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March 10, 2014

Movie-making with the Nokia Lumia 1020

Thanks to the PureView 41MP camera and ZEISS optics, the Nokia Lumia 1020 takes spectacular photos. However, it’s an exceptional film-maker, too.

Part of what makes videos look stunning on the Lumia 1020 is the second-generation optical image stabilisation (OIS), which is particularly great when shooting with the lossless video zoom as it reaches and incredible 6x when shooting video.

Without going into too much detail about things like internal ball bearings and lightning-fast lens shifting, the purpose of OIS is to cancel out camera shake, leaving you with a smooth, fluid video.

With such clever technology doing the heavy lifting, you can shoot your movies freehand and create a professional-looking video that won’t give viewers a headache.

Take this recent video entitled ‘Goodbye DSLR. Hello Nokia Lumia 1020’ posted over on the NokiaUS YouTube channel. It was filmed entirely on a Nokia Lumia 1020.


One of its producers is Tim Bunn. He’s part of our in-house video team and maker of the latest Nokia Lumia Icon Drag Race video.

We spoke to Tim about the benefits in using a Lumia 1020 for filming.

“The main advantage is simply the size and weight of the Lumia 1020. Professional filming equipment is almost always large, heavy, expensive, delicate and cumbersome and will require a wealth of accessories. The Lumia 1020 fits in your pocket and you can get a whole manner of shots that you might not be able to achieve with a larger rig. Its size also means that it’s discreet, which can be a massive benefit for the “guerrilla” filmmaker.”

During filming, Tim chose to use the Nokia Camera app as it gave him greater influence over the focus and white-balance settings.

“The default camera will do a good job when you’re in a hurry or casually taking a snap, but for something more creative, it’s always better to have more control.”


Going off-rig

While it’s entirely possible to use a tripod with the Lumia 1020, the Goodbye DSLR video was shot entirely freehand.

“We wanted to achieve a naturalistic, documentary-style look, so we opted to shoot handheld. We did make use of Nokia’s Camera Grip accessory, which gives you added stability and also extended battery life. Both are really handy when you’re shooting lots of video.”

Taking your equipment off-rig means you can get into smaller spaces and create intimate movies, such as the TOM & ISSY film by Roger Michell – starring Ellie Goulding


Top tips for Lumia film makers

We asked Tim to highlight some tips for any budding film producer wanting to use the Nokia Lumia 1020 for movie making.

“The two most crucial things you’ll need to get the best out of your Lumia 1020 are the Nokia Camera Grip and Nokia Camera App.”

“It’s also worth remembering that, because of the way the Lumia 1020’s camera works, the 6x zoom is essentially optical. Therefore, you’re not losing any image quality through the zoom as you would on a standard smartphone camera. Pushing through the zoom a little produces a lovely depth of field which creates quite a filmic effect and can look pretty slick on screen.”

“Think about what you can do with a Lumia 1020 that you couldn’t do with a big, professional camera rig. Where would it fit, would could you fix it to, etc.? Get creative with your shots and create an angle no one’s ever seen before.”

“If you’re using one device, make sure that you’re backing up your footage regularly and have the ability to charge the battery on the go (the Camera Grip comes in handy here). But above all, have a good story to tell. That’s what really matters.”

Grab your Nokia Lumia 1020 (or any Nokia Lumia smartphone, for that matter) and get filming.

We’d love to see your Lumia 1020 filming experiences. Do share in the comments section below.