Nokia claims Lumia 925 takes better pictures than iPhone 5. Well, we'll be the judge of that!

Nokia has just released a commercial for the new Lumia 925, and in it they once again take aim at the iPhone 5, and this time more specifically, the camera. In Apple's own ad for the iPhone 5 camera they claimed that more photos are taken every day with the iPhone than with any other camera. Nokia has picked up this theme and tried to play it as"better photos every day". Is this Nokia once again making a fool of themselves, like smartphone beta test or faked Lumia 920 ads, or do they really have something for Apple to worry about this time? Well, iMore aims to find out!

That's right, we've got a Lumia 925 in the office, kindly provided by Nokia, and we're going to have an all-out, no-holds-barred camera shootout. We've been down a similar road before in pitting the HTC One, but this time it's iPhone 5 in one corner, Lumia 925 in the other.

The Lumia 925 packs an 8.7MP Pureview rear camera with a Zeiss lens and OIS (optical image stabilization). Nokia has long made great smartphone cameras, and the early signs are that the Lumia 925 is no exception. We know the iPhone 5 has a great camera, so it's going to be a super interesting test.

Oh, and as for the Nokia ad itself, interestingly enough, there's basically no mention of Windows Phone in it. It's all about Nokia; their camera, their camera software...

What do you guys think? Is Nokia wise to keep poking at Apple, or would they do better simply making great phones and figuring out better ways to market them?

Via: Windows Phone Central

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Nokia claims Lumia 925 takes better pictures than iPhone 5. Well, we'll be the judge of that!


These photos was taken in different moments. Take a look in the ad at 0:21 sec. The sky is completely different, there was fewer clouds in nokia's shot. And on the building in the background the crane is gone !

No longer trust to get an objective test from imore after the recent apple biased reporting, I can declare the winner even before you post that rigged test: iphone 5

You'll be able to judge for yourself, every image I take will be posted to the feature. If you don't agree with my decisions, you can tell me why :)

Hey Richard, just curious, you used to report for android central too or still do right? Wonder if the trolls took that into consideration before questioning your bias.

dying to see the shots =) Although they called out iPhone in this ad I still found the ad very light hearted not blatant us vs you kind of thing. I think they are just trying to play off the fact that most people love the iPhone cameras and if they think this takes better pictures it will tempt them to switch. I think people who want the iPhone for more than the camera and those who know the capabilities of the camera wont be fooled so I think it's just a bit of rivalry. It will push Apple to make better cameras and that is what is good for us.

I'm not exactly sure what "biased reporting" you're talking about but I actually did an HTC One vs iPhone 5 camera shootout and the iPhone 5 definitely was not a clear winner in my eyes there and that may not be the case w/ the Lumia either, or maybe it will.

When it came to low light, it blew the iPhone 5 out of the water. Camera tests are less subjective since you can literally "see" the results. We call em like we see em (and snap them). I wouldn't be so quick to judge before actually reading the piece.

Not entirely the case. The last "contest" was a weird one because there was a lot of "this looks better to me" in the article instead of talking with a pro photog and maybe asking why one pic might be better than the other. If you're going to have a real "test" article, it's good to bring in someone who knows why one pic isn't as good as another even if it "looks' better at that moment. No offense Richard, I haven't seen you review a camera yet, I'm only going off of past articles iMore has posted.

I disagree. All that they need to do is post both photos side by side. Take both under the exact same conditions and let each person decide. When they said, "this looks better to me," they are being honest. You can take 10 pro photographers and put them together and get a 50/50 split on which picture is better. In the end it all comes down to what the person taking the picture prefers, as they are the one that has to live with it.

This. Everyone has opinions. It doesn't mean I didn't present tons of samples for people to choose from. I did. My opinions were what I drew from the tests. Doesn't mean someone can't have a different one. Like you stated very well, they have to live with the photos, not me.

if you want biased reporting, try 9to5. Seriously. They are as biased as they come. But I have always found imore to be pretty objective and fair when it comes to articles, or comparisons.

Bullshit. There's not a single case of "Apple-biased" reporting here anymore than there's "anti-Apple-baised reading".

