Nokia Lumia 930 camera hands-on: upping 920's game

Back in 2012 we first had our hands on the Nokia Lumia 920 – here just under 2 years later, we've got the Nokia Lumia 930 in our hands. While the Verizon version of this device has already been launched as the Nokia Lumia Icon – reviewed by us as well – it only felt proper to do another set of camera tests to start our review off right.

Head all the way back to November 5th, 2012 to see our first Nokia Lumia 920 camera tests. Then fast-forward again to now, July of 2014, where we've taken the Lumia 930 on a stroll. We'll be doing some comparative tests in the near future – this is just a basic "how does this device work in real life" sort of series of photos.

What you're seeing above and below is the Nokia Lumia 930 in action. It's important to note that all of these photos were taken right out of the box – no modifications made to the device or the camera setup in the Lumia 930.

Every photo was taken while walking the dog. Literally walking my dog out around the neighborhood while I took photos with one hand. The Lumia 930 continues to work with a dedicated camera shutter button – this time in metal, rather than hard plastic – so going from pocket to shot is very, very intuitive.

A number of adjustments can be made when you take a photo with the Lumia 930 direct from the standard camera app. You can adjust White Balance, Focus, ISO, Shutter Speed, and Brightness – or you can leave them all on auto.

One example of a fine place to adjust brightness is whilst taking photos of birds in a tree with a bright sky behind them. Here we've got an example – not exactly award-winning, but still, better than we'd have gotten without adjustment.

The Nokia Lumia 930 is ready to take macro photos immediately. Getting close up and personal does not require you to hit a Macro button or turn on the switch you'd normally find near a tiny tulip.

Smart Sequence is a feature you should use if you plan on standing still while other objects are moving. You'll take a series of photos in quick succession, then you'll get a variety of options – Best Shot, Action Shot, or Motion Focus.

Above you'll see an example of a "Best Shot". Below is an "Action Shot." Try to find the bird flying away from the camera and you win a genuine no-prize!

Last you'll see Motion Focus. This is the strangest of the three features, as it suggests you want not only a load of blur around your subject, but a surreal focus on your subject as well.

Honestly Smart Sequence is a bit baffling to use – certainly not something the everyday consumer is going to understand right off the bat.

Dark conditions continue to be a sort of magic spot for the Lumia 930. Here Nokia still somehow sucks up every bit of light available to make whatever sort of passable shot they can – while we'd normally not be taking a photo inside of a bag of dog food, here it serves to show you: any light can be good light when you want to prove it exists.


The Nokia Lumia 930 camera is excellent. Until we get the opportunity to create some side-by-side shots with other top-tier phones, it would seem like this machine is a real contender for the higher end. Below have a peek at an un-cut selection of photos we've taken today and see if you can count how many turned out.

BONUS: Here's an example of the camera's abilities taking video at 1080p and 30FPS. We'll be bringing more video heat to the final review. Stay tuned!