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After Shooting 100 Lumia 925 Photos

Corfe Pan
Panoramic shot of Corfe Castle rendered by the Nokia Lumia 925.

AFTER SHOOTING 100 images and videos with the Lumia 925, I've concluded it makes blues look deeper and it efficiently creates panoramic images. Both have resulted in more views of images than I would have expected in my Flickr photostream.

I switched between my Sony Xperia Z and my Nokia Lumia 925 while snapping shots during our two-week holiday in England. Both deliver quality results but the dedicated camera button on the Lumia 925 is very handy. Plus, the screen on the Lumia 925 is easier to see than any others I've used under direct sunlight.

The Lumia 925's 8.7 megapixel Pure View camera has a well-deserved reputation for capturing "real to life photos" as possible. There's no saturation option in the phone's settings but you can set white balance, ISO and exposure value. I ran the phone in auto mode, even for night shots, and the results pleased me. In fact, eight of the top 10 most-viewed images from our summer holiday were shot by the Lumia 925. I used the Xperia Z and Lumia 925 interchangeably while snapping more than 500 photos during our holiday. The Lumia delivered the best results and also has garnered the highest number of views in a "Holiday in England" photo set spanning more than 100 images.

Because of the ease of shooting and processing panoramas, I've started taking more of them. However, I've also seen the Panorama function churn out results with ghostly artifacts because I've moved too quickly from one part of the scene to another. This means I'm currently generating only one quality panorama for every three attempts. I've put a sample of my first panorama on top of this blog post and started a photoset on Flickr of my public panoramas. I expect to get better with practise. I've also discovered people like panoramas because my pans get more views than normal shots. The new layouts on Google Plus and Flickr favour large images that span all the way across computer screens. Jelly Bean on Google integrates views of standards-compliant panoramic imagery.

A fortnight after publishing photos from our holiday, I've noted three things. First, hundreds of people enjoy shots of warm beaches in sunshine, like the two-handed one I snapped walking above the sands of Bournemouth. Second, dozens of technically-minded people flick through my stuff because a very boring photo I snapped of the Lumia downloading maps attracted the attention of 30 people within a day of me publishing it. Third, more people have the time and broadband speed to watch Flickr videos than I expected. Several minute-long video clips that I produced with the Lumia 925 earned more than 40 views in the fortnight after they uploaded.

I've watched the Lumia's compression technology at work when sending videos directly from the phone to Flickr, YouTube and Facebook. The compression happens quickly, effectively removing the HD element from the video, and results in quickly uploading the two or three minute clip to the online streaming service. The compression and upload happens faster on the phone than it would occur if uploaded on a laptop. This is important for a television journalist to know because it means the Lumia 925 easily performs in time-critical reporting segments.

I plan to push the Lumia 925 into night and macro modes next month, seeing how well it works to complement Evernote's OCR capabilities. My first impressions of the Lumia 925 exceed my expectations in terms of smart camera functionality.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia in a degree programme at the Limerick School of Art & Design where students are challenged in a Bring Your Own Device set of practical exercises. He has several hundred images shot with Lumia.]