It's an Apple-centric website, so obviously we write a lot about Apple here, and try to understand their point of view. Same holds true for CrackBerry, Android Central, and Windows Phone Central.

But just because we write something you disagree with, doesn't make it wrong. People can have differences of opinion and discuss them, and have great conversations, anyway.

If we all thought the same, it'd be boring.

So kindly get your head out, stop saying silly things in the comments, and state a real, informed, "non-biased" opinion of your own.

Um, they reported on stuff that was said, often by other websites. They then expressed their opinions in the article. Of course they want to see Apple do well and things to go in their favor, but I haven't seen them skew any results to favor Apple. Same goes for the other mobile nations websites. Hell, Android Central has an article where he preferred his apple tv to the chromecast (at least for now).

I just wish there would be more discussion of the fugly iOS 7 icons and certain apps (such as note). I don't say this hoping to see Apple bashed, but to maybe get some traction on making iOS 7 look better. I love the features, but the look, in my opinion, is a step backwards.

3 of those were pulling from external sources. The piece on politics and paying off Washington, if anything that was a critique on how Apple doesn't handle politics as good as the other guys. How is that Apple biased? You're stretching for things and in some cases, I'm wondering if you even read the article or judged by the title. I'd guess the latter.

Until you bring in a professional photographer to analyze the pictures and give professional feedback, your simply spinning your wheels because you guys haven't posted a well-informed camera test to date. It's always "I like this one better than that one."

And 10 different professional photographers would have 10 different opinions. There's a thing called taste. Everyone's will be different.

That's the most asinine comment you could make. Your job when posting tests is to give professional critiques as to why something is better than something else. If you are unqualified to make that call, don't write the article.

Just because a Toyota may "look" cooler than a BMW doesn't make it a better car. There are fundamental things about the quality and performance of a machine that makes it better than something else.

Nikon and Canon fight and it's hard to tell the difference, but there is ALWAYS a clear cut winner when it comes down to image quality. The Nikon D800 has more DR and RAW manipulation control than the Canon 5D3. You may like the mages SOOC on the Canon 5D3 over the Nikon, and that's your choice. But if you are a professional, and low-light and RAW manipulation is something that drives your business, and a reviewer doesn't tell you this, then the reviewer isn't doing their job and shouldn't be a reviewer.

Post pics, ask people's opinion. There's nothing wrong with that. But please don't give advice because no one working for iMore seems to have a deeper understanding of why one camera performs better than the other, and why one image may look nice, but isn't as good as the other.

These are not DSLRs for professional photography. These are mobile phone cameras. You're comparing apples and oranges. I know my way around a DSLR enough to know how to assess a camera and make an opinion (refer to a good majority of the imagery you see on iMore). I did ask for opinions but gave mine too. Along with clear samples for people to judge from. Exactly what you asked for us to do, is what was done. So what exactly was your argument again?

And yes, I still stand behind my original comment. Taste does play a role in image quality. If there was always a "clear cut winner" as you're so readily implying, Nikon and Canon would not both still be in business as everyone would just buy a D800 over a Mark 3. So basically you're telling me one or the other and all of the people that are buying and prefer the other are dead wrong? I smell bullshit.

You can smell what you want, but yes, one camera is technically better than the other. It's why the competitor makes their next camera even better. The Canon 5D2 was one of the best cameras ever. It pushed Nikon to make the D800. And it's the quality reviews that help people make informed decisions. These decisions and lack of sales from the competitor pushes them to make better cameras and we all win. Rumors are, Canon is making a camera that will crush the D800. If that's the case, then things will swing back to Canon again. I can't believe I have to tell you this.

And the fact that you don't seem to think smartphone cameras are important compared to DSLR's is disheartening since you write for a smartphone blog. Smartphones are slowing taking over the world, they're changing how we view the world, their forcing law enforcement to reevaluate how they protect the world. Smartphones are everywhere, they are telling news stories that reporters can't get to in remote countries and cities most people have never heard of. Smartphone cameras are taking some of the most influential pictures in war zones and have literally revolutionized Earth. The smartphone is what the car was 100 years ago. Smartphones are the life blood of so many business' now that to not have one can severely limit people's ability to succeed. To be glib and dismissive about the growth and importance of smartphones and the cameras in them makes me think you might be writing for the wrong company.

