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April 14, 2015

Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL: focus on imaging

Employing similar technology as their more powerful siblings, the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL have been built to help you take better photos.

To understand this further, we sat down with Juha Alakarhu, Director, Imaging Technology Development at Microsoft, to discover how Microsoft is bringing superior camera innovations to more affordable price points.

We fuelled him with coffee, he fuelled us with an insider perspective of his favourite subject; photography, and how the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL will make us all better photographers.

Lumia-640_catCaptured by a Lumia 640

“Primarily, as a photo enthusiast, I want everybody to take the best photographs possible. It’s something that we’ve been working on for years, and I’d argue that the algorithms and hardware that we’ve created in-house are the best out there in the market. I want that all Lumia devices offer the best camera experience in their class from high-end to lower cost devices!

When looking for the next imaging innovations to create and deliver the best smartphone cameras available today, Juha says:

“We have been consistently developing better and better imaging algorithms over the years. And, Lumia Denim with new Lumia Camera 5 app is one of the most significant improvements we have made since the first Windows 8 devices.

“I am so proud that we could bring that to Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. This way, we introduce Living Images, Rich Capture, Moment Capture*, and of course, very good image quality to a much larger audience. Compare the image quality to much more expensive devices from our competitors and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

“Capturing photo after photo is also really fast, thanks to all the algorithms working behind-the-scenes. I.e., you can capture photos while previous ones are still being processed, much like an SLR does.

Lumia-640_portraitCaptured by a Lumia 640

“Taking photos shouldn’t be difficult. We want to make it easy for everyone to capture what’s exciting to them and to help people capture those very personal moments in life.”

Whether you’re a party-goer out every night of the week snapping pictures of your pals, or at home with family capturing precious moments, Juha’s vision is to make everything straightforward, including the user interface (UI).

“We have very some very advanced technology and several new features such as Rich capture and Moment Capture, but we have kept the UI very simple, elegant and easy to understand. I am also very happy that we have the manual controls available for advanced users, and it is implemented so that it does not distract less advanced users.

“But whatever type of shot you take, both the hardware and software on the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL produces crystal clear photos with beautiful colours and very little noise.

Lumia-640-XL_cactusCaptured by a Lumia 640 XL

“The Lumia 640 XL’s 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera also produces sharp images, while capturing more of what’s around you.”

We asked Juha whether he thinks photography has changed since the introduction of smartphones.

“It’s amazing to see how they [smartphones] are altering the behaviour and the way people interact,” he said:

“The communication is more and more visual. You can carry so many emotions by capturing a photo and instantly sharing it with your friends. Seeing so many photos around us, and being able to capture and share them easily also makes us better photographers – and more demanding customers for our cell phone cameras.”

Lumia-640-XL_lowlightCaptured by a Lumia 640 XL

Both the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL will be available from April, with RRPs of EUR 139 and EUR 189, respectively.

*Moment Capture in Full HD, not 4K, and with 2-megapixel per frame quality.