Nokia Photo Challenge Shows Off the Low-Light Ability of PureView Cameras

Nokia has endured a torrent of bad press over the past couple days over its faked promo video, but the truth is, the company is investing heavily in improving photography in its mobile phones, and its PureView technology is definitely something we should be keeping our eyes on.

In order to back up its claim that PureView low light performance is “unbeatable”, Nokia set up a “photo challenge” booth at its launch party and invited passers-by to pit their cameraphones against the Lumia 920. The challenge involved shooting a photograph of a still life setup stuffed inside a dark cubby hole in a brick wall. Check out the video above for a glimpse of how the phone’s camera stacked up against the iPhone’s and the Samsung Galaxy’s.

wpcentral writes that the phone “smoked” the competition, and reports:

The object was a flower in a vase tucked in a little dark corner. To say it as poorly lit is an understatement. Honestly, we would never even attempt to photograph what they were doing with the 920 as you could barely see it with your own eyes. And let’s make no mistake—as far as we could tell, this was not rigged. Nokia snapped the photo each and every time and we were allowed to view the images to verify (ironically, we couldn’t challenge the Lumia 900 as Nokia probably does not want to compete against themselves too publicly).

The sample shots over on the PureView website — one of which, ironically, was used to prove the company’s fakery — are quite amazing, showing side-by-side comparisons of how the PureView camera stacks up with a “leading competitor’s smartphone”. These images aren’t “fakes”:

How many times have you been caught in a dark environment with a phone that can’t capture much more than a few points of light? The PureView’s low-light photos do look a bit over-saturated and HDR-ish, but I’d take that over a massively underexposed or phone-flashed photo any day. Wouldn’t you?

  • Mansgame

    Did they have studio lights set up like in their other fake pics?

  • Frode Hegland

    It’s just the auto focus?…

  • Johnson C.

    Judging faster aperture, capable of lower shutter speed due to OIS and higher ISO. Image appear to be two or three more EV is possible

  • CuriousGeorge

    So they had a back light on the 920 photo? And turned off the flash on the other two?

  • Daniel

    Sorry can’t trust their stuff now. Fool me once…

  • autumnbringer

    I know it’s the cool thing to do to act unfazed by anything, especially given the dodgy “examples” Nokia put out just before – but they’re doing this with a live audience right there.
    Surely people and corporations both can make amends? Or should we only buy from companies whose advertisements are perfect depictions of reality? (good luck with that).

  • Ralph Hightower

    Was it Photoshopped or not?

  • Daniel Yu Suzuki

    The photo looks like it was just taken with long exposure. I’m sure it performs better with higher iso, but the guy placed the cellphone on the bricks to prevent motion blur.

  • venkat sravan.venkat

    Even , Suppose it does has a Back Lit option , How can it be light just exactly at the centre of the image nd not in the corners ,, as the vase was in a complete closed box ….

  • venkat sravan.venkat

    suppose it does hav a gud iso , image stabilization and all the gud features from the so Called PURE VIEW ,, how can it be LIT only at the centre of the background (as same a very popular portrait & Product lighthing setup in studio ) ,,, not in the corners ????