I never said they weren't important. I said comparing DSLRs to smartphones is like comparing apples to oranges. Two completely different things. You entirely missed my point and continue to spew garbage that isn't even relevant to this article. I had an opinion that you didn't agree with, move on.

I'm fairly certain that the 5D3 was voted best camera overall. Also, while the D800 has higher dynamic range at base iso, it tends to lose the advantage as iso increases.

Almost every camera review is presented in the same way. You take pictures with both cameras under as close to identical settings as possible. You then present both pictures as a couple of paragraphs comparing them. If one camera has purple fringing and the other has color banding in the shadows, you report this. As for which is better, that still comes down to the individual. I prefer clean shadows that can be lifted if I absolutely have to. I have seen people prefer canon over nikon because of the way canon handles colors. This means less work in post.

One last thought. If you prefer picture A over picture B, does it matter what an expert thinks? Which camera would you buy, the one you like or the one the expert tells you looks better?

I agree 100%. Allyson and I are arguing over a long ago post comparing the HTC ONE and iPhone 5. A few of the images that were posted were clearly better on HTC ONE because it was a cleaner image, a great even tone with not too much contrast (perfect for dropping it into your favorite editing app). The iPhone version was over saturated, blown out in the highlights and more or less useless for any kind of post work. I mentioned this and the responses form people were, "well I like it better."

Preference is great if you understand why you like something. People buying the Canon over the Nikon are hopefully doing it for a reason, maybe they shoot video which is rock solid on all 5D's, maybe they prefer the color output more, maybe it just feels better in the hands. But it's great to know these limitations and understand the product like you do, not just say, I like this more even though it's of lower quality but don't understand why.

I'm simply asking them to take the camera part of the phone as seriously as the rest of phone when doing reviews and comparisons. To provide real information for those of us who depend on the camera when we can't have our DSLR's on hand so we can make the best informed decision.

You don't seem to understand the revolutionary importance of the smartphone and the cameras in them. Read my response to Allyson above.

+1000! Last I checked, ther are a hell of a lot of links at the top for Apple products. If anyone feels the arrived here by mistake, kindly click the Crackberry, Android Central, or Windows Phone links. Warning, you may find a bit of bias there too so your best bet is go find a tech blog that does not specialize in reporting on any one thing or product line. Let me know how that works out. This site belongs to Apple product owners who love our devices and want to see what's new, next, or how what we have compares to everything else out there.

Exactly, yes there will be biased opinions, so in any tech blog, but here i found good side from other platform too, and also these guys do criticised Apple too, and always give fair assessments . As my self an apple fan, not just product but company too the way it functions (not their business policies, but their approach to product development), I see this blog is one of best place for apple and mobile news, and its such a shame when people uses the communication here for wrong reason, bashing the journalist for all their efforts, just try to report once. And I just dont understand why people hate the Apple, you dont like their products, you feel them overpriced then dont use it, they are not forcing you to do so. You dont like it, that doesnt means you have to hate it. I dont like android, but that doesnt means I hate android or google, I respect them for what they did in the tech. And I have seen the praise for google, ms, nokia, at iMore, which you will hardly seen other mobile nations sites.

Why do you even read the website then? Its like you keep going back to same restaurant where you hate the food, just so you can complain about it.

teepeeayy, I'm with you. Clearly, the user named Etios is an "Internet Troll." He/she is one of those persons that goes on forums specifically to argue. Let's just ignore those type of guys/gals so we don't feed their ego. The truth is there is not one phone or camera that will ever be better forever. And that is good, because companies will compete more because of it. The iPhone is definately better overall than most smartphones. Even if the camera were not to be as good as a Nokia camera.

Then you don't need to troll around here if you don't like the coverage now do you?
I have iMores' comparisons to be in sync

Who really cares if it does? I like my iphone to take decent pics and it does that. But it doesn't mean I'm going to switch ecosystems, OS, try to find alternative windows apps (and fail doing that), etc, just to get something that could possibly take slightly better pics.

