iPhone 5S beats the Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera

Steve Jobs famously said that it’s not about Megapixels, but more about photons when it comes to building a fantastic camera. So when the Nokia Lumia 1020 came out packing a whopping 41-Megapixel camera, many thought that it would blow Apple out of the water. However, according to recent tests the iPhone 5S is beating the Lumia 1020.

The iPhone 5S was put up against the Lumia 1020 in a variety of real world snapshot tests and surprisingly came out on top, despite the iPhone 5S only having an 8-Megapixel camera, opposed to the 41-Megapixels of the Lumia 1020.


Here are some of the example pictures which were used to evaluate the iPhone 5S camera performance and conclude that it was the device outputting superior photos.



Obviously the perception of a good picture is relative to the viewer, but the test took into account the colouring output as well as the performance in capturing certain details, together with the light rendering.

iPhone 5S Camera

With all that accounted for, the winner for the better image capture was the iPhone 5S:

The iPhone 5s conclusively beat the Nokia Lumia 1020 in our photo face-off, taking seven out of 10 rounds–and tying one. Even after updating the Lumia 1020?s camera software, which reduced issues with the blue color cast on many images, colors were still more accurate on the iPhone. Apple’s device also excelled when delivering detail and contrast.

Whilst the Nokia Lumia 1020’s device isn’t a bad camera, it does show that the performance and quality of the camera doesn’t come down to Megapixels alone. The 1020 had such a large pixel count to enable digital zooming to retain details whilst cropping, but it seems during general use, the iPhone 5S comes out on top.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Have you used both devices? Which one do you prefer?

[Via Laptop Mag]


  1. Now that is some nonsense.

    Read the comments under the mentioned article.
    Iphone 5s beating the Lumia 1020 camera is just funny.

    Iphone sure is great hardware & software, but with mediocre camera.
    You can’t be best at everything.
    Camera is just not iPhone’s thing.

  2. “Camera is just not iPhone’s thing”

    Crawl back under the rock you’ve been living under, fool.

    41 megapixels of pure crap — once again, specs don’t matter, real performance does…

  3. Clearly the guy writing this article does not
    own a Lumia 1020 comparing Apple 5s with
    1020 whopping 41 Megapixel nothing stands
    a chance i have had the chance to get my hands
    on one and its mindblowing lossless zoom and all
    1020 is amazing device compared to apple 5s
    this confirms that any bloke can write a review
    these days even if its bull,just like comparing
    Hyundai with a Porsche.

  4. Ice is orange/pink on iPhone pic, this article says that iPhone pic is better .. idk bout that one

  5. If the author of this news piece wants anyone to take him even ever so slightly seriously then at least provide the sources to these photo comparisons. No one seriously is going believe on face value what is said.
    What settings were used or default?
    Were the photos scaled down?

    If no info then it can only be assumed that Dan is a Apple fanoby and/or he is trying to mislead.

  6. Yeah its blatant lying
    the night scape was perfect on 1020 as it exposed the shot longer
    the waves blurred as they should for a longer exposure.
    it was grainy in the 5S.
    Just shows how far apple fanatics lies will go

  7. Ha. I did chuckle at this comment.

    You’ll see the [Via Laptop Mag] footer applied to the article, indicating that the information was pulled from a 3rd party.

    I remain totally impartial.

  8. I own or have used neither device. The tests were conducted by another website, and the article was referencing that source.

  9. Of course specs matter – they are one of the things that matter.

    Most important is performance – and the Lumia 1020 camera provides a far better performance than the Iphone 5s.

  10. This is shockingly bad journalism. This guys seriously needs to be looked at by his seniors, its Apple fan boy reviews like this that make people hate on Apple.

  11. Now, that was graceful Nancy ????
    Pure crap???? The 1020 REALLY performs ????

  12. @author,
    Looks like people do not agree with you ????, wonder why???
    People actually do get wiser and better informed and don’t take these BS articles as true anymore
    Its time to find a different job amigo

  13. I call BS! Nokia’s Lumia 1020 camera beats Apple’s iPhone 5s camera hands down!

  14. You know Megapixels account for not even half of the components that contribute to taking a picture, right?

  15. To quote the article:

    “Obviously the perception of a good picture is relative to the viewer, but the test took into account the colouring output as well as the performance in capturing certain details, together with the light rendering.”

