Nokia Lumia 925 - Camera Modes

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


Nokia Lumia 925 – Camera Modes and Performance

Now that we’ve dealt with the camera quality, we need to cover the camera modes. These are, unfortunately, the things that will convince most people that the Lumia 925 has a worthy camera, rather than the techier aspects that relate more closely to picture quality.

The flagship photo modes of the Lumia 925 are all housed within the Nokia Smart Cam app, which is a ‘lens’ for the Windows Phone 8 camera app. Nokia Lumia 925

Rather than encouraging developers to make their own photo apps, Windows Phone 8 lets them produce lenses that act as plug-ins for the camera. Smart Cam is Nokia’s.

What it does is to take a burst of about a dozen 5-megapixel images over about the span of around two seconds. You can then apply a bunch of effects or sub-modes to these.

First of all the Lumia 925 picks the best shot, which will generally revolve around searching for faces and, presumably, scanning for solid focusing.

With a few flicks of the touchscreen, you can then make Smart Cam search for faces and pick shots where people are smiling, create a composite of multiple exposures (for example, if there’s someone walking by) and remove objects.

Although you might assume that Smart Cam will use all the photographic powers the Lumia 925 has, that it records shots at five megapixels rather than full-res, and that the speed at which it takes them rules-out being able to make much use of OIS tells a completely different story. As will all frivolous modes like these, Smart Cam is for fun primarily.

Smart Cam

We should also note that all the features seen in Smart Cam have their rivals/alternatives in the TouchWiz interface of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Sense interface of the HTC One.

Other features the Lumia 925 offers outside of Smart Cam include Panorama and Cinematograph. The latter functions like Smart Cam in that it captures a burst of shots, but it then lets you create an animated GIF style image out of them, only ‘giving life’ to the parts of the image that feature movement. It is silly. But bags of fun, especially as you can then edit and share the results online.

We found that when playing around with the Lumia 925 we were drawn to this Cinematograph mode more often than Smart Cam, as it is simpler to use. The standard camera mode was by far our top pick, though, as it’s the only one that produces the best images the phone can manage.

Its camera line-up features omissions, too. There’s no HDR mode, which takes two/three exposures with different exposure parameters and then melds them to produce a shot with more detail in high/low light areas of a scene.

Nokia Lumia 925 4

Camera Impressions

Despite Nokia’s best efforts, the Lumia 925’s camera app feels a little under developed in parts, a little over developed in others. What we like using is an app that has a few easy-to-access modes we use regularly. Here, the standard camera app is too bare, the Smart Cam app too involved.

Nevertheless, usability of the camera as a whole remains excellent thanks to the fast focusing and the ease with which you can take a picture. Like a ‘real’ camera, the physical shutter button is a two-step mechanism that focuses when pressed lightly, and snaps when pressed the whole way. Alternatively, a tap on-screen both focuses on that area and takes a picture.

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May 14, 2013, 12:47 pm

No removable battery and no expandable storage = no sale. The screen is also too small (IMHO)... And it looks like they want over £500.00 for it unlocked. Maybe the shareholders should tell Elop to stop trying to sell under-spec, overpriced phones. Damn shame. I'm going to want to replace my ATIV S soon. Am I going to be *forced* back to Android???


May 14, 2013, 3:38 pm

1280x768 (not 720)
And why are we still seeing 720p anyway, was there ever a 720i phone display? Can you even interlace an AMOLED display?


May 14, 2013, 9:39 pm

I can't think of a situation where a 4,5" screen is not enough. Same goes for the 32 gb storage.


May 15, 2013, 5:06 am

non-removable batteries shouldn't really be an issue. i was worried about it too when i bought my e7, but i've never had power issues. i could last two days with light to moderate use and go for over 4 hours in a call or browse the internet in the same time period without the battery getting halved. charging is consistent (2 hours) and after one year of use, i never found a difference between it and other phones with removable batteries.

same thing with non-expandable storage. my phone has an internal memory of 16gb and it's more than enough to use apps, store music and film-length videos, etc.

although i understand that symbian =/= windows so power consumption should be a lot different. still, i'm not making the non-removable battery and non-expandable storage as the reason for not purchasing the lumia 925.

i do agree though that nokia phones are mostly under-spec'ed and overpriced, and this is my main reason against them.

Drunken Max

May 15, 2013, 12:34 pm

I have the 920 and love it. I did not however have to buy a special case for wireless charging, just the pad. Only the 820 required the add-on case. A step back to make it lighter maybe?


May 25, 2013, 2:46 am

It do to the current display limitations on WP8. The next release should make it possible for 1080p. And the winter release to match those of QXGA! Microsoft just trying to do catch up on this. But will have it done by beginning of 2014!


June 15, 2013, 1:25 am

how was the sound recording? You know, rich recording.


June 16, 2013, 1:50 am

iSwitched to Nokia Lumia 925 and I liked it...

We have upgraded all handsets from iPhones to Nokia Lumia 925 and though the initial couple of days we had to try everything and get to know the features; overall is been a fantastic experience, must say that this is big credit to Nokia and Microsoft as it is very premium quality and feel as well as experience, yes there is room for improvement and yes it is a different ecosystem therefore it requires users to adjust and learn new things however this is good thing as finally Microsoft is investing in developers and motivating them to contribute.

We also have the free offline navigation from Nokia as well as a fantastic camera also
X-Box music which we’ve gone for the Music Pass also therefore completed all quirements however do hope that Microsoft allows multiple playback and streaming with the Music Pass in near future.

Now looking forward to the big WP update to 8.1 “Blue”


June 16, 2013, 10:06 am

Camera Quality: Nokia - 8 vs iPhone 5 - 9 - ???!?!?!?!?!Design: Nokia - 8 vs iPhone 5 - 9 - ???!?!?!?!?!
Screen Quality: Nokia - 8 vs iPhone 5 - 9 - ???!?!?!?!?!
Usability: Nokia - 8 vs iPhone 5 - 9 - ???!?!?!?!?!

I am sorry but to rate ALL these lower than the iPhone is just a joke. This site is always biased toward Apple and you need to fix it and start to give us some OBJECTIVE ratings.
The camera is better overall. Design is personal opinion but I don't see how the iPhone is any better. The screen is arguable the same. As for usability... my mum tried the iPhone and Windows 8 and found windows 8 much easier to use and more intuitive.

Rishabh Sethi

June 21, 2013, 12:04 am

hey do you get wireless charging with the phone .. in box


September 6, 2013, 8:50 am

I love mine too! The Amber phone update has made in love with 920 again!

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