I tend to purchase multiple phones. Since Verizon now uses SIM cards, I can swap between them to see what I like best, keep it, and sell the rest. Ecosystems are a huge thing. When I swapped from iPhone to Android and then BB10, I ran into the problem with a lot of apps not being present. Since I still use an iPad, I am still collecting iOS apps (though not as much as I am waiting to see how iOS 7 pans out). Some of these apps have no equivalent on android or bb10. I try to not get too stuck in one operating system in case that company does something I can't stand to their OS.

What is it? 43 megaflipflopabits resolution?
You know I am just happy with a decent little camera for when I am out and about. My iPhone is great for that. I don't have to have lug out the Canon.

Now when I want my big creative photos. Out comes the big gun.

Let's be real here. Camera phones are just that. Phones.

interpolation of pixel data to give the impression of image quality and zoomability is BS through and through. Zeiss optics is pure and simple Crap. That is a BS marketing tool. And true photogs know and call it BS.

Multi-element lens do the job that they are supposed to do.

Do we have hubble telescope in space? Or a Nokia?

I don't care which phone is used, it is all personal pref.
My point is that it is nice to have a camera, but be real you cannot take "GREAT" photos with a camera phone when you have no control over the process, i.e., depth of field, shutter speed, lens sizes, etc...

Troll? Really? You don't have too many issues.

I disagree. I think you can take a great photo with a phone, it is just harder. Take landscape shots or other shots where you don't care about having a shallow depth of field. It is never the camera that makes the photo, it is the photographer.

Good luck with that.

Let's see you shoot a nice portrait, with some soft background lighting, and some bounce lighting, and some reflectors to soften up those sharp shadow lines...

Better yet, action shots of say, car racing and trying to capture motion with a slower shutter speed to get the effect of motion.

IT IS A PHONE camera. Let's see some light bending focuses like with a six by eight.

My son thinks he professional just because he posts on "Instagram" He has a Pulitzer on his hands.

These little add on apps are cute and all, but they just don't quite cut it now do they?

Yeah I have plenty of gripes with the iPhone camera.
That is why I have a Canon for my projects that require flexibility, and the ability to change the camera for basically any and all shooting environments.

If it weren't for other phone manufacturers stepping up their game, especially with cameras, Apple would still be using a 3 megapixel with no flash.

Who cares when we have Lumia 1020, which is years ahead of anyhting Apple have. However, the OIS in 925 makes it better than iP5 anyway.

Neither the Lumia 920 nor the HTC One, both with OIS, were better than the iPhone 5 overall. The iPhone 5, thanks to the Apple A6, had and has better digital signal processing, and thanks to iOS 6, better software processing, than either Nokia or HTC.

Hopefully Nokia has uppsed their game with the 925 and 1020, and I'm sure they have, but OIS in and of itself is meaningless, as is focusing on specifics at the expense of general purpose.

Looking forward to seeing the 925 (I'm buying one!)

The HTC, by your own report was miles ahead of iP5, you just don't know how to evaluate the data properly. You may "prefer" the iP5 pics more, but the HTC ONE pics were vastly superior to use for editing in camera.

Hi Rene. I have both an iPad (4th gen) and a Lumia 920. In my experience, iOS is much more consistent in daytime photos while the 920 is really good at low light.

Out of curiosity which version of the firmware did you use on the 920? Each of the three updates (GDR1, an update in March-ish and the upcoming Amber update) were supposed to improve the 920s photo algorithms. The 925 comes with Nokia Amber so it may be the software that results in improved photos over the 920.

Hope you enjoy the 925. :-)

My dad has the Nokia lumia 521 and it takes great photos. I use Blackberry now but im thinking about switching to a Windows phone for a while. Never hurts to try.

putting more cores in the cpu doesn't make a phone run faster
putting more mp's doesn't make a phone take better photos ...
hope nokia understands that and focus on making better phones than bashing Apple

Nicely said.
I frankly would love a phone that would get perfect reception in my living room.
Not that I am going to take pictures in there anyways.

