While, on the surface, Smart Camera is the most obvious improvement to imaging seen on the Nokia Lumia 925, there’s an equally significant amount going on behind the scenes. Nokia’s head of imaging technologies, Juha Alakarhu, is our guide.
“The Nokia Lumia 925 is the fruit of all the imaging experience we’ve had at Nokia over the years,” says Juha. “We introduced a lot of new technologies and algorithms with the Lumia 920, and now we have made huge improvements to the whole imaging system. The algorithms and hardware are perfectly tailored to work together.”
There are four main areas that benefit from the software updates.
Nobody wants grainy photographs with artefacts. The new camera algorithms have much more advanced processing for fine details and noise and you can see the effect immediately both in day and night photos. The best part is that even though the algorithms carry out very advanced processing, the end result is very natural. Keeping the images as natural as possible has been one of our key drivers in the new software. “Perfect algorithms can be very powerful but leaves no sign of the processing itself… like a gentleman,” says Juha with a smile on his face.
Low light performance
The lowlight performance on the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 928 is already great with unique optical image stabilizer and f2.0 optics. Now, with updates first seen on the Nokia Lumia 925, it gets even better. The effective maximum ISO on our high-end Nokia Lumia cameras moves from 800 to 3200 – four times higher. Juha says that the ambition is that, “Your smartphone camera should be able to capture everything you can see with your own eyes.”
At Nokia, we strive to create pictures that are true to life with natural colours, and never were they more true than in the latest camera software. This one is hard to give an example of, since, “You would need to have seen the original scene with your own eyes to know which is the truer representation.” Take our word for it: it’s better.
Advanced brightness control
Keep the light behind you, they say. But sometimes that’s not easy and you end up with silhouettes. The latest camera software makes considerable advances in recognising what it is you want to focus on, and making sure it’s illuminated.
There are many further improvements to many different parts of the camera system, but they’re a little more technical to describe.
“Having set new standards for smartphone photography back in September with the Nokia Lumia 920, especially in low light, we’ve really been able to make the results even better with this update. Although the most significant results will be seen with the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 925 and Lumia 928 – improvements in photo quality will be seen across the range.”
The updated Nokia Smart Camera and imaging experience will be shipping pre-loaded on the Nokia Lumia 925, and start rolling out across the Nokia Lumia range both preloaded and as an over-the-air update this summer. More information will be shared following testing and approvals.
Juha concludes: “Finally I would also like to thank all the users who have sent us feedback, and all the interesting discussions that I have had with users and journalists. The amazing detailed comments and questions I have received have helped us a lot. I hope you like the results!”
So tell us which is the most important improvement to our imaging package for your photography needs?
NB: The sample images in this post are available at higher resolutions on Nokia’s press site.