Tim 'TheSoupDragon' Jones from the Vodafone eForum walks us through the ins and outs of the Nokia Lumia 930's stellar camera. Ready to become a smartphone photography master?

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The Lumia 930 is the brand new Nokia flagship, running the very latest version of Windows Phone. Thanks to Microsoft, we’ve been able to loan some of our leading Community Champions from the Vodafone eForum a 930 for a few weeks, so we thought we’d ask them to each pick a specific part of the phone, dive in and really put it through its paces.

 

nokia-lumia-930-thumbNokia Lumia 930 available now!
The next iteration of Microsoft’s mobile operating system is here, and it’s being ushered in by a brand new flagship device: the beautiful Nokia Lumia 930…
Click here for all the details…

 

To kick things off, we’ve been talking to photography enthusiast Tim ‘TheSoupDragon’ Jones about some of the many camera tricks up the 930’s sleeves. If you want to get the best out of your shots in a host of different situations, read on…

Exposing its secrets

NokiaCamera“The Nokia Lumia 930 has a very accomplished camera,” Tim tells us, “sporting a 20-Megapixel sensor within a Carl Zeiss Lens. There’s optical image stabilization, autofocus and a dual-LED flash, too. Nokia is famous for providing quality optics within their flagship phones, and the Lumia 930 is no exception to this rule.” As a keen photographer, Tim’s been impressed with some of the more pro-level facets of the Lumia 930’s camera – the things that take it above and beyond your usual smartphone snapper:

“I was excited to see the 930 supports the RAW image format known as ‘DNG’,” he explains, “which is a Lossless Digital Negative file type.” Put simply, that means you can shoot the digital equivalent of film negative images – unprocessed shots at their highest possible quality. Do that, and you’ll have plenty of scope to tweak and perfect them, and to do some clever extra tricks with computer-based editing software:

“I was excited to see the 930 supports the RAW image format known as DNG…”

“While investigating the Nokia lens, I discovered the option to take ‘bracketed images’ – something normally only found on a DSLR camera. A bracketed image is a process in which the camera shoots a series of quick fire shots – usually three images in a row – at different exposure values: one underexposed, one with normal exposure and one overexposed.

“If you combine this with the DNG (RAW image) format,” Tim explains, “you have the capability to produce a perfectly exposed photo by blending the images together using software like Photoshop.” Need an example? Check out Tim’s bracketed image below:

Expousre levels

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“Looking at the normal exposure, you can see that the Clouds are ‘blown out’. There’s no detail in them, while the church windows are very dark. Using Photoshop, I was able to blend the three images into one perfectly exposed image, combining the best parts of all three photos. In the final picture, the clouds are no longer a white blob, the windows have visible detail in them and the church itself is well exposed with a high level of detail. The blue sky has true colour without being over saturated, and there’s also no noise (the technical term for graininess), which is all too common when photographing blue skies.”

Your turn

Ready to get serious? If you’re keen to begin experimenting with your Lumia 930 shots like Tim, but don’t know where to start, worry not: he’s provided a no-nonsense guide on how to shoot in the phone’s inbuilt RAW DNG format, ready for image bracketing…

1. Open Nokia Camera Lens
2. Tap on the three dots (top right in Landscape mode or bottom right in portrait mode)
3. Select ‘Bracketing’
4. Select the number of photo’s to take (Tim suggests three)
5. In ‘Exposure Range’, choose -2EV to +2EV
6. Tap on ‘Set’ to enable the settings

“When you’re taking three photos like this,” Tim adds, “it’s very important to stay perfectly still, or it’ll be difficult to blend them together. Resting against or on top of a wall is always a handy tip for steady shots. Once taken, the camera will save your photos as a 19-Megapixel DNG (Digital Negative) file, but also as a 5MP JPEG image as well. This allows you to view a decent quality version of the image on your phone, before you start editing.

“The Nokia Lumia 930 has a tremendous ability to read complex light situations. You can see deep shadows all the way up to bright highlights, and this is great for shooting in the RAW DNG format. Every bit of the sensor’s information is retained, allowing for full and accurate colour reproduction when developing the image in the software of your choice.”

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So with all this photographic ability under the bonnet, is it safe to say that Tim’s impressed with the Lumia 930’s camera?

“At times it can be hard not to refer to the Lumia 930 as a camera, rather than a phone!” he says in closing. “If photography is something that has always interested you but you’re put off by the high price of some of the equipment, then it’s difficult not to consider the 930 as a great compromise. Not only will it give you a decent introduction to quality photography, but also all the benefits of a high-end flagship phone.”

Get yours now! The Nokia Lumia 930 is available right now in Vodafone UK stores. Click here to read all the specs and info you need, and head to one of our retail stores now to pick one up.