Old and New: Nokia Lumia 920 VS Nokia Lumia 830 Camera Showdown

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With the latest line-up of Lumia smartphones currently on sale worldwide, I’m pretty sure that those who are looking forward to upgrade from their old devices are having a hard time picking the best Lumia that will suit their needs. This is particularly true if you are an avid Lumiagrapher (a photographer, whether amateur or professional, who uses a Lumia to shoot stunning images). While there are people who are still satisfied with their Nokia Lumia 1020 (I can’t blame them, I also wanted to have that 41MP imaging beast!), those who are using a Lumia 920 or 925 are now asking one thing – what is the best upgrade for our Lumia?

In this review, we will compare the imaging features of the Nokia Lumia 920 with the smartphone that we can strongly suggest as a suitable replacement – the Nokia Lumia 830. I also shot a couple of photos using both devices so that our readers will be able to decide if they’ll stick with the 920 or upgrade to the 830.

THE CAMERA

We can’t go straight into the photo section without comparing the camera technology of both devices, so here are the camera specifications of the Lumia 920 and Lumia 830:

Specifications Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 830
Image Sensor 8.7 MP 10.0 MP
Focus Type Auto focus w/ two-stage capture key Auto focus w/ two-stage capture key
Digital Zoom 4x 4x
Camera Optics 5-lens Zeiss optics 6-lens Zeiss optics
Optical Imaging Stabilization Yes Yes
Sensor Size 1/3.2 inch 1/3.4 inch
Aperture f/2.0 f/2.2
Focal Length 26mm 26 mm
Flash Short pulse high power dual LED LED
Backside-Illuminated Sensor Yes Yes
PureView Yes Yes
Minimum Focus Range 8cm 10 cm

If we judge the smartphones from the specs alone, the Nokia Lumia 830 obviously has the upper hand in the comparison. Having a higher image sensor and more lenses has always been a good combination for shooting good photos, but will these really make the Lumia 830 far superior compared to the Lumia 920? Let’s find with the photos  shot from one of the popular tourist spots here in the Philippines – Rizal Park.

Note: All photos are shot in automatic mode, unless stated otherwise. Despite the shifts in lighting and other factors, I tried my best to keep the shooting experience for both devices as close enough as possible. Enjoy this comparison and we appreciate any comments and suggestions!

Challenge 1: Statue in Bright Sunlight

As you can see with both photos, the Lumia 920 still has the “yellow hue” issue even though my phone is already updated to Lumia Cyan. Although this can be use as an advantage for photos that has more of yellow and orange schemes, like flowers and sunset shots, shooting other colors can be a problem.

In this challenge, the Lumia 830 managed to reproduce better colors of the sky, the statue, and plants around it. You can also see the difference in the sharpness of the images, particularly if you zoom closer into the statue. The Lumia 920’s photo, although satisfactory, appears to be a bit washed out if placed side by side with the one taken by the Lumia 830.

Challenge 2: Pink Flower

The winner in this challenge depends on one’s perception on color saturation. Personally, even though I love the oversaturated photos since it brings more into life to the subject, nothing beats a realistic representation – and that includes accurate color reproduction. The Lumia 920 did excel on this area. The level sharpness of petals and the protrusion in the center of the flower are almost the same, so we declare the Lumia 920 as the winner this time.

Challenge 3: Rizal Monument, Cropped

A trip to Rizal Park will not be complete without visiting the popular monument of Dr. Jose Rizal. And since the park management decided to rope up the area to have the statue protected from vandalism, you can only shoot photos a few meters away. So very clearly, the Lumia 830’s 10MP sensor worked out for me, shooting a much clearer image from the one I shot using the Lumia 920. The difference can be seen in the cropped images below.

 The yellow hue issue had also affected the quality of the colors in the 920’s photo (I really wish they fix this in Denim!), making the blue sky look pale. On the other hand, the slightly oversaturated colors in the Lumia 830’s photo did blend perfectly to the bright sunlight shining over the monument.

Challenge 4: Statue of Confucius, Zoomed

We usually cropped photos to get a better and closer view of the subject, but what if we actually zoom in before shooting photos? Is there a difference in doing so? Let’s find out in this challenge.

