Nokia Lumia 920 review: The Luminary

GSMArena team, 04 December 2012.
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Video camera is better

The camcorder interface is identical to the still camera's and has plenty of features too. You can change the white balance, sharpness and the video resolution among other things. The LED flash can be made to work as a video light, too.

Nokia Lumia 820 Nokia Lumia 820
Camcorder interface

The Nokia Lumia 920 shoots 1080p and 720p videos (720p is the default mode). The OIS comes into play here if you're holding the phone in your hand (we doubt many people carry tripods around).

Videos have the same oversaturated colors and smudgy details that troubled the still camera. The dynamic range is okay, but the camera sacrifices darker areas again. The Lumia 920 would often change the exposure, which caused "pulsing" from brighter to darker and back. On the up side, the continuous autofocus behaved well.

The bitrate of the 1080p video was a steady 21 Mbps while the framerate hovered around the 30 fps mark. The Lumia 920 has three high-dynamic range microphones (meaning it can capture loud sounds without distortion) but even so audio is recorded in mono only (99Kbps, 44.1kHz).

With 720p videos the bitrate fell to around 16 Mbps with the same 30 fps framerate. Audio is mono again too.

Anyway, here's a 1080p sample we uploaded to YouTube:

You can also download an untouched 1080p@30fps video sample.

Video stabilization is such a major feature of the Lumia 920 (it earned the camera the 'PureView' tag), so we decided to test it. We started with some casual panning, followed by walking in place and jumping.

At first glance the difference isn't really major - each of the two contenders has its moments of superiority in the video. If we hadn't named the two halves, you'd probably have a hard time telling which one uses optical stabilization and which one is simply employing a cleverly designed software algorithm.

However, for its stabilization to work so well, the iPhone 5 is forced to use only the central part of its sensor, while the Lumia 920 can use the whole thing, which gives it both a wider viewing angle and the option to do pixel binning, which helps fight digital noise.

The Nokia Lumia 920 video was slightly more stable here, particularly when the more rapid action was happening. In the various other scenarios we tried the results were more or less the same - a slight advantage for the Lumia 920 in terms of smoothness and that notably wider viewing angle.

Video quality comparison

The Nokia Lumia 920 is ready to bump heads with the likes of the HTC Windows Phone 8X and Samsung's Ativ S and its Lumia 820 sibling in our video quality comparison tool. Once again you should consult the tool's page for information on what to look out for.

Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool
Nokia Lumia 920 in our Video Compare Tool

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