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Apple iPhone 5S vs. Nokia Lumia 1020: Which camera is better?

Al Sacco | Sept. 25, 2013
Apple's brand new iPhone 5S has an enhanced iSight digital camera, but how does it stack up to Nokia's impressive 41-megapixel PureView Lumia 1020 camera?'s Al Sacco pits the two popular devices against each other in this hands-on iPhone vs. Lumia camera comparison. The results might surprise you.

Original Fenway Park Brick Facade, iPhone 5S 

Original Fenway Park Facade, Nokia Lumia 1020 

The same can be said about the images of Fenway's Teammates Statue, which is an ode to famous Sox players Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio and Bobby Doer, as well as David Halberstam's 2003 book based on the four men, "Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship." Look at the bricks and you can see a clear difference in both color and definition.

Teammates Statue Outside Fenway Park, iPhone 5S

Teammates Statue Outside Fenway Park, Lumia 1020 

I truly expected the Lumia 1020 to stand out when zooming in on small areas of images. But look at the zoomed-in image of the plaque on the Teammates Statue. The Lumia image might be clearer, but the difference is negligible.

Teammates Statue, iPhone 5S (Zoomed In)

Teammates Statue, Lumia 1020 (Zoomed In)

The images of Fenway's interior face, behind home plate, are probably the most similar. It's difficult to say which device provided better-quality photos, but you can notice a slight difference in color between the two sets.

Fenway Park, iPhone 5S 

Fenway Park, Lumia 1020

Fenway Park, iPhone 5S (Zoomed In)

Fenway Park, Lumia 1020 (Zoomed In)

Fenway's Green Monster in left field, the only wall like it in all of professional baseball, looks more "lifelike" in the iPhone images, and again, the iPhone photos look clearer. Look at the "B Strong" circle or "Fenway Park, Stay Strong" banner; the colors are more crisp, and they're slightly less pixelated in the iPhone photos.

The images of the vintage Red Sox sign inside Fenway's third-base concourse, which is meant to commemorate the year Fenway was built (1912) and then reconstructed (1934), show more of the same.

Vintage Red Sox Sign at Fenway Park, iPhone 5S 

Vintage Red Sox Sign at Fenway Park, Lumia 1020

Vintage Red Sox Sign at Fenway Park, iPhone 5S (Zoomed In)

Vintage Red Sox Sign at Fenway Park, Lumia 1020 (Zoomed In)

To sum that all up, in my tests the iPhone 5S iSight camera provided better images across the board than the Nokia Lumia 1020 PureView camera, demonstrating that it really isn't only about megapixels when it comes to smartphone cameras.


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