Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Comparison: The Results May Surprise You

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Comparison: The Results May Surprise You

By Rich W Woods

Ever since Nokia sent me a Nokia Lumia 635 to review, I’ve been itching to compare it to the Nokia Lumia 1020. After all, 90% of the time, when you are looking at a photo from a Nokia Lumia 1020, it’s a 5 MP photo. This will be a comparison to see if the 5 MP photo from the Nokia Lumia 635 can stand up to the Nokia Lumia 1020.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 has three settings: 5 MP JPEG, 5 MP JPEG and 35 MP JPEG, and 5 MP JPEG and 35 MP DNG. The 35 MP photo will be 38 MP if the user changes the aspect ratio to 4:3. On the first or the third setting, the user is only seeing a 5 MP photo unless he opens the DNG photo in Photoshop or another photo editing app. If the user shares a photo, it uses the low resolution photo. The only time it uses the high resolution photo is when the user zooms in on the image.

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 1020: Specs

Nokia Lumia 635 Nokia Lumia 1020
Processor 1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 400 1.5 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 Pro
Display 4.5″, 480p, LCD, 218 ppi 4.5″, 720p, AMOLED, 332 ppi
Storage 8 GB, Expandable to 128 GB 32 GB
RAM 512 MB 2 GB
Camera 5 MP, 2592×1944 41 MP, 7152×5368, 1.2 MP Front Camera, Xenon Flash, OSI
Video 720p at 30 fps 1080p at 30 fps
Body 129.5×66.7×9.2 mm, 134 g 130.4×71.4×10.4 mm, 158 g
Price $129 $599

 

Clearly, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has superior specs to the Nokia Lumia 635, but as I said above, most of the time all the user sees is a 5 MP image. Also, the camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020 is very retarded. From the moment that the user holds the camera button to open the camera and then take a photo, it can take up to 15 seconds to take a photo.

That brings me to another point that is very important to many Windows Phone users. The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a physical camera button on the phone and the Nokia Lumia 635 does not.

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 1020: Camera

All of the camera comparisons that I’m not doing with the Nokia Lumia 635 were originally intended to be with the Nokia Lumia 530, being that the Nokia Lumia 530 was released in the United States last Sunday. After realizing that the Nokia Lumia 530 doesn’t have the ability to focus and putting the photos side by side with the Nokia Lumia 635, it was clear that the Nokia Lumia 635 was the one to use.

The first thing you’re going to notice about these photos is that more megapixels don’t mean better picture. I was very impressed with the camera on the Nokia Lumia 635.

The other thing that you’ll notice is that the Nokia Lumia 1020 is much better in low light. This is expected as the Nokia Lumia 1020’s lens is a Pureview lens. It really doesn’t get any better than that.

My problem with the Nokia Lumia 1020 has always been how retarded it is. When the original Windows Phone 8 phones were released, the flagships had mid-range processors. More specifically, they were the high end processors of the former generation, mid-range by today’s standards. They put a super powered camera in a mid-range phone. If they put a Snapdragon 801 in a phone like this, it would be unstoppable.

There is a benefit to more megapixels and that is lossless zoom. Here’s an example.

As you can see, the Lumia 1020 does a much better job if you need to do a super zoom job.

Both cameras have manual controls for focus, white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and brightness; however, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has the ability to shoot RAW photos while the Nokia Lumia 635 does not. The only Nokia Lumia phones that have this ability are those with 20 or more megapixels.

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 1020: Video

The Nokia Lumia 635 takes 720p video at 30 fps while the Nokia Lumia 1020 takes 1080p video at 30 fps. The 720p on the Lumia 635 is a restriction of the Snapdragon 400 processor since all that is needed for 1080p is a 2.1 MP sensor.

I was disappointed at the 1080p restriction of the Nokia Lumia 1020 since all that is needed for 4K is a 8.3 MP sensor; however, it is possible that when Nokia releases their next update, Lumia Denim, they may give 4K capability to the Lumia 1020.

Nokia Lumia 635

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Comparison: Conclusion

If you are a professional photographer, you probably already know about the Nokia Lumia 1020. That’s the phone you are going to use.

If you are just a regular person, the Nokia Lumia 635 really has a fantastic camera. The other requirement is that you can’t be vain enough to want to constantly take selfies.

Whenever I do a camera comparison of the Nokia Lumia 1020 I get tons of hate mail saying that I don’t know how to use the camera. This is because all photos that I take for reviews and comparisons are taken with default settings. This also goes to show what you get when you use default settings with the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Nokia really did good with the Nokia Lumia 635. It’s a great phone with a great camera. If you are not using your phone’s camera for any professional use, I would suggest the Nokia Lumia 635.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Vote in the poll below to let me know which one you prefer or leave a comment.

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About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.