First two lines were great(and generic). The last line spoiled everything. Why would Nokia need to understand about cores? It's phones run on WP8, and thus have relatively low specs compared to other phones(due to OS limitations), but runs silky smooth(due to OS performance). And regarding MP's..Nokia is leading in smartphone camera innovation. Don't you think Nokia knows this fact better than you do?
I am not saying that Nokia's phones are not as good as Apple's but if you had just written "I hope Nokia focuses on making better phones than bashing Apple", I would have agreed with you.

To me, the most amazing feature of Nokia's camera is "the cloud eliminator" and "the crane eliminator" (building in background) .... Take a look in the ad at 0:21 sec.

don't take this comment like I am badmouthing the iphone 5 because I love mine and it takes wonderful pictures, for me. How long has the iphone 5 been out? Almost a year? Way to go Nokia on saying your camera phone is better than something that old. Wouldn't it have been more impressive if they tried to say that it takes better pictures than the HTC One, or the S4?

Gotta work with what you got though. iPhone 5 is all we got right now, and for many it still sets the overall gold standard.

Sent from the iMore App

As a photographer, the biggest problem with these comparisons, is that it never accurately compares the cameras with the same settings. For example, you'd see a Lumia picture at 1/3s shutter speed, compared to an iPhone's photo at 1/15s shutter speed. If it's a still-life photo (as it always is in these comparisons), the 1/3s photo will likely look better.

If it's a photo of someone walking down the street, however, the 1/3rd photo will be a blurry mess.

From what I can see here, Nokia, HTC, Samsung...etc, simply take features that are already available in third-party iPhone apps, and bake them into the default Camera app. Apple made their default app work well in most situations (the shutter speed will never go below 1/15s in the default app for example), so if you specifically point to a specialized situation (low-light with no movement in the frame), then use the default app, it won't work as well as an app that was made specifically for that situation.

The iOS platform has apps that let you do everything depicted in that ad. They aren't baked into the default app, so that's clearly an advantage, but the value-added is just about $5 worth in apps.

You should make sure each camera is using the same settings when doing the shot, otherwise you aren't comparing the cameras, you're just comparing the default camera apps.

These are phone cameras, Dodge, Nokia says these photos were taken with default settings. I don't even know if it is possible to change those things you are talking about with a smart phone camera....

Rene said it perfectly:

"OIS in and of itself is meaningless, as is focusing on specifics at the expense of general purpose."

It's very possible to change these settings, plenty of apps do it. Nightcap is one:

Pureshot is another:

I just want to see what these phones can do when they are both at their best, only then can you truly compare the quality you can expect to get out of it. Sure, the "auto mode" comparisons are useful for those who don't know what they're doing, but it's not that difficult for me to push the "night mode" button in PureShot when the situation calls for it :)

How do most consumers use their phone cameras? By messing around in settings or by just picking it up, launching the camera app and taking a picture?

We're not talking pro photographers here.

How most people use their phone camera is not relevant to my point. If people used a better app than the default, they would have dramatically better photos in the situations depicted in the ad. This isn't rocket science here, it's still a "Point and shoot" operation, just not with the default camera app.

If this is how you want to proceed then fine, but understand you aren't comparing the "iPhone 5 vs Lumia", you're comparing the "iPhone 5 default camera app vs Lumia default camera app".

What's next? A Windows vs Linux photo editing comparison, with MSPaint vs Gimp, and declaring Linux the winner, neglecting to mention that Photoshop CC isn't supported on Linux?

Will we declare Mac better than PCs at photo organization based on iPhoto vs nothing on the PC side, despite the better Lighroom being available on both?

Will you declare Android better than iOS for someone who wants the best maps, and neglect to mention that Google maps is available on both platforms?

You wouldn't do it for any of the above examples (I hope), but you do it when comparing the "iPhone 5 camera" vs the "Lumia camera". The only reason I can think of for this, is that the reviewers have good technical knowledge, so they'd never make the bad comparisons above, but lack photography knowledge, so they don't know the difference there.

