15 April 2013

Nokia Lumia 920 Camera Review

I was recently contacted by Nokia UK who asked if I'd like to try out the camera on their shiny new Nokia Lumia 920 phone.  Being a bit of a gadget freak, I'm always keen to try out new tech, so I jumped at the chance.

I will start by saying that I just cannot get on with typing on a touchscreen phone or tablet, in fact I hate touch screen typing with the same kind of passion normally reserved for people who talk in the cinema.  So the Nokia 920 was never going to replace my trusty, if somewhat unfashionable Blackberry Bold.  

The week the camera arrived it was stupidly cold outside, so the camera got tested inside on my resident model, my dog Skip, who was recovering from a leg operation at the time, hence the sad face.  It's actually one of my favourite photos of Skip, processed entirely on the phone.  We were off to a good start.

That weekend I was due to to go London for a photowalk, so what better time to give the camera a proper work out.  I've not edited the London shots in anyway other than to resize them.  They are exactly as they came off the phone.

It was during the first part of the London walk that I had my first problem with the camera.  It refused to focus on shadows on the ground.  Being high in contrast differences I would have expected this to be an easy subject, but despite trying numerous times the Nokia Lumia 920 simply would not focus.

I thought it might be a quirk to this particular scene, or maybe the fact that it was pointing down at the ground, but nope.  When I tried again to focus on the ground by my feet, each and every time it refused to focus.  It would however focus on closer subjects.

Also just to add to the confusion, it seemed to focus perfectly nearly all of the time while in video mode.

I gave up using it after both still and video camera "green screened" on me.  Meaning that when going into the photo taking modes, all it would display was a green screen.  We had to Google how to do a soft reset (which in turn reset the time & date of the phone).

I'm still not sure if I'd been sent a prototype or a faulty version of the phone.  Either way I was left rather unimpressed with how the bugs on the phone I had.

Photos follow - they are all self explanatory, except the second to last one which was taken using one of the different "Lens" options.

09 April 2013

The View from The Shard

On Saturday with a small group of my Photo Experience Days clients I made my way up to the top of The Shard in London.  The tickets had been purchased a few months earlier, but I'd been careful to research the sunset time for our day, and timed our assent for shortly before.   The aim was to get the best light of the day, and also some night lights as a bonus.

Luck was on our side for the weather, and we'd had a wonderfully sunny day, a far cry from the bitter winter conditions over the previous couple of weeks.

The pay in advance price of £25 is a tad steep, but honestly don't let it put you off.  You'll be rewarded with a stunning view over one of the greatest cities in the world.

The whole experience from ground to sky and back again was excellent, although I still think they missed a trick with the tv screens in the roofs of the lifts.  They should have put them in the floor and simulated the floor of the lift opening up James Bond style!  Or perhaps my twisted mind is working overtime. 

The sunset was spoiled a tad by selfish people at the top who didn't move away from the windows for the whole of the sunset.  I managed to push myself in to grab a couple of quick shots though.

The trick to getting good photos through the slightly dirty windows was to get the lens as close as possible, and then cup any gaps between window and lens with your hand.  At least that's what I did, and it seemed to work fairly well at cutting out reflections.

I highly recommend this experience to anyone visiting London.