Nokia Syncs Flashes with the Lumia 1020 for Full-On Professional Studio Shoot

As the battle for cameraphone supremacy rages on, companies want to win over amateur and professional shooters alike. That’s not to say that Nokia or Apple expects you to replace your SLR with a Lumia 1020 or iPhone 5S, but they would probably love to claim that “most professional photographers use our phone.”

To that effect, Nokia has put together this video showing how its own camera expert Ari Partinen managed to pull off a real studio portrait shoot using only the Lumia 1020 and some synced external flashes.

The point of the video is twofold: showing how well the photos turned out, and explaining how one can sync a flash with the 1020 for professional work. Admittedly, the video itself doesn’t get into the technical details of the latter, but Partinen was kind enough to do that for us on Nokia’s Conversations blog:

The flash on the Lumia 1020 has two short pulses. So we used a small external flash as a medium to disable the first pre-flash pulse coming from the Lumia 1020, and then fired the main external flashes only on the second pulse. This made sure the main flashes were synchronized perfectly with the moment we pressed the shutter key on the Lumia 1020

Basically, they used a cheap external flash as a “middleman,” because most of these flashes have a setting that will allow them to only trigger on the second optical pulse. Here’s what turned out:





Partinen admits that they could have used hot lights and made their lives quite a bit easier without all of the flash syncing business, but the goal was to “capture the movement in the pictures, and you can only really do that with a xenon flash.”

Be sure to check out the video at the top to see how they went about making this happen, and if you’d like to read more about the experiment, head over to the Nokia Conversations blog by clicking here.

(via Reddit)

  • Tyler Magee

    im scared

  • dannybuoy

    Apple did this kind of promo model shoot years ago did they not? With the right equipment a pro studio could probably make some nice photos with kids toy camera.

  • Fra Lippi

    I think the lessons here are that that your idea is more important than your equipment, and that your light is more important than your camera.

  • Vlad Dusil

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

  • Mike

    I like the professional noise and professional banding.

  • Mark Dub

    So photography is more about lighting than gear?? I’m SHOCKED!!!! Wait.. no, i’m not..

  • Fernando Callo

    The only bad things is that it’s a wide angle lens and it looks terrible for portraits. But despite that, it is really impressive. This mobile is awesome and also the Lumia 926.

  • heize

    Ehm, Iphone can do this too. Any damn camera is capable of this if paired with 5000 worth of lighting gear.

  • Eugene Chok

    but lighting involves gear :(

  • Mark Dub

    Edit for the obvious impaired: “Camera gear” :P

  • Renato Murakami

    What’s with the noise? Overprocessing?
    With that much lighting there shouldn’t be an excuse for that. I think even shots taken with iPhones of the past in studio lighting conditions didn’t have this much noise, and the sensor was like 1/4th the size.

  • GG

    What this proves is that smartphone cameras are now better than DSLRs. The quality of these photos are exceptional. It reminds me a bit of Avedon.

  • Sun

    Hold me tight

  • Syuaip


  • Federico

    You need to shoot film to realize the HUGE gap

  • kassim

    Wow… those photos were taken with a phone? wow again.

  • Fed Up with weirdos like you

    Wow these images SUCK