iPhone 11 Pro has an unlikely rival in this 7-year-old phone

iPhone 11 Professional has an unlikely rival on this 7-year-old telephone


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The iPhone 11 Professional has among the finest digital camera setups discovered on any of in the present day’s top-end telephones. It might take images that may give DSLRs a run for his or her cash and might carry on capturing nicely when the sunshine goes down. However how far has this know-how actually come lately?

To search out out, I put the iPhone up towards the Nokia Lumia 1020. Launched all the best way again in 2013, the Lumia 1020 was in its day the final word instance of cellular imaging prowess. Its 41-megapixel most decision was a primary and its wealth of options meant it was well-suited to photographers who did not need to carry round a compact digital camera all day. 

“Within the 1020, Nokia pushes the smartphone digital camera envelope with a mix of uncooked image-capturing prowess and close-cropping functionality that makes it probably the most artistically in a position smartphone cameras we have examined.” Jessica Dolcourt defined in CNET’s evaluation of the telephone

This piece is not designed to type any type of shopping for recommendation — no one ought to be making an attempt to work out whether or not to purchase a brand new iPhone or a 7-year-old telephone operating an out of date working system. If you’re, you must actually learn why utilizing an outdated telephone could be a critical safety danger. However I did assume it will be fascinating to see how two top-tier shooters of their instances examine and see simply how far telephone cameras have come.

All photographs had been taken in the usual, automated digital camera modes. They’re all in JPEG format, until in any other case famous. By default, the Nokia Lumia takes 5-megapixel JPEG photographs, which is what we’ll see all through this piece, until in any other case famous.

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Nokia Lumia 1020


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iPhone 11 Professional


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First up, this sunny view in Edinburgh’s Dean Village. Already I am impressed with the Lumia 1020: It is achieved an awesome total publicity, with managed highlights within the sky and loads of shadow element. I knew this type of scene would not be a problem for the iPhone, with its automated HDR mode, however I did not count on the Lumia to get so shut. Certain, the iPhone’s shot has extra shadow element and extra punchy, vibrant colours, however I just like the extra pure look that the Lumia has achieved right here. 

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Lumia 1020 at 200% crop


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iPhone 11 Professional at 200% crop.


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Cropping into that picture to 200% does reveal some extra noticeable variations although. The Lumia’s shot lacks element, with a few of the high-quality brickwork wanting mushy. The Lumia’s JPEG is simply 5 megapixels, so I opened the uncooked DNG file in Photoshop and added some sharpening, which the iPhone robotically applies. 

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Lumia 1020 DNG file with sharpening, 200% crop.


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Cropping in on the identical space, it is clear that it hasn’t made a lot distinction.

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Lumia 1020.


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iPhone 11 Professional.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Once more, I am impressed with how nicely the Lumia 1020 has captured this scene on Edinburgh’s North coast. The general publicity is spot on, with well-preserved highlights and shadows. The white steadiness is respectable too, and there is a good quantity of element when zoomed in. Certain, the iPhone’s shot is a contact brighter, with extra shadow particulars, but it surely’s a detailed competitors.

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Lumia 1020 processed uncooked file.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Working from the Lumia’s DNG uncooked file, I made only some tweaks in Lightroom to carry the shadows and modify the colour steadiness to create this remaining picture. I do not assume anyone would be capable to guess that this shot was taken on a telephone made in 2013.

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Lumia 1020.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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iPhone 11 Professional.


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I discovered these shells on the seaside additional up the coast. The iPhone’s shot is crisper, however in any other case there’s little distinction between the photographs. 

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Lumia 1020.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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iPhone 11 Professional.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The distinction between the 2 telephones is far more noticeable right here. The iPhone’s shot is brighter, with crisper particulars on the painted phrases and the tree bark. 

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Lumia 1020.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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iPhone 11 Professional.


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The distinction is obvious on this instance too; the iPhone’s shot has better-looking publicity, distinction and total element. 

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Lumia 1020.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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iPhone 11 Professional.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The iPhone 11 Professional actually begins to drag away in low gentle. The iPhone’s model of this riverside scene is brighter, with considerably extra particulars on the timber and leaves.

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Lumia 1020.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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iPhone 11 Professional.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The story is way the identical right here. The Lumia 1020’s shot is darker, with quite a lot of the high-quality particulars fully misplaced. 

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Lumia 1020 crop element.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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iPhone 11 Professional crop element.


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Cropping in shut, there is a huge distinction in brightness and element.

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Lumia 1020.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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iPhone 11 Professional.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Again indoors, I needed to take a snap of my fantastic ginger boy Toulouse, who was completely happy to pose for the digital camera. Once more, the Lumia 1020 has struggled to realize an excellent publicity, shedding element within the highlights exterior and quite a lot of deep shadows inside. The colour steadiness is off too, giving a inexperienced tinge to lovely Toulouse. The iPhone’s shot is brighter, with correct colours. 

What have we discovered?

It is no shock that the iPhone 11 Professional takes the higher photographs — I did not count on for a second that the conclusion could be anything. However I’m impressed at simply how shut the Lumia 1020 got here in a few of the photographs. It takes its finest photographs, like all cameras, in good gentle. And in a few of the coastal scenes, the Lumia affords respectable competitors to lots of in the present day’s telephones. It handles publicity nicely and whereas it does not have an HDR mode, it is doable to drag again some spotlight and shadow element by enhancing the uncooked DNG file. 

The Lumia’s low-light abilities do not examine as favorably, nevertheless. Once more, that is no shock, significantly as night-time capturing has been a spotlight of most of in the present day’s flagship telephones for a while. The iPhone 11 Professional, OnePlus 8, Pixel four and Samsung Galaxy S20 all have devoted night time modes that may take glorious photographs in low gentle.

It is clear to see then the place the imaging developments have been made lately. That stated, if there’s going to be any type of take-away from this train, it is that you just needn’t have absolutely the newest, finest {hardware} as a way to take good photographs. And whereas that does not imply going and shopping for a 7-year-old telephone, it might make you take into account whether or not you really want to improve out of your 2017 iPhone X for the higher digital camera, or whether or not you could possibly nonetheless squeeze some life out of it but.


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