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Sep 9, 2012

OIS ON or OFF, Nokia Lumia 920 Imaging Capabilities

Only a few days after its official unveiling, Nokia’s Lumia 920, “the most innovative smartphone in the world,” no longer feels that way.

Nokia themselves managed to stain the phone’s image, by publishing a promo video that only “simulates” its imaging capabilities that are powered by PureView technology. For those out of the loop, we should note that the clip in question, supposedly shot with a Lumia 920 smartphone, has been proven to be fake. Included in the promo are both videos and still images that have been, in fact, shot with a DSLR camera, and not with the 8-megapixel PureView photo snapper on the back of Nokia’s first Windows Phone 8 handset.  One of the great features that Lumia 920 is said to arrive on shelves with is Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which makes both videos and photos recorded with its camera look infinitely better than those shot with a “regular” smartphone. As can be seen in the video embedded below, there’s a clear difference between content recording with OIS turned ON and that shot with the feature OFF.

In fact, Nokia already admitted to have used a DSLR camera in the video, yet suggested that the clip was published for illustrative purposes alone, and that Lumia 920 will behave similarly in real world. Only that Nokia didn’t provide videos and photos that were actually taken with the handset’s camera from the beginning, which, obviously, made everyone wonder whether the handset was indeed capable of such impressive imaging performance. In a post published only hours after the PureView promo video was posted, The Verge alerted users that all might be fraud. Soon after, Youssef Sarhan explained in detail on his blog that the still images included in the second part of the clip were not shot with Lumia 920 either. An image with Nokia’s set-up for the shooting also emerged online, coming from a bystander in Helsinki, Johannes Grönvall, clearly confirming that the smartphone wasn’t used for the recording of the content in that promo clip.

John Pope, a director of communications at Nokia, has already confirmed that the image is real, and that apology is due for the lack of transparency from the mobile phone maker. “For clarification, the photo was shot by a bystander in Helsinki and apparently posted by them to the Internet. It shows the production set-up being used for the video for which we have apologized for not being transparent,” he said. “Indeed, a Lumia 920 was not used to illustrate the benefits of optical image stabilization and we regret the error. The other still images in this post were extracted from that video. Again, we have posted an apology and the video is now clearly marked.” At the moment, the clip is no longer listed on YouTube. However, the link for it still works for those who have it. If you haven’t had the chance to have a look at it before, you’ll find it below.

In an attempt to come clean, Nokia has invited bloggers in New York City to put Lumia 920 to the test in low-light conditions. However, it did not let them try out the video recording feature of the device with the new OIS turned ON, saying that it was not yet ready. Apparently, the handset is indeed capable of shooting very good photos even when in low-light conditions, at least when compared to rival high-end smartphones on shelves today. The thing is that those images are not as good as those included in the promo video we talked about above, even if they are much better when put side by side with photos taken with other smartphones out there. Although the phone performs very well, it still has some way to go before it could be compared with a DSLR camera. The Verge was present at the meeting and came up with a video that offers more info on the matter.

In the end, it appears that Nokia did exaggerate Lumia 920’s imaging capabilities, and that we’ll be able to learn how well it can perform only after the official launch in the fourth quarter of the year. Nokia’s shares went down around 15 percent in the light of Lumia 920’s and Lumia 820’s unveiling, and it seems that the company will continue to go through a rough period moving forth. And with the promo video being as disappointing as it is, we’re wondering whether Nokia didn’t lose some of its possible buyers as well this week. Regardless of how well they try, the descending road they stepped on when announcing the adoption of Windows Phone appears to haven’t reached its end just yet. OIS ON or OFF, Lumia 920 is coming to the market with a stained image, although it might actually be the impressive device that Nokia says, especially since it does sport a nice range of other appealing specs as well.

But, in the end, users are those who decide whether a smartphone is worth buying or not. Let us know in the comments section below whether you’re looking to grab a Lumia 920 when it is launched, or you changed your mind after learning of this entire PureView shenanigans.

Nokia Lumia 920 ad on Youtube
Image credits to Youtube

Nokia set-up for Lumia 920 ad
Image credits to johaee@gmail.com via sefsar

Still image from Nokia Lumia 920 ad
Image credits to sefsar

Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to Nokia

Image shot with Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to Nokia


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