By Rich W Woods
The Sony Xperia Z3v is has come to Verizon this week and the Sony Xperia Z3 is coming to T-Mobile on October 29, so as always, we compare the camera to all of its competing cameras.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the gold standard of smart phone cameras. It has a 41 MP Pureview camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, a real xenon flash, and support for taking RAW photos. While the Nokia Lumia 1020 was released almost a year and a half ago in July, 2013, it is one of few smart phones released that long ago that remain relevant.
Sony Xperia Z3 vs Nokia Lumia 1020: Specs
Obviously the Sony Xperia Z3 is going to have better specs than the Nokia Lumia 1020. It is being released next week whereas the Nokia Lumia 1020 was released a year and a half ago; however, that doesn’t mean the Sony will have better camera specs.
|Sony Xperia Z3||Nokia Lumia 1020|
|Processor||2.5 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 801||1.5 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 Pro|
|Display||5.2″, 1080p, 424 ppi, LCD||4.5″, 720p, 332 ppi, AMOLED|
|Body||146x72x7.3 mm, 152 g||130.4×71.4×10.4 mm, 158 g|
|Camera Resolution||20.7 MP, 5248×3936, 2.2 MP Front||41 MP, 7152×5368, 1.2 MP Front|
|Video||4K – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, 720p – 120 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps||1080p at 30 fps, Front 720p – 30 fps|
|Storage||16/32 GB||32 GB|
|RAM||3 GB||2 GB|
This is a camera comparison but we’ll quickly brush over the specs. The Sony Xperia Z3 has a much better processor than the Nokia Lumia 1020, but the Nokia Lumia 1020 has a better display. Of course, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has a better camera.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell how good a camera is from a spec sheet. Sure, sensor size, aperture, software, and sometimes megapixels make a big difference, but in the end, it is real world application that matters. After all, when I compared the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, they were slightly different and they use the same sensor and software.
Sony Xperia Z3 vs Nokia Lumia 1020: Rear Camera
The Sony Xperia Z3 uses a 20.7 MP rear camera while the Nokia Lumia 1020 uses a 41 MP camera. I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz words before, but megapixels don’t matter. This is because a 720p display is less than 1 MP, a 1080p display is less than 2.1 MP, a 1440p display is less than 3.7 MP, and a 4K display is less than 8.3 MP, so in most cases, the resolution of the photo is more than the resolution of the display. The one thing that megapixels are good for is zooming in on the photo after taking it without losing quality.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has three camera modes: 5 MP JPEG, 5 MP JPEG and 35 MP JPEG, and 5 MP JPEG and 35 MP DNG. It is important to remember that with the third setting, if the user decides to zoom in on the photo, it will only use the low resolution file.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is certainly a better option for professional photographers, with RAW support and manual controls, but the Sony Xperia Z3 certainly has some great features as well. The user can do manual controls, but he can also do a live stream on YouTube. This can be a handy feature for people that have special events or are sick and have relatives in different countries.
Due to some recent confusion, I should note that you can click or tap to enlarge the photos.
|Nokia Lumia 1020||Sony Xperia Z3|
When I do camera comparisons, I don’t look at the photos side by side until I am putting the review together. This keeps the words I write above the photos separate from the words I write after. In other words, I’m seeing the photos side by side at the same point in the article that you are.
That being said, I am blown away. The Sony Xperia Z3 is better in low light, a complete first in a comparison against the Nokia Lumia 1020. It’s super fast, it focuses better, and the pictures are beautiful. The Sony Xperia Z3 has a manual mode, so the only thing you are missing out on with the Sony Xperia Z3 is RAW support, which is rumored to be coming with Android Lollipop.
It is important to note that since there are so many manual controls on the Lumia 1020 as well as RAW support, it is literally possible to take a photo and turn it into anything you want. If you know how to work with RAW photos and you know how to use manual controls, it is absolutely possible that you can make the photos from the 1020 look even better than those of the Sony Xperia Z3.
Sony Xperia Z3 vs Nokia Lumia 1020: Front Camera
Neither of these phones have high resolution front facing cameras. The Sony Xperia Z3 uses a 2.2 MP front facing camera and the Nokia Lumia 1020 uses a 1.2 MP front facing camera. As I mentioned above, resolution doesn’t matter in a rear camera because the resolution of the photo is higher than the resolution of the display.
This is not the case with front facing cameras. 1.2 MP is just north of 720p and 2.2 MP is just north of 1080p. This doesn’t mean that a 1.2 MP front facing camera isn’t good. Take a look at the comparison of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and the iPhone 6.
As with all of the Sony Xperia Z3 camera comparisons, the front facing camera doesn’t measure up. While the front camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020 isn’t great, it does the best it can with what it has. Sony really needs to push out a software update for this.