Posted in: Mobile phones, Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 1020 camera produces “punchy” but not over saturated colors by popular demand

In our preview of the Nokia Lumia 1020 we noticed that the camera produces photos with more saturated colors than the 808 PureView, which aimed for accurate, realistic colors. Damian Dinning – former Nokia camera guru, the man in charge of the 808 development and a fan of realistic colors in photos – says the change was made on purpose, to match the preference of the majority of users.

Juha Alakarhu, Dinning’s successor, joined in on the conversation as well.

Here’s what Mr. Dinning said in the span of several tweets:

@jalakarhu can comment further, but the majority of people do prefer boosted colors. A much smaller group prefer pure/natural colors. Whilst we had a huge amount of positive feedback to this approach amongst a more involved user group, from a numbers perspective and considering the wider target use group, punchy colors for products such as 920/925/1020 seems more appropriate according to ongoing studies.

It’s important to note that whilst the majority prefer punchy colors, they still need to look like you remember them, which for most people is more vibrant than reality. A good example of this is a red rose shot on a cloudy day, we remember it to be more vivid than it was.

For the record, I have made no comments to suggest Nokia will implement ‘over saturated’ or ‘blown’ colors. However, I understand they do intend to implement colors which are ‘punchy’ whilst remaining realistic. There’s an important difference which takes years of experience to both first understand and then be able to implement.

Juha Alakarhu (@jalakarhu) added:

There is really good new tech. to handle colors in various conditions. It is more than just saturation.

@Cbrutel @Massis_ Feedback noted:) There is no setting for adjusting colors before the capture (except the white balance of course).

So, it seems that Nokia tried to please as many people as possible (there’s no pleasing everyone), while still keeping colors in photos looking realistic. The distinction between “punchy” and “over saturated” is indeed a fine one, we can’t wait to test out a Lumia 1020 with final software.

Until then you can read our preview of the Nokia Lumia 1020 to learn more about the Pro Camera app. It has a number of manual settings (white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation), but none that affects color saturation.

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