Today I figured I would try and sow a little truth into the mess that has become the camera phone market. Numbers inflated for PR rather than quality have been put front and center with today’s launch of the Nokia Lumia 1020. As a stance on this whole issue, I really don’t have much of a dog in the fight. Yes, I have spoken for Apple and like the iPhone, but this post does not find its roots in fanboyism. This is a preventive measure for the sanity of professional photographers everywhere.
We have all been there, sitting in a airport terminal, at a bar, at Costco, only to hear a baby boomer with a 20 megapixel camera phone ask why we shoot a D3x when we could use the latest Windows phone. I mean a megapixel is a megapixel, right?
To someone that asks said question, I usually give a response that goes something like this, “I would totally use the Windows phone instead of my old D3x on set, however, I have a different carrier… bummer.”
Hey guys, cool phone, huh? Let’s be honest, it is not a 41 megapixel monster that your youthful enthusiasm wants it to be. Yes, it probably is a good camera, but no, it will not hold up to anything professional in nature. Will it beat the iPhone camera? Maybe, but that is yet to be seen. Quantity for the sake of quantity does nothing but create a false idea inflation that poisons an industry. We can all remember the Kodak DCS-14n and its huge claims of 14 megapixels. It was nothing but a PR stunt that cost many people money when they found that the camera had little quality and even less resale value.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the camera phone version of the joke that has become the Chicago Sun Times. Yes, we can have writers take pictures, but surprise should not be had when the quality of the images falls off the face of the Earth. Too much have I clinched my teeth in a conversation where someone asserts the idea that megapixels equal quality… if you haven’t experience this in person, go to Best Buy. I feel like people that will read into the hype are the same people that think having a camera on the iPad to do photography is a good idea. It’s not.
So in closing… will the Lumia 1020 be a good camera phone? Probably. Will it be anything like the 41 megapixel camera it is claiming to be? Nope.