Both smartphones were zoomed in before shooting photos of the statue, with the results posted below:

Excessive sunlight can also affect the color saturation, as you can clearly see in the photo taken by the Lumia 920. This made the resulting image looked rather washed out. The Lumia 830, on the other hand, managed to keep the colors intact and close to reality, producing a better picture. When zoomed further, you’ll also notice that the statue’s outline had become quite blurred in the 920 photo, compared to the one shot with the 830.

Challenge 5: Butterfly, Macro Shot

Now, let’s look even closer to the subject as we try to see if these two Lumia smartphones can also be useful in macro shots. For this challenge, I use manual focus (for the perfect close up and bokeh effect) plus Sunny white balance (for better color quality). I was only planning to capture photos of the flower, but luckily, this small butterfly decided to stay and be my model. Here are the photos shot with the Lumia 920 and Lumia 830:

Let’s zoom up a bit…

And zoom even further…

First thing you’ll observe is that the photo shot with the Lumia 830 appears to be brighter even though both photos were taken under the same amount of sunlight. We can associate this with the slight oversaturation of the colors with the newer smartphone. However, this had once again counted against the 830, since the Lumia 920’s shot has more realistic hues. Again, too much vividness can be an advantage or problem to a photographer.

When zoomed in, both the Lumia 830 and 920 managed to capture the details perfectly. Even with a macro lens, you can clearly see the markings in the antenna, legs, and wings of the insect; the only difference is that the Lumia 830 photo has sharper details. But nevertheless, both devices performed well on this test.

Challenge 6: Train Station, Low Light

It’s time to go home. While waiting for the train, I realized I haven’t tried shooting photos with the Lumia 830 indoors, and since the station is dimly light, the setting is perfect. Just like the earlier challenges, the 830 had proven that it can shoot photos with sharper details compared to the Lumia 920. Just look at how clearly you can see the stones in the railways and the metal frames of the roof! Again, the yellow hue issue had washed out the details in the Lumia 920’s photo, appearing quite grainy.

Bonus Challenge: Night Shot, Long Exposure

Now, it’s time for you to decide which smartphone is best at shooting stunning images. I have two photos below, both shot at night with long exposure technique (ISO 100 and shutter speed of 2 seconds). Which photo do you think is way better?

Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 920 will always be the first PureView Lumia in history. Many users that I know (especially in Instagram) have used this smartphone to shoot amazing and stunning photos that were once possible only with high-end professional cameras. Even at this point, with the yellow hue problem evident in the shots I shared, one can still produce quality photos with the 920 – with a little help from some of the best photo-editing apps in the WP Store,  of course (I suggest Lumia Creative Studio, Adobe PS Express, and Camera360Pro!). But we all know that each device has its own limitation, and where the Lumia 920 is lacking, the Nokia Lumia 830 had easily filled the gap.

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With better color reproduction, sharper details, and superior quality even when zoomed, the Nokia Lumia 830 is indeed a perfect replacement for your old Lumia 920 – that is, if you are more of a photography enthusiast. The lineup of specs are really great, particularly the 10MP sensor and 6-lens optics (not to mention that all these had fitted into the smallest PureView camera module yet!). Although there is a slight tendency for the colors to be oversaturated, you can’t deny that the Lumia 830 had outshined the 920 in our tests. The Lumia 830 may not be on the same level as the Lumia 1020, but it can definitely give the Lumia 1520 and 930 a good competition.

I hope that this article had helped you in choosing your next Lumia smartphone. Trust me, when it comes to imaging, the Nokia Lumia 830 can give you a true PureView experience without spending too much money. After all, it is the most affordable Lumia flagship yet. Check it out in the nearest mobile phone retailer now!

Special thanks to Microsoft Philippines for the Nokia Lumia 830 review device used in this article!

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About Author

News Editor, Nokia Fanboy, Aspiring Photographer, Harry Potter Know-it-All, Anime and Tokusatsu addict. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram Ciao!

  • bong Labador

    you are right! Lumia 830 is sharper than lumia 920 even the lumia 925.i have a lumia 830 and 925 and now lumua 950. My 830 broke and I buy 925.but not satisfied as the 830 so I buy the 950 and I amaze the camera of the 950.much much better than than the 830.

  • Nazir Taib

    Indeed. Lumia 950 is ahead of Lumia 830 camera by a large margin. Even my old Lumia 1520 can’t even compete with my new Lumia 950xl in term of pictures quality. Very satisfied with my Lumia 950 XL camera.