears to be much more interest for the PureViewClub as a community, especially after Nokia announced the Lumia 920 with this second version of PureView.

Also, I was very honoured that Nokia’s former head of imaging, Damian Dinning gave me that exclusive about his plans for the future. That certainly made a big impression. 

I still remember people asking me, ‘why are you starting a website about one phone?’ It’s amazing how much there is to share about PureView imaging technology and there are now even two devices offering it. Plus, the Lumia 920 offers a different kind of imaging experience, so there’s more to write about and more to share too! 

Read his full Lumia 920 review and keep an eye on Conversations in the coming days for a showcase of some of the photos that Marc has taken with his Lumia 920.