Feel free to prove me wrong on that last point, it's just a guess :-)

Has anyone else noticed the incredibly high number of anti-apple shills in the comments lately?
iMore should check these posers out

Anti-Apple? Or pro-innovation. Apple's been pretty stagnant these last few years. I think a few of us are just voicing our concerns because it's personally making me look around at new phones. The fact that, 6 years after Android and palm had it, I still can't quick reply to text messages without having to jailbreak is pretty ridiculous.

Let's travel back in time shall we so I can slap a tad bit of knowledge into your head.

1992 Apple release the first Consumer digital camera. Quick Take. Targeted for consumers.

1987 the Newton.

2001 the iPod

2007 the iPhone

Seeing any progression here.

Just because they don't blow YOUR skirt up every week with something new and your comment of "LACK OF PRO-INNOVATION shows me that you are a idiot savant.

...or, are the other phone companies, JUST NOW CATCHING UP!?!?

I could be wrong?

Just in case you don't understand what the word "few" means.

A Few - a small number of: [ as adj. ] : may I ask a few questions? | [ as pronoun ] : I will recount a few of the stories told me | many believe it but only a few are prepared to say.

And "lack of pro-innovation" makes zero sense. Seeing as I never wrote that phrase, I have no idea what you're trying to say there. Someone is either pro-innovation and anti-innovation. I am pro-innovation. I like when companies constantly push each other to give the consumer better products.

I think you need to reread what I wrote a FEW times for clarity.

Hopefully you researched your papers in school better than you do on these forums haha.

1987 the Newton - Stolen from Palm

2001 the iPod - Stolen from a little known Korean Company

2007 the iPhone - Stolen from Samsung

I had a chance to try the lumia 925 and I found its camera to be significantly better than my iphone 5. Its strongest in spontaneous shots, where the iphone 5 will smear the image the lumia 925 seems to get crisp shots even when the camera is moving a bit. I'm not sure why, possibly due to the optical stabilization. The video is soooo much more stable, this is where the lumia really stands out. So I don't think its worth ditching the iphone unless you really like taking video.

Now the 1020 is a whole different beast... Some of the zoom later images I have seen are insanely beautiful and detailed.

Sometimes, quantity is more important than quality, due to obvious reasons.

When I need quality, then I use a real camera ;)

Let´s say that the Lumia takes better shots..... No way i´m gonna use a Windows phone. Not at the state this mobile OS is right now.

Wouldn't Apple love to put 925's or half of 1020's camera into their next iPhone? Or conversely, wouldn't Nokia love to sell Apple/Samsung their camera tech if it meant far greater sales than WP?

I think Apple gets their camera sensors from Sony. Right now Sony is making the best APSC and arguably the best full frame sensors (Nikon D800).

K, everyone knows the 925 is going to win. If you have done any research on this, you will already know. There have been multiple test run where they have both phones on a device. They touch the cameras at the same time and compare. They have done it with the GS series as well. The Lumia series always dominates.

I thought so. Why would they make a claim if it werent true? You may get away with doing so a decade ago but not today.

Well I think I don't want to jump the gun but I think overall iPhone would score above Lumia but for I would say if you really love photography ..get a real SLR camera and stick around with iPhone for mobile device...

Lol, say whatever you want about the 920 fake ads, but the truth is, when I go out with my friends with iPhone 5s my Lumia 920 just humiliates them. Far superior photos, both in day light and low light. My friends always ask me to take pictures because they already know that my Lumia 920 will produce better results than their iPhones...

As a dying company, Nokia is so funny. Although Lumia 925 takes better pictures than iPhone 5, I still don't like WP OS.

As a new iPhone 5 user that has used the Nokia Lumia 520, 620, 820, 920 and 925 Windows Phone 8 devices I can tell you first hand, the iPhone 5 camera is GARBAGE!

If iOS7 does not dramatically improve the image quality than this phone as nice as it is will be traded in for the Nokia Lumia 925 or 1020!

Yep. Had Lumia920 before but it was too big for me. Changed it to ip5 and i was shocked how bad camera is at low light. Sold just iPhone so i can get 925. iOs7 was disappointment also.