Camera Comparison: Lumia 1020 vs Nexus 5

Just a few years ago, cameras on phones were not seen as hugely important to the general consumer, but in recent years, and thanks to several ‘picture-based’ apps, cameras have become a real necessity on any smartphone.

But which smartphone has the best camera? We are here to help you find out, by comparing two handsets released over the past year, the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Google Nexus 5.

To do this we have taken three identical pictures between both phones, one indoors, and two outdoors, whilst also testing the phones zoom functions.

The Matchup:

Lumia 1020:                                             Nexus 5:

41 Megapixel                                             8 Megapixel

7152 x 5368 pixels                                     3264 x 2448 pixels

Xenon and LED Flash                                LED Flash

Optical Image Stabilisation                        Optical Image Stabilisation

Auto/Manual Focus                                    Auto Focus

High Resolution 3x Zoom                            No Optical Zoom                                                       

Outdoor Shot (No zoom)

As you can see here, the Nexus’ shot is extremely dark compared to the Lumia’s, despite both camera’s using a flash.

The Lumia 1020 includes a xenon flash whilst the Nexus features just an LED flash, and you can really see the difference here.

Also, the Nexus makes the road sign shine with a ‘yellow-ish’ tint, most likely because of the flash, whilst the Lumia 1020 keeps everything in the picture natural looking and bright, without washing out the photo itself.

Although both photos look of good quality, upon closer inspection you can tell that the Lumia is sharper and in general just looks better, probably down to the higher megapixel rating in the camera itself.

You have to give this shot to the Lumia, simply because the photo looks brighter, sharper and more natural than the Nexus’ attempt.

Outdoor Shot (With zoom)

This is the picture that really separates both handsets. Not only is the Nexus shot blurred, it’s also way darker than the Lumia’s picture. This again goes down to the superb Lumia camera, showing off its lossless zoom function that has focussed perfectly on the wall here.

The flash here would make little or no difference to the pictures, as we were stood around 30-40ft away from the wall, but again the Lumia’s picture is bright and natural, whilst the Nexus struggles.

You can tell that Nokia have put a lot into this camera, you can see individual blades of grass clearly, and you can see the contours and surface marks left on the wall, whilst with the Nexus it’s harder to see.

The Lumia’s shot looks great, whilst the Nexus has made hard work of the zoom function; so again, this has to go in the way of the Lumia.

Indoor Shot

This is the toughest picture to call; both cameras have done a good job with the Christmas tree, probably thanks to the good lighting.

But if you look closely, again you can see that the Nexus’ shot is slightly darker than the Lumia’s, the green of the tree stands out a bit more on the Lumia and the photo itself seems brighter and bolder.

The Nexus does a great job though, as you struggle to really see the difference between the Lumia’s 41 megapixel and the Nexus’ 8 megapixel snapper.

The only real difference is the brightness of the picture, which hands it to the Lumia for a third and final time; you can see the detail of the tree towards the middle, whilst the Nexus’ photo shows a little less detail towards the centre of the tree.

Who takes it?

The Lumia comes out the winner here by a fair margin, not only are all of the pictures brighter and more natural, but the zoom function clearly stands miles ahead of the Nexus.

But it’s a good showing otherwise from the Nexus, especially indoors, you can only just tell the difference in quality, despite the 1020’s much more powerful camera.

Taken some snaps with these phones? Let us see them through Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

By Luke Hatfield

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