  16. In His article on Laptop Magazine Michael Prospero says as part of his comments for his first photo – “Finally, more of the background in the iPhone’s image is in focus, which is more of a personal preference.”

    He followed with this statement as part of his comments for his forth photo comparison.

    “As we saw with the image of the bottles, the iPhone 5s kept more of the background in focus, which, in this case, is more of a personal preference.”

    I responded in comments –

    ” @ Michael Prospero… the author. The blurred background you find in the images, particularly the Lumia 1020’s image is the result of a shallower depth of field achieved by the Lumia 1020. The affect is called Bokeh and is typically the desired affect when focusing on an object in the foreground. Though your preference varies, the fundamental goal in photography in most circumstances is that the object in the foreground that is focused upon is sharp, and the scene behind the subject is blurry. The 1020 camera functions along those desired lines of photography. Your preference(which you have 100% right to) for a sharp foreground and background is not consistent with the overall desired affect of a camera in photography which the Lumia succeeds at. Since this is a review of the quality of the camera, the consistency of the Lumia in producing an affect which is the goal in the photography world, should not receive a negative mark because it’s camera, as a camera, achieves what a camera is designed to do, even though your preference is that it didn’t.”
    (Please see this youtube video which expounds on the photographic goal of shallow depth of field and compares various smartphone cameras and a controol camera showing how each device compares.)…

    Finally as noted by another commenter here, in reference the fifth photo of the NY Skyline, the IPhone 5s shot is really over-sharpened. I’ve seen that affect when editing photos and sharpening the image too much.

    Sadly, granted there is always some subjectivity in photography, the author, allows his preferences of what an image should look like(or possibly his preference for the iPhone) to affect an objective review on the basic merits of the performance of the camera with fundamental photography standards acting as the rubric.

    When an article which is laden by the author with statements such as what is enumerated below is presented as an objective review one can only assume that he is simply not very good at reviewing and writing, lacks required knowledge of the subject matter to present a fair and objective review, is biased and is using his position to promote his platform of choice and purposefully present false information of a very competitive product from a competitor or paid by Apple to promote their product under the guise of a fair an objective review (or some other view I missed).

    1. Bottles – “Finally, more of the background in the iPhone’s image is in focus, which is more of a personal preference.” (Note:Lumia produced Bokeh, a desired photographic affect as addressed above. Object in focus sharp, background blurred.)

    2. Scarves – “As we saw with the image of the bottles, the iPhone 5s kept more of the background in focus, which, in this case, is more of a personal preference.”

    3. NYC Skyline: “The iPhone’s image, while much grainier than the Lumia’s,

    …The lighting in the Lumia’s image was more even, but we’ll sacrifice graininess for focus any day.”
    4. Low-Light Images(No Flash) – “The iPhone 5s’ image, though somewhat grainy, showed much more detail in the surrounding leaves.” (please take a look at the images yourselves – again the iPhone image is horribly grainy – Anyone looking at the two images – even the full res images can tell which looks – can easily tell which is the clearer imag

  17. It’s a very interesting point you make. The original article did indeed tend to prefer the iPhone 5S over the 1020, perhaps more than should have been the case. But it does reiterate the point of the age-old argument of more Megapixels equals a better picture, which anyone who knows anything about photography appreciates is complete rubbish.

  18. Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe the shooter of these pics just doesn’t know how to use the camera functions on a Windows phone. Any number of reasons why these photos could be the way they are, but one thing I can defintely state is I own a Windows phone (Verizon 928) and an iPhone and my Windows Phone photos have NEVER come out looking ANYTHING as bad as like the ones in this article. NONE of my pics have EVER been “purple” in color. I also own an iPhone and can tell you that pics taken with my Windows phone are much clearer than my iPhone pics and when it comes to darkness, Windows phone beats the tar out of the iPhone! If I could attach comparable pics to this comment to prove it, I would.

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